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Data Storage Microsoft Windows Hardware

Looking Back At Microsoft's Rocky History In Storage Tech 241

nk497 writes "Following the demise of Windows Home Server's Drive Extender, Jon Honeyball looks back on Microsoft's long, long list of storage disasters, from the dodgy DriveSpace to the Cairo Object File System, and on to the debacle that was WinFS."
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Looking Back At Microsoft's Rocky History In Storage Tech

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  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @03:52AM (#35184268)
    It's not just closed source, but closed standard. Microsoft keeps the specification officially secret (Though I believe you can see if it you agree to an agreemet saying you won't disclose or actually impliment it). That linux can use NTFS is a tribute to many hours of dedicated reverse-engineering and various tidbits of information that escaped until a full picture could be assembled,
  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @07:43AM (#35185130) Homepage Journal
    Yup, LVM FTW. you fail it.

    I especially like your #1:
    -all of your hard drives show up as one big storage pool.

    Not only does EVERY unix do that, it's the ONLY way it can be done. Mixing up the logical and physical partitions in such a convoluted way is a Microsoft only type of deal. Drive letters were thrown out in real operating systems decades ago. Again, Windows: Failing today to do what Unix successfully did decades ago.
  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @07:54AM (#35185166) Journal

    Nobody is saying you can't do that stuff on *NIX but its hard to do that on stand alone machines. When you are talking about shared machines or terminals where everything can be handled with NIS and home directories reside on an NFS share used by all hosts the facilities to manage user experience exist.

    As soon as you start having laptops and desktops running all around the office you can't manage the settings the user is talking about anymore. Yes you can do it at deployment time. Sure you could write init scripts to go fetch and overwrite/update rc files and stuff but you'd have to do all of it yourself and it would be a security nightmare to try and get correct without putting a lot of resources into it.

    GPOs make it really easy change all the CSRs home pages to the new customer service portal, and set all the sales reps wall paper to the latest product sheet instead of their embarrassing personal photos any time its needed. It also makes it possible to do things like yes your screen saver is going to turn on and the desktop will be locked after 15min, no exceptions. Sometimes that sort of thing gets required for PayCardIndustry rules and the like, and those things change every now and then.

    Got a way for me to change your screen saver settings on every Ubuntu box in the company? Yes I know I can run a sed script to go into each home directory and alter the config file for whatever desktop environment is being used, I still have to find away to do it to every box.

    Trust me I have been doing this for some years and this is one place where Windows gets it right, so right in fact that it in some ways justifies the use of Windows even though its otherwise a really inferior platform.

  • by batkiwi ( 137781 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @08:06AM (#35185214)

    Sweet, so LVM provides redundancy? Or I still need to use software raid for that, which reqires all disks to be the same size in order to get full usage out of them?

    And if I create an LVM array, and 1 disk dies, I no longer lose everything, the filesystem is easily mounutable and I only lose the files that were on that disk and weren't redundant (which you've also assured me LVM handles for you?)

    And who mentioned drive letters? You're telling me that every unix will combine all of my storage devices into one pool, as opposed to having to mount them discretely in mount points? So if I have 5 disks, by default all of my files, regardless of location in the filesystem, will get nicely distributed across said disks? That's great to know as well! Last time I checked (about 2 seconds ago, from the ubuntu box I'm posting this from) you have to choose a mount point for any volume (logical or physical), and it only provides storage to that section of the filesystem. If my /var/log is full, and I just throw in another 1tb disk, /var/log does not get access to that new storage.

    I asked a serious question. I really am interested in a set of technologies that have the same capabilities as unraid (which is linux based but NOT open nor free) and drive extender. LVM and software raid are in no way comparable.

  • Re:Missing ADS (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:48PM (#35190244) Homepage Journal

    You don't know of the storage technology in VMware, nor of the value of the cooperative storage ecosystem that SAN and NAS players have invested hundreds of millions into.

    This really removes the basis on which you make your further claims.

    In short, VMware is successful as the most capable solution of enterprise-scale, exactly because it virtualises not just server hosts, but brings a virtual model to storage - not to mention networking. There is nothing comparable in the MS world, which seeks to leverage existing cluster technology from Server2008 to present a model for VHD storage.

    Review VMFS for starters: [] []

    Microsoft has a sad hack to commit memory in a way that shaves a fraction off of the VMware machine density advantage. They are still competing with a 2006-era VMware - they have no clue how to get out of this, aside from dumping a billion dollars into compete marketing efforts.

    The massive executive and senior-engineering exodus from MS is a clear sign that -- even in the halls where sacred Kool-Aid is draughted -- the days of leadership are over, almost before they were enjoyed.

  • Re:Missing ADS (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Saturday February 12, 2011 @11:59PM (#35190266) Homepage Journal

    And look at this. I have never seen a technology so completely dominate the upper right corner of a Gartner quad in years. MS is admirable to be above the horizon in 3-4 short years, but there is no contest, nor will there really ever get to be one. []

    Management? MS will still try and convince you of SCCM and the broken DCM.

    Security? IPSec isolation everywhere - which your failover times on the IKE renegotiation!

    HyperV is a great, cheap QA and Dev lab solution, because it's free with 4 v-instances on Enterprise SKUs. But if you have to tool dev/test different for deployment that you do production? The savings are a false economy. []

The absent ones are always at fault.