In 2016, the new Datacenter Edition of Windows Server brought up a new feature named Storage Spaces Direct. Using this solution, it was possible to combine the locally attached storage. After that, the file could be sent to the cluster as a CSV. In this way, it was possible to use it in a Scale-Out File Server. This will permit us to access the file over SMB 3 and can be utilized for holding the cluster data like Hyper-V VMDK files. It is also possible to configure it in an HCI fashion so that the application and the data can both be run on the same set of servers.
Building a highly available 2-node SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance (FCI) using SQL Server Standard Edition without shared storage is possible. But, if your requirement was to have HA without a SAN, there is no other option than to purchase the SQL Server Enterprise Edition. Also, you then had to use Always On Availability Groups or purchase the SIOS Datakeeper. Then, you could use a third-party solution which permits you to build SANless clusters using almost any version of Windows or SQL Server. The Enterprise Edition might prove to be highly expensive for your project, especially if it was just for the Availability Groups feature.
There are a lot of things which can be done using the S2D. However, there are a few limitations to all the good things which can be done using S2D. However, the limitations are very minimal when compared to the advantages.
Following are the limitations of using Storage Spaces Direct:
1] Knowledge of PowerShell is required
To setup and manage S2D, you will require the knowledge of PowerShell, which is a programming language. However, there are a lot of people who don’t know much about PowerShell. As a result, it is difficult for the majority of the people to use S2D with ease.
2] High Costs
For a business to own and run, S2D is a very expensive software. Also, it doesn’t work on a lot of platforms like DataKeeper. It strictly requires the latest releases of Windows and SQL Server 2016/2017 to function properly. Additionally, your cost of deployment will increase multiple folds as you will be requiring the Datacenter Edition of Windows.
3] Increased Node Requirement
S2D needs at least four nodes to display optimal performance. It has the ability to support a scaled-down infrastructure using just two nodes. However, it will need an additional tie-breaker mechanism in such a case. If you want to deploy S2D in a Single Availability Zone, it is a very tough thing to do. To do this, there should be at least three cluster nodes and each node should reside in its own subnet. This is the result of some networking restrictions which AWS imposes, which requires every cluster node to be in a different subnet. However, S2D is not designed to run in different subnets which further complicates the matter.
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