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Running Microsoft SQL Server 2012 on a Scale-Out File Server Cluster via SMB Direct Connection – Solution Utilizing IBM System x Servers

Document Author:
Additional Author(s):

Kent R Swalin
Quang Le

Document ID:


Doc. Organization:

Systems and Technology Group

Document Revised:


Product(s) covered:

DS3500; SQL Server; xSeries

Abstract: File Servers are well known for providing common storage repositories for shared documents, images, and user file storage. The Server Message Block (SMB) protocol is the file sharing protocol that is used by default on Windows file servers. Now with SMB Direct in Windows ServerŽ 2012, a Scale-Out File Server using IBM System x Servers, IBM Storage, IBM Networking and ChelsioŽ T4 adapters can provide high performance file shares that are continuously available for applications such as Microsoft SQL ServerŽ 2012. SMB Direct which is SMB over Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA), was introduced in Windows Server 2012. SMB Direct has the typical benefits of SMB file storage: it is easy to provision, manage, and migrate.

File server administrators can provide scale-out file shares and continuously available file services to server applications and respond to increased demands quickly by simply adding more servers to the cluster or bringing more storage online. All of this can be done in a production environment and it is transparent to the server application.

WS2012-FS-SMBdirect v9.pdfWS2012-FS-SMBdirect v9.pdf


Hardware; Solutions


Product Positioning


ISV Applications




IBM System x Family




x3650 M4, x3550 M4, Windows Server 2012, SQL Server 2012, SMB Direct, RDMA

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