Windows Server 2012 includes a new feature called SMB Direct, which supports the use of network adapters that have Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) capability. Network adapters that have RDMA can function at full speed with very low latency, while using very little CPU. For workloads such as Hyper-V or Microsoft SQL Server, this enables a remote file server to resemble local storage. SMB Direct includes:
- Increased throughput: Leverages the full throughput of high speed networks where the network adapters coordinate the transfer of large amounts of data at line speed.
- Low latency: Provides extremely fast responses to network requests, and, as a result, makes remote file storage feel as if it is directly attached block storage.
- Low CPU utilization: Uses fewer CPU cycles when transferring data over the network, which leaves more power available to server applications.
SMB Direct is automatically configured by Windows Server 2012.