Hardware options for highly available Windows Server 2012 systems using shared, directly-attached storage

Highly available Windows Server 2012 systems using shared, directly-attached storage can be built using either Storage Spaces or a validated clustered RAID controller.   Option 1 – Storage Spaces You can build a highly available shared SAS system today using Storage Spaces. Storage Spaces works well in a standalone PC, but it is also capable…

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Using 4k sector and advanced format drives in Windows. HotFix and support info for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7

If you work with storage, you probably already heard about the “4K Sector Drives”, “Advanced Format Drives” and “512e drives”. These new “4K sector drives” abandon the traditional use of 512 bytes per sector in favor of a new structure that uses 4096 bytes. The migration to the new formats is eased by the use…

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FSCT test results detail the performance of Windows Server 2008 R2 File Server configurations – 23,000 users with 192 spindles

1. Introduction The File Server Capacity Tool (FSCT) is a free download from Microsoft that helps you determine the capacity of a specific file server configuration (running Windows or any operating system that implements the SMB or SMB2 protocols). It simulates a specific set of operations (the “Home Folders” workload) being executed by a large…

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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…

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New white paper: Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Architecture and Deployment

A new white paper about Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Architecture and Deployment (including the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3) has just been published. Here’s an outline of this content: Introduction Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Overview Comparing Windows Server Operating System Storage Offerings Comparing Windows Storage Server with Windows Server Identifying Windows Storage Server…

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Currently available hotfixes for SMB and SMB2 File Server components in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2

If you’re installing a Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 file server, we always recommend getting the latest hotfixes from Windows Update. That will include all security updates and updates that are considered important enough to be delivered to all Windows Server users. However, there is a class of hotfixes there not pushed…

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Two new blog posts on Windows Storage Server 2008 R2

Scott M. Johnson has published two new blogs post on the Windows Storage Server blog: The first post is a compilation of links covering all kinds of Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 content. http://blogs.technet.com/b/storageserver/archive/2010/11/16/windows-storage-server-2008-r2-references.aspx The second post introduces the two new offerings from HP (X1000 G2 and X3000 G2) that were introduced during the recent TechEd…

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