Microsoft has just hit the near-final Release Candidate (RC) 0 milestone with Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 and is expecting to deliver the final code to its server OEMs before the end of September, according to information from private testers.
Windows Storage Server is Microsoft's storage-server appliance operating system that it sells preloaded on servers from a variety of vendors, including Dell, Fujitsu, HP, NEC and others.
Microsoft and its partners delivered Windows Storage Server 2008 products in 2009. The R2 follow-on adds a few new features, according to company officials, including:
- Simplified out-of-the-box experience
- Simplified two-node cluster setup where configuration from one node and settings are pushed out to the second node, making the cluster setup easier
- Single Instance Storage (SIS) file-system filter-driver support, which removes duplicate filesl from a volume to save space without impacting server performance
- New File Classification Infrastructure (FCI) which allows users to manage their file data based on "business value" and then to apply automatic policies against that
- DNS, DHCP, WINS, RODC (read only domain controller) networking functionality for better branch-office support
- Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3, which supports Wndows PowerShell scripts for manageability; improved Hyper-V storage; and diskless boot of High Performance Clustering nodes, Hyper-V servers or application servers
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 won't require any additional client-access licenses (CALs), the Softies said, making the product more viable as a storage appliance.
Even though Microsoft is expecting release to manufactuirng of Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 by the end of the month, Microsoft officials confirmed to me on September 7, the product won't be available to end-user customers immediately at that time, since it is sold preloaded on systems/devices by OEMs. Each partner will determine its own release date, Microsoft officials said.