Data Centre

Storage Spaces Direct cheapens itself, hardware-wise, adds NVDIMM support

Good news – assuming software-defined storage is still viable after Meltdown/Spectre

By Simon Sharwood

1 SHARE

Microsoft’s released a new Windows Server Insider Preview Build – number 17074, to be precise – and the most notable new bits are in the Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) software-defined storage code.

Redmond’s coders have managed to add support for storage-class memory to S2D because, as Microsoft put it, doing so “unlocks a new class of extremely low latency storage which is incredibly interesting in particular as a caching device.” We're told this is NVDIMM support, not Optane as we reported in a previous version of this story.

Also new to this build is the removal of a requirement that S2D hardware offer SCSI Enclosure Services. Another addition is support for direct-connect SATA devices to an AHCI controller, which should make S2D devices cheaper to build,

Redmond said it’s “also enabled the Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) Cache is enabled by default, which delivers an in-memory write-through cache that can dramatically boost VM performance.”

Which is timely news because at least one effort to see what Meltdown and Spectre did to S2D suggests the performance hit is somewhere between colossal and terrifying.

The new Windows Server preview has also added “enhancements to Azure enlightened Failover Clusters, with enhanced eventing on host maintenance events and nodes about to be in host maintenance are excluded from placement.” Redmond said this matter because “By making high availability software running inside of an Azure IaaS VM be aware of maintenance events of the host, it can help deliver the highest levels of availability for your applications.”

The changes are due to emerge in the semi-annual version of Windows Server, the next version of which is due to emerge in April 2018.

The new preview’s yours for the downloading here. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

1 Comment

More from The Register

Microsoft patches patch for Meltdown bug patch: Windows 7, Server 2008 rushed an emergency fix

If at first you don't succeed, you're Redmond

Win 7, Server 2008 'Total Meltdown' exploit lands, pops admin shells

Plus: Xen admins – you need to get patching your patches, too

Meltdown-and-Spectre-detector comes to Windows Analytics

After flubbing its early responses, Microsoft's thrown sysadmins a bone

Microsoft patches Windows to cool off Intel's Meltdown – wait, antivirus? Slow your roll

Check your anti-malware tool unless you like BSoDs

Microsoft's Windows 7 Meltdown fixes from January, February made PCs MORE INSECURE

You'll want to install the March update. Like right now – if you can avoid broken networking

Microsoft releases new containerised cut of Windows Server

When Nano Server or Server Core are too small, 'windows' will be in the Goldilocks zone

Another Meltdown, Spectre security scare: Data-leaking holes riddle Intel, AMD, Arm chips

CPU slingers insist existing defenses will stop attacks – but eggheads disagree

Amazon: Intel Meltdown patch will slow down your AWS EC2 server

Sysadmins notice performance dip amid security fix rollout. Not everyone hit hard. YMMV etc

More stuff broken amid Microsoft's efforts to fix Meltdown/Spectre vulns

This is going to take a while

Microsoft lobs Windows 10, Server Oct 2018 update at world (minus file-nuking 'feature') after actually doing some testing

Autumnwatchers, what a novel concept: 'Extensive internal validation'