Microsoft’s new file system for Windows 8 will only be available in server variants of the operating system, WinRumors has learned.
The software maker is currently readying a new file system as an offshoot to the original concept of Windows Future Storage (WinFS). According to sources familiar with the company’s plans, the new file system is called Resilient File System. The project originally started out as Monolithic NTFS (MNTFS) and then ended up codenamed Protogon before the final Resilient File System (ReFS) naming was chosen. Screenshots from the latest Windows 8 builds surfaced on Thursday demonstrating the new file system in action.
The naming reveals some of the concepts around what Microsoft is trying to achieve with the new file system. The idea is that server variants of Windows 8 will be able to utilise the new technology to improve file system resilience to hardware and software errors. The technology will not be widely used and is designed for specific use by server administrators. As a result, client versions of Windows 8 will not be able to utilise the new file system according to our sources.
Microsoft’s original Windows Future Storage (WinFS) concept made its way into Longhorn (Windows Vista) builds during the early beta phases. WinFS was first demonstrated in 2003 at the company’s Professional Developers Conference. Microsoft promised an advanced storage subsystem designed to manage data by means of a database. The WinFS database would allow any type of information to be stored in it alongside a defined schema for the data type. The idea was to speed up searching and data sharing between applications. Microsoft ditched the idea before Windows Vista was brought to market.
Microsoft hasn’t publicly discussed any plans to incorporate a new file system in Windows 8. The software giant did detail its large disk and large sector support in Windows 8 earlier this week. Microsoft plans to make it possible to install Windows 8 and boot from a 3TB or bigger hard disk. The support will be possible with UEFI firmware systems that allow Microsoft to take advantage of new partitioning techniques to better manage data stored on large disks.