Updated Links on Windows Server 2012 R2 File Server and SMB 3.02

In this post, I'm providing a reference to the most relevant content related to Windows Server 2012 R2 that is related to the File Server, the SMB 3.02 features and its associated scenarios like Hyper-V over SMB and SQL Server over SMB. This is what some like to call a "Survival Guide" for SMB 3.02. It's obviously not a complete reference (there are always new blogs and articles being posted), but hopefully this is a useful collection of links for Windows Server 2012 R2 users.

This post covers only articles that are specific to Windows Server 2012 R2. However, note that there’s also a Windows Server 2012 version of this post. Most concepts, step-by-steps and tools listed there also apply to Windows Server 2012 R2.


TechNet articles on Windows Server 2012 R2 File Server and SMB 3.02 (and related topics)


Blog posts on Windows Server 2012 R2 File Server and SMB 3.02 (and related topics)


Step-by-step instructions for Windows Server 2012 R2 File Server and SMB 3.02 (and related topics)


TechEd 2013 presentations (with video recording) on Windows Server 2012 R2 File Server and SMB 3.0 (and related topics)


TechEd 2014 presentations (with video recording) on Windows Server 2012 R2 File Server and SMB 3.0 (and related topics)


Demos, Interviews and other video recordings


Windows Server 2012 R2 download links


Windows Server 2012 R2 – RDMA NIC Drivers


Blog posts by Microsoft MVPs on Windows Server 2012 R2 File Server and SMB 3.02 (and related topics)


Posts on Windows Server 2012 and SMB 3.0 that still apply to Windows Server 2012 R2 and SMB 3.02:


Other relevant links related to Windows Server 2012 R2 SMB features


Knowledge Base - KB Articles

  • KB 2920151 - Recommended hotfixes and updates for Windows Server 2012 R2-based failover clusters


Protocol Documentation




Change tracking:

  • 06/26/2013: Original post
  • 07/11/2013: Added two demos, added Mellanox driver download, updated links
  • 07/18/2013: Added more MVP blog links
  • 07/31/2013: Additional blog links (including main In The Cloud blog, step-by-step guides)
  • 09/23/2013: Additional blog links (SMB PowerShell, Storage Spaces) and links to final protocol documents
  • 10/17/2013: Additional blog links (Networking) and GA Update Rollup link.
  • 11/04/2013: Additional blog link (Rebalancing), Storage Spaces FAQ wiki link
  • 11/10/2013: Additional blog link (Number of nodes), Performance guide link
  • 01/24/2014: Added many new TechNet and blog links. Added two TechNet Radio links. Updated some categories.
  • 03/30/2014: Added a TechNet and blog links.
  • 07/07/2014: Added many new links, including relevant talks from TechEd 2014

Comments (21)
  1. JoseBarreto says:


    The whole notion of the Scale-Out File Server is that we spread the clients across nodes. The only exception is when a specific node has a better path (CSV coordination node on a Mirrored Storage Space) so in that case we favor that specific node.

    SOFS with a SAN back-end is definitely supported.

  2. JoseBarreto says:

    @Andreas Helland

    Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 shares the same functionality and capabilities of Windows Server 2012 R2. The difference now is just licensing. You can find details at blogs.technet.com/…/storageserver

  3. Anonymous says:

    Any info on where Storage Server 2012 R2 fits into the file server picture this time around?

    Yeah, I know it's primarily an OEM build, but I have been using it for a now outdated Dell PowerEdge SMB NAS (2003 R2 no-less) and on a couple HP MicroServer builds at home, and as a file server option is has worked nicely.

    Previously it was the easy way to get iSCSI support, but that's kinda baked into all Windows Server SKUs now.

    But I can't really find any updated info on Storage Server – is there any point in using it now from a technical perspective? (I know there might be something in the licensing department, but that's a secondary concern.)

  4. JoseBarreto says:


    The typical Hyper-V over SMB solution is not a "stretch" cluster, but it contained to a single data center. The solution I usually offer for cross-site replication is Hyper-V Replica.

    Having said that, you could make it happen with shared storage that is replicated across sites. But that requires 3rd party solutions for block replication.

  5. JoseBarreto says:

    I believe those links are fixed, now, JanV.


  6. aolszowka says:

    Hey Jose,

    Is there a community forum somewhere to discuss issues related to Server 2012 R2 File Share issues? This obviously isn’t the right forum but let me vent if you would:

    We’ve ran into a nasty bug that we have off to Microsoft Support but we seem to be getting the run around. Currently they’re claiming that a third party is at fault, we’ve already worked with the vendor, and actually got source from them and they’re just doing
    a simple ReadFile. Nothing exotic.

    We’ve got a multiple full kernel dumps, all indicating a WIN8_DRIVER_FAULT with the stack showing execution deep down in MmWaitForCacheManagerPrefech, but we’re SOL at that point (and why we turned to paid support). We’ve been less than impressed. Locks up
    the whole machine, imagine our fun when it happens on our development Terminal Servers. Seeing Support (as we are in level 1 right now) as a dead end I’m looking for any solution here or ideas on how to track it down.

    We’ve tried all the usual culprits, Checked the firewalls, ensured no silly-ness going on with an anti-virus product, validated latest Network drivers (its a Hyper-V machine) and at a dead end. Again wrong forum, but anyone willing to give a nudge in the right

  7. JanV. says:

    Dear Jose Barreto,

    Many links in under “Updated Links on Windows Server 2012 R2 File Server and SMB 3.0” especially “Blog posts by Microsoft MVPs on Windows Server 2012 R2 File Server and SMB 3.0 (and related topics)” point to the same demo: “SMB performance demo from TechEd.wmv”.

    That is, I think, an error.


