Note: Every one of these items has previously been discussed by Microsoft. I can’t yet talk about any other storage features I might have seen…
- iSCSI Quick Connect – No more fumbling through tabs and popups, just enter an IP address and you’re connected! Yeah, baby!
- Wire-speed 10 Gb iSCSI – The software iSCSI initiator can saturate a 10 Gb Ethernet link to a NetApp FAS3070; 1,174 megabytes per second
- BranchCache – Accelerated access for workers in remote offices; it can use peer-to-peer sharing of hashed chunks if a Windows server isn’t available to cache data
- VSS LUN Resync – The awesome VSS API is extended with the ability to resync a LUN from a snapshot; supports both software and native array capability
- VSS Express Writer – Now there’s no excuse for applications to not be VSS backup-compatible
- PowerShell – The very-sweet command line and scripting environment works with many server areas, including some parts of the storage world. Please implement it everywhere, Microsoft!
- Transparent Caching – Administrators can allow Windows 7 clients to transparently cache file content from SMB servers when links are slow
- Background file sync – Windows 7 will synchronize offline files in the background
- Native VHD Support – VDS now supports a virtual drive just like any other – create, expand, compact, etc… And Server Backup stores its data in VHDs too!
- Windows Home Server Drive Extender – WHS has file-level data protection and flexible disk management – it reminded me of DROBO! Not new, but I hadn’t ever heard about it… Thanks to Donavon and Alex for the info!
“Hate Microsoft” is a popular meme, but it’s misplaced. The Windows Server team, and the storage folks in particular, keep moving the ball forward, and the whole world of IT infrastructure benefits. My laptop may have a fruit on the lid, and my focus may be on three-letter storage and server companies, but Microsoft is a key part of our world, too.
The MVP Summit wasn’t just a great learning opportunity – it was a blast! We’ll see how much of that leaks out, but there might be an incriminating YouTube video of yours truly on stage at the Experience Music Project, Donavon tagging Steve Ballmer for WHS, and a lot of MVPs letting their PC love fly for the camera. There was also a Twitter tribute to Frank McCallister an MVP who passed away shortly before the Summit.