ReFS — a new and improved approach

I was looking through some email today and saw a newsletter from ZDNet at the top of my inbox.  Normally these don’t get my immediate attention, but for some reason, today… it did.  There was a post from Mary Jo Foley (linked below) looking at the upcoming file system in Windows Server 8, ReFS.

I am anxious to get my hands on this file system and play with the features that it will bring to the table.  I do have the Windows 8 preview and will get into it further soon, but from what I have read and previous discussions with Microsoft this seems very very interesting.

Things I like so far:

  • Live.  Microsoft is working to engineer ReFS to handle corruption and corrections live, without the need to offline the file system.  This will reduce the time needed to maintain the filesystem.
  • Better data integrity as a whole.  Because the file system can manage and mitigate corrupt files and handle much of the repair process online, there will be less need to reboot to take care of maintenance tasks, like following check disk runs.
  • Checksums on metadata.  Being able to ensure a file integrity has not been compromised at will without a process run by the user is great.
  • Shared Storage Pooling.  This will allow storage across servers to be pooled and shared amongst them creating a load balanced configuration to allow for better resource an file availability.

I cannot say that I am surprised these changes are coming and this makes up for the Metro UI a bit for me, but I do want to see more of that is planned for ReFS and get my hands on it a bit more.  One of these days I will get another Windows laptop and get Windows 8 running on it to get a closer look at the file system and its tools.

For more information on ReFS check out these links:

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Derek Schauland

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