On Sept, 20, 2011, Microsoft announced the availability of new spec for SMB 2.2 at the Storage Developer’s Conference. Earlier this year, Microsoft asked NetApp to add support for SMB 2.2 in Data ONTAP for mission-critical Microsoft workloads on SMB including Hyper-V and SQL Server.
NetApp worked with Microsoft to understand the Microsoft design and recommended improvements to this new version of the SMB protocol.
SMB 2.2 offers greatly improved resilience to network and server outages over previous versions of SMB. With SMB2.2, Microsoft on NetApp customers can deploy enterprise Hyper-V workloads on NAS and gain all the benefits seen with the use of other hypervisors over file protocols.
SMB2.2 will be included in Windows Server 8 which is scheduled to be released in the 2012 (no dates have yet been announced).
Benefits of SMB 2.2 for NetApp and Microsoft Customers
1. Improved Flexibility
The new SMB 2.2 protocol in Windows Server 8 will allow Microsoft on NetApp customers to deploy Hyper-V over Ethernet-based storage using CIFs. This provides more flexibility in how customers can now deploy Microsoft apps on Hyper-V. Joint customers can deploy virtualized shared IT infrastructures on the networked storage architecture that best meets their needs.
The combination of NetApp’s Cluster mode architecture including unified storage with Microsoft’s support for virtualization using file and block based storage will enable joint customers to architect and deploy a true private cloud architecture that is both flexible and efficient. Customers need not worry about protocols. Instead, they can use the architecture that meets their needs and leverage NetApp’s market leading storage efficiency capabilities (deduplication, expand/reduce storage space on the fly, cloning, rapid backup and restore, cost effective DR) to meet business needs.
2. Improved Manageability and Scalability
Deploying Hyper-V over SMB offers manageability and scalability benefits. Ethernet-based protocols such as SMB simplify provisioning and management plus it also provides the flexibility for customers to rapidly move and re-purpose storage resources which are a key requirement in private cloud architectures. File-based implementations are also typically cost-effective as they do not require special Fibre Channel SAN expertise or training and allow IT teams to leverage standard Ethernet knowledge. Lastly SMB allows customers to scale their management tasks. It is much easier to manage and implement data protection for hundreds or even thousands of virtual machines on a NAS than it is on a SAN.
3. Continuous Availability (CA)
The new SMB protocol offers continuous availability features and when combined with NetApp’s HA and DR capabilities, offer joint customers a very highly available infrastructure that reduces application downtime.
4. Lower IT Costs
Support for Hyper-V over SMB can lowers costs. Microsoft on NetApp customers can leverage their existing Ethernet infrastructure and not have to spend on expensive Fibre Channel gear as well as leverage existing Ethernet skill sets. NetApp is one of the only vendors that can support both protocols in a single storage system, further lowering operational and capital costs.