Software Defined Data Center and Software Defined Networking in Windows Server

Applies to: Windows Server, version 2004, all editionsWindows Server, version 1903, all editionsWindows Server 2019, all editions


When you try to enable Storage Spaces Direct or you try to add a Windows Server, version 1903, Windows Server, version 1909 or a Windows Server 2019 server to an existing Storage Spaces Direct cluster, the following event is logged in the event log:

When you try to install a Network Controller Cluster by using the Install-NetworkController cmdlet, you receive the following error message:

More Information

We recommend that you deploy Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) features such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) or Storage Spaces Direct on hardware that is validated by the Windows Server Software-Defined (WSSD) program. Validated hardware will display a Windows Server 2019 Logo and have SDDC Additional Qualifications (AQs)

The first wave of hardware that is validated for Windows Server 2019 is expected to be available starting in mid-January 2019. Until then, you can use features such as the Network Controller or Storage Spaces Direct displays an advisory message and requires an additional step. This is typical and expected.

As WSSD-validated hardware is now available,  you can remove the advisory message by installing the latest cummulative update for Windows. Obtain the update from

Required: Windows Server Logo + SDDC AQs

As is true for Windows Server 2016, systems and components that are listed in the Windows Server catalog and that have the SDDC AQs are required. If you run SDN or Storage Spaces Direct on such hardware, you are eligible for product support from Microsoft. There are more than 1,700 components that have the SDDC AQs for Windows Server 2016.

Why the two-phase launch?

Windows Server 2019 is the first version to skip the classic Release To Manufacturing (RTM) milestone and go directly to General Availability (GA). This change was motivated by the growing popularity of virtual machines and containers, and the growing trend to deploy in the cloud. But it also means that our hardware ecosystem did not have the opportunity to validate and certify systems or components before the release. Currently, OEMs are doing this.