TechEd 2014: Software defined storage in WS2012 R2

Session: DCIM-B349. Software defined storage with Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2. This was a jam packed session with tons of content on each slide. Great in-depth talk about what’s new in the 2012 R2 wave which came out last year. I only captured 25% of the slide content below, so be sure to check out the Channel 9 video and slide deck when they get posed, for all the goodies.

Storage Enhancements

  • New approach to storage: File based storage (SMB3) other Ethernet networks. Cost effective storage.
  • Faster enumeration of SMI-S storage providers
  • Virtual Fibre Channel integration in SC 2012 R2
  • SC can now leverage ODX for fast VM copy operations
  • Investments in Fibre Channel switch discovery and pulling that into VMM. Shows a demo of creating a FC zone in VMM. Also shows provisioning a LUN from with VMM from a Fibre Channel array. You can configure a LUN in a service template, so all VMs get access to the LUN.

Focused Scenarios for 2012 R2 Wave

  • Reducing CAPEX and OPEX

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Storage Vision

  • Dramatically lowering the costs and efforts of delivering IaaS storage services
  • Disaggregrated compute and storage – Independent management and scale at each layer
  • Industry standard servers, networking and storage – Inexpensive networks, inexpensive shared JBOD storage
  • Microsoft is heavily investing in the SMB protocol and will use this going forward as the basis of storage
  • Overall objective is to reduce cost. The cheapest storage is the storage you already own.
  • Ability to use “Spaces” with low cost JBOD
  • Ability to manage the full solution within System Center

Storage Management in System Center 2012 R2

  • Insight, Flexibility, Automation
  • Storage Management API (SM-API)
  • New architecture for 10x faster enumerations
  • Capacity management, scale-out-file-server, and a lot more

Guest Clustering with shared virtual disks

  • Guest clustering with commodity storage
  • Sharing VHDX files
  • VM presented a shared virtual SAS disk

iSCSI Target Server

  • VHDX support
  • Support up to 64TB LUNs
  • Dynamically grow LUNs

File Based Storage

  • SMB Direct support (uses RDMA)
  • 50% improvement for small IO workloads

Scale out File Server

  • SMB session management for back-end IO distribution

Live Migration

  • SMB as a transport for live migration
  • Delivers performance using RDMA – so no CPU hit on the host
  • Adds compression (75% faster)

SMB Bandwidth Management

  • Restrict bandwidth for different workloads (e.g. file copy, live migration, storage access)

Data Deduplication

  • Can dedupe open files – VDI scenarios is a good use case
  • Good for high reads, low write VHDXs
  • Added support for CSV

Storage Spaces

  • Optimized data placement – Pool consists of both HDDs and SSDs with automated tiering
  • Write-back cache – Smooths out workload IOPS
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