Do more with Windows Server 2008's Share And Storage Management console

Rick Vanover explains how a new interface eases the task of managing disk and share resources for Windows Server 2008.

Windows administrators usually manage shares and disks in different areas of the Computer Management snap-in. Share Management is typically performed in the Shared Folders section, while Storage Management is in the Storage section. With Windows Server 2008, administrators can now perform the typical disk management and share tasks in the same console.

The Share And Storage Management console (StorageMgmt.msc) consolidates these key management areas into one panel without switching views in a tree. Figure A shows this new console. Figure A

Click the image to enlarge.

The Action panel on the right is the key to the consolidated workspace. The following commands are available in this section of the console:

  • Connect To Another Computer: A big bonus to manage disk and share resources remotely for systems. This does, however, require Windows Server 2008.
  • Provision Storage: If a new drive is added to the server, you can pull it into the server and format it in this panel. This action area has a few shortcomings. The Provision Storage command cannot request the rescan command -- that can be done by entering diskpart and sending the rescan command or the right-click action you can do in the Disk Management section of the Computer Management snap-in. Further, this button cannot perform the disk initialization task for when a disk arrives, but a disk can be added if the rescan has been performed. Bringing a disk into Windows is shown in Figure B.
Figure B

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  • Provision Share: Shares can be created here from disk inventories on the local server.
  • Manage Sessions: This shows what share sessions are in use. (It's similar to the previous console.)
  • Manage Open Files: Files that are currently open for remote use are shown in this section of the console.

This console doesn't solve all issues for Windows disk and share management, but in many cases, you can do more tasks from the same action pane compared to that of Windows Server 2003 and the Computer Management snap-in, which is still available in Windows Server 2008.

If you've found the Share And Storage Management console useful, let us know in the discussion.

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