S2D - Windows Server Insider

New Contributor

The gist of my question is: Is Windows Server Insider the only way to get S2D (Storage Spaces Direct) without having to buy the astronomically priced Datacenter edition Server 2019?


I would really love to not have to buy a SAN unit for our little old 10 person office. We have needs to virtualize our environment so this would be a really nice feature to have on the Standard edition. I understand the 2 node clusters don't even need switching fabric to communicate on the management network. 

3 Replies

Hey @Reyn Moran,


Firstly, current builds of Windows Server Insider don't contain the Storage Spaces Direct feature, so you can't use them to test it out. Secondly, Windows Server Insider builds aren't supported in production either, so it wouldn't be a good idea for you to run your workplace on them :)


If you've got a small workplace but want to take advantage of S2D to replace you SAN, try reaching out to local service providers in your area as you might be able to work with them to take advantage of monthly SPLA licensing to make it more affordable (however there are some requirements around using this sort of licensing).


Also don't look at the licensing as an additional cost 'just for S2D', as you're alternative is putting that same money into buying a SAN instead. When comparing the options, work out what it is you actually need in terms of capacity and performance, both for now and the next few years, and then get quotes for both an S2D Hosts + DC Licensing (yes you can direct connect 2-node setups), and for Hyper-V Hosts + Standard Licensing + a SAN and see which suits your budget better. And don't compare a bottom end SAN with S2D, unless you don't need any performance at all, otherwise it's not an apples for apples comparison.


Depending on your region, I'd recommend reaching out to DataON, they've got a range of really great S2D solutions that start very small and affordable.

@Reyn Moran Storage Spaces Direct is included in Standard Edition, however it is not present in the Semi-Annual Channel edition. You may obtain an Evaluation copy of Windows Server 2019 Standard Edition from the Evaluation Center to try it out.  See What's new in Storage in Windows Server for more information.

@Reyn Moran 


Connect with a SPLA provider. They can provide you with a small monthly fee for the Windows Server Datacenter licenses. This is what we do for our smaller clients that we deploy S2D (Azure Stack HCI) solutions into.


S2D/Azure Stack HCI is a Datacenter Edition feature as of this writing.