One exciting feature in Microsoft’s server 2012 apart from the SMB3 protocol is the new Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) What is ODX and how does it work to benefit a bunch of virtual desktops? At its heart, ODX is a new initiative in Microsoft Windows Server 2012 allowing storage sub-systems to perform file copy operations rather than on the host. This “offloads” heavy data movement through all levels of a system and potentially across a network transport. The net result being a faster copy and a less “bogged” down system. For a broader look download MSDN’s Introduction to Offloaded Data Transfers (ODX). In non-ODX file transfers, the data is read from the source and is transferred across the network to the client computer. The client computer transfers the data back over the network to the destination. In summary, the client computer reads the data from the source and writes it to the destination. With ODX file transfers, data is copied directly from the source to the destination. Because ODX offloaded copies are performed directly between the source and destination storage, there are significant performance benefits. The performance benefits realized include faster copy time between source and destination, reduced resource utilization (CPU, memory) on the client, and reduced network I/O bandwidth utilization. For CIFS environments, this functionality is only available when both the client and the storage server support SMB 3.0 and the ODX feature. For SAN environments, this functionality is only available when both the client and the storage server support the ODX feature. Client computers that support ODX and have ODX enabled automatically and transparently use offloaded file transfer when moving or copying files. ODX is used irrespective of whether you drag-and-drop files through Windows Explorer or use command-line file copy commands, or whether a client application initiates file copy requests. If you would like to how NetApp’s support for Windows Server and ODX via SMB helps Windows Server scale..