Home > General Development > WinFS Overview – Storage Innovation for Longhorn WinFS Overview – Storage Innovation for Longhorn Eugenia Loli 2003-12-13 General Development 34 Comments Quentin Clark provides an overview of WinFS, including what benefits it produces, what it is, and how it’s put together. This MSDN TV episode introduces WinFS as a basis for more detailed presentations. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 34 Comments 2003-12-13 1:42 am Am I the only one that gets really scared when they say they’re expecting hardrives on desktop systems to be hundreds of Gb, if not in the Tb range, by the time Longhorn is released? I’ve got 60Gb here, and the only way I’d possibly fill it is by dumping my entire CD collection on the disk (I already have most of it sitting on one 15Gb partition). Just wtf does anyone need a Tb sized hardrive for on a desktop system? 2003-12-13 1:47 am it looks like a self extracting cab file to me, try using cabextract to open it. bebits should have it. the file is in wmv format, but you should be able to find a player that handles it. osnews seems to be an OS news site, since when has it ever been totally alternative? 2003-12-13 1:49 am I agree to an extent. I just bought an 80 gig HD and most of the crap on it is media files. I have about 20 gigs of mp3s and about 10 gigs worth of video. System files and apps? Less than 5 gigs. 20 gigs of mp3s comes out to like what a months worth of music, playing nonstop? If i had 1 terabyte of mp3s i could listen to music for…a couple lifetimes? 2003-12-13 1:53 am its ms. you know the guys who suffer from bloatitus lol. they thing everything will be bigger better. umm reality check says no. Linux and other oses have been able to do more with little 😀 which is always a good thing. The only reason for such large files would be maybe movies and higher quality media(something ms doesnt do with their wmp format lol) ahh its just as well. well be forced into upgrading the hardware because ms will be big therefore getting suckered into their protection hardware which will eventually be used to spy on us lol. Ok maybe they wont but still food for though lol. you know back in 1993 i did word processing and spreadsheets on a mac lc III 25 mhz comp with 32 mb ram, 80 mb HardDisk and no CD Rom. Tell me why ms office has to be on one cd? like sure it looks prettier, has more features, but you know it doesnt need to be that big I think. Hmm. well see well see, production work yes. home office though, if they can cling onto their old os/systems they will. heh i know some people that prefer 98 over xp any day. 2003-12-13 2:31 am Why do people always think they are the center of the OS universe and the way they use computers is the way everyone, businesses and home users alike, uses computers? Information is expanding an an exponential rate that is, quite frankly, staggering. WinFS addresses the ability to sift through this mass of data and find specific, useful pieces quickly and easily. With digital cameras, digital video cameras and digital music distribution in their infancy, data storage requirements will only grow as digital media grows. Believe me when I say this, digital video files are huge and some digital cameras files are quite large as well. 32-64MB per image is not unheard of nor unrealistic for semi-pro or pro digital SLRs. Just because your tiny little brain cannot comprehend this concept does not mean it is not a reality or will be a reality when Longhorn is released. You should try expanding your mind instead of putting yout head in teh sand and ignoring everything MS does, assuming it is irrelevant just because the groupthink on geek tech sites tells you to do so. 2003-12-13 2:35 am There’s an inherent difference between RAM and harddisk size. In all honesty, the ONLY forseable thing that a drive that large would be needed for is Media (Music, Movies, Movies for Games (WC3 comes to mind), Images (again, probably for games)). Currently, most mp3s are encoded to 128kbs out of consideration for the size. If we had larger harddrives, MP3s would be encoded to 192+ all the time. This turns a 10GB Music collection into a nearly 20GB Music Collection. I also know that if I download flac files (I prefer flac, actually) that a CD can take up almost 500MB. I own roughly 50 CDs, so that’s what… 25GB not including the music I download? To reiterate… MEDIA! 2003-12-13 2:35 am As mentioned, video is one thing that takes up lots of space. Another would be all the WinFS metadata extracted from files (or items in Winfs) indexed every which way. Also I think they envision lots of WinFS data you use being on the local drive and replicated/synchronized with central servers so that on-the-go users without a constant connection to the net can still have access to everything they might need. I’m not sure if I buy into that vision. As with most people, most of my GB are in media files. 18GB of music. 68GB of DVD projects in various states of completion. 9GB of VirtualPC images. 1GB of music projects. 