Must say, I’m most impressed with Windows 2012 R2 data deduplication. I am using it in my home lab and can now have far more VMs on standby ready to go with technology specific labs switched off but consuming very little space. Below are the results that I am getting so this is “real world” with most of the VMs running the same operating system.
That’s a total of 54 VMs, ISOs and templates taking up only 133GB of space !
To enable this feature, open up Server Manager and navigate to the File and Storage Services node then select the disk on which you want to enable deduplication (dedupe is only supported for flat files and VHDs so don’t try and dedupe the disk with your operating system on).
Right click the disk and select “Configure Data Deduplication”.
The single pane of settings is then fairly self explanatory.
As you can see, mine is set to deduplicate VMs so I have excluded n0n-VM files such as anything in the ISOs folder. I can’t say that I have seen performance suffer enabling this but I am just running in a lab and not in production but it seems to me that, with shared storage being so expensive and performance being so critical, it now makes sense to place SSDs in your SAN and put your deduped VMs on those for maximum performance at reduced cost.