This is everything that you want in Windows file services – only better.
Sure, you could go buy a copy of Windows Server 2008 on DVD and build your own file server from your favorite server hardware vendor – mine being torn between HP and Dell, since I grew up in Texas. But why? This is built on the same base, but comes out of the box and serving data within 30 minutes (not including messing with server-rack rails). But Microsoft takes the OS, tweaks it from its default settings to optimize it for file services, and then adds extra file/storage capabilities.
Think of it like a Ford Mustang engine. Sure, the one from Detroit that comes in the car is nice. The GT is better than the base package. Think of WSS08 like a Saleen!!. It is really tweaked for one purpose – file IO, not SQL or Exchange or webserving, but storage and file services.
And then Microsoft adds de-duplication (Single Instance Storage) which is as hot a topic in IT as anything today. And the iSCSI Software target lets you offer block storage and file service in the same appliance. Then, the OEM hardware partners take their ‘stock’ hardware – like a Dell PowerEdge – and make it a PowerVault (with more tweaks and additions). File Serving is one of the most popular uses for Windows Server, so why not get it as tricked out as possible – from the same hardware and software vendors that you already trust for the rest of your server infrastructure (instead of a proprietary NAS filer).
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