A prior blog entry began our whirlwind introductory tour of some of the more significant platform storage enhancements being introduced in Windows Server 8 – this follow-up entry concludes our introduction.
In Windows 8 Platform Storage – Part 1, we listed your storage related requirements. We also described our resultant set of assumptions guiding Windows 8 platform storage development. Finally, we had a brief introduction to some Windows 8 platform storage capabilities including:
The following additional Windows 8 platform storage enhancements support objectives listed in the prior blog:
Typical capacity savings
Documents, Photos, Music, Videos
Software binaries, Cab files, Symbol files
Virtual Hard Disk files
General File Share
All of the above
A comprehensive single-pane-of-glass storage management GUI utilizes this API to deliver task based, multi-machine heterogeneous storage management.
In situations where data is simply moved from a source location to a target and wherein no computations are performed on the dataset (e.g. file copying or virtual machine provisioning from a “golden image”), Windows Server 8 works with advanced external storage arrays to directly transfer this dataset without requiring the data to be transferred to/from the Windows servers. Obviously, this minimizes impact on host network, host CPU, or host memory and enables increased efficiencies through better external storage array and storage network utilization. In the future, we expect additional enhancements to external storage arrays that will also enable offloaded data transfers cross-storage-arrays and also across geographically distributed datacenters.
On Windows 8 servers which store data on advanced storage arrays supporting this capability, administrators can (transparently) enjoy the benefits of very fast and efficient data transfers through the simple act of “dragging and dropping” files using Windows Explorer. Further, applications have access to simple yet powerful APIs so they too can directly invoke this functionality.
Platform storage enhancements in Windows Server 8 enable a cost-effective, scalable, and continuously available dynamic IT environment supporting business agility and flexibility. There is much more left to share about these and additional platform storage capabilities in Windows Server 8 – so stay tuned!
Group Program Manager – Windows Storage & File Systems
How is the deduplication process implemented? Is it a post process, run on a schedule? Or is it reliant on the underlying storage array to handle the deduplication, or can it handle it with local disks? And the offload data transfer, I am assuming you are referring to arrays that support this feature, similar to VMware's storage API's?
Will these features available in Windows 8 client ?
With Storage Optimizer mentioned above, does that mean there is no longer need to defrag disks?
Great post, thanks! Is the Data Deduplication feature somewhat analogous to the algorithm SandForce uses to reduce write amplification with their SSD controller?
Q: With Storage Optimizer mentioned above, does that mean there is no longer need to defrag disks?
A: The Defragment tool (now called Defragment and Optimize) has been evolved to better optimize your storage in Thinly Provisioned environments in addition to its traditional defragmentation role. If your storage platform (such as Storage Spaces or intelligent storage array) supports it, Storage Optimizer will now consolidate lightly used ‘slabs’ of storage and release those freed storage ‘slabs’ back to your storage pool for use by other Spaces or LUNs.
Q: Will these features available in Windows 8 client ?
A: With the exception of Data Deduplication, these features will be available in Windows 8 Client.
Deduplication is implemented as a post process which runs on a schedule and deduplicates files based on a policy defined by file age, location and type. Deduplication can be scheduled in background mode (continuously run using low resources) or in throughput mode (run during dedicated hours using more resources). It can also be triggered on-demand from Powershell. It is not dependent on the storage array to handle the deduplication.
For Offloaded Data Transfer, your intelligent storage array must support this feature in order to take advantage of it.