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Why ZNS and ReFS can help future-proof magnetic and flash storage

Zoned storage and Resilient File System (ReFS) use can help businesses future-proof their magnetic and flash storage assets, according to Macrium, which makes disk imaging, file backup and disk cloning software.

“Maintaining compatibility with traditional hard disks is increasingly becoming a bottleneck to both performance and innovation,” Macrium specialists say in a blog post.

“One solution is to move the management of the underlying storage blocks up the stack to the file system, or even into the application for data-intensive cases such as databases.”

By more closely reflecting the real structure of the disk in the interface, the file system can optimise its write patterns around those most efficient for that device, they explain, which can help organisations continue to benefit from ongoing capacity, cost and performance innovations in magnetic and flash storage assets.

“Though many have predicted the death of magnetic media, it still remains the best choice where cost per unit storage is the key metric,” Macrium said.

“As both magnetic and flash continue to drive for more, faster and cheaper storage, transparently emulating 512 byte random access sectors is becoming increasingly inefficient.”

Macrium predicts that the joint promise of both increased performance and cheaper storage from Zoned Name Space (ZNS) devices will finally drive widespread adoption of both ReFS and ZNS devices.

Additionally, ReFS is the only file system inherently capable of supporting host-managed zone structured devices on the Windows platform.

Host-managed shingled magnetic recording (SMR) devices are also likely to become more popular and widely supported, particularly in network-attached storage (NAS) units where cost per unit of storage is key, according to Macrium.

“We are committed to future-proofing Macrium Reflect by added ReFS support to the next major release,” Macrium adds.

Read their full explanation here.

Macrium Reflect 7 was available at the time of writing with a 20% discount and free upgrade to Reflect 8, which Macrium said is coming soon.

(Photo by Rainier Ridao on Unsplash)

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