Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Nick Basinger, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Industrial IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Silverlight

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Post

What Windows 8 Hyper-V R3 Storage Enhancements Will Mean

There are a couple of interesting storage enhancements

Last September, Microsoft released some information about what customers could expect to see in Windows 8, and at the very end of February the Windows 8 beta became available. There's been some interesting activity on the blogosphere about it (see a good blog from Jason Perlow here).

What Are the Enhancements?
There are a couple of interesting storage enhancements in Hyper-V R3, including VHDX, ODX, built-in deduplication, support for SMB 2.2 and the introduction of ReSF (Resilient File System).

VHDX: Larger Capacity VHDs
In Hyper-V R2, VHDs can be up to 2TB in size, but in Hyper-V R3 with VHDX that has increased to 64TB. While not imposing any limitations themselves, their size is limited by the native VHD capacity constraints. The expanded storage capacity nicely complements increases in CPU and memory on a per VM basis that will allow Hyper-V to host larger, higher performance applications.

ODX: Renewed Invitation to Third-Party Array Vendors
ODX is somewhat analogous to the VMware APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) concept, allowing certain tasks to be offloaded to storage array hardware to improve performance and/or lower host CPU utilization. But ODX is just an ioctl - the devil's in the details of implementation, and that falls to storage array vendors and how they implement various features. It's telling that third-party SCSI copy has been around for quite a while, but has never really caught on. Still, they are rooting for this to take off on Hyper-V because, depending on what the back-end storage implementations look like, it could be very interesting to them for two reasons.

De-duplication
Content-based deduplication is a popular topic these days, but it also has the reputation for being a resource hog. Microsoft hasn't mentioned much about any implementation details of this upcoming dedupe technology (is it file-based? Volume-based? In-line or post process? Where do the cycles come from to perform dedupe operations? etc.) but I guess that it will be an optional feature that customers can turn on or off.

NAS and Hyper-V: Yep, It's in There.
Until now, there really hasn't been a viable NAS option on Hyper-V. Windows 8 introduces support for SMB, which will allow VHDs to be hosted on shares for the first time. Windows VSS, Microsoft's snapshot API, has historically operated at the LUN level. In virtual environments, it is much more efficient to perform certain storage operations like snapshots, failover, and replication at the VHD rather than the LUN level. Doing so can save on storage capacity consumption, time, and network bandwidth. With the introduction of SMB, VSS can now operate at the share level as well. If VHDs are hosted on shares, one can potentially do snapshots, failover, and replication with increased granularity and hence, more efficiently.

Resilient File System
In ReFS, Microsoft has made reference to a new feature called "storage spaces." By letting administrators configure storage into separate virtual pools, this enhancement to the storage interface (which until Windows 8 has been through VDS) should enable larger, more scalable, and more easily managed storage configurations.

CSVs Benefit Too
Finally, Microsoft has also made some CSV enhancements. VSS backup performance for CSVs has been a challenge in the past due to the performance slowdowns often associated with re-directed I/O mode. In Windows 8, it appears they've made some modifications to how copy on write is handled during VSS operations so that updates to a snapshot during the backup process no longer force that VHD into re-directed I/O mode. These changes do not appear to apply to runtime I/O to dynamic and differencing VHDs, just VSS operations. It looks like Microsoft will also improve the scalability of backup operations by supporting concurrent backup of all VMs within a single CSV.

The bottom line here is that Windows 8 includes a lot of storage enhancements.

More Stories By Eric Burgener

Eric Burgener is vice president product management at Virsto Software. He has worked on emerging technologies for almost his entire career, with early stints at pioneering companies such as Tandem, Pyramid, Sun, Veritas, ConvergeNet, Mendocino, and Topio, among others, on fault tolerance and high availability, replication, backup, continuous data protection, and server virtualization technologies.

Over the last 25 years Eric has worked across a variety of functional areas, including sales, product management, marketing, business development, and technical support, and also spent time as an Executive in Residence with Mayfield and a storage industry analyst at Taneja Group. Before joining Virsto, he was VP of Marketing at InMage.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...