The File Server Capacity Tool (FSCT) is a capacity planning software for CIFS/SMB/SMB2 file servers.  It’s also useful for identifying performance bottlenecks. FSCT results include the maximum number of users for a file server configuration, throughput for that configuration and performance counters for the server and clients used.

This is a command line tool and the target audience is IT Professionals and Storage Solution Providers. It is not a GUI tool for end users. You will also need a few computers in a lab environment to try it. You can see a sample configuration in the diagram below:

FSCT

We have been running a private beta for FSCT since last year and now a Release Candidate is available for public download for the first time. To get it, go to http://connect.microsoft.com, sign in (you will need to register if you’re new to Connect), then click on “Connection Directory” and look for “FSCT RC”. Please read the License Agreement carefully, since there are restrictions on the disclosure of the results you get from the tool.

The download includes an overview presentation and a white paper that provide detailed instructions on how to use the tool. There is a new public forum for discussions about FSCT has just been configured and the product team is keeping an eye on it. That forum can be found at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/fsct.

If you want more details before downloading, you can check my previous posts on FSCT at http://blogs.technet.com/josebda/archive/tags/FSCT/default.aspx.

For an in-person conversation with the FSCT team, plan to attend SNIA’s Storage Developers Conference (SDC 2009) in September.
You can find the FSCT talk in the agenda at http://www.snia.org/events/storage-developer2009/agenda2009

I encourage you to download the Release Candidate software, try it on your lab, ask questions on the online forum and join us at SDC for some live Q&A.