There are early signs that Microsoft is integrating ReFS into Windows 11. Launched in 2012, the file system is currently in use on servers, but it could also make it to end customers.
Windows 11 could get the file system on ReFS and maybe switch to it by default in the long term. This is reported by Windows Latest with reference to early builds where there is evidence of it. Microsoft today uses NTFS, a proprietary file system developed in 1992, as standard. ReFS was newly developed and has been used in Windows servers since 2012. It was “designed to maximize data availability, scale efficiently to large datasets across diverse workloads, and provide data integrity with resilience to corruption,” according to Microsoft.
With the ReFS, data should be continuously analyzed and automatically corrected if they are damaged. ReFS should achieve a much lower probability of failure than previously known file systems. So far, you always have to prompt the operating system to do a file system check to check the integrity. This is no longer necessary due to the permanent automatism.
Not a full replacement yet
Furthermore, ReFS should take into account the growing capacities, as was the case earlier with changes in the FAT generations. ReFS is designed for large amounts of data. A data pool can be created from physical data carriers via Storage Spaces, and ReFS has been optimized accordingly. That puts an end to the hodge-podge of drives for small disks, including changing them, and enables true data deserts for large drives. NTFS supports 256 terabytes in one go, while ReFS supports 35 petabytes. The numbers are exciting: Files can be up to 18 exabytes in size, directories can contain 18 trillion files, which also applies to directories on the volume. The maximum label length for files is 32,000 Unicode characters. “Copy on write” promises less writing effort, in which the data is only assigned when it is written. This promises less administration and copying effort and thus faster transfer times.
|Maximum file name length||255 Unicode characters||255 Unicode characters|
|Maximum path name length||32K Unicode characters||32K Unicode characters|
|Maximum file size||35PB (petabytes)||256TB|
|Maximum volume size||35 PB||256TB|
ReFS will probably not replace NTFS, but complement it. As was the case with NTFS and FAT. FAT is still used today for removable media and ReFS is suitable for those less. For a long time, ReFS could not be booted and there was no support for swap files, which limited its use to pure data storage. Both are now supported, but ReFS still can’t do things that NTFS can – such as built-in compression. Accordingly, one did not want to predict when ReFS will take over by default.