Configuring the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target

Introduction This post describes how to configure the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target offered with Windows Storage Server, including the steps to configure both the iSCSI Target and the iSCSI Initiator. Note: The iSCSI Target is the server (where the iSCSI virtual disks are actually stored) and the iSCSI Initiator is the client (where the iSCSI… Read more

High Availability Scenarios

I recently delivered a presentation on Highly Available Clusters focused on the scenarios related to Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 (WSS 2003 R2) and Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003 (WUDSS 2003). The scenarios ended up being quite generic, so I decided to share them here. High Availability In general, high availability will lead you… Read more

Installing the evaluation version of WUDSS 2003 (with the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target) on a VM

This post is OBSOLETE. Please check the updated post at:   —    Overview These are step-by-step instructions on how to install the 180-day evaluation version of the Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003 (WUDSS 2003) on a virtual machine environment running on Virtual PC 2007. There are a few different target audiences for this post, including:… Read more

Windows Server 2008 RC1 available for download

I just saw that the RC1 release of Windows Server 2008 was posted for public download today, as described at I guess this one should one of the last (if not the very last) public release before release to manufacturing, so if you’ve been waiting for a feature-complete pre-release version to try, wait no… Read more

DiskShadow, the new in-box VSS requester in Windows Server 2008

There were many changes in Volume Shadowcopy Services (VSS) in Windows Server 2008. Probably the most visible of them is DiskShadow.exe,  the new command line tool for VSS. This new built-in requester can create and manage hardware and software shadow copies, interactively or in a script. If you read my post about the basics of… Read more

The Legend of the Single, Multi-Terabyte, Replicating SharePoint Database

Documents in Databases The first time I tell anyone that SharePoint Server 2007 stores documents as blobs (binary objects) in the database, people stare at me for a few seconds and usually ask: “Really?” It takes a few moments to explain that this is actually a good thing and that SQL has no problem handling… Read more

The Basics of the Virtual Disk Services (VDS)

Back in Windows 2000 Server days, managing SAN-based storage in Windows was mostly up to your SAN vendor. You would typically need to load a tool to manage your storage device (either graphical or command-line) or sometimes use a web-based application. If you had multiple storage arrays, you would likely need to handle different user… Read more

Storing Unstructured Data – From file servers to cloud services

After joining the Storage Solutions Division at Microsoft, I got exposed many challenges that were not so close to me before. One of them is how we store and manage unstructured data, including things like file servers, NAS devices, document management systems and blob storage solutions. Here’s my initial attempt to cover a little of… Read more

Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering in RC0 (includes a 17-minute demonstration)

I’m getting ready to work at the Microsoft booth at the Storage Network World next week in Dallas, TX and one of the items we’re showing is the improvements in Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering, this time using the recently released RC0 (Release Candidate 0). I recorded a short (17-minute) demonstration where you can see… Read more

Shrinking a volume in Windows Server 2008

I’m getting ready to work at the Microsoft booth at the Storage Network World next week in Dallas, TX and I learned about this great little feature in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (currently in Release Candidate 0 state): you can now shrink a volume.  The scenario for this is quite common: you created… Read more