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Posted by Didier Van Hoye on September 27, 2018
Does low latency, high throughput & CPU offloading require RDMA?

Does low latency, high throughput & CPU offloading require RDMA? What? Blasphemy, how dare we even question this? In my defense, I’m not questioning anything. I am merely being curious. I’m the inquisitive kind. The need for RDMA is the premise that we have been working with ever since RDMA became available outside of HPC InfiniBand fabrics. For us working in the Windows ecosystem this was with SMB Direct. Windows Server 2012 was the OS version that introduced us to SMB Direct, which leverages RDMA.

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Posted by Didier Van Hoye on April 24, 2018
SMB Direct – The State of RDMA for use with SMB 3 traffic (Part III)

The RDMA wars in regards to SMB Direct: RoCE versus iWarp.

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Posted by Didier Van Hoye on April 12, 2018
SMB Direct – The State of RDMA for use with SMB 3 traffic (Part I)

What is RDMA and why do we like it.

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Posted by Ivan Talaichuk on September 7, 2017
Hyperconvergence – another buzzword or the King of the Throne?

Before we have started our journey through the storage world, I would like to begin with a side note on what is hyperconverged infrastructure and which problems this cool word combination really solves. Folks who already took the grip on hyperconvergence can just skip the first paragraph where I’ll describe HCI components plus a backstory about this tech. Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is a term coined by two great guys: Steve Chambers and Forrester Research (at least Wiki said so). They’ve created this word combination in order to describe a fully software-defined IT infrastructure that is capable of virtualizing all the components of conventional ‘hardware-defined’ systems.

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Posted by Augusto Alvarez on June 9, 2017
AWS Bigger in SMBs but Azure is the Service Most Likely to Renew or Purchase, says Study

We all already know the two biggest Public Cloud providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure and, unless a catastrophic event occurs, these two will be leading the market in the next couple of years. A recent study between 550 companies showed some interesting results: AWS is the most preferred vendor in SMBs; Microsoft the “most known” in enterprises; AWS has been reviewed the most between all companies but Azure is the most used.

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Posted by Andrea Mauro on January 25, 2017
Design a ROBO (Part 1): Introduction and high-level design

A Remote Office / Branch Office (ROBO) is an office located in a different site or a remote geographical area from another office (usually the headquarter or the main office). Several organizations have one (or more) main office, as well as remote offices in another city, country or continent. Many organizations today have in each remote office some local IT infrastructure, usually for data locality, but also for service local services.

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Posted by Didier Van Hoye on August 25, 2016
Don’t Fear but Respect Redirected IO with Shared VHDX

Introduction

When we got Shared VHDX in Windows Server 2012 R2 we were quite pleased as it opened up the road to guest clustering (Failover clustering in virtual machines) without needing to break through the virtualization layer with iSCSI or virtual Fibre Channel (vFC).

First of all, you need to be aware of the limits of using a shared VHDX in Windows Server 2012 R2.

  1. You cannot perform storage live migration
  2. You cannot resize the VHDX online
  3. You cannot do host based backups (i.e. you need to do in guest backups)
  4. No support for checkpoints
  5. No support for Hyper-V Replica

If you cannot live with these, that’s a good indicator this is not for you. But if you can, you should also take care of the potential redirected IO impact that can and will occur. This doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, but you need to know about it, design and build for it and test it realistically for your real life workloads.

active guest cluster node is running on the Hyper-V host

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Posted by Charbel Nemnom on June 7, 2016
How to Build a Secure PowerShell DSC Pull Server?

Introduction

Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) is a technology introduced by Microsoft in Windows PowerShell v4.0.

At the time of writing, we are at PowerShell v5.0. If you are new to PowerShell DSC, I highly encourage you to start investing and learning this awesome technology today.

DSC is a big topic and can get complex, you should first start learning the basics before you move into advanced scenarios. A good source of reading is on MSDN Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration Overview. This will give you a good start, but there is plenty of great information out there on this topic.

Desired State Configuration can be configured to deliver configurations in two different methods; push and pull.

PowerShell DSC PullServer

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Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on May 10, 2016
SMB3: Overview

This is an overview of the Server Message Block (SMB3) protocol from Microsoft. It offers a short insight into the history of SMB3 creation and development over the years (as the idea is technically around 30 years old). As of Windows Server 2012, the protocol got new features: SMB Transparent Failover, SMB Scale Out, SMB Multichannel, SMB Direct, SMB Encryption, VSS for SMB file shares, SMB Directory Leasing, SMB PowerShell. In Windows Server 2016, it also got Pre-authentication integrity and Cluster dialect fencing. The post concentrates on RDMA-capable SMB Direct and MPIO-utilizing SMB Multichannel and their benefits. Also, it is an introduction to a series of tests aimed at creating SMB 3.0 File Servers in an unusual way.

SMB

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