ReFS – Robust File System Replacement for NTFS in Microsoft Windows Server

Introduced as part of the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Operating System, ReFS (Resilient File System) is a long-awaited successor/replacement to the admired NTFS.

A Step Ahead From NTFS

ReFS, despite having some code base from NTFS, is a different file system. It will have its own mechanism for keeping up with file metadata, unlike NTFS; and will be applicable for storage of large amounts of data. We look at the significant advantages that this proprietary file system will provide in comparison to NTFS:

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  1. High Capacity

ReFS offer maximum volume size of 262,144 Exabytes, which was limited to 16 Exabytes maximum with NTFS. Apart from the volume size, the other welcome change is that it supports long file names and file path. Characters can be up to 32,768 unicode long, and file path size can be up to 32K.

  1. Enhanced Data Integrity

ReFS takes data integrity to a completely new level, with storage of Cheksum separately from the data packages, which allows all types of disk corruption detection easily. NTFS allowed for disk corruption detection through several mechanisms.

  1. Integrity streams in ReFS

The NTFS is not good at handling data during a power failure. NTFS use to invalidate write operation during power failure, which leads to data corruption. But the integrity system of ReFS handles this very well, by creating a new copy of the metadata, preventing the original data intact with consistent recovering from power outages.

  1. Continuous Volume Availability

NTFS takes a volume offline when it gets corrupted, to run CHDSK, which prevents the volume to be used during the CHKDSK run process. Whilst, ReFS does not take the volume offline; instead removes the corrupt data, alleviating spread of data corruption, and allowing continuous usage of the volume.

Mainstream file system in future Windows Servers

Primarily used as a file system for file servers, ReFS is slated to be the mainstream file system for future Windows Servers.

A professional and comprehensive Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 training course would help build extensive ReFS application base knowledge for professionals working in the domain. Future Microsoft training courses pertaining to windows server will also include ReFS as the main file system.

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