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  • Writer's pictureJeff Taylor

SQL Cluster Issues with Storage Spaces Direct - (S2D)


Bottom line? Don't use it! At least don't use it for a SQL cluster directly.


Recently I stumbled on a configuration using S2D (Storage Spaces Direct) for a windows cluster that had a SQL Server cluster built on top.


It's my understanding that the primary use of S2D is to create a local SAN from many local attached drives to a server to create faster drives for a VM host server if that is what you are designing. (see above image) This is not really something you want to do for a windows cluster running SQL Server and I wouldn't advise it for a SQL Server VM in Azure or AWS either.


The way this was set up was two physical drives on one server and two drives on another server, neither of the drives were shared. The S2D was created cross-server, on those four drives and set up as CSVs. Once one of the nodes went down, the entire cluster went offline.


Because of that, we started to add new shared drives to both VM nodes to migrate away from S2D. When we did this, unfortunately, we learned the hard way that S2D grabs them right away, adds them to the already existing storage pool.


The first thing we had to do was stop the auto-add. Run this in PowerShell on the active node.

Get-StorageSubSystem  | Set-StorageHealthSetting -Name "System.Storage.PhysicalDisk.AutoPool.Enabled" -Value False

Now we can create a new shared disk and attach it to the active node first. After it's added, S2D grabs it and adds its own disk ID, starting at 1000. Local disks start at 1.

Using PowerShell, get the disk ID's


Get-PhysicalDisk | select deviceid, size

PS C:\> Get-PhysicalDisk | select deviceid, size

deviceid          size
--------          ----
0         136367308800
1          68719476736
2010     8796093022208
5        8796093022208
1003     1098437885952
2002     1098437885952
2003     1098437885952
1002     1098437885952
4        8796093022208
2011     8796093022208
2008     8796093022208

Notice how some disks start with 2000, and others with 1000. S2D assigns each disk on each node a unique device id and it is shared between nodes. Run this command for each disk to remove the S2D claim on these disks so they appear as 'normal disks' on the server and show up in Disk Manager. For this first set of disks, we will remove them from node 2, which currently is the active node.

PS C:\> $disk = Get-PhysicalDisk | where deviceid -eq 2008
PS C:\> Set-ClusterS2DDisk -CanBeClaimed $false -PhysicalDiskIds $disk.UniqueId

PS C:\> $disk = Get-PhysicalDisk | where deviceid -eq 2010
PS C:\> Set-ClusterS2DDisk -CanBeClaimed $false -PhysicalDiskIds $disk.UniqueId

PS C:\> $disk = Get-PhysicalDisk | where deviceid -eq 2011
PS C:\> Set-ClusterS2DDisk -CanBeClaimed $false -PhysicalDiskIds $disk.UniqueId

PS C:\> Get-PhysicalDisk | select deviceid, size

deviceid          size
--------          ----
0         136367308800
1          68719476736
1006     8796093022208
5        8796093022208
1003     1098437885952
2002     1098437885952
2003     1098437885952
1002     1098437885952
4        8796093022208
1009     8796093022208
1010     8796093022208

Now that we removed the disks from S2D from the active node we can now add the same shared drives to the passive node and then remove the S2D claim from node 1.


PS C:\> $disk = Get-PhysicalDisk | where deviceid -eq 1006
PS C:\> Set-ClusterS2DDisk -CanBeClaimed $false -PhysicalDiskIds $disk.UniqueId
PS C:\> $disk = Get-PhysicalDisk | where deviceid -eq 1009
PS C:\> Set-ClusterS2DDisk -CanBeClaimed $false -PhysicalDiskIds $disk.UniqueId
PS C:\> $disk = Get-PhysicalDisk | where deviceid -eq 1010
PS C:\> Set-ClusterS2DDisk -CanBeClaimed $false -PhysicalDiskIds $disk.UniqueId

Afterward, now the added disks on both nodes have the same DeviceId.

PS C:\> Get-PhysicalDisk | select deviceid, size

deviceid          size
--------          ----
5        8796093022208
3        8796093022208
0         136367308800
1          68719476736
7        8796093022208
2        8796093022208
4        8796093022208
6        8796093022208

Next, make sure all drives are initialized and no 'healthy' beginning volume or any other volumes in Disk Manager.

Add the disks to the cluster.

Disks now appear as 'Available Storage'.

Turn on maintenance mode

Now open Disk Management and format the new drives and drive letters. Format the disk of course using Microsoft's Best Practice for data or logs.

Drives should show formatted and have an assigned drive letter.

Turn off maintenance mode for the newly formatted drives.

Now you can add storage to the SQL Server cluster role. Right mouse click on the SQL Cluster Role.

Check all of the new drives you want to add.

Click 'Ok' to finish.

How you can see the drives on the cluster role and see them as clustered storage on the active node.

Now you can failover your SQL Cluster and stay online.

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