Dynamic Disks and Volumes scenarios under Windows Server 2000/2003/2008/2011/2012

July 12, 2018

Dynamic disks and volumes are commonly used in several scenarios described bellow. But before that, it is necessary to have a basic understanding first of what dynamic disks and volumes are.

In order to maximize benefit from dynamic disks and volumes, it is best to use more than one hard disk under Windows server 2000/2003/2008/2011/2012. It allows administrator to scale the storage to match their needs. Dynamic disks and volumes are commonly used in several scenarios described bellow. But before that, it is necessary to have a basic understanding first of what dynamic disks and volumes are.

What Are Dynamic Disks and Volumes?

Dynamic disk is the most popular storage type available on computers running Windows Server 2000/2003/2008/2011/2012. All of volumes on dynamic disks are known as dynamic volumes. Dynamic disks provide more features than basic disks, such as create dynamic volume that span multiple disks and tolerate fault.

Dynamic disks also offer greater flexibility in volume management, because there is a database to track information about all the existent dynamic disks and volumes and newly joined dynamic disks in the computer. Besides, under Windows Server 2000/2003/2008/2011/2012, as every dynamic disk in a computer stores a copy of the dynamic disk database, it is possible to repair a corrupted database on one dynamic disk by using the database on another dynamic disk.

Learn more specific knowledge on what is dynamic disk?

Why to Create Dynamic Disk and Volume

There are several familiar types of dynamic volumes under Windows server 2000/2003/2008/2011/2012, such as simple (striped) volume, spanned volume, mirrored volume and RAID-5 volume. Administrators can create different dynamic volumes to meet different needs.

To increase volume size
When primary disk is full and there is no more free space on it to enlarge partition size, the user can create spanned volumes to increase volume size. That means the user can extend volume onto a second disk in the computer. If there is some unallocated space left on the primary and second disk, theses space can be combined into one big volume. The spanned volume can cover up to 32 disks.

To combine more than one small disks into a large dynamic volume
If there is more than one hard disk in a computer, they can be combined into a large dynamic volume by creating a spanned volume. The space spanning across the disks would look and function like one single volume.

To adapt to high read/write throughput
If the user requires high read or write throughput but not require tolerating fault, the user can create a striped volume. A striped volume is created by two or more hard disks in the computer. A striped volume cannot be mirrored or extended and is not fault-tolerant.

To protect critical data
There are two types of dynamic volumes that accommodate efficient data-protection. One is mirrored volume; the other is RAID-5. Mirrored volume is created by two disks in a computer. If one disk fails, the user can use a copy of the data on the second drive.

If the user has at least three disks and require fault-tolerance, the user can create RAID-5 volume. When one of the disks in the RAID-5 volume fails, the lost data can be recovered by the data on the remaining disks and parity information. RAID-5 volumes are applicable to storing data frequently read but less frequently written to. Mirrored volume has a better write performance than RAID-5 volume.

To migrate data to a larger disk
If the simple volume where store data on the hard disk runs out of space and there is no space on the disk to extend this volume, the user can move all the data to a large disk. The user can use the simple volume and another larger disk to create a mirrored volume. Then the user can break the mirrored volume, leaving the whole copy of data and available space on the new disk. The space on the simple volume can be reused for other demands.

Dynamic volumes can efficiently manage partitions and help administrators of Windows server 2000/2003/2008/2011/2012 maximum benefits form them. By creating dynamic volumes in scenarios described above, data storage under Windows Server 2000/2003/2008/2011/2012 can be simple and secure.

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