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M.G. Ferguson is PCX Technologies’ resident technology junkie, with a strong “early adoption” habit. Though he has been to rehab several times for his addiction to cutting edge technology, nothing seems to keep him on the wagon. His technology of choice is most anything classified as “consumer electronics;” however, he is not above getting his fix from commercial or enterprise level technology when he is in a bind.
This week the Redmond, WA software firm announced that the Resilient File System (ReFS) will make its debut on Windows Server 8. ReFS is the long awaited successor to NTFS, which is nearly twenty years old. While the file format will initially only be featured on Server 8, it is expected to be rolled out onto Work Station versions of Windows as well. The initial release be used for sever storage only, and then client data storage via upgrade. A final update, will allow ReFS to be used as a boot volume on Server 8.
ReFS will be for the most part backwards compatible with NTFS, yet will integrate many new features to help accommodate devices “from the smallest footprint to largest data centers,” according to Microsoft Development Manager Surendra Verma, in the MSDN blog post announcing ReFS. Most of the new features, such as removing the mandatory periodic checkdisk operations, and instead allowing for file system repairs while system remains online are designed with the concept of increasing uptimes and recoverability.
Some of the seldom used NTFS features will be removed or deprecated, among them are the NTFS Object IDs, short names, compression, file level encryption, hard-links, extended attributes and quotas. Most of these features are widely considered to serve little purpose and add unneeded complexity. Other more popular features such as BitLocker, access control, mount points, and volume snapshots will remain.
In addition to being more resilient, ReFS will also offer larger max volume sizes for files, directories, and disk volumes. Listed below is a chart from Microsoft detailing ReFS’s new attributes and limitations.
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