Top 10 managing Windows-based storage tips of 2004 editorial staff

This year, our Windows users longed to know how to make their systems go -- especially when those systems seemed to have stopped for no reason. Other popular topics included Shadow Copy and new features such as DFS and iSCSI support.

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 Top 10 tips on managing Windows-based storage
1. What causes slow startup in Windows 2000
By Rick Cook
A Windows 2000 system can slow to a crawl on startup if it has too many partitions installed in the Disk Management MMC snap-in.
2. Move the pagefile and go faster
By Rick Cook
The pagefile is a critical component of the virtual memory system in Windows. However, it can also become a critical bottleneck in the performance of Windows systems.
3. Windows NT and SCSI disk performance
By Dilip Naik
The Windows NT platform allows an application to control caching behavior, both within the file system and also within the storage sub-system.
4. New Microsoft DFS features in Windows Server 2003
By Sri Seshadri
Microsoft has made significant investments in their Windows storage initiative. A key measure of such an initiative is the ongoing investment in the new features in DFS in Windows Server 2003. DFS is a cornerstone of Microsoft's storage strategy as can be seen in the strategy guide on Deploying File Servers, which contains extensive information for planning and implementing a DFS-based solution.
5. Restore and recover with Windows 2000
By Rick Cook
Restoring and recovering files and folders with Windows 2000 is pretty straightforward. However, there are some special considerations relating to particular W2K components because they are critical to the operation of the system.
6. Be wary of Shadow Copy limitations
By Rick Cook
Because it allows quick restores of damaged or deleted files, the Shadow Copy feature in Windows Server makes life easier for storage administrators dealing with shared folders.
7. Microsoft supports iSCSI SAN clusters -- kind of
By Rick Cook
Microsoft is supporting iSCSI SANs using clustering under two different programs. The reason for this is that some Windows iSCSI SANs have been built with up to eight nodes, but the first full release of iSCSI for Microsoft's Cluster Server 2003 will only support two nodes.
8. Windows backup application falls short
By Jerry Honeycutt
One of the first products that works in conjunction with Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy (VSC) to make point-in-time copies of files on a transaction level, XLink's FilePreserver allows users to restore files from snapshots taken within the previous six months. However, the user interface needs work to make it friendlier, and stability and security are both a problem.
9. Simplify disk alignment in Windows 2000
By Rick Cook
One well-known way to optimize disk I/O is to keep the system from crossing track boundaries. However, this doesn't always work with Windows 2000 because of some peculiarities of the NTFS file system.
10. Planning for Windows Server 2003
By Johanna Ambrosio
Large companies with numerous remote nodes will benefit the most from a rapid upgrade to Windows Server 2003.

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