Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 for Windows Server 2008 R2 available for public download

Introduction For the last few years, I’ve been blogging about the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target and its many uses related to Windows Server Failover Clustering, Hyper-V and other server scenarios. Today, Microsoft has made this software publicly available to all users of Windows Server 2008 R2. The Microsoft iSCSI Software Target has been available for…


DiskSpd, PowerShell and storage performance: measuring IOPs, throughput and latency for both local disks and SMB file shares

  1. Introduction   I have been doing storage-related demos and publishing blogs with some storage performance numbers for a while, and I commonly get questions such as “How do you run these tests?” or “What tools do you use to generate IOs for your demos?”. While it’s always best to use a real workload…


The basics of SMB Multichannel, a feature of Windows Server 2012 and SMB 3.0

1. Introduction Windows Server 2012 includes a new feature called SMB Multichannel, part of the SMB 3.0 protocol, which increases the network performance and availability for File Servers.   1.1. Benefits SMB Multichannel allows file servers to use multiple network connections simultaneously and provides the following capabilities: Increased throughput. The file server can simultaneously transmit…


Storage options for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V

Windows Server 2008’s Hyper-V has been in public beta for a while now and lots of people have been experimenting with it. One aspect that I am focusing on is storage for those virtualized environments and more specifically the options related to SAN storage. Virtualization terminology Before we start, I wanted to define some terms…


Windows Server 2012 R2: Which version of the SMB protocol (SMB 1.0, SMB 2.0, SMB 2.1, SMB 3.0 or SMB 3.02) are you using?

Note: This blog post is a Windows Server 2012 R2 update on a previous version focused on Windows Server 2012.   1. Introduction With the release of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, I am frequently asked about how older versions of Windows will behave when connecting to or from these new versions. Upgrading…


Step-by-step for Storage Spaces Tiering in Windows Server 2012 R2

1. Overview   In this document, I am sharing all the steps I used to create a demo or test environment of a storage space with storage tiers on Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview so that you can experiment with some of the new technologies yourself. You need only a single computer with one SSD…


Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 and the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 are available on MSDN/TechNet – here’s how to install them

After this post was release, the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 for Windows Server 2008 R2 became available as a public download.For details, check Overview You probably heard that Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 has been Released To Manufacturing (RTM) last week. That means that the OEMs will soon deliver a new generation of…


Selecting the number of nodes for your Scale-Out File Server Cluster

I recently got a stream of e-mails and questions about the maximum number of cluster nodes you can have in a Scale-Out File Server cluster. For the record, we test and support up to 8 nodes per file server cluster. This is the case for both Windows Server 2012 (which introduced the Scale-Out File Server…


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….


Automatic SMB Scale-Out Rebalancing in Windows Server 2012 R2

Introduction   This blog post focus on the new SMB Scale-Out Rebalancing introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2. If you haven’t seen it yet, it delivers a new way of balancing file clients accessing a Scale-Out File Server. In Windows Server 2012, each client would be randomly directed via DNS Round Robin to a node…