Q
Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

Can I get a status update on the Resilient File System?

Brien Posey explains the benefits of the Resilient File System and examines the reasons why it has remained relatively unused.

When Microsoft created Windows Server 2012, it introduced hundreds of new features. While most of them were praised...

as being innovative or meeting next-generation needs, the Resilient File System has remained largely unused.

The main reason why few organizations use the Resilient File System (ReFS) in production environments is that it simply did not meet people's expectations. The general assumption is that new features will introduce new capabilities, but ReFS did the opposite. There are a number of NT file system (NTFS) features that are unsupported. For example, ReFS does not support file system compression or encryption. The use of quotas, extended attributes and deduplication are not supported either. In fact, Windows Server can't even boot from a ReFS volume.

Given these limitations, it is easy to see why some people believe ReFS never had a chance of being widely adopted for production use. In my opinion, doing a feature-by-feature comparison between NTFS and ReFS misses the point of what ReFS is all about.

Even though it didn't start out that way, NTFS is a general-purpose file system. Windows servers can safely use NTFS on just about any volume. It is a tried-and-true file system that offers a wide variety of features and capabilities. ReFS is not.

The Resilient File System was designed for one thing and one thing only -- data integrity. Because its job is to protect data integrity, ReFS probably isn't the best choice for a volume containing system files or virtual machines. It might not even be the best choice for use on a file server since there is no support for deduplication, encryption or compression. However, ReFS probably is a good choice for volumes hosting databases. Keep in mind that SQL Server 2014 is the only version of SQL Server that is officially supported for use on ReFS.

Personally, I think it is too soon to completely write off ReFS. There is always a chance Microsoft could end up making the file system more feature rich in the next version of Windows.

Next Steps

An in-depth comparison of ReFS and NTFS

Deduplication is another beneficial Windows Server 2012 feature

This was last published in December 2014

Dig Deeper on Parallel file system

PRO+

Content

Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchSolidStateStorage

SearchCloudStorage

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchDataBackup

Close