Windows Server 2022 Mass Storage SDDC AQ Process - Test and Submission Guidance

Published Aug 31 2021 02:42 PM 3,456 Views

Storage component [storage bus adapters, hard drives, solid state drives, NVMe adapters] vendors must work with their OEM and other partners to determine if the SDDC Premium AQ for Storage for Windows Server 2022 is a need for the partner with regards to the Storage vendor’s product(s).


For the SDDC Premium AQ for Storage for Windows Server 2022, Storage Firmware testing is no longer required for either the storage controller or storage media [hard drive, solid state drive, NVMe device].


All other testing previously mandated for the SDDC Premium AQ for Storage for previous Windows Server versions must still be executed and passed.


For Windows Server 2022, the mass storage devices are unable to be tested for Windows Server 2022 Certification tests as well as the S2D Stress tests for the SDDC (Software Defined Data Center) AQ (Additional Qualification) in a single valid HLK project.  The work around is to have two separate HLK projects for each device.  One project will contain all the necessary Certification tests, and one will contain all the necessary S2D tests for the SDDC AQ.  These projects will then be submitted together, with the S2D Test HLKX results file placed in the supplemental folder (NOT merged) and submitted on Hardware Dev Center for Certification.  Once the submission is reviewed and has passing results, it will be displayed in the Windows Server Catalog with the proper Additional Qualifications (AQ).


Please follow these steps:


Create two HLK projects:

“Master Logo” HLK project:

A project will be used for your standard Windows Server certification tests.  This is where all the usual HLK feature tests will be run (like PNP, Flush, Server Core, Firmware Update, trim, etc.).  You MUST manually add/select the AzureStack/SDDC features in this project, even though these Tests will not be run in this specific project.


All the logo tests (except S2D) must have passing results. 

DO NOT RUN the S2D tests in this project.  The S2D tests will be shown as “Not Run” (due to selecting the AzureStack feature) in the resulting HLKX package.  This is the goal.


“S2D tests” HLK project:

A new project will be created to run the required S2D BVT and stress tests. 

  1. Create a new project. 
  2. Update the computer pool to contain the nodes of the cluster, and a single standalone server that is not part of the cluster.  The nodes of the cluster must contain the disks you are looking to logo as part of the Storage pool (not boot disks).  The Gatherer logs will identify the disks that are present in the storage pool to confirm that the S2D tests were run against the proper disk models. 
  3. Select ONE disk in ONE node of the cluster as the device under test (DUT). 
  4. On the device,
    1. HBAs, such as SAS controllers, can add the Feature "Device.Storage.Controller.AzureStack"
    2. Disks, such as HDD, SSD and NVMe, can add the Feature "Device.Storage.Hd.AzureStack
  1. Apply the latest public playlist.  (  “HLK Version 21H2 CompatPlaylist x64 ARM64 server.xml”  
  2. Select the necessary S2D tests (BVT, Stress Tests).  The others are optional, but we recommend the Prepare and Setup tests.
  3. Run the tests (fill in the necessary parameters)
  4. All tests must be passing (there will be a bunch that are listed as “Not Run”
  5. Save this project

Project packaging:

You must add a Supplemental Folder and create a README file that states “Please contact the Storage Spaces Direct HLK alias ( for manual review of the S2D Test results.”

You will now have 2 HLK projects:  Master Logo HLK project, and S2D tests HLK project.  You will open the Master Logo HLK project and add a supplemental folder that contains the S2D tests HLK project, and the README file.  Do not merge the packages as this will result in a package that will be rejected.  Sign and save the project for submission.


Submission process:

Go to the Hardware Dev Center and submit the Master Logo HLK project (with the supplemental folders).  Provide the Submission ID to the Microsoft team ( to help move the manual review process along.

The submission will be opened and reviewed to contain all passing results.  There will be a few “Not Run” tests, and they must only be the S2D tests that are “Not Run.”  The supplemental folder will be opened and the S2D tests HLK project will be opened and reviewed.  This project must contain passing results for the S2D BVT and Stress tests.  The results will also be opened and the Gatherer logs for STORAGE_BLOCK.XML will be reviewed to confirm that the disks being submitted for logo were part of the S2D cluster node.  Every disk that is part of the Master Logo HLK project must be included in the cluster node.  If all the disks are not present, then the submission will be failed.  If the disks are all present, and have passing results, then the submission will be passed.

Once the submission is reviewed and passed, it will pass on to the Windows Server Catalog and be visible publicly.


For further information and instructions, see these links

Private Cloud Simulator FAQ | Microsoft Docs

Run cluster tests for Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) in the Windows HLK | Microsoft Docs 

This second link includes sections on; Prerequisites, Setup, Running the Tests, Troubleshooting, Packaging the results, and Terms

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