A guide to Windows Server 2012: New features examined

Windows Server 2012: New features examined

Microsoft MVP Brien Posey takes a look at Windows Server 2012 new features, including iSCSI target software, native dedupe, ReFS, Windows Storage Spaces and ODX, in this five-part video tip series.

Microsoft MVP Brien PoseyMicrosoft MVP Brien Posey

Adding new storage-related capabilities for the enterprise was a major focus for Microsoft Corp. when developing Windows Server 2012, and it appeared to pay off with the new software winning SearchStorage.com's Product of the Year award for the storage system software division. There are five Windows Server 2012 new features that data storage managers should know. The inclusion of native iSCSI target software, native deduplication, the Resilient File System (ReFS), Windows Storage Spaces and Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) offer advantages like consolidated management, more redundant and resilient files, and decreased CPU utilization for copy and move operations. To get an in-depth understanding of these new additions, SearchStorage.com reached out to Microsoft MVP Brien Posey to take a feature-by-feature look at how to install, integrate and optimize Windows Server 2012's new features. Take a look at each video tip below to view Brien's screencasts and read an excerpt from each presentation.

Table of contents:

Native iSCSI means easier management, expanded capabilities in WS 2012

Windows Server 2012 has added its own native iSCSI target software, allowing iSCSI configuration directly through the server manager. In this first video tip, Posey takes users through the iSCSI installation process and discusses how to set up failover clustering without the use of shared storage, which is another new feature in WS 2012.

Native data dedupe in WS 2012 means new SSD opportunities

The native file system-level deduplication included in these Windows Server 2012 new features will make for smaller virtual machine storage footprints and lower the cost of solid-state drives (SSDs).

ReFS protects against corruption, power failures

Microsoft's ReFS attempts to correct the shortcomings of the older NT file system (NTFS). ReFS protects files during the write operation and actively searches for volume corruption, resulting in overall improvements in resiliency and redundancy, as well as protection from sudden power outages.

Provisioning storage with Windows Storage Spaces provides advantages over disk management console

Windows Storage Spaces is the suggested method of provisioning storage in WS 2012. In this fourth video tip, Posey explains how this feature works, why it's a better choice than the disk management console, and discusses the implications of choosing thin or fixed provisioning.

New in WS 2012, ODX offers CPU utilization efficiencies

Because of its considerable impact on copy and move operations, one of the most exciting new features in Windows Server 2012 is ODX. Watch this video to find out how ODX can help reduce CPU utilization for these operations by reallocating server resources.