  8. I wonder if there is any guidelines to size properly (ram, processing) a SMB3 server to use with VDI or other virtualized loads

  9. jan_vinter says:

    Dear Jose Barreto,

    Thank you for repairing the links.

    It needs to be mentioned that your blog is very good. Outstanding.

    You are probably aware of that. A tremendous amount of energy and time is (was) needed to make the blog as it is now. Keeping it up-to-date is probably also very time-consuming. Thank you for it.

    Another way of looking to your blog is from a client perspective or, alternatively from the perspective of Microsoft willing to sell and promote its product.

    We need the info; Microsoft wants to promote its product. Your blog is a very nice way of satisfying the client.

    Unfortunately, few Microsoft-departments act as you do.

    To be honest, I am quite disappointed about e.g. the team that made (and makes) Storage Spaces.

    I cannot find ONE serious whitepaper or blog (or whatever) that clearly explains how to properly setup Spaces (alternatively, I could not find such a story).

    That is very bad, because it is the basis of what we want to establish (SMB, Clusters, all is related to Storage Spaces).

    Would it be possible to wake up the SS team? Alternatively, could you make a systematic explanation how to enroll SS properly?

    This becomes increasingly important when looking at configurations where SSD and HDD’s are mixed for the various ways of caching (in R2). With SS, we have nice new opportunities, but no details / explanations. Bad.

    In addition, the Deduplication team could become more active.

    Deduplicated Hyper-V guests generate very nice new possibilities. Also no details / whitepapers or whatever.

    A more general question (you do not need to answer):  why does Microsoft for some products has excellent blogs / whitepapers like yours? Alternatively, why are teams sometimes acting as if they develop new products exclusively for themselves?

    I very much like Didier Van Hoye’s blog workinghardinit.wordpress.com/…/teched-2013-revelations-for-storage-vendors-as-the-future-of-storage-lies-with-windows-2012-r2

    We (including Microsoft) have to work hard to make this work.

    Without proper promotion, proper explanation, proper hardware etc., this nice product will not turn out to be the success it deserves.


  10. Chris Smith says:


    With a SOFS cluster, is it possible to force one (or some) node(s) to be favoured, such that clients will prefer to connect to it unless it isn't available ?

    Is SOFS on top of SAN storage a supported configuration ?



  11. drsmithy says:

    Thanks, Jose

    The scenario I am thinking of is a SOFS across datacentres, where we want the servers connecting to the SOFS storage within each datacentre to prefer connecting to the "local" nodes, but still be able to leverage  the "remote" nodes if the local ones go down (/need maintenance, etc).

    Is this possible ?

    Assume there is adequate bandwidth between sites (10s of Gb) and the underlying storage system can maintain coherency (eg: VPLEX).

  12. drsmithy says:

    Hi, Jose,

    Our hypervisor platform is VMware, and this is unlikely to change.

    Hyper-V replica would be unsuitable as it cannot replicate synchronously.

    We have a suitable storage system – VPLEX.  What I'm interested in is whether it's possible to give SOFS nodes a preference based on proximity, to prevent SOFS clients in one site accessing SOFS nodes in the other, unless the local ones are unavailable.



  13. Brian Henderson says:

    Hi Jose,

    I'm from EMC and met you in person this year after many years of reading your blog.  We talked about the future potential of SMB3.0 for our customers.  I was wondering if you wouldn't mind checking out my latest blog post to tell me what you think:  powerwindows.wordpress.com/…/building-a-microsoft-azure-private-cloud-powered-by-vnx-storage

    It's all about leveraging the great combination of technologies that Microsoft has provided, supported by EMC infrastructure.  



  14. subet says:

    Thanks a lot. <unrelated link removed>

  15. Hello Jose,

    Thanks a lot for this amazing Blog. There are so many interesting things to read …

    Your post about the 8.3 name issue is very extensive, but i'm missing a statement to 8dot3 on the System Volume. Why is it there already enabled, also on current Windows Server 2012 or R2?! Is there any reason, why i shouldn't change that?



  16. JoseBarreto says:


    The main issue I heard of with 8.3 on system volumes relates to installers (and uninstallers). Some of them still use the short name path and removing those can cause uninstallers to fail. The removal tool actually tests for references in the registry to these short names and warns before removing. For data disks, there's much less concern.

  17. aithalp says:

    Dear Jose,

    I have read several of your blog articles regarding Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and SMB3, including leveraging RDMA. I also understand that RDMA does not work over bonded / LACP connections. However, I am looking for clarity on how best to leverage RDMA with multiple 10Gbps NICS in order to achieve desired throughput expected for RDMA while achieving NIC redundancy.

    My specific hardware example is below:

    • Two Dell Force10 S4810 Switches supporting DCB

    • Quad-port 10Gbp NIC supporting RDMA and DCB for Hyper-V Server (2 NICs for RDMA, 2 NICs for Hyper-V Switch / VMs)

    • Dual-port 10Gbps NIC supporting RDMA and DCB for Windows Server 2012 R2 File Server

    My questions are:

    • What is the best way to leverage RDMA over two 10Gbps NICs with Windows Server 2012 R2 running Hyper-V?

    • What is the best way to do same for a Windows Server 2012 File Server with 2 10Gbps NICs for storing VHDX?

    • What is the best way to define Hyper-V Switch on two non-LACP 10Gbps NICS (or does this not really matter)?



  18. Maria says:

    Bravo Mr. Barreto !!

  19. jürgen says:

    A very nice peace of work, congratulation for your hard good work. I hope that one day there are more of you that share their knowledge with us out in the fields.

  20. Anonymous says:

    There are many customers out there using Storage Spaces and Scale-Out File Servers with SMB3 since their

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