Windows Server 2012 supersaver No. 7: Scale-out file serverOne of the problems of building systems to meet a specific workload is what to do when you run out of capacity. This can be particularly bothersome when it comes to a storage system with high availability requirements. Traditionally, you'd have to take the system down, install the new hardware, and reconfigure. Windows Server 2012 addresses this issue on several fronts. Clustering plays a central role here along with thin provisioning of Storage Spaces volumes.
ReFS will support volume sizes up to 2^78 bytes (256 zettabytes) using a 16KB cluster size. Single files can be up to 2^64 - 1 bytes (16 exabytes). The maximum size of a single storage pool is 4 petabytes (PB). Suffice to say, you can create extremely large volumes without the need to have the physical disks to match. As demand for capacity increases, you simply add more disks.
In many cases this can be accomplished without taking a server offline. At a minimum you could take individual nodes in a cluster down without taking the entire cluster offline. The same concept applies to compute power in that you simply add more nodes if the demand for processing power increases.
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