Dell recently published a blog, where they explained Clustered Storage Spaces support with PowerEdge VRTX. Please be aware that Dell not supports Storage Spaces on VRTX because it’s uses a shared RAID Controller.
Please remember, if you want to run your cluster on a shared RAID (maybe for Hyper-V) or Direct Attached Storage you need to configure it in Windows registry. You can find my PowerShell Script, to configure it here.
To read the original Dell TechCenter blogpost, please click here.
Jose Barreto wrote a blog about my favorite changes in Windows Server 2012 R2.
Automatic SMB Scale-Out Rebalancing. Why is it cool? Easy to answer, when you use a SoFS with Windows Server 2012 and one nodes fail the CSV switches over to the other Clusternode. That is ok but becomes worst when the other Clusternode comes back, because with Windows Server 2012 the is no automated rebalacing or fallback and the Clusternode redirects all traffic throw the CSV owner. This has an enormously performance decrease.
With 2012 R2, this is history and how it works you can read on Jose’s blog. Click here.
Includes a redesigned data persistence layer that is based on a new version of the VHD format called VHDX (VHD 2.0). VHDX has a much larger storage capacity than the older VHD format. iSCSI Target Server also provides data corruption protection during power failures and optimizes structural alignments of dynamic and differencing disks to prevent performance degradation on new, large-sector physical disks. You can still import VHD 1.0 disks by using Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview.
Uses the SMI-S provider in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) to manage iSCSI Target Server in a hosted, and/or private cloud. Additionally, new Windows PowerShell cmdlets for iSCSI Target Server enable you to export and import configuration files, and they provide the ability to disable remote management when iSCSI Target Server is deployed in a dedicated Windows-based appliance scenario (for example, Windows Storage Server).
Improved optimization to allow disk-level caching
iSCSI Target Server now sets the disk cache bypass flag on a hosting disk I/O, through Force Unit Access (FUA), only when the issuing initiator explicitly requests it. This change can potentially improve performance. Previously, iSCSI Target Server would always set the disk cache bypass flag on all I/O’s. System cache bypass functionality remains unchanged in iSCSI Target Server; for instance, the file system cache on the target server is always bypassed.
Increases the maximum number of sessions per target server to 544, and increases the maximum number of logical units per target server to 256.
Local mount functionality
Deprecates local mount functionality for snapshots. As a workaround, you can use the local iSCSI initiator on the target server computer (this is also called the loopback initiator) to access the exported snapshots.
Automatic rebalancing of Scale-Out File Server clients
This functionality improves scalability and manageability for Scale-Out File Servers. SMB client connections are tracked per file share (instead of per server), and clients are then redirected to the cluster node with the best access to the volume used by the file share. This improves efficiency by reducing redirection traffic between file server nodes. Clients are redirected following an initial connection and when cluster storage is reconfigured.
Improved performance of SMB Direct (SMB over RDMA)
Improves performance for small I/O workloads by increasing efficiency when hosting workloads with small I/Os (such as an online transaction processing (OLTP) database in a virtual machine). These improvements are evident when using higher speed network interfaces, such as 40 Gbps Ethernet and 56 Gbps InfiniBand.
Improved SMB event messages
SMB events now contain more detailed and helpful information. This makes troubleshooting easier and reduces the need to capture network traces or enable more detailed diagnostic event logging. By default, the most relevant event channels are turned on, so you instantly capture all of the essential information. In addition, some events now include details on configuration and troubleshooting solutions.
VHDX files as shared storage for guest clustering
Simplifies the creation of guest clusters by using shared VHDX files for shared storage inside the virtual machines. You can use this feature with VHDX files that are stored in Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) or SMB Scale-Out file shares. For more information, see Deploy a Guest Cluster Using a Shared Virtual Hard Disk.
Hyper-V Live Migration over SMB
Enables you to perform a live migration of virtual machines by using SMB 3.0 as a transport. This allows you to take advantage of key SMB features, such as SMB Direct and SMB Multichannel, by providing high speed migration with low CPU utilization.
Improved SMB bandwidth management
Enables you to configure SMB bandwidth limits to control different SMB traffic types. There are three SMB traffic types: default, live migration, and virtual machine.
Support for multiple SMB instances on a Scale-Out File Server
Provides an additional instance on each cluster node in Scale-Out File Servers specifically for CSV traffic. A default instance can handle incoming traffic from SMB clients that are accessing regular file shares, while another instance only handles inter-node CSV traffic. This feature improves scalability and reliability of traffic between CSV nodes.
SMB 1.0 is now an optional feature
The SMB 1.0 features, including the legacy computer browser service and Remote Administration Protocol (RAP), are now separate and can be eliminated. These features are still enabled by default, but if you have no older SMB clients, such as Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, you can remove the SMB 1.0 features to increase security and potentially reduce patching.
Enhancements include database cloning for large performance gains during initial sync, a Windows PowerShell module for DFS Replication, a new DFS Replication WMI provider, faster replication on high bandwidth connections, conflict and preexisting data recovery, and support for rebuilding corrupt databases without unexpected data loss. See What’s New in DFS Replication in Windows Server 2012 R2 for more information.