5 GB of other “multimedia” files. Even 6GB of random downloads of demo games, software, and the like. Then there is my 2 GB of “normal” files and 40MB of email (which I don’t archive in perpetuity like some people I know). It’s nice to have so much space (240GB right now) that you don’t need to care what you keep and how big it is. Information at you fingertips indeed Still only a 1/10 of the way to 1 TB but give me time 2003-12-13 2:44 am Longhorn is not made for you poor people complaining about paying few extra $ for features you like, people like you just stay with Linux and stopp annoing us with your non-sense. It’s just like when the DVDs were first comming, people like you complaining about them. People like you ALWAYS complain when people try to “invent” things and go farther into the future, you have alternates to it, no one is forcing you, just stop this, I’m getting very pissed off every time I read about “new” technology half of the people start talking it down like sh**. —The only reason for such large files would be maybe movies and higher quality media(something ms doesnt do with their wmp format lol)— >Right, have you even seen WM9? they are the only “cinema ready” codecs and has the best DRM there is. Stop talking badly about things you don’t even know, download the video clips from microsoft of Terminator2 Extreme edition for example ( that btw was limited by the detail of the film, not the codec ), or try making high-res video your self with the free windows media encoder. 2003-12-13 3:14 am Right now people have around 10GB-20GB of MP3. In 3-4 years, people will store movies on their computers instead of burning them to a CD or DVD ,1TB will be comon as a hard drive capacity. 2003-12-13 3:28 am Sorry but this is going to be off-topic and maybe moderated down. I’m just curious about how well Windows Media Player 9 works for others. My experience on Mac OS X that WMP is the worst of the three major players. It may be due to the way particular clips I’ve seen were encoded; but the quality wasn’t very good, and there has always been a lot of interrupted playback while buffering video streams. I’ve seen the same behavior with WMP on Windows also. In contrast, Quicktime streams launch very quickly and then play uninterrupted, with excellent video quality in my opinion. I would even rate the quality of Real Player as better than WMP9, but on OS X the player window doesn’t quite behave as a native app. It may be better on another system. Of course Microsoft is using their own format here, I can understand that. But I don’t understand why they chose to package the video in a way that it won’t work on their cross-platform player. I guess this promotional material was meant for a limited audience. As to WinFS, that is the most impressive and potentially advantageous feature of Longhorn that’s been announced. A true database for storing files could truy change the GUI interface. There would no longer be a need for windows and folders; everything could just be saved to disk, and then found again based on type and name. I think such a system could actually work better for many people. I’ve seen a lot of disorganized desktops. People just save files wherever the file dialog first suggests: be it the Documents folder or the Desktop. WinFS is potentially very cool, but the interface and performance remain to be seen. 2003-12-13 3:39 am So you got 60 GB?! Well, I got 40 here and my disk is full. It’s only one OS and I don’t have more than a dozen mp3, actually, I never had much more, ever. I have a high end CD player, so I don’t tap myself on the back for having 1.000.000 lousy-quality mp3 through a lousy SB Live or whatever 98% of the users are having. I don’t have 1000 warez either, I am “too old” now for keeping this type of collection I never actually ever really used. What’s your problem with large drives? In case you haven’t noticed yet, they got bigger by the minute ever since, and cheaper, too. I chose 2x 120 for a backup of a friend’s office 6 month ago, now he already upgraded to 2x 300 — which seems absolutely logical to me with respect to the price. Get over it. But if you feel better, I can sell you my used 20 GB drives.. 😉 2003-12-13 4:13 am If MS weren’t so stupid they’d have bought Be Inc. and be 5 years ahead og the game. “NEW” technology my A**. 2003-12-13 4:13 am Why is everyone complaining about what he is saying about the size of Desktop Hard Drives. THere currently exist very inexpensive 300 GB hard drives http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=100677 Longhorn will be here in 2 years. I don’t find this unrealistic. Today for a little more that $500 dollars you can get 1/2 Terabyte! When an OS vendor develops software, they always have to look 5-8 years in advance. 2003-12-13 4:41 am Sorry but this is going to be off-topic and maybe moderated down. I’m just curious about how well Windows Media Player 9 works for others. My experience on Mac OS X that WMP is the worst of the three major players. On OS X it probably is – much like Quicktime Player under Windows is a steaming pile (and only marginally better on OSX, at that). WMP9 on Windows is ok, although I must admit I only use it for files good old WMP2 can’t open. Video quality (particularly streaming) is so dependent on the source it’s nearly impossible to compare. Without knowing anything about who encoded the video and what they were targeting when they did, it’s not possible to judge relative player and codec qualities. 2003-12-13 4:41 am And while they’re at it, maybe they can find a way to kill the damn hard drive whine. I’ve got 3 machines on my home LAN with a total of 5 hard drives (2 of them 120GB) and half of them squeal like crazed banshees. So, as far as I’m concerned, size it’s the problem with hard drives .. it’s the noise that annoys. 