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Hands-On Microsoft

Windows Server 2003

Chapter 7
Configuring and Managing
Data Storage
Objectives
• Understand the Windows Server 2003 storage
options, including basic and dynamic disks
• Perform disk management and troubleshooting
on partitions, volumes, and mounted drives
• Configure and manage RAID volumes for fault
tolerance
• Perform disk backups
• Restore data to a disk

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Windows Server 2003 Storage
Options
• Basic disk
– Uses traditional disk management techniques
– Contains primary partitions, extended
partitions, and logical drives
• Dynamic disk
– Does not use traditional partitioning
– Provides flexibility in number of volumes per
disk

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Basic Disks
• Partitioning
– Blocks a group of tracks and sectors to be used by a
particular file system
• Formatting
– Creates a table of file and folder information for a
particular file system
• RAID
– Set of standards for lengthening disk life and
preventing data loss
– Basic disks can use RAID level 0, 1, and 5

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Basic Disks (cont.)
• Disk Striping
– Ability to spread data over multiple disks or volumes
– Prevents disk wear
• Disk mirroring
– Practice of creating a mirror image of all data from the
original disk to a backup disk
– Backup disk goes live only if original disk fails
• Disks added to a Windows Server 2003
computer are automatically configured as basic
disks
• Basic disk partitions can be primary or extended
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Primary Partitions
• Basic disks must contain at least one primary
partition and can contain up to four partitions
– A primary partition is one from which you can boot an
operating system
– Can be used for other purposes, such as to hold files
in a different file system format
• At least one (and only one) primary partition
must be marked as active
– An active partition is where your computer looks for
hardware-specific files to start the operating system
– Also called the system partition

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Extended Partitions
• Created from space not yet partitioned
• Enables the basic disk to exceed the four-
partition limit
• After creation, it is further divided into logical
drives
– Logical drives are then formatted and assigned drive
letters
• The boot partition can be installed on a primary
or extended partition
– The boot partition contains the operating system files
located in the \Windows folder
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Volume and Stripe Sets
• Volume set
– Two or more partitions combined to look like
one volume with a single drive letter
• Stripe set
– Two or more combined disks
– Striped for Raid level 0 or 5
• Backward compatibility with sets created
in NT
– Cannot create new sets if disk fails

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Dynamic Disks
• Ability to set up a large number of volumes on
one disk
• Ability to extend volumes onto additional
physical disks
• Supports RAID levels 0, 1, and 5
• Can be formatted for FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS
• Can be reactivated if powered down or
disconnected
• Employs better disk management than basic
disks
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Dynamic Disks Configurations
• Dynamic disks are recognized by both the
Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003
operating systems
• Dynamic disk terminology uses volumes instead
of partitions or sets
• Five types of volumes:
– Simple volumes
– Spanned volumes
– Striped volumes
– Mirrored volumes
– Raid-5 volumes
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Simple Volume
• Portion of a disk or an entire disk that is set up
as a dynamic disk
• Option to extend the volume with unallocated
space
• Can be extended for up to 32 sections of the
same disk
• Does not provide fault tolerance

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Spanned Volume
• Two to 32 disks that are treated as one volume
• Use to combine several small portions of disk
space or to combine small disks
• Volumes formatted for NTFS can be extended
• If one disk of a spanned volume fails, the entire
volume is inaccessible
• If a portion of a spanned volume is deleted, the
entire disk set is deleted

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Striped Volume
• Referred to RAID level 0
• Extends life of hard drives by spreading data
equally over two to 32 drives
• Increases disk performance
• Equal portions of data in 64 KB blocks are
written in rows on each disk
• Useful for large databases or data replication
• Data can be lost when one or more disks fail

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Disk Management
• Tasks
– View disk information
– Create and delete partitions and volumes
– Convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk
– Troubleshoot disk problems
• Tools
– Disk Management
– Disk Defragmenter
– Check Disk
– chkdsk

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Creating Partitions
• When creating a partition, leave 1 MB or more
free for conversions from a basic disk to a
dynamic disk
• Organize storage units with partitions
– For example, keep the operating system on a partition
separate from user data to protect data
• A partition can be formatted during or after
creation
– A volume on a dynamic disk formatted with the Disk
Management tool can only be formatted for NTFS
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Converting a Partitioned Basic
Disk to a Dynamic Disk

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Creating Volumes

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Mounting a Drive
• A mounted drive appears as a folder and is
accessed through a path like other folders
• Can mount basic or dynamic disks, CD-ROMs,
or Zip drives
• Other drives can be added to the folder
• Reduces the number of drive letters in use
• Used to store user home directories
• Can be used for databases in order to provide
easier user access and backups
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Using Disk Defragmenter
• Disks gradually become fragmented
– Files are saved to the first area of available disk
space
– Accessing a file may require reads from different
areas of a disk
• Disk Defragmenter
– Analyzes disks and creates reports
– Locates fragmented folders and files and moves them
to a contiguous location on the physical disk
• Defragment a disk on a busy server every one to
two weeks
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Using Check Disk
• Scans disks for bad sectors and file system
errors
• Meant for use when users are not accessing the
system
• Two options:
– Automatically fix file system errors
• Repairs any errors in the file system
– Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors
• Includes the above
• Also finds and fixes bad sectors, recovering any information
it can read

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Using chkdsk
• Command-line tool to check the disk for errors
• Starts automatically during booting if the boot
process detects a corrupt file allocation table or
corrupted files
• Can check FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, or a
combination of these
• Can save lost information to a file (Filexxx.chk)
• Offers switch and parameter options

