Windows Server 8: Standards-Based Storage Management

Great post from Jeffrey Snover


Windows Server 8 is a cloud optimized OS.  You’ve probably heard that phrase or similar comments a lot recently since we introduced Windows Server 8 last month (see Bill Laing’s blog post.)  Let’s drill in a bit to explain what that really means and why it matters to you. In the past, Windows Server was a great OS for a server and its devices.  Windows Server 8 is a great OS for lots of servers and all the devices connecting them whether they are physical or virtual, on-premise or off-premise.

At the BUILD conference, we showcased for the first time all the new capabilities that deliver on this vision including scalability, availability, Hyper-V, networking, manageability and storage.

Whether we are talking classic architectures or private/public/hybrid cloud architectures, one thing is absolutely clear – there is a large and growing appetite for data.  Customers’success is predicated on the efficient and effective management of storage.  Windows Server 8 is there to help meet that challenge whether the storage is directly attached to a server or is an external storage array.  Working with our storage partners, we are delivering a new set of capabilities, APIs and PowerShell Cmdlets.

Windows Server 8 introduces a new WMI-based API called the Storage Management API (SMAPI) and corresponding set of PowerShell Cmdlets.  These provide storage management primitives to manage direct attach storage on the OS as well as external storage arrays.  The PowerShell Cmdlets replace tools like diskpart and diskraid.  The API is comprised of a WMI object model along with the corresponding set of methods and properties.   Storage partners plug into the new API either by:

  1. Implementing the SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) industry standard for storage management called SMI-S (Storage Management Initiative –Specification
  2. Implementing a new provider model called the Storage Management Provider (SMP)

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