›› Single Instance Storage (SIS) Groveler

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The Single Instance Storage (SIS) Groveler service is an optional service that you may or may not find in your Services Control Panel. It typically is installed by default in Windows Server installations, but it is disabled until you turn it on. It also gets installed as a result of installing software that requires the use of it. Remote Installation Services (RIS) is an example of a service that you would install on your computer and, as a result of that installation, SIS Groveler would be installed as well. Single Instance Storage Groveler, along with Boot Information Negotiation Layer and Trivial FTP Daemon, is just one of the services that get added to your server when Remote Installation Services are installed. You can also find SIS Groveler as a part of the Windows Storage Server 2003 operating system.

With today's ever-increasing demand on our server storage space with multimedia (video and audio) files, program DLL's, backup images, and more, the amount of storage space, or lack thereof, has become a top concern of many large and small businesses. Single Instance Storage Groveler was designed to help with the storage space problem. Basically, Single Instance Storage Groveler checks all new files that are being stored to the server to see if any files with the exact same content already exist. If there are duplicate files, SIS Groveler saves one copy of the file to a central location, called the SIS Groveler Common Store in Storage Server 2003, and replaces other copies with pointers to the original file. All of this is done so that files are not stored multiple times on the server, thus saving precious space. SIS Groveler works in the background, like a true service, so that the user is never aware that the file they just clicked on is opening from the stored source.

Let's give an example of how SIS Groveler works using Remote Installation Services (RIS). Recall that Remote Installation Services uses Single Instance Storage Groveler to perform its remote operating system and program installations on client computers. Let's suppose that User A has the Windows 2000 operating system already installed on his computer. His company suddenly requires that all computers be upgraded to Windows 2003. He performs the installation from a RIS server. As he is installing Windows 2003, SIS Groveler is working in the background to pull original files from Windows 2000 that were duplicated in Windows 2003. This all happens so seamlessly that User A has no idea that this is occuring.

If you are an average home user, chances are that you will not need to use this service, unless you frequenlty find that you are in constant need of extra storage space on your server. If you are a system administrator that uses RIS, you will need to be familiar with SIS Groveler since it is automatically installed on the system. If this service is turned off, files will not be condensed in order to save storage space. Use Add/Remove Windows components to remove the Remote Installation Services component if you choose to disable SIS Groveler.

Service Name Groveler
Display Name Single Instance Storage Groveler
Executable File Name grovel.exe
Dependencies None
Reciprocal Dependencies Remote Installation Services
Default Startup Type Automatic
Recommended Startup Type This service is available by default in Windows Server installations and Remote Installation Services. If you have either of these, set this service to Automatic.

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