Deduplication is the business of compressing data without loss and this is now built into Windows Server 2012 as a role service. The official marketing from us states that you will save somewhere between 20-70% of the space on your file servers if you implement this. If that’s sounds interesting my screencast shows how to configure and monitor it..
The clever thing about deduplication is that it’s built into NTFS, so you can apply it to any non system volume without the need for specialist storage. There are some caveats:
To try this yourself all you’ll need is an Evaluation Copy of Windows Server 2012. Having got the idea you may also want to see how well it will work on your data. To do that install it turn on the deduplication e.g. in Powershell..
Add-WindowsFeature –Name “FS-Data-Deduplication”
and then copy windows\system32\ddpeval.exe and run this against a file share, volume etc. Note that this might put some load on your network but otherwise shouldn’t be too invasive as it will run in the background (possibly for hours on a big volume) before telling you what you would save if you enabled this feature.
Finally thanks to my good friend Simon; he has done most of the legwork in setting up deduplication for our IT camps and I have shamelessly used that for the screencast.
TechEd is Microsoft’s premiere conference for IT Professionals and Enterprise Developers, offering the most comprehensive technical education across Microsoft's products, solutions, tools, and services.
We are pleased to announce that registration for TechEd North America and TechEd Europe will go live next week on Tuesday, February 12th.
TechEd North America TechEd Europe
June 3-6 25-28 June
Morial Convention Center IFEMA – Feria de Madrid Convention Centre
New Orleans, LA Madrid, Spain
Attendees will get hands-on learning, deep product exploration and countless opportunities to build relationships with a community of Microsoft experts and industry peers. Visit www.msteched.com to learn more.
Register by 22 March to take advantage of the Early Bird price of €1,695, a €300 savings off regular pricing.
At TechEd you will get 4 days of hands-on learning, deep product exploration and countless opportunities to build relationships with a community of Microsoft experts and peers. Need to deliver maximum business value while managing your company's technology investments? We’ve got you covered with multiple tracks featuring a breadth of Microsoft products and solutions.
So far in this series I have used the new storage features of Windows Server 2012 as a place to run VMs from, but there’s more to it than that. Shared storage used to mean presenting SAN storage inside a cluster, and you relied on your SAN experts to provision the storage you needed. However with SAS / JBOD technologies coming along it’s possible to create storage that’s still highly available. However you might still want access to some of the clever things a SAN can do like thin provisioning, where you define storage you plan to use but actually haven’t got yet. So in this short screencast I show how storage spaces in Windows Server meets this need..
To try this out all you’ll need is one virtual machine running on one laptop and an Evaluation Copy of Windows Server 2012
I used a bunch of SCSI disks in my demo VM to build a storage space and they were all the same size. They don’t have to all be SCSI, they could be attached via USB, SATA etc. and can be of varying size and performance. However if you want to create a storage pool in a cluster then the disks must be SAS (Serial attached SCSI) for that. Also bear in mind that the pool will work down to the slowest disk and not up to the fastest.
I do have a script to build my fileserver, which in turn relies on a configuration file to add in the roles and features I need, and it builds form a sysprep copy of Windows Server 2012 with an answer file to join it to my Contoso domain. It does have a really useful function from Simon to rename the VM in active directory (so it is called FileServer1 in AD as well being the name of the VM in Hyper-V).
Rather than running a virtual machine or using the storage space for ordinary files, in this screencast I used it to host a SQL Server database. SQL Server 2012 has support for storing databases on SMB shares and I have seen 200,000 iops in SQL Server where the database is on a remote share like this. However the UI in Server manager doesn’t seem to allow you to navigate across shares (have I been away form SQL Server too long?) so I did the attach from a simple SQL Server T-SQL script.
Storage spaces often raises a lot of questions at our camps so here’s a good FAQ on TechNet. If you are curious about performance my advice is to test your big idea thoroughly and check this script and whitepaper to ensure you have the optimal setup.
As I type this I am working hard with Simon to prepare for our next wave of IT Camps specifically the new camps on System Center 2012 sp1. Having just completed the five exams of MCSE Private Cloud I am now having to readjust to how much is different as a result of this service pack coming out. The key change is that System Center has had to change to run on and support Windows Server 2012 for example:
System Center 2012 can now run on SQL Server 2012, which in its Enterprise edition provides availability groups to protect your key System Center data. There’s also the capability to do some really clever business intelligence in this release with Office 2013 to help you understand and predict demand in a large datacentre and better respond to the rhythms of your business.
Then there are individual enhancements to each component of the suite..
Finally each component has better integration with the others and so there is a general sharpening of the whole suite. So that is quite a lot of stuff for a service pack and would easily take a day to go through assuming like me you are already au fait with System Center 2012.
I also know that a lot of you have been holding off evaluating or deploying Windows Server 2012 until this service pack was released as you quite rightly want to manage this new version of Windows Server.
Finally we are on tour with the System Center camps Manchester, Birmingham and York and we have a few places left on each of them so please don’t beat me up in a few months time that we didn’t run these, and please please cancel if you can’t make it as it does allow us to plan and to let others off the shortlist if it does fill up.
If you can’t make it and you want to try System Center sp1 you can get it here.. but note this is just for evaluation you can’t upgrade to the full version or migrate data from this.
I have to say this one caught me out. I’m just setting up a task sequence to deploy Windows 8 and pre-provision BitLocker (which is wicked fast by the way!) and got caught with enabling and activating the TPM from WinPE. The solution I came up with works for me, on a Samsung Series 7 Slate but might not work for all hardware vendors (TPM is a little tricky like that).
The process turned out to be pretty simple.
The final effect takes advantage of Windows 8’s used space only encryption and starts encryption before the OS is even deployed, encrypting as the OS deploys – the net result is a fully encrypted machine within minutes!
Don’t forget to download Windows Server 2012, System Center and Windows 8 Enterprise to try this out and take a look at my other posts on System Center.