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Microsoft officially debuts Dev Home, and up to 30% faster ReFS Dev Drives

Microsoft Build 2021 promo images

Back in early March, we learned that Microsoft was working on a new Resilient File System (ReFS) based "Dev Drive" or Developer Volume (DevVol) feature for Windows 11. Thanks to the leaks, we learned at the the time that Dev Drives were essentially VHDs (virtual hard disks) built on ReFS as the file system is excellent for running virtualized workloads. Meanwhile Microsoft also updated the ReFS version soon after.

At the Build 2023 event today, Microsoft has officially announced Dev Drive. Microsoft says the new ReFS VHD storage volumes allow for up to 30% improvement in build times, and the security aspect also seems robust thanks to the new performance mode of Microsoft Defender.

Microsoft writes:

We know you often deal with repositories containing many thousands of files and directories, and historically this has presented a challenge for heavy I/O operations such as builds.

Today, we are announcing Dev Drive a new type of storage volume, tailor-made for developers, with a file system that delivers both performance and security

Dev Drive is based on the Resilient File System, which, combined with a new performance mode capability in Microsoft Defender for Antivirus, offers up to 30% file system improvement in build times for file I/O scenarios. The new performance mode is more secure for your workloads than folder or process exclusions, providing an ultimate solution to balance security with performance.

Alongside Dev drives, Microsoft is also introducing a new Dev Home app. Like Dev Drives, it too leaked out previously where mentions of "Dev Home" were found in a redesigned OOBE.

As the name suggests, Microsoft essentially is trying to pitch Dev Home as the one-stop place, a central location, for developers. It brings features like the new Dev Drive, WinGet configuration, and GitHub codespaces together. Here's how the Dev Home dashboard will look like:

Windows Dev Home

You can download the Dev Home app preview from the Microsoft Store. You can find its GitHub repository here. Meanwhile, Dev Drive is available today as a preview. You can create your Dev Drive by visiting this link.

In case you want to read more, you can find the rest of the Build 2023 coverage here.

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