Microsoft is offering a new product called the File Server Capacity Tool (FSCT) to provision file servers. The tool originates from its use as a Microsoft internal tool for file servers. This TechNet blog gives a history of how FSCT became a candidate for a customer product.
FSCT will plan servers using CIFS, SMB, or SMB2 storage protocols. The FSCT product will also offer guidance on performance and the maximum number of users, as well as provide additional counters for monitoring file resources.FSCT planning elements will work across storage devices and Active Directory-based users in a domain. Figure A shows this communication flow. Figure A
Note that FSCT doesn't provide any silver bullet related to your storage, as "the storage is the storage." Simply knowing where best to place and provision the storage is where FSCT can aid administrators.
Check out the FSCT forum for the beta and release candidate to see what other admins are going through with the product. It may also be worth exploring the FSCT release candidate, which is available through registration on the Microsoft Connect site (sign in to the site and search for "FSCT").
For more information on FSCT and other storage-related technologies for Windows, keep an eye on Microsoft blogger Jose Barreto's site.
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Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.