Great reference architecture is really something that vendors should pride themselves on. When looking at Storage Spaces Direct Deployments I would say that one of the leaders in getting quality documentation out to the field is @LenovoPress. Their latest work is a really great Reference Architecture Document published on March 24, 2017. Lenovo is a great partner of Microsoft and has a certified solution for Storage Spaces Direct. Building great documentation is key in today’s world because transparency in the builds is what MVP’s like myself, Dave, Allan, and Emile are looking for.

I have to give a big shout out to the authors of this document:

Dave Feisthammel: He is a Microsoft Solutions Architect working at the Lenovo Center for Microsoft Technologies in Kirkland, Washington. He has over 24 years of experience in the IT field, including four years as an IBM client and 14 years working for IBM. His areas of expertise include systems management, as well as virtualization, storage, and cloud technologies. @DaveFeisthammel


David Ye: He is a Senior Solutions Architect and has been working at Lenovo Center for Microsoft Technologies for 15 years. He started his career at IBM as a Worldwide Windows Level 3 Support Engineer. In this role, he helped customers solve complex problems and was involved in many critical customer support cases. He is now a Senior Solutions Architect in the System x Enterprise Solutions Technical Services group, where he works with customers on Proof of Concepts, solution sizing, performance optimization, and solution reviews. His area of expertise is Windows Server, SAN Storage, Virtualization, and Microsoft Exchange Server.

These guys along with Lenovo Press have come up with a great Reference Architecture design document that is very current for Storage Spaces Direct. Grab your copy here:

This design features that latest in @Mellanox Networking featuring the Mellanox CX-4 Network Adapters and Lenovo RackSwitch G8272 high-speed Ethernet Switch.

Here is a quick write-up from the Document on the Switch:

“The G8272 switch is ideal for latency-sensitive applications, such as client virtualization. It supports Virtual Fabric to help clients reduce the number of I/O adapters to a single dual-port 10 Gb adapter, which helps reduce cost and complexity. Design with ultra-low latency and top performance in mind, the RackSwitch G8272 also support Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) and Data Center Bridging (DCB) for support of FCoE and can also be used for NAS or ISCSI.”

Software-Defined Storage Stack

In this document, they have a nice little diagram that shows the Microsoft Software-Defined Storage stack in Windows Server 2016.

Disaggregated Storage Spaces Direct Connectivity

They created a really great conceptual diagram showing off the configuration of Storage Spaces Direct using a Scale Out File Server on the S2D Cluster and having a Hyper-V or SQL Cluster connecting in.

I would highly recommend reading this document as it is a great example of how to build Storage Spaces Direct.

Happy Learning,



Cristal Kawula

Cristal Kawula is a Microsoft most Valuable Professional with over 20 years of experience in the IT Industry. She is the co-founder of MVPDays Community Roadshow and #MVPHour live Twitter Chat. She has worked on technical teams that have authored content for Microsoft Corporation internally for their SMSGR and GTR teams. The technologies focused on Exchange Server, Windows Server Performance, Deployment, and Security.

Cristal has set the stage behind the scenes for many technical professionals to obtain their MVP designations through her MVPDays Community Roadshow. This Roadshow has now helped over 5 IT professionals achieve their Microsoft MVP’s by giving them opportunities in hard to find public speaking spots and community experience. She has unwavering willingness to others and a great dedication to the IT community she holds dear.

Cristal is the co-founder and President of TriCon Elite Consulting, and has sat on the Technical Advisory Board of Silicon Valley startups. Cristal is also only the 2nd woman in the world to receive the prestigious Veeam Vanguard award.


Twitter: @supercristal1