Pinning files to a performance tier of a ReFS formatted volume in Server 2019

GIAN

New Member
Dec 12, 2012
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I have a standalone server (2019 Datacenter) with 6 SAS HDD disks (4x 6TB, 2x 8TB) and 4 NVMe disks (4x 1TB) => we are NOT in a storage spaces direct (S2D) scenario.

All disks are in 1 storage pool, in which I created a 2-way mirrored performance tier (NVMe) and a 2-way mirrored capacity tier (HDD).

I would like to create a ReFS formatted volume in which I can pin (using the Set-FileStorageTier command) VHDX files to the performance tier.

I've read that this doesn't work in Server 2016:

Set-FileStorageTier fails on Microsoft ReFS formatted volume.

Has anybody had any success in making this work in Server 2019?

If it still doesn't work, what would be the best option:

  • formatting the volume as ReFS, without the possibility to pin files to the performance tier
or

  • formatting the volume as NTFS, with the possibility to pin files to the performance tier?


Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

GIAN

New Member
Dec 12, 2012
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0
1
I did some testing in the meantime and can confirm that Get-FileStorageTier doesn't work on tiered ReFS volumes in a standalone server (Server 2019 Datacenter version 1809, OS build 17763774, latest updates installed):

Code:
PS C:\Windows\system32> $StorageTier = Get-StorageTier -FriendlyName "2wMirrorTiered-SSD_Tier"

PS C:\Windows\system32> Set-FileStorageTier -DesiredStorageTier $StorageTier -FilePath "D:\VM\test.txt"

Set-FileStorageTier : The specified volume does not support storage tiers.
Activity ID: {52b24410-95bb-42e2-9dc9-b6279857f1a3}
At line:1 char:1
+ Set-FileStorageTier -DesiredStorageTier $StorageTier -FilePath "D:\VM ...
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (StorageWMI:ROOT/Microsoft/...FileStorageTier) [Set-FileStorageTier], CimException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : StorageWMI 56000,Set-FileStorageTier
I think I will stick with ReFS formatting anyway (by the way, I had to do this via Powershell; Server Manager only offered NTFS for a volume with storage tiers) for the following reasons:

  • writing to the performance tier is faster with ReFS than with NTFS (
    );
  • it's a newer file system with better auto-repair properties;
  • ReFS does realtime destaging to the capacity tier whereas with NTFS it's a task based process (every 4 hours);
  • the system does seem intelligent enough to keep hot data on the performance tier, so I hope my VHDX files will stay there;
  • perhaps Microsoft will at some stage enable Get-FileStorageTier on tiered ReFS volumes in a standalone server (although it's an issue since Server 2016, so unfortunately it seems to be very low on Microsoft's priority list ...).


If you think this is a bad decision, please let me know why.

Thanks in advance!
 

ecosse

Active Member
Jul 2, 2013
380
66
28
I've had bad experiences with REFS (two that I remember - once in windows 2012 (disk sizing on a few disks was weird and I couldn't fix it - had to evacuate the disks and reformat) and the second not so long ago on Windows server 2016 where I had a power outage and every other disk was fine apart from the REFS configured ones which were RAW. I've not used REFS since. There's been a few threads on this subject if you search the forum.