With the new Windows Server 2012 there are several improvements in the storage part, expecially when we apply to a Hyper-V enviroment.
The main news on the storage part, is that now is possible build a Windows Fail-Over Cluster with a shared SMB3 share and use it for store VMs (in a similar way as NFS could be use to NAS connectivity on a VMware vSphere cluster). Also a specific function (Virtual Fibre Channel) as been added to map a FC SAN LUN directly to a VM (similar to the same function in VMware vSphere).
The different scenarios are now changed from the Pre-2012 (on the left) and the new 2012 version (on the right):
The new CSV2 could also be used with SMB3 to build a Scale Out FileServer (SOFS) and implement an active-active clustered fileserver that could also scale-in by adding more disks and/or bays. But note that the shared enabled for applications (like Hyper-V or SQL Server 2012) have some limits (for example DFS could not be used with FRS to replicate the share content on two or more modes).
For more information about SMB history:
- Windows Server 2012: Which version of the SMB protocol (SMB 1.0, SMB 2.0, SMB 2.1 or SMB 3.0) you are using on your File Server?
- Microsoft SMB Protocol and CIFS Protocol Overview
- Wikipedia Page
The best resource site for SMB is John Barreto’s Blog: