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Remote Storage Tools and Settings

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Remote Storage Tools and Settings

In this section

Remote Storage enables you to extend disk space on your server without adding more hard disks. Remote Storage automatically copies eligible files on your local volumes to a library of magnetic tapes or magneto-optical disks. Remote Storage then monitors the amount of space available on your local volumes.

When the amount of available space on a local volume falls below the level that you designate, Remote Storage automatically removes the content (data) from a sufficient number of eligible (or premigrated) files and migrates this content to an attached storage device, thus freeing up disk space on the volume. When data is removed from a file, the logical size of the file remains the same, and to the user, the file appears unchanged, but the physical size of the file is reduced to 1 KB. Content in other premigrated files is not removed until more disk space is needed. When you need to open a file whose data has been removed, the data is automatically recalled from remote storage. To find more information about these processes, see What Is Remote Storage? in “What is Remote Storage?” See also How Remote Storage Works and How Remote Storage Works in “How Remote Storage Works.”

Remote Storage runs on Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition; and the 64-bit versions of these operating systems. Remote Storage is also available on Windows 2000 Server. However, Remote Storage is not installed by default. To install Remote Storage, you can select Remote Storage during Setup, or you can later manually install Remote Storage through Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel. You can only use Remote Storage to manage NTFS volumes.

Levels of data storage

Remote Storage data storage is hierarchical, with two defined levels. The upper level, called local storage, includes the NTFS disk volumes of the computer running Remote Storage. The lower level, called remote storage, includes the automated media library or stand-alone tape or disk drive that is connected to the server.

Remote Storage supports all SCSI-class 4-mm tape, 8-mm tape, digital linear tape (DLT), and magneto-optical devices that are supported by Removable Storage. (To find more information about Removable Storage, see What Is Removable Storage? To find more information about the relationship between Remote Storage and Removable Storage, see How Remote Storage Works in “How Remote Storage Works.”) Remote Storage does not support quarter-inch cartridge (QIC) tape libraries, rewritable compact disks (CD-RWs), or rewritable DVDs (DVD-RWs).

Retrieval of stored files

When you need to access a file on a volume managed by Remote Storage, you simply open the file as usual. If the data for the file is no longer on your local volume, Remote Storage recalls the data from a media library. Because this can take more time than usual, Remote Storage removes the data only from those files on your local volumes that you are least likely to need, based on criteria that you set.

Coordination with other tools

Remote Storage uses Removable Storage to access the applicable tapes that are contained in libraries. Remote Storage also works with Backup for data recovery, and with Task Scheduler to schedule file copy operations. For information about Removable Storage, see Removable Storage Technical Reference For information about Backup, see Backup Technical Reference

Remote Storage also provides certain data-recovery features, including the ability to generate multiple copies of data in remote storage.

Business benefits

Remote Storage provides several significant business benefits, including the following:

  • A low-cost solution for archiving files that are seldom accessed, but should still be available.

  • A low-cost solution that enables virtual expansion of local storage space.

  • Transparent automatic access to data in remote storage.

  • Automation of the labor-intensive overhead that is associated with daily manual data-management operations.

  • Centralized sharing of remote storage devices for multiple volumes.

Note

  • Using Remote Storage to copy files to remote storage is not the same as backing up your files. You should follow a regular schedule of data backups, which includes backing up the contents of the local volumes that Remote Storage manages. You should also back up the Remote Storage database and other program files located in the System32\RemoteStorage folder.

Note

  • Do not create File Replication service (FRS) replica sets on a volume that is managed by Remote Storage. In addition, do not add a volume to Remote Storage that contains directories that are part of an FRS replica set. Otherwise, you might severely impact system performance and possibly cause data loss within your media library.

  • FRS might need to periodically read every file in the replica set to send the file contents to another computer. This causes FRS to recall all files that Remote Storage has sent to secondary storage, which might take a long time (hours or days). If you use tape for your secondary storage, remember FRS recalls files in directory order rather than media order, so the excessive number of tape seeks performed by FRS will likely ruin the tapes and cause data loss.

