SNW Spring 2012 in Dallas is about a week away. Co-owned by Computerworld and Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), SNW is a conference focused on Information Infrastructure with tracks covering:

  • Backup and Archiving in the Cloud
  • Big Data
  • Business Continuity
  • Cloud Storage
  • Data Center Consolidation
  • Data Center Networking
  • Data Encryption
  • Data Management
  • Data Protection
  • Deduplication
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Hybrid Clouds (Public and Private)
  • Professional Development
  • Protection and Recovery
  • Solid State Storage
  • Storage Management
  • Storage Networking
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
  • Virtualization

I wanted to share the details of the sessions from Microsoft in the schedule, including a few covering Windows Server 2012:

Title: Hyper-V over SMB - Remote File Storage Support in Windows Server 8 Hyper-V
Presenter: Jose Barreto, Principal Program Manager
Date/Time: Mon, 04/02, 11:10 AM

In this session, we will cover the Windows Server “8” Hyper-V support for remote file storage using SMB 2.2. This introduces a new first-class storage option for Hyper-V that is a flexible, easy to use and cost-effective alternative to block storage. We will detail the basic requirements for Hyper-V over SMB and outline the specific enhancements to SMB to support server application storage, including SMB Transparent Failover, SMB Scale-Out, SMB Multichannel, SMB Direct (SMB over RDMA), SMB PowerShell, SMB performance counters and VSS for SMB file shares. We will conclude with a few suggested configurations for Hyper-V over SMB, including both standalone and clustered options.

Title: Data Deduplication in Windows Server "8"
Presenter: Ahmed El-Shimi, Principal Program Manager
Date/Time: Mon, 04/02, 4:05 PM

Windows Server “8” delivers a new data deduplication feature that is designed to work on primary storage without impacting workloads running on the server. By using deduplication, customers can easily save over half of their data storage capacity. While storage costs have been dropping steadily, they aren’t dropping fast enough to offset the growth of data. This makes storage efficiency a true priority for most enterprise IT departments. Data storage efficiency needs to increase wherever data is. In addition, Enterprise IT departments are rapidly consolidating file servers while making capacity scaling and optimization one of the main requirements for the platform. Deduplication is an in-box feature of Windows Server “8” that delivers the following capabilities at no additional cost: Capacity optimization delivering optimization ratios of 2:1 for general file servers and up to 20:1 for OS VHDs. Scalability and performance are delivered using a resource-efficient, and nonintrusive algorithm.

Title: SNIA Tutorial: Green Storage - the Big Picture ("Green is more than kWh!")
Presenter: SW Worth, Senior Standards Program Manager
Date/Time: Wed, 04/03, 10:45 AM

At least some of what you 'know' about "Green" IT is wrong. Re-thinking your Storage technology decisions to reflect environmental, economic, and engineering realities can make your data center more competitive. This talk will cover the three stages of any IT product life-cycle: "birth" (design/manufacture/install), "life" (operation across all load ranges, including idle and sleep), and "death/transfiguration" (recycle/disposal). Your decisions affect more than just product acquisition or operation; you own some life-cycle responsibility for your system. In cost-accounting terms, these decisions translate into capital expenses (CapEx) and operational expenses (OpEx), which combine to define TCO. Are these measures really Green, and can they guide you to the right purchase decisions? Do they encourage recycling? Do they encompass the embedded costs of greenhouse gasses (GHGs), even if your products are built in a country in another hemisphere? Do they include the costs associated with end-stage disposal of toxic metals and flame-retardant chemicals (the stuff that is in your products to make them more reliable or safer during operation)? Are the decisions you make not only good for your organization, but good for the rest of us as well? (Bonus question: do government programs like EPA ENERGY STAR or the European Code of Conduct for Data Centres lead to optimal outcomes?) One good place to focus is on understanding the differences between Power (Watts) and Energy (Watt-hours), and their respective effects on costs. The peak power your hardware or software can draw primarily affects CapEx, including data center infrastructure (e.g. UPS, PDU, CRAC, AHU) and the IT gear that it supports (e.g. Servers, Networking, and Storage). Energy consumption affects OpEx, by way of the monthly bills that the IT department probably never even sees. But what about all of the capital investment required for the generating stations, transmission lines, and distribution system? How does the utility recover their costs for that? You will learn how real-world billing and charge-back works, and what you learn should affect your architectural and operational decisions. Although this is a foundational presentation, storage examples are used extensively throughout, and provide a basis for later drill-downs on Green Storage.

Title: Windows Server “8” File Server - Advanced Networking for Fault Tolerance and Performance
Presenter: Jose Barreto, Principal Program Manager
Date/Time: Wed, 04/03, 11:40 AM

In this session, we will cover specific enhancements in the Windows Server “8” File Server to improve network fault tolerance and performance. This includes an introduction to SMB Multichannel, which allows you to use multiple network interfaces simultaneously for fault tolerance and higher throughput. It also covers SMB Direct, which introduces support for high speed, low latency and reduced CPU utilization using RDMA-capable network interfaces. We will conclude with a few suggested configurations for Windows Server “8” File Servers leveraging these new technologies.

There are obviously many other sessions at the event and you can find all the details at http://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/SNWS2012/56399
I am looking forward to seeing you there…