2003-12-13 4:49 am Am I the only one that gets really scared when they say they’re expecting hardrives on desktop systems to be hundreds of Gb, if not in the Tb range, by the time Longhorn is released? No, but probably for different reasons (and I seriously doubt desktop drives are going to be anywhere near the TB range in only a few years, but they’ll probably be a couple of hundred GBs). I get concerned because hard disks today are frighteningly unreliable (I’ve yet to have a new drive purchased within the last two years – of any major brand – last out those two years without having some sort of failure). As things like digital cameras, online music, PVRs etc become more mainstream, the home computer is going to have more and more “valuable” data on it that people would normally keep in photo albums, on videotape, on CDs, etc. Then one day the drive will go click and all the photos, movies, documents, records will be gone. Backing up isn’t really an option either, because the only decent backup media – tape – is incredibly expensive for more than a few tens of gigs. CDRs and DVDRs suffer from the same problem current drives do – fragility. Very little modern CDR and DVDR media lasts for more than a couple of years, even if stored properly and added to that, a DVDR only stores about 4.3G of data – you’d need thirty (and two or three days) just to backup *current* average sized drives. 2003-12-13 4:49 am What other purpose does WinFS serve? It’s like they want to make people upgrade thier hardware more often than nessesary or something Sure a DB could be advantageous if done properly, like being only used on files that need it, and using a very fast and light DB. But we all know it will be a buggy bloated mess that’ll give you 1/4 the performence of winXP on the same hardware. 2003-12-13 4:57 am Actually, in the past half year both Maxtor and Western Digital moved to Fluid Dynamic Bearings for all of their HDD’s. This makes them substantially quieter than the old ball-bearing versions with a slightly reduced rate of failure, and brings them in line with Seagate’s excellent Barracuda line. They’re not silent, but they’re not the screamers that they used to be. To add to the hard drive debate, It seems like the best use of more hard drive space is… Backing up other hard drives. Honestly, I’m starting to suspect these things have little built-in self-destruct timers set to the maximum length of the warranty. 2003-12-13 5:03 am Being able to backup these vast amounts of data worries me too, especially in the home user sector where tape is less prevalent. One answer I suppose is yet more hard drives in external enclosures. Maxtor has this whole line of “one touch backup” firewire drives these days. I can forsee a Longhorn version that comes with WinFS sync software to backup your data as it changes. In fact 1+ TB drives would be even more useful for backup as they would let you more easily backup multiple versions of files. The tradeoff is the expectation that both your primary and backup hard drive won’t fail at the same time or before a replacement can be purchased and synched. 2003-12-13 5:15 am The download is an exe and I’m on Linux only – so I cannot watch the video. Deliberately? One day (in the distant future) we’ll hopefully not each have to fill up our hard drives with the same identical content but will be able to download from a faster web as needed for one low monthly fee and just keep what we use the most in a hard drive cache. Most of the stuff on everyone’s hard drive – what ever it is – is seldomly used anyway. But the hard drive vendors won’t like that trend. 2003-12-13 6:40 am So I got a 20GB HDD, and it’s full with just WinXP. Why? I use a LOT of programs, and store a lot of data for my work. I could easily see myself filling 60GB were it not for my CD writer. 1TB? Oh yes please! When? 2003-12-13 6:47 am You are talking about streaming videos, you usually don’t store them on your HDD do you streaming videos depend totally on the source of video clip, how it’s encoded and your internet connection. WM9 has the best solutions in streaming technologies today and were one of the first, if not first to allow 5.1 streams. Now back to the real deal, non streaming technologies. BTW QuickTime is a major pain in the a** for Windows users and we constantly hope for it to die because of it is a horrible player with a horrible interface and horrible video quality by comparasion. Real player is also sometimes pain in the a** as it’s not designed by any special programming rules, just by what horrible way real networks think it should be. The kind of thing I was talking about taking a lot of space are windows media HQ videos, like the ones used in Terminator2 extreme edition. It requires at least 2.4GHZ P4 to play “acceptable” although better is reccommended. It has much higher resolution than ordinary DVDs. Plus there is no competive way of digial rights management on the marked, today you can rent lot of movies in “self destructive” wm9 format and because of it’s extremely difficult to crack it’s the only video “standart” capable of being used in digital cinemas. Lot of hardware makers are working theire a**es on hardware players