Notes on IT (mainly Microsoft)

Archive for the ‘Storage’ Category

Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track guides

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Infrastructure-as-a-Service Product Line Architecture Fabric Architecture Guide

“The scope of this document is to provide customers with the necessary guidance to develop solutions for a Microsoft private cloud infrastructure in accordance with the IaaS PLA patterns that are identified for use with the Windows Server 2012 operating system. This document provides specific guidance for developing fabric architectures (compute, network, storage, and virtualization layers) of an overall private cloud solution.”

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Product Line Architecture Fabric Management Architecture Guide

“The scope of this document is to provide customers with the necessary guidance to develop solutions for a Microsoft private cloud infrastructure in accordance with the IaaS PLA patterns that are identified for use with the Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1). This document provides specific guidance for developing a management architecture for an overall private cloud solution.”

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Nordic Infrastructure Conference 2013 – session videos available

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Videos of talks covering topics in:

Windows server
Virtualization & Cloud
System Management
Unified Communication
Windows Client
Partner talks

given at the Nordic Infrastructure Conference held in January are now available. There’s broad coverage by many well-known speakers, see the Agenda for links to the videos.

Designing Your Cloud Infrastructure

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This Design Guide is focused on the design of the cloud infrastructure and the components that make up a cloud infrastructure. It does not provide information on how build a complete private cloud, public cloud, or hosted cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or software as a service (SaaS) solution. The cloud infrastructure contains the building blocks on which any Windows Server 2012 cloud service or delivery model is built.

This document is comprised of the following sections:

  • Cloud Infrastructure Technical Overview. This section provides a short overview of cloud computing and the requirements of a cloud infrastructure.
  • Cloud Infrastructure Design. This section provides an introduction to the cloud infrastructure design process.
  • Designing the Cloud Storage Infrastructure. This section provides information related to design considerations for building the cloud storage infrastructure using Windows Server 2012 platform features and capabilities.
  • Designing the Cloud Network Infrastructure. This section provides information related to design considerations for building the cloud network infrastructure by using Windows Server 2012 platform features and capabilities.
  • Designing the Cloud Compute (Virtualization) Infrastructure. This section provides information related to design considerations for building the cloud compute (virtualization) infrastructure using Windows Server 2012 platform features and capabilities.
  • Overview of Suggested Cloud Infrastructure Deployment Scenarios. This section provides information on three suggested cloud infrastructure deployment scenarios and the design decisions that drive selecting one over the other.

Windows Server 2012 Storage improvements

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Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) and data de-duplication are just two of the features in Windows Server 2012 Storage. An overview of all of the new features can be found in the Windows Server 2012 Storage Whitepaper.

Written by adamsync

January 22, 2013 at 00:23

Data Deduplication in Windows Server 2012

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In Windows Server 2012 Microsoft have introduced data deduplication, a screencast covering the feature is here and full TechNet information including planning and deployment is here .There’s a technical presentation and research paper from a USENIX conference on the studies carried out by Microsoft Research here.

Written by adamsync

July 27, 2012 at 17:41

Windows Azure Storage

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An interesting post on WindowsAzure Storage, which includes links to USENIX and SOSP conference papers on the underlying technology; the SOSP presentation on the internals of Windows Azure Storage is very interesting. See also Exploring Windows Azure Drives, Disks, and Images for how this is surfaced in Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Drives.

Written by adamsync

July 27, 2012 at 17:31

Early reflections on Windows Server 2012 (Was: “Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012”)

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I have always felt a little disappointed by the “SANs” that I have encountered, possibly because I have never gotten to use a top of the range product but also because those that I have encountered seem unable to avoid accumulating data from standard applications like file and print. It often seems that once you have spent a big chunk of money on a centralised storage system it becomes inevitable that all storage moves there due to the reluctance to buy any more direct attached storage and “ease of management” and “integration with backup”. However JBODs just keep falling in price; my experience (just mine no general reflection intended here) with Exchange had the following storage profile:

Exchange 5 /Exchange 2000 – DAS array

Exchange 2003 combined roles – SAN based : split database and logs, performance hampered by not being able to afford enough spindles, surprisingly unlucky with 1018 corruptions

Exchange 2007 clustered mailbox roles – DAS array : storage group best practice for LUN allocation etc, just worked but ESE improvements (single bit error correction) make comparison with my Exchange 2003 on SAN experience difficult. Mailboxes became very large due to business needs this started hurting performance.

Exchange 2010 combined roles – DAS : DAG, the application handles the replication/availability. Excellent support for large mailboxes.

The reason for writing about this, which has nothing to do with Exchange, is that watching recent TechEd presentations on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 I saw some of the demos on Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) and I guess this is the sort of heavy-lifting handoff that I always hoped for when having paid for a storage array. For the detail see:

Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) with Intelligent Storage Arrays

I wanted to give this feature a dedicated post as, in a way, for me it is singular in that it relates to a “high end” hardware capability whereas, as I learn more about Windows Server 2012 the truly remarkable thing to me is amount of IT infrastructure capability it delivers as standard, in the areas of storage and filesystem alone any vendor delivering just those components as present in Windows Server 2012 would be a major player. Microsoft server releases since Windows 2000 have felt to me like continuous evolution; Windows Server 2012 feels like punctuated evolution, a step change brought about it seems from Microsoft’s learning from the demands of running infrastructure at large scale with virtualization as an integrated part of that. As Novell and a need for scalability were a spur that drove innovation in Windows Server 2000, so VMware in the enterprise and Amazon AWS in the cloud, and again the need for scalability, seem to be a spur to Windows Server 2012.

Written by adamsync

July 12, 2012 at 23:00