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Fault Tolerance
• Ability of a system to recover gracefully
from hardware or software failure
• Windows Server 2003 provides fault
tolerance through software RAID
• RAID is not a replacement for regular
backups
• Data is written to more than one drive
– If one drive fails, data can be accessed from
one of the remaining drives

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RAID Volumes
• RAID level 0
– Striping with no other redundancy
• RAID level 1
– Disk mirroring by duplicating data to a backup disk on
the same controller or adapter
– Disk duplexing by duplicating data to a backup disk
on a different controller or adapter
– Write access is slower than read access
– More expensive than other RAID levels if three or
more volumes are involved

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RAID Volumes (cont.)
• RAID level 2
– An array of disks with striping and error-correction
information
• RAID level 3
– Like level 2, but the error-correcting information is
only written to one disk
• RAID level 4
– Like level 2, with checksum verification
• The checksum is sum of bits in a file to verify that a
reconstructed file is not corrupt
• Server 2003 does not support RAID levels 2 to 4
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RAID Volumes (cont.)
• RAID level 5
– Offers striping, error correction, and
checksum verification over all of the disks
– Uses more RAM than other RAID levels
– Requires at least three disks in the array
– Same data guarantee as mirroring, but slower
– If more than one drive fails, data is lost

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Comparing RAID 0, 1, and 5
• RAID 0 does not offer fault tolerance, and is
therefore not recommended in many situations
• The boot and system files can be placed on
RAID level 1, but not on RAID level 5
• RAID level 1 uses two hard disks, and RAID
level 5 uses three to 32
• RAID 1 is more expensive to implement than
RAID level 5 per megabyte of storage
• RAID level 5 requires more memory than RAID
level 1

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Using a Striped Volume
(RAID level 0)
• Reduces the wear on multiple disk drives
by equally spreading the load
• Increases disk performance compared to
other methods for configuring dynamic
disk volumes
• Used in situations where a main data
warehouse is stored elsewhere and fast
access is needed for the secondary
storage
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Using a Mirrored Volume
(RAID level 1)
• Only dynamic disks are set up as a mirrored
volume
• One of the most guaranteed forms of fault
tolerance
• The time to create or update information is
doubled because of the mirrored disk
• Disk read performance is the same as a single
disk
• System and boot volumes can reside on a
mirrored volume

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Using a RAID-5 Volume
• Uses parity blocks on each disk with information
about the data contained in each row of 64 KB
blocks
– The parity is Boolean logic
– The parity block is always in row n of disk n, where n
is the disk number
• Not as fast as a striped volume
• Uses more memory than mirroring or simple
striping
• The amount of storage space is 1/n where n is
the number of physical disks in the volume
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Software RAID versus
Hardware RAID
• Hardware RAID is independent of the operating
system
• Hardware RAID is more expensive than software
RAID, but offers the following advantages:
– Faster read and write response
– Ability to place boot and system files on different
RAID levels
– Ability to “hot-swap” a failed disk without shutting
down the server
– More setup options to retrieve damaged data and
combine different RAID levels

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Disk Backup
• Backups from tape drive on the server
– Tapes hold more data
– No extra load from network traffic
– Ability to perform backups from another tape in the
event of tape failure
– Assurance that the registry is backed up
• Backups on the network
– Can be stored on a single backup media for easier
administration
– Registry cannot be backed up
– More network traffic
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Backup Options
• Normal backup
– Backup of an entire system
– Changes each file’s archive attribute
• Incremental backup
– Backs up files that are new or have been updated
– Only backs up files with archive attribute
– Removes the archive attribute
• Differential backup
– Like incremental backup, but does not remove the
archive attribute
– Quicker restores than incremental restores
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Backup Options (cont.)
• Copy backup
– Backs up only the files or folders selected
– The archive attribute is left unchanged
– Does not affect regular backup routines
• Daily backup
– Only backs up files that have been modified on the
day the backup is performed
– The archive attribute is unchanged
• Additional tools in the Backup or Restore Wizard
– Schedule backups to occur automatically
– Restore data from removable media
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Summary
• Windows Server 2003 supports two different disk
configurations:
– Basic disks are backward-compatible to earlier operating
systems and provide rudimentary handling
– Dynamic disks can be configured for more comprehensive disk
management involving simple, spanned, striped, mirrored, and
RAID-5 volumes
• The Disk Management tool provides a graphical view of
the disk configuration
• Use the Disk Management to create basic disk partitions
or dynamic disk volumes

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Summary
• Mounting a drive enables you to save drive letter
assignments and to access a drive through a folder
• Plan to regularly defragment disks using the Disk
Defragmenter tool
• Use the Check Disk and chdsk tools to find and repair
disk problems
• RAID provides fault tolerance for your server’s hard disks
– Windows Server 2003 supports RAID level 0, 1, and 5
• RAID level 0, also know as striping, provides no actual
fault tolerance other than to extend the life of the disks

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Summary
• With disk mirroring or disk duplexing (RAID level 1), the
same data is written to a partition on each of the two
disks included in the mirror
• With RAID level 5, data is written across a minimum of
three disks in 64 KB chunks
– Parity information is added to achieve fault tolerance
• Use the Backup utility to regularly back up important
data and system files
– Works with tapes, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, and Zip disks
• The restore capability in the Backup utility enables you to
restore an entire server, one disk drive, specific folders
on a disk drive, or only specific files

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