Resilient File System (ReFS) in Windows Server 2012

Resilient File System (ReFS) is built atop the NTFS. This file system improves the set of features and reliability than the previous versions of Windows Server. However, currently, there are some limited uses of ReFS so you should learn about the advantages and disadvantages before formatting new volumes.

ReFS was designed in conjunction with the Storage Spaces. Storage Spaces is a Windows Server 2012 role service which enables us to use multiple physical disks for creating logical storage pools. Basically, the idea here is that the storage pools are dynamically expanded or shrunk without perturbing any data contained in them.

According to Microsoft, the largely intended usage of ReFS was to use it on file servers along with the storage spaces. There are other uses for ReFS too, but one of the primary reasons for its conception was to transparently repair the corrupt data from good copies of files on Storage space disk arrays.

ReFS is only available in Windows Server 2012 R2. It cannot format the removable drives. Moreover, an existing NTFS will not become ReFS just like Convert.exe is used to convert FAT32 volume to NTFS. This operation is not permissible with the Windows Server 2012 R2.

Whenever Windows Server 2012 R2 Disk Management Console is used to format a volume, then ReFS can be seen in action. Simple Volume Wizard Interface as in the figure below is shown.

The second area where the ReFS can be seen in action is the Storage Spaces role service as shown in the figure below:

The Windows systems administrators have to familiarize themselves with objective advantages and disadvantages of ReFS to get a better understanding of this file system. Built atop the NTFS, it has several advantages as mentioned in this article but before formatting new volumes, one must know the disadvantages as well.

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