by Mark Kidd

Accelerating Remote Copy with Windows 8 ODX [STA 2012]

Windows Server 8 Beta includes new Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) technology, which uses extended copy commands to rapidly move massive amounts of data with lower CPU usage and network bandwidth. Sponsors including Microsoft, Dell, HP, NetApp and IBM at the 2012 SCSI Trade Association (STA) Technology Showcase demonstrated how ODX-accelerated transfers may be used in VM deployment, data migration, and tiered storage to lower the cost of hardware deployment and thin provisioning.

Instead of using buffered read and write operations, ODX starts data transfers with an offload read that retrieves a token representing the data from storage, then uses a matching offload write command to request data movement directly from storage to the destination.

The demonstration deployed a virtual machine 30GB VHD image file, using one Windows 2012 server configured as an image server and another configured as a Hyper-V host server, connected through a 1GbE corporate network and a 10GbE storage network. Using ODX, the copy takes approximately 2 minutes with effectively zero network utilization between the Hyper-V host server and the VM Client. Transferring the same image file with traditional data transfer protocols takes approximately 40 minutes and leads to network utilization on the corporate network to fluctuate between 30-99%.

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