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VMware & StarWind: Guarantee data safety and constant applications availability
Speaker: Alexey Khorolets, Pre-Sales Engineer, StarWind
Posted by Ivan Talaichuk on December 6, 2017
High-performing and highly available Scale-Out File Server with SMB3

There’s, probably, no IT administrator who hasn’t heard of SMB3 (Server Message Block). is an application-layer network protocol, developed by Microsoft mostly to provide shared access to the files, and allowing communication between nodes. SMB has been designed as a tool for the creation of a DOS-based network file system, but Microsoft took the initiative and renamed SMB into CIFS later on (Common Internet File System) and continued further developing it. The second version – SMB 2.0, has been introduced in Windows Vista with a wide range of new features, thus it became clear that Microsoft was working hard to improve this protocol.

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Posted by Didier Van Hoye on November 21, 2017
Take a look at Storage QoS Policies in Windows Server 2016

In Windows Server 2016 Microsoft introduced storage Quality of Service (QoS) policies.  Previously in Windows Server 2012 R2, we could set minimum and maximum IOPS individually virtual hard disk but this was limited even if you could automate it with PowerShell. The maximum was enforced but the minimum not. That only logged a warning if it could be delivered and it took automation that went beyond what was practical for many administrators when it needed to be done at scale. While it was helpful and I used it in certain scenarios it needed to mature to deliver real value and offer storage QoS in environments where cost-effective, highly available storage was used that often doesn’t include native QoS capabilities for use with Hyper-V.

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Posted by Vladislav Karaiev on February 17, 2017
Storage HA on the Cheap: Fixing Synology DiskStation flaky Performance with StarWind Free. Part 3 (Failover Duration)

We are continuing our set of articles dedicated to Synology’s DS916+ mid-range NAS units. Remember we don’t dispute the fact that Synology is capable of delivering a great set of NAS features. Instead of this, we are conducting a number of tests on a pair of DS916+ units to define if they can be utilized as a general-use primary production storage. In Part 1 we have tested the performance of DS916+ in different configurations and determined how to significantly increase the performance of a “dual” DS916+ setup by replacing the native Synology DSM HA Cluster with StarWind Virtual SAN Free.

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Posted by Didier Van Hoye on August 19, 2016
Musings on Windows Server Converged Networking & Storage

Why you should learn about SMB Direct, RDMA & lossless Ethernet for both networking & storage solutions

fully converged Hyper-V Qos Courtesy of Microsoft

Server, Hypervisor, Storage

Too many people still perceive Windows Server as “just” an operating system (OS). It’s so much more. It’s an OS, a hypervisor, a storage platform with a highly capable networking stack. Both virtualization and cloud computing are driving the convergence of all the above these roles forward fast, with intent and purpose. We’ll position the technologies & designs that convergence requires and look at the implications of these for a better overall understanding of this trend.
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Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on January 22, 2016
Storage Spaces Direct: 4-node “Shared Nothing” Scale-Out File Server

This is a research dedicated to practical implementation of Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct. It is a part of a series of posts about S2D and features a detailed comprehensive instruction on building a fault-tolerant 4-node setup. Storage Spaces Direct is the next step of Storage Spaces, meaning it is an extension of the current SDS for Windows Server. Storage Spaces Direct utilizes SMB3 for all intra-node interaction, including the latest SMB Direct and SMB Multichannel. The testing of S2D is hot right now, so StarWind is doing its part as well. This setup is meant to withstand node failures and the post reveals how exactly it performs in this respect.

SOFS + Storage Spased Direct

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Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on October 17, 2014
Storage Replica: “Shared Nothing” Scale-Out File Server

This post is about Microsoft Storage Replica – a disaster recovery tool, introduced by Microsoft in Windows Server 2016. It is a part of series about this technology, which is all featured on this blog. Basically, the post is a practical guide for building a “Shared Nothing” Scale-Out File Server, prepared by StarWind engineers after they did it themselves. The “Shared Nothing” is an architecture, which implies that each node is self-sufficient and completely independent, which makes the system more reliable. It got its name because the nodes don’t have a shared storage at all, moving closer to eliminating the single point of failure. The architecture is almost infinitely scalable, becoming popular with use cases where unpredictable and explosive growth is typical.

Storage replication
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