Windows 8's all new file system, ReFS, detailed in new blog post (official)

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by guest, Jan 16, 2012.

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  1. guest

    guest Guest

    Windows 8 users will have an all new file system, known as ReFS, when Microsoft's next operating system officially launches later in 2012. In a new post on Microsoft's official Windows 8 developer blog site, Surendra Verma, one of the development managers on the company's Storage and File System team, offers up more information on how ReFS (which stands for Resilient File System) will work. The current version of Windows uses NTFS (New Technology File System) which has been used since Windows NT 3.1 back in 1993.

    Read more: http://www.neowin.net/news/windows-8s-file-system-refs-detailed-in-new-blog-post
     
  2. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    I thought it was confirmed that it was for Windows Server only? I'll give this a read...

    Cool!

    I'm hoping we see more security built into the fs. So far I see no indication that users will really see any difference between NTFS and ReFS.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  3. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Any news regarding better file management like eXT? :D
     
  4. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    I wonder if NTFS will be able to read ReFS?

    Edit: How is this new file system going to affect drivers?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  5. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    It should be able to read ReFS since they're so similar. Shouldn't effect drivers.
     
  6. Defcon

    Defcon Registered Member

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    NTFS cannot read ReFS. To be specific - e.g. you will not be able to read a ReFS volume on Windows 7.

    This is a FS mostly meant for increased scalability, clustering, and availability. That is why they have features like Storage Spaces. For most applications and users, it will behave just like NTFS. In fact some important features like hard links, streams etc have been removed.
     
  7. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Not much to get excited over from what I've read.
     
  8. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

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    New Filesystem In Windows 8 – ReFS - digitizor.com

    This is what Hungry Man was pointing out.
     
  9. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    So I guess this means a person could not use a linux live CD to recover data from or write data to a non-bootable system. Or even using a USB adapter connected to a Windows 7 computer. Kind of sucks.
     
  10. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    Take Defcon's post with a grain of salt, no where on the blog post does it say that ReFS will be exclusive to Windows 8. Considering the "upper layer API" is the EXACT same as NTFS, it's quite possible any system that can read NTFS can read ReFS. Again, there is 0 point in thinking about a file system that still isn't even finished.
     
  11. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Unless there are significant changes it's not really too relevant to me anyways. I was hoping for further permissions or improved performance. I'm not running a server so none of these things matter to me.
     
  12. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    Thanks for the clarification funkydude.
     
  13. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    The API is application facing, that is reading, writting file data, tranversing directories, permissions etc will all share the same API for the application to use, that is, any app that accesses the filesystem directly.

    Different drivers will be needed (just like different graphics cards need different drivers but still use common interfaces like OpenGL, Direct X etc to program against) for the OS to translate the commands from the API into file system specific operations.

    If you read the article there is an image that points out that there is a ntfs.sys AND a seperate refs.sys driver and this refs.sys driver would need to be backported to older operating systems.
     
  14. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    So does this basically mean that if a hardware vendor decides to not write a driver for Windows 8, that hardware will now be obsolete or am I wrong? I can see Windows 8 becoming another Vista, especially in a corporate environment.
     
  15. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    Why would different drivers be needed? I think you mean current drivers can be updated to support it, which will probably be before Windows 8 is even on the market. You make it sound as if swapping between file systems will require swapping drivers.

    I see, thanks.
     
  16. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Currently we do not know if Win 7 drivers will be 100% forward compatible with Win 8 (they generally work, so probably will, but MS has not confirmed this) - they share very similar driver models (Win8 has a slightly newer version of WDDM, like vista and Win7) so there should be a good chance.

    Cheers, Nick
     
  17. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Yes, swapping file systems will requires different drivers to be loaded by the OS (I am not talking about installing each time though).

    FYI here is an example of different drivers needed for newer versions of NTFS: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310749

    Cheers, Nick.
     
  18. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    So is ReFS "supposed" to be a much touted replacement for NTFS that was meant to be included in Vista, but got scrapped ?
     
  19. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    It seems like it's supposed to be a replacement, but we can't be sure because it currently lacks some things NTFS has, but that could be due to the fact that it isn't finished yet. It's a guess at this point.
     
  20. Defcon

    Defcon Registered Member

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    The new filesystem that was proposed for Vista (before the Vista reset happened) was called WinFS. It was never a replacement for NTFS but ran as a layer above it, and was much more ambitious - it was essentially a database for your files with lots of rich metadata, linking etc. The dream was users and apps would no longer have to deal with drives/files/folders etc.

    What they have done with ReFS is the exact opposite - its now *under* NTFS and provides extra features related to managing volumes, duplication etc. It does nothing to address the problem of what data (spread across files) means, which is what WinFS was designed to do. True to its name, ReFS is simply meant to be more resilient storage.

    I'm going to speculate that one of these will happen -

    1. MS is going to release a ReFS driver for earlier versions of Windows. If Win 8 takes off, and esp if its popular in servers, they would almost certainly do this.

    2. ReFS.sys is going to be reverse engineered by the open source guys, just like they did for NTFS.
     
  21. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    @ Defcon

    Thanks for the info :thumb:
     
  22. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Slight correction, ReFS sits next to NTFS, not under. They share the same system API to program against.

    ReFS does not include any volume management, the new Storages Spaces (which are NOT part of ReFS) which is a new disk manager which sits next to the current Logical Disk Manager in Windows and works with NTFS, but was designed to work with ReFS specifically (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/...rage-for-scale-resiliency-and-efficiency.aspx)

    The current intended use of ReFS is for file servers, I speculate that it will get features added to become more suitable for general desktop usage. It currently can't support the full SQL Server featureset.

    Cheers, Nick
     
  23. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    I wonder if ReFS ends up being better for external data storage, I currently have a mesh of NTFS and exFAT.
     
  24. Gew

    Gew Registered Member

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    Win some, lose some.

    I noticed release candidates on Windows 8 was (leaked?) out some time ago, haven't seen it with my own eyes yet, though. Truthfully, I hadn't even heard about a new file system :oops: Anyways, I think it'll be a blast. Only sad thing is that Micro$oft developers will probably not use an open architecture (I haven't read the Wikipedia article on the file system yet, but I'm pretty sure it's all locked doors there), so it will probably take developers for other operating systems, not the least free ones, eg. -NIX/Linux/BSD, to reach a reliable read/write patch for it. I remember it was only what, half a decade(?), since they finally managed to get the "3g-ntfs" thing to work smooth for read and write. Now, they will probably have to start all over again.

    When reality bites, huh?

    Cheers!
     
  25. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Re: Win some, lose some.

    So, when will you be able to install Windows on it?
     
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