• LUN management for Fibre Channel subsystems
  • LUN management for iSCSI subsystems
  • File Server Resource Management
  • Storage Resource Manager quotas vs. NTFS disk quotas
  • Microsoft Services for Network File System
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Reviewer's Guide Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2

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    Efficient Storage Management

    Storage Manager for SANs

    Storage Manager for SANs (SMfS) is a Microsoft Management Console snap-in that administrators can use to create and manage the logical units (LUNs) that are used to allocate space on storage arrays in both Fibre Channel and iSCSI environments. Administered through a conventional snap-in, Storage Manager for SANs can be used on storage area network (SAN) based storage arrays that support Virtual Disk Server (VDS) using a hardware VDS provider. Because of hardware, protocol, transport layer and security differences, configuration and LUN management differ for the two types (iSCSI and Fibre Channel) of supported environments. This feature will work with any type of Host Bus Adapter (HBA) or switches on the SAN. A list of VDS providers that have passed the Hardware Compatibility Tests (HCT) is available on www.microsoft.com/storage.

    LUN management for Fibre Channel subsystems

    On a Fibre Channel storage subsystem, LUNs are assigned directly to a server, which accesses the LUN through one or more Host Bus Adapter (HBA) ports. The administrator needs only to identify the server that will access the LUN, and enable one or more HBA ports on the server to be used for LUN I/O traffic. When the server is assigned to a LUN, the server can immediately access the LUN to create, augment, delete, and mask (or unmask) the LUN.

    Support for multiple I/O paths. If a server supports Microsoft Multipath I/O (MPIO), Storage Manager for SANs can provide path failover by enabling multiple ports on the server for LUN I/O traffic. To prevent data loss in a Fibre Channel environment, make sure that the server supports MPIO before enabling multiple ports. (On an iSCSI subsystem, this is not needed: the Microsoft iSCSI initiator (version 2.0) that is installed on the server supports MPIO.)

    LUN management for iSCSI subsystems

    Unlike on a Fibre Channel storage subsystem, LUNs on an iSCSI subsystem are not directly assigned to a server. For iSCSI, a LUN is assigned to a target – a logical entity that contains one or more LUNs. A server accesses the LUN by logging on to the target using the server’s iSCSI initiator. To log on to a target, the initiator connects to portals on the target; a subsystem has one or more portals, which are associated with targets. If a server’s initiator is logged on to a target, and a new LUN is assigned to the target, the server can immediately access the LUN.

    Securing data on an iSCSI SAN. To help secure data transfers between the server and the subsystem, configure security for the login sessions between initiators and targets. Using Storage Manager for SANs, you can configure one-way or mutual Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) authentication between the initiator and targets, and you can also configure Internet Protocol security (IPsec) data encryption.

    File Server Resource Management

    With the increasing demand on storage resources as organizations rely more heavily on data than ever before, IT administrators face the challenge of overseeing a larger and more complex storage infrastructure, while at the same time tracking the kind of information it contains. Managing storage resources has come to include not only data size and availability but also the enforcement of company policies and a very good understanding of how existing storage is utilized. This allows for sound strategic planning and proper response to organizational changes.

    File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) is Microsoft Management Console snap-in that encompasses a suite of tools that allows administrators to understand, control, and manage the quantity and type of data stored on their servers. By using File Server Resource Manager, administrators can place quotas on volumes, actively screen files and folders, and generate comprehensive storage reports. This set of advanced utilities not only helps the administrator efficiently monitor existing storage resources, but also aids in the planning and implementation of future policy changes.

    You can use FSRM to perform the following tasks:

    • Create quotas to limit the space allowed for a volume or folder and to generate notifications when the quota limits are approached and exceeded.

    • Create file screens to filter the files that users can save on volumes and in folders and to send notifications when users attempt to save blocked files.

    • Create periodic or storage reports that allow you to identify trends in disk usage and to monitor attempts to save unauthorized files.

    FSRM console consists of two snap-ins: Storage Resource Management, which is used to create quotas that place size limits on folder trees and to create file screens that are used to block files from volumes and folders, and Scheduled Storage Tasks, which is used to schedule several types of storage reports and to generate reports. You can also configure e-mail notifications to be sent when quota limits approach or when users attempt to save files that have been blocked.

    Using the FSRM console you can also manage storage resources on a remote computer. While you are connected, the results pane for that snap-in displays the objects created on the remote computer, allowing you to manage them from the console. In order to use FSRM remotely, the remote computer must also be running Windows Server 2003 R2, with the Storage Manager component installed. FSRM also supports servers that are clustered.

    Storage Resource Manager quotas vs. NTFS disk quotas

    The Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 operating systems support disk quotas, which are used to track and control disk usage per user on NTFS volumes. The following table outlines the advantages of using the quota management tools in Storage Resource Manager.

    Quota features

    Storage Resource Manager

    NTFS disk quotas

    Quota tracking

    By folder or by volume

    Per user on a volume

    Disk usage calculation

    Actual disk space

    Logical file size

    Notification mechanisms

    E-mail, custom reports, command execution, event logs

    Event logs only

    Microsoft Services for Network File System

    Microsoft Services for Network File System (MSNFS) provides Windows-based implementations of both the client and server aspects of Network File System (NFS), as well as related services and utilities. The primary purpose of MSNFS is to provide an interoperability solution for enterprise businesses that have both Windows-based and UNIX-based clients. MSNFS supports the Network File System (NFS) protocol and provides file sharing interoperability between Windows and UNIX machines. It also provides a strategy for migrating from mixed or UNIX-based client environments to Windows. Moreover, MSNFS is now an integrated part of Windows Server.

    MSNFS can provide:

    • 64-bit support

    • Better interoperation between Server Message Block (SMB) and NFS systems

    • Improved reliability

    • Support for NFS Devices (MKNOD)

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