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Storage Technology in the Windows platform


What's driving Microsoft Storage innovation. APIs - VDS, VSS, MPIO and what they do ... QLogic SAN Surfer (VDS Management tool) QLogic HBAs. HP MSA array ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Storage Technology in the Windows platform

Storage Technology in the Windows platform
  • Mat Young Storage Technology Architect,
    Microsoft EMEA
  • Justin Alderson Storage Specialists Manager,
    Microsoft EMEA

  • Whats driving Microsoft Storage innovation
  • APIs - VDS, VSS, MPIO and what they do
  • iSCSI initiator and target
  • File System / Redirector improvements
  • Branch Office

Microsofts Storage Charter
  • Make Windows the best Storage platform
  • Work with a partner ecosystem to address customer
  • Introduce new storage solutions

Microsofts Role In Storage
  • Better understand and address customer challenges
  • Leadership with storage technology building
  • Enable innovation for applications
  • Work with partners to provide cost-effective

Making Windows The Best Storage Platform
  • New Technology in Windows Server 2003 and Storage
    Server 2003 to help NAS, DAS and SAN
  • Disk Services - VDS
  • Multipathing framework - MPIO
  • Copy Services VSS
  • SAN connectivity improvements
  • Interconnect - iSCSI
  • File system Improvements
  • Enhanced DFS and SMB/CIFS redirector

Virtual Disk Service (VDS)
  • Single interface for managing block storage
    virtualization, regardless of
  • OS software
  • RAID storage hardware
  • other storage virtualization engines
  • Hardware subsystem neutral
  • Interconnect neutral

Focus is innovation to allow automated hardware
VDS Example the Simple SAN
  • Solution for SMB business with no SAN expertise
  • Entry level SAN bundle
  • Windows Server System (using VDS)
  • QLogic SAN Surfer (VDS Management tool)
  • QLogic HBAs
  • HP MSA array
  • VDS simplifies management so that storage,
    interconnected, HBA and LUNs are managed from
    single console
  • Result reduce installation time from 221
    minutes / 78 steps to 35 minutes / 3 steps

Similar solutions from HDS, Engenio, XIOtech etc
MPIO Multi-Path I/O
  • Problem
  • Historically, every Storage Vendor had a
    Multipath solution specific to an OS, Patch, HBA,
    and array.
  • Expensive to manage, not always stable
  • Solution Microsoft MPIO program
  • Hardware independent Multi-pathing API.
  • A Driver Development Kit (DDK) for storage
    vendors to create interoperable multipathing
  • HBA and path (FC, iSCSI etc) agnostic
  • Does not replace multipath products like Secure
    Path - they become MPIO compliant and
    therefore highly interoperable
  • VDS and MPIO
  • improve interoperability and stability for end
  • Enable vendors to develop more interoperable

Volume Shadow Services
  • Common infrastructure for point-in-time backups
  • Snapshots/Clones/PIT copies etc
  • Solve todays problems
  • Every hardware vendor has their own solution
    (Timefinder, Business Copy etc)
  • Difficult to get support across multiple storage
  • Difficult to guarantee data integrity
  • No easy way for applications to describe their
    data to backup apps.
  • Excessive number of APIs to deal with.
  • An application can modify a file while it is
    being backed-up causing data corruption or a file
    open error

VSS How does it work?
Shadow Copies of Shared Folders
  • Shadow Copies of Share Folders is a VSS
  • Enables software based snapshots of file systems,
    and end user recovery
  • Does NOT manage / replace hardware snapshots or
    archive backup
  • eg Exchange rapid recovery solution
  • Server side 2003 platform
  • Client availble Win2000, WinXP / 2003 platforms
  • Client included in XPSP2
  • New with Windows 2003 SP1 Volume restore (for
  • Volume offline during restore not for system

Other SAN Support features
  • Boot from SAN supported
  • Get your hardware vendor support statement!
  • Read article 305547
  • http//
  • Consider latency especially on pagefiles
  • Flexible volume mounting in SANs
  • Allows control of LUN visibility to an individual
  • Works complimentarily with Switch Zoning
  • Auto mount disabled by default in Enterprise
    Edition, enabled in Standard Edition
  • diskpart automount enable disable
  • Storport
  • Redesigned driver model optimized for FC SANs
  • Supplements SCSIport driver
  • SCSIport is optimized for direct attach storage
  • Storport tuned for Fabric storage and HBA RAID
  • Smooth expansion path for future interconnect

Windows 2003 - a much better SAN citizen
Windows in iSCSI SANs
INITIATOR The device (normally a server) that
requests the disks
TARGET The device that presents target disks
  • Interconnect
  • SCSI
  • Fibre Channel
  • iSCSI

