You’ve probably heard that Windows Server 2012 and Windows Storage Server 2012 have some pretty cool storage features. We spent almost 3 years building a set of features that would deliver the best “bang for your buck” and that investment is starting to get some great accolades!
Storage Magazine is one of the leading publications for storage and the Search Storage website delivers a constant stream of storage news and reviews that I find very valuable. It is pretty exciting to see that Microsoft has won a gold medal award for storage system software!
If you are still wondering if Windows Server can be the backbone for enterprise-quality storage solutions, you should take a look at the features we have and decide for yourself. With high performance protocols, continuous availability, deduplication and super-geek-worthy transfer rates using RDMA NICs, I think you’ll find something useful in there. Windows Storage Server 2012 is only available from Microsoft hardware partners, however, you can download evaluation versions from the download center here.
Here is the text of the article:
Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Server 2012 has been awarded the gold medal in the storage system software category in Storage magazine's/SearchStorage.com's 2012 Products of the Year competition. Find out about all the top picks by reading our 2012 best data storage products guide.
The many new data storage features and enhancements in Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Server 2012 caught the attention of our judges in the storage system software category of this year's Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com 2012 Products of the Year competition.
The latest version of Microsoft's server operating system earned the highest average score for functionality among the 11 storage system software finalists. Windows Server 2012 also was tops in value, ease of use and manageability, and ease of integration into existing environments. One judge cited the "great new innovations" in the product.
Among the most prominent new features are Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 for high-throughput, low-latency data transfers between servers and storage; the Resilient File System (ReFS), which offers greater scalability than NTFS; Storage Spaces virtualization technology to create storage pools and enable failover between multiple nodes on commodity hardware; data deduplication; clustering enhancements; and virtualization improvements, such as live storage migration and Hyper-V Replica disaster recovery.
"This version of Windows will be very appealing to Microsoft shops," said one judge. "It fixes a lot of problems with Windows Server 2008 R2. It's faster, has better storage performance, is more flexible and it's more feature rich."
The IT manager of a Midwestern grain processing company said Storage Spaces is an important feature that will help to lower the entry cost for shared storage, facilitating a "just a bunch of disks" (JBOD) configuration.
"This is going to be huge in the SMB space," predicted the IT manager.
A senior system engineer at a large, diversified manufacturing and retail company in Eastern Europe said he's happy to have the ability to use a continuously available file server for Hyper-V workloads. "It simplifies storage management and decreases investments into an expensive Fibre Channel infrastructure," he wrote in an email.
Microsoft Corp. announced the general availability of Windows Server 2012 in September 2012. Windows Server 2012 also serves as the underlying technology for Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2012, which is used in NAS and iSCSI storage systems sold by OEMs.