Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 - General
Q: How is Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 different from Windows Server 2012 R2?
A: Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 is built on the Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system to provide a platform for network-attached storage appliances. Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 network-attached storage appliances can help reduce storage costs associated with building modern datacenters and private clouds. Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 also provides enhancements to traditional file serving capabilities and extends file based storage for application workloads like Hyper-V, SQL and Internet information Services (IIS).
Q: Can devices based on Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 be used for tasks other than storage?
A: No, these devices are specifically designed to be file servers with large amounts of storage capacity. They cannot be used to deploy business applications such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Exchange Server. Backup, antivirus, and other applications typically used in a file serving environment are supported along with any embedded database functionality including SQL Server and/or MSDE.
Q: Does Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 work only with Windows-based clients and servers?
A: No, Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 is designed to integrate seamlessly into heterogeneous environments with support for all major network operating system protocols including NFS (Unix/Linux), Netware (Novell), AppleTalk, and HTTP.
Q: Can Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 be managed using popular enterprise management utilities such as Systems Management Server, Tivoli, etc.?
A: Yes. Since Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 is based on Windows Server 2012 R2, all popular management frameworks can be used to manage devices built on Windows Storage Server 2012 R2.
Q: What level of Microsoft Active Directory® integration is there with Windows Storage Server 2012 R2?
A: Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 natively supports Active Directory, allowing devices to become full members of existing domains. In addition, existing group policies can be used to manage access to Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 devices, which is not true for devices using operating systems other than Windows. *Note that this product cannot be a domain controller.*
Q: How scalable is Windows Storage Server 2012 R2?
A: There are two different OEM models that are scalable through the addition of disk drawers to the main filer. Multiple devices can also be added to the network to increase capacity as needed. The NTFS file system that powers Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 has no limits (over four billion tested) in terms of the number of files on a volume and each NTFS volume can be up to 256 terabytes in size (tested). Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 also introduces a new storage virtualization capability called Storage Spaces. This feature allows you to use commodity storage with virtual space pools, which can then be provisioned as Storage Spaces. What this means, in scalability terms, is that the Storage Space can be formatted and accessed, just like a physical drive, and dynamically resized with the addition of more physical drives to the storage pool.
Q: Does Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 interact with Active Directory?
A: Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 can authenticate and use existing Active Directory group policies without the need for a dedicated server to manage the Active Directory service. This makes integration into existing environments easier for administrators and less costly to organizations.
Q: How is antivirus protection implemented on Windows Storage Server 2012 R2?
A: Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 can run all popular Windows antivirus applications to scan data on storage devices. There is no need for additional servers, and no performance impact due to extra workload.
Q: What are the high-availability features of Windows Storage Server 2012 R2?
A: Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 integrates Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) as a standard feature and allows up to 512 point-in-time shadow copies of data per volume when integrated with applications for rapid file recovery due to accidental deletion or corruption. In addition, the Shadow Copies for Shared Folders feature (enabled by the in-box provider) provides 64 point-in-time copies, as well as end user restore capabilities. Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 also introduces a new local file system called Resilient File System (ReFS). ReFS maximizes data availability and online operation, despite errors that would historically cause data loss or downtime. ReFS is designed to detect disk corruption, including degradation of data on media.
Q: Other NAS devices have snapshots, so what makes the Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Volume Shadow Copy Services feature different?
A: Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 makes possible up to 512 point-in-time shadow copies per volume, which is critical to manage a flexible shadow copy schedule, whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly. VSS is currently the only snapshot technology that can integrate with applications to ensure high-fidelity backups
Q: Can Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) or Systems Management Server (SMS) components be run on Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 devices?
A: Any agent that can be run on Windows Server 2012 R2 can be run on Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 (CA Unicenter, MOM, SMS, Tivoli, OpenView, etc.).
Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 - Troubleshooting
Q: Why can't I see some of the shared files and directories on the NAS server from a Windows XP system?
A: The problem comes when trying to browse files or directories from an Windows XP based system with Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed. You may be able to see top level directories fine. When you try to open the next levels of directories down the path, at some point, NO files or folders show up where they are supposed to.
The share problem has been linked to hotfix KB885250:
Please try uninstalling the hotfix on the Windows XP SP2 client and that will likely solve the problem.
Also, Hotfix KB896427 supposedly resolves this problem (see below link)
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