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Vol. 4 No. 6 August 2005

Why Windows is storage-friendly

My April best practices column apparently touched a nerve (see Windows and storage--debunking the myths). That month, I presented an overview of some of the most important storage capabilities available with Windows servers, especially the often-overlooked built-in volume manager. Reader response was tremendous--it turns out that most sites have Windows servers and many are plagued by the myth that Windows is unfriendly to storage administrators. That discussion was only the tip of the iceberg, however. Microsoft claims to be focused on making Windows "the best storage platform" by integrating enterprise-class features. In addition to the built-in volume manager, server versions of the Windows operating system include a Multipath I/O (MPIO) driver and the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). The former provides high availability for storage, while the latter allows integrated file system and storage array snapshots. These two features can be used with many of the storage arrays commonly found in today's data centers to improve the ...

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