Question: What are the advantages of storing a virtual machine on a Server Message Block file share?
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
Answer: The ability to store virtual machines (VMs) on an SMB file share was a feature Microsoft introduced in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3.0. Prior to this release, organizations had a few different options for storing VMs, including direct-attached storage, SCSI pass-through disks, Fibre Channel storage area network and iSCSI storage.
More on Hyper-V SMB file shares
Fault tolerance improvements, more speed features of SMB 3.0
SMB 3.0 development on hold until Windows Server 2012
SMB 2.2 in Windows Server 8 gives Microsoft cloud a boost
In the case of a standalone Hyper-V server, being able to move the VM to SMB storage means not having to provision the host server with local storage for VM use. VMs are demanding in terms of disk I/O and a storage array is almost always required for adequate VM performance. Organizations might be able to avoid the expense of a dedicated storage array if they already have a high-performance file server with enough free space to accommodate the VM.
In the case of a failover cluster, previous versions required the use of a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV). This type of shared storage was expensive to implement and often put Hyper-V clusters financially out of reach for smaller organizations. In Hyper-V 3.0, SMB storage can be used as an alternative to a CSV.
It is worth noting that although Hyper-V supports placing VMs on SMB storage, the file server must be running Windows Server 2012 with the SMB 3.0 protocol (previously known as SMB 2.2). Furthermore, the use of SMB storage for VMs is primarily geared toward smaller organizations. Bandwidth limitations make the use of SMB storage impractical for large numbers of VMs.
Dig Deeper on Microsoft Hyper-V management
Related Q&A from Brien Posey
Social network backup tools are hard to find, but they are out there. Like with file data, your organization should make sure its social media data ...continue reading
The idea of chargebacks is to help organizations use private cloud resources efficiently by making departments pay for what they use, but the ...continue reading
Microsoft Word may be the go-to application for word processing, but there are solid alternatives that organizations can turn to instead.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.