It’s coming: DRBD for Windows

Unnoticed by many, DRBD ports have been spreading for some time on non-Linux platforms. AVS for (Open-)Solaris has been around for a while, and HAST for FreeBSD joined the club last autumn.

And now, Windows. We have received a generous grant (from a source not wishing to have their identity disclosed in public) to fund a port to the Windows Server platform. Development work on this port has commenced back in mid-January.

It’s pretty exciting technology. Rather than tying in with the standard Windows block layer infrastructure, DRBD-W (that’s just a working title, we’ll eventually come up with a spiffier marketing name) is at the core of a brand new storage architecture. Termed Hyper-S, said architecture is actually a highly scalable, extremely light weight, distributed storage infrastructure for Windows based enterprise clouds.

Thus, the Windows DRBD port will not act as a typical installable Windows disk device driver (the “Press F6” type), but as a special storage service installable on Hyper-V Server, made available to guest machines via a high-throughput, extremely low-latency paravirt I/O interface.

This, all in all, will completely free Windows administrators of any per-machine high availability worries: deploy a guest OS inside the Hyper-V/Hyper-S environment, point, click, go. Storage replication, high availability, cross-site geographical redundancy — all covered one level below.

Expect a webcast on this later this month.

8 Responses to It’s coming: DRBD for Windows

  1. Florian Haas says:

    An update to this post is here.

  2. Michael Kushnir says:

    Terrible. Wicked. 🙂

  3. Dean says:

    Actually what you guys proposed “Hyper-S” would really be the future of storage. If you really pulled it off you could finally free everyone from the constraints of clustered storage and usher in an era of true cloud storage.

    • Florian Haas says:


      Clarification #1: I no longer work at the same company as I did at the time I wrote this, so who you refer to as “you guys” is a group I’m no longer part of. 🙂

      Clarification #2: this post was an April Fool’s Day joke.

      However, as far as the true cloud storage is concerned I’d say that it’s already here, and it’s probably Ceph. See If you’re looking for cloud storage for Windows, in the absence of a native Windows Ceph client, you can use this approach.

    • Jay says:

      Or, you could just use a reasonable “enterprise-y” platform that has this baked in, say, Linux.

      I’m no MCSE, but AFAIK Windows does not have anything like DRBD baked in. It requires expensive SAN hardware or using storage services like EC2 or Azure.

      I have to say, as much as I dislike Windows as a server platform, this April Fool’s post got me pretty excited!

  4. Damjan says:

    Who’s laughing now?
    DRBD for Windows is on its way… but there’s also the Storage Spaces Direct on the way. Are these the same thing or what?

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