Scale out general purpose file server
I just watched the SMB Direct Ignite presentation on Channel 9. Really cool stuff. I would like to use the SMB Direct solution to build a general purpose scale out file server and not just to store VMs. With 2012 R2, Microsoft did not recommend the scale out file server solution using a shared SAS fabric as a general purpose file server because of the limitations with the Cluster File system. Now that ReFS is being used as the clustered file system, has this limitation been lifted? If so, have improvements been made to ReFS in Windows Server 2016 to be more compatible with NTFS. I specifically need support for junction points and symbolic links which were not available in ReFS that comes with 2012 R2. Also can Nano Server be used instead of the full core server. I believe the answer is yes but I have not seen a definitive answer to this question.
Ned, I don't understand what you are asking. It is my understanding that this forum is to be used to provide customer feedback to Microsoft on what new features we would like to see in new version of Windows. I did that. You can do whatever you want with this thread.
One final feedback on my request for a general purpose scale out file server. Today, I use HP Lefthand SAN storage for my file servers and I am very happy with the solution except for the cost which is why the SMB Direct solution is so attractive since it would allow me to buy low cost standard server components and build a storage SAN at a much lower cost then my current HP Lefthand solution. So I strongly suggest to Microsoft to solve your metadata concerns and provide a general purpose scale out file server using standard server components.
With that said, do you want to leave this feedback item as-is Claudio? I think all of its aspects have been addressed, and it is now a bit hard to tell what the feedback item means anymore. If you want me to close it to return the votes, then create a new feedback item with your request (single request at a time, please), I'll be happy to do so.
Michael Gray [MSFT] commented
ReFS does support junction points and symbolic links today.
Got it, thanks Claudio. I have forwarded on to the ReFS team to review.
I use junction points and symbolic links whenever a portion of a folder tree needs to be moved to another volume on the same server or to another server. This allows me to maintain the folder tree structure so users are unaware that a portion of the tree is now in another location and it also allows scripts that used paths in the folder tree to not break. The reason I am asking for this capability in ReFS is that it is my understanding that ReFS will eventually become the primary file system for Windows and since I use this feature in NTFS, I would like it in ReFS. Given's that ReFS can handle corruption fixes without taking the volume offline, that is a compelling reason to start using it once it supports more of the NTFS features like junction points and symbolic links.
It's called "File Server for General Use" (or sometimes colloquially "General Use File Server").
There is more info on what Claus was talking about here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2013/12/05/to-scale-out-or-not-to-scale-out-that-is-the-question.aspx
Can you tell us more about why you need symbolic links and junction points in ReFS?
Claus, I was unable to find any document called "File Server for General Purpose". Can you provide a URL to it?
Since VHDX files can be as large as 64TB, would creating a VM that would act as a general purpose file server whose VHDX files are stored on a direct SMB scale-out file server be an acceptable solution or does this still violate the rule of too much metadata operations on the CSVFS file system?
Claus [MSFT] commented
Hi, I am glad you enjoyed the session. The primary reason for not supporting general purpose workloads, like Microsoft Office, with Scale-Out File Server is due to a host of features that are not compatible with Scale-Out File Servers, such as Classification, Quota, Screening etc. The other reason is that those types of workloads typically do many metadata operations, and Scale-Out File Server is best suited for workloads with few metadata operations.
BTW, CSVFS is still the clustered file system, however we are now using ReFS instead of NTFS as the on-disk file system.
So bottom line, if you have a general purpose workload, like Microsoft Office, our current recommendations on using "File Server for General Purpose" still stands.
I hope this helps.