Tag Archives: Windows Server

ReFS V2 Research Overview (Windows Server 2016)

We’re making a series of tests, dedicated solely to the work of Resilient File System (ReFS – https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/hh848060%28v=vs.85%29.aspx).
It is a relatively new proprietary file system, introduced by Microsoft in Windows Server 2012 as a successor of NTFS. Among its advantages over the predecessor, Microsoft lists enhanced protection from data corruption, common and silent alike, if provided with a redundant storage. The ReFS is also aimed at modern understanding of high capacity and large size. It supports files up to 16 million terabytes and maximum volume size (theoretical) of 1 trillion terabytes.

The tests are associated with workloads typical for virtualization – you can read more about them here. Our purpose is practical, because as of Windows 2012 time, Resilient File System has major issues with virtualization.
In the first part, we are planning to see how ReFS works with FileIntegrity option on and off. This option is responsible for the data repair process, so it’s crucial that it works well under the pressure of random I/O, which dominates among virtualization workloads. You can check out the test here.
The second test is dedicated to performance, because there have been reports of ReFS performance troubles somehow caused by hashsumming. We are about to see if the reports are true and if hashsumming has anything to do with any problems.

Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct

Microsoft has always been targeting mainly SMB and ROBO space and now they’ve decided to aim at Enterprise, namely datacenters, Internet Service Providers, Cloud Hosting, etc. How well do they fare?

Problem was, up to Windows Server 2016, Microsoft had no real Software-Defined Storage, meaning it relied completely on SAS hardware. Not much “software defined” there. Enterprises couldn’t go with poor scalability of SAS with their several feet long cables and a literal headache of stretching the infrastructure as far as the next building.

56         A shared JBOD Scale-Out File Server (Image Credit: Microsoft)

In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft has designed a technology called Storage Spaces Direct, which is really SDS. What’s really good about it is the fact that the same engine can be utilized for various business sizes. There is no hardware lock-in, no distance or topology limitations. Having dropped hardware lock-in and accepting commodity components, the new technology also cuts down hardware expense and associated management costs as well. Besides, it is much easier for IT specialists to master one technology than dig into multiple different ones. How? Check out the full article here https://blog.starwindsoftware.com/microsoft-storage-spaces-direct/  and see how well S2D fares.