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Microsoft limits new ReFS file system to Windows Server 8

updated 09:15 pm EST, Mon January 16, 2012

"Resilient File System" to replace NTFS

Microsoft has announced details surrounding its new file system, known as ReFS or Resilient File System. The Windows team has worked to build the new system "from the ground up" to improve upon the current NTFS technology, maintaining compatibility while expanding features and reducing complexity.

The new system is designed to automatically detect and correct data corruption, using metadata checksums stored separately from the page itself. The approach is claimed to detect any form of disk corruption, including degradation of the data on media, while an "integrity streams" option eliminates the possibility of problems caused by power loss during write operations.

ReFS will complement the company's Storage Space technology, which stripes data on multiple disks to protect against data loss due to disk failure. The technologies work in tandem to recover data when a failure or corruption is detected.

"Along with Storage Spaces, ReFS forms the foundation of storage on Windows for the next decade or more," said Microsoft's storage and file-system development manager, Surendra Verma, in a recent blog post. "Together, Storage Spaces and ReFS have been architected with headroom to innovate further, and we expect that we will see ReFS as the next massively deployed file system."

Microsoft is taking a "conservative approach" to beta testing, limiting ReFS availability to Windows Server 8 for continued development. The company intends to bring the technology to client software, however a launch time-frame remains unclear.

by MacNN Staff



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