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This Itechguide offers a detailed explanation of Dynamic Disk. Then, it explains the different types of Dynamic Disk and ends with its features and benefits.
What is a Dynamic Disk?
A Dynamic Disk is a Windows Operating System disk storage scheme that allows you to create spanned, striped, mirrored and RAID-5 volumes.
Spanned and striped volumes are disk storage schemes that span multiple physical disks but they are not fault-tolerant. Meaning that when one disk in the volume fails, data is lost.
However, RAID-5 and mirrored volumes provide fault-tolerance – failure of one physical disk that make up the volume does not necessarily lead to a data loss.
Dynamic and Basic Disk storage schemes support both MBR or GPT disk partition styles.
Types of Dynamic Disk
To further explain this Microsoft Windows disk technology, this section discusses the 5 types of Dynamic Disk.
A Simple Volume is a disk dynamic volume created from a single physical disk. This type of volume is similar to the basic disk’s primary partitions and logical drives.
Unlike a Simple Volume, a Spanned Volume creates volumes from more than 1 physical disk. It combines free spaces from multiple physical disks into a single logical volume.
Striped Volumes are created from same-sized, free spaces on two or more physical disks. These volumes do not offer fault tolerance. However, they provide improved I/O (input/output) performance.
Improved *I/O is achieved by distributing I/O requests across all the disks that make up the volume. This is one advantage of Striped Volumes over Spanned Volumes.
A Mirrored Volume is a Dynamic Disk that creates a single “mirrored” volume from 2 or more disks. “Mirror” means that data is written across all the disks that make up the volume.
By its definition, you can deduce that a Mirrored Volume is fault-tolerant. If one drive that makes up the volume fails, you should be able to rebuilt the volume from information available from the other disks.
However, the way Mirrored volumes are setup also means that data write is slower – since data has to be written to all the disks at the same time.
A RAID-5 volume is a Dynamic Disk that stripes data and *parity information across 3 or more physical disks.
This type of Dynamic Disk offers fault-tolerance – when one of the drives fails, the volume can be recovered.
Features and Benefits of Dynamic Disk
This final section discusses the top features and benefits of this Microsoft disk technology.
Create and Delete Different Disk Volumes
The first benefit of this technology is that it allows you to create or delete the different types of volumes discussed in the last section.
Another benefit of a Dynamic Disk over a Basic Disk is that Dynamic Disks can create volumes that span multiple physical disks. This offers the additional benefit of more space, improved performance (in some instances) and in some dynamic volume types, fault-tolerance.
Ability to Extend Simple and Spanned Volumes
If your partition runs out of space, you will be able to add more space if your created a Spanned or Simple Volume.
The only limitation is that there must a free, unallocated space on the disk. The unallocated space must also be to the right of the the volume you want to extend.
Create Fault-Tolerant Volumes
As discussed in the last section, you can create Mirrored and RAID-5 Volumes in Dynamic Disks. These 2 volume types support fault-tolerance.
Fault-tolerance means that if one of the disks fail, you are able to recover the volume and your data. This offers great benefits in if losing you data has serious financial consequences.
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