The next generation of storage management is here!

Storage management is complex, we all know it. For many people, even the simplest opeartions in a SAN look like black magic. It's no wonder why - if you want to, say, create a brand new 5 TB file share using your brand new your SAN box: you need to create a new LUN in your SAN, mounting it on a machine, initialize the disk, create partitions, assigning drive letters, create the file shares and assign proper permissions, etc.

The new Windows product launched today solves this problem. WUDSS offers simple, easy-to use wizards, for the complex operations above, plus of course, the famous Finish button. It's that simple!

And, yes, as you could guess, the main theme is simplifying and integrating all storage management scenarios (at least for file servers) in a single management UI:

- A new out-of-the-box experience (OOBE) that allows you to "initialize" your brand new shiny storage box with a few mouse clicks.

- Combined file, print and block-level storage services in a single management interface

- Easy remote management through a single HTTP URL

- New cluster configuration wizard that vastly simplifies provisioning and creation of shared disk resources.

The product will ship on Dell's new PowerVault NX 1950 hardware initially, and other OEMs will incorporate it in other NAS boxes.


P.S.  WUDSS stands for Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003 - a long name, in our established Microsoft tradition 🙂

Comments (4)

  1. n00dles says:

    I read that iSCSI targets are actually VHD’s under the hood… is it also possible to just present raw disk (ie an entire volume)?

    But I wish someone would make something for the home market in this space… if Microsoft Hardware made a smallish enclosure with 3 or 4 hot pluggable SATA drive bays (ie I buy the drives) and 2 or 3 GbE NICs that ran Longhorn core + an iSCSI target (remote management via MMC) on some kind of flash device,  i reckon they’d sell a million of them!

  2. n00dles says:

    Sorry, that should read "I read that the iSCSI targets presented by WUDSS…" – not meaning to suggest that it is the only way iSCSI targets get presented on Windows (or any other platform)!

  3. AdiOltean says:

    Yes, the iSCSI target is implemented on top of VHD files. There was also a support on top of RAW partitions, which is now removed, AFAIK. The difference in terms of performance are not that big, but the advantages in terms of manageability are pretty significant (nobody wants to manage raw partitions in the Windows world…)

  4. n00dles says:

    Ohhhh yeh – to hell with raw disk 🙂

    Be interested to see any perf numbers floating around though, do you know of any? I guess it’s one of those things that would lend itself well to massive block sizes in the underlying filesystem, like VMFS with it’s default 1MB blocks… any NTFS tweaks there in WUDSS? I’d love to play around with it myself, but I don’t see it on MSDN and imagine it will probably never make it there 🙁

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