Updates from QA Training

Windows Server 2012 Offload Data Transfer (ODX) Testing

Paul Gregory | 13 June 2013

Windows Server 2012 introduces a new technology that allows any application to be enabled to allow SAN based storage to copy files internally rather than be copied by the Windows Server across the network.

Offload Data Transfer (ODX) supports both the data being copied between LUNs on a single SAN or between LUNs on different SAN's (they have to be the same model). The technology will even support copying of data between 2 Windows Servers which really improves the performance when performing shared nothing live migrations with Hyper-V. The benifits of this are lower CPU utilization, lower Disk I/O lower network utilization but providing much much faster file copy operations. But as it is enabled by default how can you know or test if it is working.

Within Windows Server 2012 the following applications support ODX:

  • Windows Explorer
  • Hyper- V (management operations)
  • Copy commands in Windows PowerShell
  • Copy commands in a command prompt (including RoboCopy)

The simple way to test ODX is to copy a large file from one LUN to another with ODX turned off then record CPU, Network Traffic and Disk I/O in Performance Monitor. Then repeat the same test with ODX turned on. All the measurements should be significantly less on the second test.

To turn ODX on or off the following registry key need to be changed:

hklm\system\currentcontrolset\control\filesystem\FilterSupportedFeaturesMode A value of 0 ODX is enabled a value of 1 ODX is disabled.

Please watch this video to see the steps needed to test this feature, or attend a training course on Windows Server 2012  @QATraining.

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QA Training | Paul Gregory

Paul Gregory

Head of Microsoft Infrastructure

A Microsoft Certified Trainer since 1995, Paul has worked both for and with some of the world's leading IT Services organisations – including Unisys, Dell and Microsoft during the Microsoft Windows (TAP) Technology Adoption Programme. Paul specializes in delivering training around the Windows Operating system as well infrastructure and management solutions around System Center going right back to SMS 1.0. Paul is a frequent visitor to Microsoft's Global Headquarters in Seattle to attend early product workshops and for many years has delivered training courses around the world on behalf of Microsoft. In addition to being actively involved in Microsoft's Windows TAP programme, Paul has recently delivered both Microsoft's Private Cloud 2012 readiness training to partners in the UK and was a member of the Microsoft global training team delivering Windows Server 2012 early adopter training. During recent years Microsoft has requested Paul to deliver System Center training at both Redmond and The South American head office to Microsoft Partners.
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