SCSI Protocols
  • Scenarios to consider
  • Windows servers on iSCSI SANs
  • Windows as a provider of iSCSI Storage blocks

Windows in iSCSI SANs
  • Microsoft delivers an iSCSI initiator
  • This enables Windows 2000 / 2003 systems to use
    Storage delivered by iSCSI targets.
  • Similar to a traditional SAN, but using IP
  • Third party delivers iSCSI targets
  • These enable Windows 2003 systems to act as
    Storage devices, delivering iSCSI targets.
  • Similar to a Storage array

  • Adds support for native iSCSI for Windows
  • iSCSI Support for Windows 2000, Windows Server
  • iSCSI initiator and iSNS Server package
  • Targets
  • Hardware (check for Windows Catalog listing)
  • 3rd party Software for Windows Server
    (Stringbean, Falconstor) also check Catalog
  • Cluster support interim support for Cataloged
    hardware until 9 months after SP1, then need a
    full cluster-certified Catalog entry.
  • Positioning
  • Complements Fibre Channel
  • Enable scaling of existing Network Storage
    investments at low cost through gateways / iSCSI
    ports on arrays
  • Option for connection Exchange / SQL etc
  • Where to get it
  • iSCSI initiator (v1.06) - http//
  • White papers at http//
  • iSNS Server RTM version available from
  • http//

iSCSI Initatior V2.0 (Osaka)Coming soon
  • x64 support
  • Improved error messages, WMI Management
  • Improved setup and management
  • Auto discovery of iSNS server using DHCP
  • IPv6
  • High availability
  • Integrated Microsoft MPIO multipathing solution
    supports logod block storage devices
  • Designed to work with all SPC-2 or later
    compliant targets
  • Additionally, MS MPIO DDK includes iSCSI DSM
  • Multiple connections per session
  • Multiple load balance policies and failover
  • Persistent ISID
  • Portal Hopping
  • Attempt connection to alternate portals
  • Error Recovery Levels 1 2

New Combination DevicesAdding iSCSI to the mix
  • Windows Storage Server OEMs are adding iSCSI
    Target options to their devices
  • Fujitsu-Siemens FibreCat (included as standard)
  • Maxxan SG series
  • HP Proliant Storage Server
  • Other vendors to follow soon

NTFS as a file system
Capabilities and features
NTFS (Tested)
NTFS (Theory)
Max File Size Max Volume Size Max Number
files Directory Size
15.9TB 17TB 20M 20M
16 TB 240 TB 4.2 Billion No Limit
Encryption and Compression are part of the file
File System changes with SP1
Breaking the 2TB basic disk limit
  • Until SP1
  • 32 bit system used MFT only
  • 64 bit could use MFT or GPT
  • No support for 64 bit block numbering in lower
    Storage stack
  • Result 2TB Basic disk size limit.
  • With Windows Server 2003 SP1
  • SCSI-3 Block Commands-2 support for 64 bit
    block numbering
  • Added GPT disk support to all Windows Server
    platforms (also 32 bit previously only 64 bit)
  • Result
  • 9 EB limit in theory for basic disks
  • NTFS File System currently limited to 256TB.
  • Only for SCSI command set not yet for USB /
  • You need an array that can present a gt2TB LUN
  • Good layout planning is still essential

DFS and RedirectionBringing further benefits in
File Serving
  • Today - DFS Root consolidation hotfix
  • Enables legacy NetBIOS names to be hosted on DFS
  • Toolkit at http//
  • SP1 Access Based Directory Enumeration
  • Users see only files in a share, to which they
    have rights other files / folders not visible
  • Set at share level legacy-style also possible
    (users see everything)
  • Requires tool or small piece of code to set flag
    no UI (yet)
  • R2 DFSR
  • Completely rewritten replication system better
    integrated with DFS

Branch Office technology
  • Challenges around Branch Office management
  • Consolidate / centralise what is the cost of
    service levels / productivity?
  • Distribute what is the cost of management?
  • Choice of approach Replication or Cache
  • Replication
  • Today - 3rd party tools NSI / Legato etc
  • Coming - Data Protection Manager, R2-DFSR
  • Caching
  • 3rd party solutions eg Tacit Networks
  • Choice
  • Cache vs replication depends on many factors
  • Look for a solution which reduces management
    overhead and reuses existing platforms, not adds

  • APIs and their role
  • iSCSI Initiator and Target
  • File System and File Server technology
  • Branch Office
  • Making Windows the best storage platform
  • http//
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