Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Jnan Dash, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microsoft Cloud, IoT User Interface, Silverlight, Release Management , SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Post

Reduce VMware Storage Costs with Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces

SAN-like Storage Spaces with Continuous Availability Clustering and NFS Server frees up IT Budgets

Windows Server 2012 can provide key advantages in one of the areas that is near-and-dear to every VMware administrator's budget: Storage! In this article, we'll explore the storage enhancements that Windows Server 2012 offers, and along the way, we'll see how it can help to "right-size" your VMware storage costs so that you have more budget for strategic IT investments ...

Do I need to migrate to Hyper-V to benefit from Windows Server 2012?
Not necessarily.
Sure, lots of IT Pros have migrated to Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 - or Hyper-V Server 2012, our FREE bare-metal enterprise-grade hypervisor – AND, they’ve experienced the benefits that I mentioned above.  BUT, Windows Server 2012 also includes end-to-end improvements in other important areas, such as Storage, Networking, Security and Management.

image

Windows Server 2012 Enhancements – Much more than just Hyper-V!

Many of these enhancements in Windows Server 2012 provide great value to IT shops regardless of your current virtualization platform.

Did you say “Storage”? That’s one area where I could use some help!
Absolutely!
When I speak with IT Pros at community events, storage is consistently reported as one of the most significant, and growing, hardware costs within their datacenters.  For instance, to support storage demands when using VMware, many IT Pros have traditionally resorted to expensive SAN or NAS appliance solutions in order to address their capacity and IO performance needs.  These storage appliances can cost thousands of dollars per TB of usable storage, and, of course, these high costs can contribute to an inflated total cost for managing a datacenter.

Windows Server 2012, combined with commodity, enterprise SSD drives or SAS disks and inexpensive JBOD storage enclosures, provides exciting opportunities to “right-size” your storage budget.  IT Pros can leverage capabilities such as SAN-like Storage Spaces, Continuously Available Clustering and NFS Server support to easily create an attractive alternative to traditional storage appliances.  This presents the potential to reduce total VMware storage costs many-fold, from several thousand dollars per TB down to just hundreds per TB.

Using a Windows Server 2012 NFS Server Cluster, the resulting storage architecture looks very similar in design to what many SAN or NAS appliances employ “under-the-hood”, but without the high cost of proprietary hardware.

image

Windows Server 2012 – Enterprise-class Storage at Commodity Costs

In the end, all of the dollars that you save with your new Windows Server 2012 storage solution could be just enough to pay for the server hardware needed for those new scaled-up Hyper-V Server 2012 virtualization hosts that you’ve been wanting! Winking smile Since Hyper-V Server 2012 is FREE, and includes the same Hyper-V features as Windows Server 2012, you could have plenty left over from your "right-sized" storage budget to invest in some really nice virtualization host server hardware.

Sounds interesting … BUT, this can’t be very fast … Can it?
Actually, YES!
By utilizing a new native RPC-XDR transport infrastructure, Windows Server 2012 can deliver optimal NFS performance out-of-the-box without the need to tune any parameters.  The NFS server provides an auto-tuned cache and thread pools along with dynamic resource management that is designed to adapt to varying workloads.  In addition, fast failovers with new per-physical disk resources, tuned failover paths and Network Status Monitor (NSM) notifications mean that NFSv3 clients, such as VMware ESXi hosts, can have fast and transparent failovers even under heavy IO load.

Our NFS protocol team employs veteran designers of the NFS and iSCSI protocol specifications, and they regularly participate in NFS bake-a-thons to help ensure that Windows Server 2012 is providing a robust, reliable and easy-to-deploy NFS storage solution.

Is this some kind of “Virtual Storage Appliance” that costs extra?
Of course not!
All of these storage capabilities are included out-of-the-box with both Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition and Datacenter Edition.  No additional licenses are required.  If you’re already using Windows Server file servers in your shop, upgrading those servers to a Windows Server 2012 cluster can provide an easy path to support both your existing file server workloads as well as the new NFS server capabilities described in this article.

Can this solution help when migrating VM’s to Hyper-V?
Indeed, it can!
The most time-consuming task when upgrading to a new virtualization platform, such as Hyper-V, is often the time it takes to copy VMs between old and new virtualization platforms.  Any storage on a Windows Server 2012 NFS Cluster can also be shared via our native SMB 3.0 network protocol.  During an upgrade to Hyper-V, this means that the storage can simply be removed from the source VMware hosts and presented to the new Hyper-V hosts, ready for the VMs to be upgraded to VHD/VHDX format using your favorite V2V migration tools.  For more details on upgrading to Hyper-V Server 2012, see:

After I migrate VMs to Hyper-V, how does this storage solution change?
It only gets better!
After your VM’s are running on Hyper-V Server 2012, you’ll be able to take advantage of the additional storage improvements provided by the SMB 3.0 network protocol – such as SMB-Direct (RDMA), SMB-Multichannel, and SMB-Scaleout. As the Enterprise Strategy Group verified in their lab results, Windows Server 2012 with SMB 3.0 can provide storage IO throughput for tier-1 Hyper-V VM workloads that is within +/- 1% to 4% of the performance of traditional Fibre Channel storage solutions at approximately 50% less cost.

clip_image002

Hyper-V Server 2012 Tier-1 VM Storage Transactions Comparison

clip_image004

Windows Server 2012 SMB Storage Spaces Cost Comparison

For the full copy of the lab report from which these results were summarized, be sure to check out the following link:

You’ve got my attention! Where can I learn more?
To get started with next steps in evaluating Windows Server 2012 as an effective NFS storage solution for your virtualization environment, follow these guides to walk through the process …

NEXT STEPS:

  1. Configure Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012
  2. Creating a Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster
  3. Install and Configure NFS Shares on Windows Server 2012
  4. VMware Setup for Windows Server 2012 NFS Server Cluster
  5. Migrate VMs from VMware to Hyper-V and Windows Azure

Once you’ve had a chance to explore these resources, please feel free to share your results below with the rest of our IT Pro community.

Happy right-sizing!

- Keith

Build Your Lab! Build Your Lab! Download Windows Server 2012
Build Your Lab in the Cloud! Don’t Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Virtual Machines
Join our "Early Experts" study group! Want to Get Certified? Join our Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Study Group

More Stories By Keith Mayer

Keith Mayer is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Windows Infrastructure, Data Center Virtualization, Systems Management and Private Cloud. Keith has over 17 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT professionals worldwide on the design and implementation of enterprise technology solutions.

Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.

Keith is the author of the IT Pros ROCK! Blog on Microsoft TechNet, voted as one of the Top 50 "Must Read" IT Blogs.

Keith also manages the Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Challenge - a FREE online study group for IT Pros interested in studying and preparing for certification on Windows Server 2012. Join us and become the next "Early Expert"!

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
18th Cloud Expo, taking place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some...
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
"What we see what happens when you have a completely networked society and the potential to now drive the value creation and the collaboration and the ecosystems that are possible when you start to be able to connect people and industries together in ways that have never been possible before," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP of Marketing Enterprise & Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...