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Summary

In this hour, you learned how to manage server drives and create volumes. Windows Server 2008 provides two tools for configuring and managing your server drives: the Disk Management snap-in (available in both the MMC and the Server Manager) and DiskPart, a command-line utility. Windows Server 2008 supports two drive types: basic and dynamic. A basic disk can contain volumes that embrace the legacy partitioning and logical drive scheme that originated with MS-DOS. Dynamic drives can be divided into simple and other volume types, including RAID implementations such as mirror sets and RAID 5 arrays. All drives are basic when you first install the server software; however, you can convert your basic drives to dynamic drives at any time.

The Disk Management snap-in, which is found in the Windows Management console or the Server Manager, can be used to create partitions, format basic disks, and create volumes and RAID arrays on dynamic disks. A RAID 1 array is also known as a mirror set. RAID 5 requires three separate drives with the same amount of disk space to create a disk stripe set.

RAID, or Redundant Array of Independent Disks, enables you to build redundancy and fault tolerance into your servers. RAID 1 is a mirror set, in which two drives mirror each other, supplying a complete copy of a particular drive. When the files change on one drive in the mirror set, they are also changed in the other mirror drive.

RAID 5 enables you to stripe data across three or more drives. This not only speeds up write and access time to the drive set, but because parity data is collected on the array, the data on a stripe set drive that fails can be rebuilt from the information held on the other drives.

Another way to build fault tolerance into your network is to regularly back up your server drives. Windows Server 2008 provides a new Backup utility, Windows Server Backup, that can be used to back up and restore volumes, folders, and files. It is important to develop a backup plan that will protect your data in any situation.

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