to play this so this thing is surely going to stay here for some time, Microsoft does not give up so easily on something they have invested as much in. 2003-12-13 6:53 am I’m pretty heavily into the anime/manga (Japanese animation and comics) scene online, and can tell you that tb-sized hds and winfs will be here none too soon. I’ve got about 280gig on my box, and it’s FILLED. That breaks down to about 5gigs for apps/os, 25gigs of music (lots of soundtracks of various animes at 320kps), 20 gigs of manga, and all the rest video. Trying to organise that many mp3s, images, and videos can be quite a challenge. Tech like winfs would allow me to quickly find and index things by many different types of metadata, such as the original artist, the director of the show, or even the team that subtitled the movie (hundreds of online teams are involved in subtitling stuff, it’s very much like the open source movement). Please please please, and the sooner the better, for both tb hds and winfs. 2003-12-13 7:23 am imagine the multiboot box you could build with all those lovely bytes? why you could have a full install of every os/nos of yesterday today and tomorrow. system commander 2010 would look so pretty! 2003-12-13 7:25 am 97% of computer users don’t suffer from this problem 2003-12-13 7:51 am Most HDTV rippers prefer using WMV9 video codec (and the original AC3 audio signal) — to compress HDTV movies from HBO and Showtime into a single DVD-R disc. The original signal in mepg2 is too big to fit in a single DVD-R disc and the xvid codec is not good enough visually (comparing with wmv9). Encoding a HDTV takes about 8 hours — that’s why it will be a while for Microsoft to introduce a Windows Media Center Edition with HDTV capability. http://www.patjames.com/hdtvtowmv.htm 2003-12-13 9:40 am If you thought some peoples MP3 Collections are bad(I’m closing in on 13gb), wait till people start taking their DVD collections and putting them on their Hard Drives(How much longer till we see DVD servers). Hell, my DVD collection alone would bust past 600GBs. God, Blockbuster is going to make a lot of money from DVD rentals. Howabout HD-DVDs, imagine those being placed on your computer(the 1st HD-DVD players come out next year). Now that we have WinFS and related software coming soon, when will we get faster defragers. Imagine how long it will take current defrag software to defrag a 1 TeraByte Hard Drive? 2003-12-13 10:35 am http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdntv/episodes/en/20031211winfsqc/Quenti… 2003-12-13 2:56 pm Hmm.. Seems my system already does everything WinFS is hoping for. And I’d have to imagine faster as well for most tasks… –The loon Gotta love BeOS (I use later than R5 peoples) 2003-12-13 3:10 pm >>>>If you thought some peoples MP3 Collections are bad(I’m closing in on 13gb), wait till people start taking their DVD collections and putting them on their Hard Drives(How much longer till we see DVD servers). Some people are already doing that. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=210038d2dbeab7efecf… 2003-12-13 3:21 pm So the single justification people can come up with is video/dvd storage. That’s it? “”Just because your tiny little brain cannot comprehend this concept does not mean it is not a reality or will be a reality when Longhorn is released.”” Keep your insults to yourself. Storage technology change will not produce capacity in this range, which means we’re stuck with the spinning freakin’ disk for the next decade instead of there being an incentive to switch to something new (Eg NVRam or something). Hell, why not just store your music as .wav files or raw cdda stuff? Well try playing that on your handheld. Faster storage is required, space can be compensated for to a large extent (Even for the precious DVDs). 2003-12-13 4:11 pm I guess you can’t stop “progress”. The thing that scared me about the Tb issue is that’s what they’re expecting people to have, that’s the type of system they’re designing for. *shrugs* I guess there are enough people addicted to the upgrade cycle that they’ll get away with it to. 2003-12-13 7:10 pm This is the same story. We do not write apps more efficiently. We just suck up more and more space and ram. Can you lot renember the Nes. Those games were at most 128kb and ran in 4k of ram or even the (well i’m not that old) the atari 2600 with 128 bytes of ram and 4k of game space. The Commerdore 64 led the way with huge amounts of memory (64k ram) you could even surf the web. Now computers are vastly more powerful we can do more or the same thing faster. With faster CPU we should have but compression on files. Ogg will compress your music files down smaller than MP3 and it will sound great at 128kbs or 192kbs. DVD movies, have you hurd of mpeg 4 ? And picturs for the pro ilustrators. Well using PNG or JPEG will save time when you save your final images (use bitmaps up to that point). With bigger HD’s we should be able to stoe alot more. Not a new version of the same stuff. Last and least if you don’t wast space on your HD your apps will load faster and you will be able to save stuff faster. Searches and DB FSes have been here for a wile with out the bloat of WinFS. Wake up ! 2003-12-14 1:01 am Well, by that stage I’m pretty sure I’ll be using the post-hierarchical ReiserFS and/or GNOME Storage and will remain happily MS free.