Remote Storage Tools

The following tools are associated with Remote Storage.

Remote Storage Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Snap-in

Category

Part of Windows Server 2003.

Version compatibility

Runs on Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition; and the 64-bit versions of these operating systems. It is also available on Windows 2000 Server.

The Remote Storage MMC snap-in is an administrative interface to Remote Storage. With the Remote Storage snap-in, you can:

  • Set the device type while running the Remote Storage Setup Wizard the first time you start the snap-in, and subsequently view media state and utilization.

  • Set Remote Storage system-wide feature options.

  • View information about Remote Storage activity.

  • Recover from media disasters.

  • Create and submit jobs.

Rss.exe: Rss

Category

Part of Windows Server 2003.

Version compatibility

Runs on Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition; and the 64-bit versions of these operating systems. It is also available on Windows 2000 Server.

You can use Rss.exe to manage Remote Storage from the command line. Using the rss command, you can run batch scripts for applications that will allow them to access Remote Storage directly.

To find more information about Remote Storage command-line parameters, see Command-Line References in the Tools and Settings Collection.

Rsdiag.exe: Remote Storage Diagnostic Tool

Category

Part of Windows Server 2003. However, it is not installed by default. You must install Rsdiag.exe separately from the Support\Reskit\Stormgmt\Rstool folder on the Windows Server 2003 operating system disc.

Version compatibility

Runs on Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition; and the 64-bit versions of these operating systems. It is also available on Windows 2000 Server.

You can use Rsdiag.exe to examine remote storage databases and display diagnostic information. Rsdiag.exe can output the contents of remote storage databases and property files to text files. You can use Rsdiag.exe and Rsdir.exe together to diagnose problems in the databases and to recover lost data.

To find more information about Rsdiag.exe, see Resource Kit Tools Help in the Tools and Settings Collection.

Rsdir.exe: File Information Tool

Category

Part of Windows Server 2003. However, it is not installed by default. You must install Rsdir.exe separately from the Support\Reskit\Stormgmt\Rstool folder on the Windows Server 2003 operating system disc.

Version Compatibility

Runs on Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition; and the 64-bit versions of these operating systems. It is also available on Windows 2000 Server.

You can use Rsdir.exe to examine reparse points and display information for managed files.

To find more information about Rsdir.exe, see Resource Kit Tools Help in the Tools and Settings Collection.

Remote Storage Registry Entries

The following registry entry is associated with Remote Storage.

The information provided here is a reference for use in troubleshooting or verifying that the required settings are applied. It is recommended that you do not directly edit the registry unless there is no other alternative. Modifications to the registry are not validated by the registry editor or by Windows before they are applied, and as a result, incorrect values can be stored. This can result in unrecoverable errors in the system. When possible, use Group Policy or other Windows tools, such as Microsoft Management Console (MMC), to accomplish tasks rather than editing the registry directly. If you must edit the registry, use extreme caution.

TapeTypesToSupport

Registry path

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CurrentControlSet\Services\Remote_Storage_Server\Parameters\

Version

Windows Server 2003

Data Type

REG_MULTI_SZ

Each string in this multi-string value corresponds to an additional tape device that you want to support (in addition to those that are supported by default: 4-mm, 8-mm and DLT). Each string contains a number that corresponds to the tape device serial number as it appears in STORAGE_MEDIA_TYPE enumeration. For more information about STORAGE_MEDIA_TYPE enumeration, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=99314.

The only currently supported value is "86", which represents the LTO Ultrium tape device. Add this value if you want to use an LTO Ultrium tape device with Remote Storage. You need to add the value prior to completing the Remote Storage Setup Wizard, which starts the first time that you run the Remote Storage MMC snap-in.

Remote Storage Group Policy Settings

There are no Group Policy settings associated with Remote Storage.

Remote Storage WMI Classes

There are no WMI classes associated with Remote Storage.

Network Ports Used by Remote Storage

Remote Storage does not utilize any network ports.

Related Information

The following resources contain additional information that is relevant to this section.

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