Windows Home Server 2011 RC Released – Drive Extender Still Dead

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AnnaCloudBerryLab

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shangreer

Don't get the reason for removing Drive Extender.  It is what made Home Server special.  Without it , Home Server is a low end server OS product with a couple neat add-ons installed.  You can do better, cheaper with Open Source.  I'll stick with the original Home Server until Microsoft gets their head on straight or someone else comes along and steals the market from them like has happened with nearly every other area where Microsoft dominated (i.e. mobile, browsers, Media Center).

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used_to_be_the7...

I am loading VMware player up with the vale version on my original WHS.  I can get a 2 TB drive this way (seems to be the limit for vmware).  So if you have the old version with smaller multiple drives, it looks like you could piggyback this way and have the DE do it's work.  Just trying to think of something that could work for those with smaller Hd's in their box.  I have a little more than 12TB in my V1, but if there were a way to do more than the 2 with VM, I would consider it.

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used_to_be_the7...

OOPS!

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habraham

I upgraded my hard drives as they failed over the years but I'm still only using four drives in my HP MediaSmart.  I will miss drive extender but I can live without it.

I do intend to upgrade and the biggest reason is connectivity with Windows Phone 7.  They say that WHS will give me access to all my Windows Media Center content.  I have nine tuners in my WMC (including the Ceton InfiniTV4) and I would love access to all that content from my Dell Venue Pro.

The first WHS is a fine product that has saved me countless hours of aggravation.  System recovery is painless and fast.  Of course I will upgrade.

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rruscio

... I absolutely have to. Feels like a dead product. Live Mesh does all sorts of the things I never could quite get WHS1 to do consistently. I'm not a video collector, so while I don't care about the size of storage, I really liked just being able to throw old drives at it.

Seemed like a good concept. Too bad it hasn't found much traction.

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amisela

I have several TB of data on my WHS v1.  By removing DE it forces me to buy uniform disks, a raid controller and either a new case or an external chassis.  6 TB in RAID 1 can get expensive.  If I have to go the raid route, I may as well use Linux to save money on the hardware profile and use freeware backup software or acronis.

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TechLarry

You guys need to really look at it instead of chest-thumping over the DE fiasco.

Yes, it sucks that it's not there.  There's no doubt about that.

But look at the overall package, particularly the superior remote access and streaming capabilities, before you talk yourself out of what appears to be a great product.

When WHS V1 came out, people were bitching and moaning that they could not use their own RAID setups.  Now that they can, they are bitching and moaning about that :)

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jlh304

WHS V1 I could already stream and remote access, so where is the new feature?  If I wanted the added cost of running a true raid then I would have set up Server 2008.  DE worked great for what it was meant to be.

I would need to see a really great feature to make me want vail.  Currently I have 18TB of video that WHS v1 streams just fine, don't see vail doing that as I believe they have limited the number of harddrives you can use (10 being the max).  So not only do I have to setup a raid, but from what I'm hearing it will not be large enough to handle my current needs let alone to grow.

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BeVar

Hear-hear.... without DE what's the lure here. Might as well go with 2008 or 2011 Server.

I think Microsoft may be intentionally putting WHS out to pasture for whatever paranoid reason they have.

Think about it; why is Microsoft removing "Drive Extender"?

I've been using HTPC for more than 10 years, have more than 20TB of movies, shows and Music Video. WHS would have been a glorious way to distribute all that entertainment. Right now, the only way I feel safe about all my data is to realtime it between two enormous computers running ten 2TB HD's in each one. Yes, it can be done using the HAF 932 and added SATA PCI-x cards. I don't see RAID as the viable option. Too much to go wrong. When one of my HD's start acting up, I copy or clone the dang thing post haste. I am buying at least 2 Hitachi 2tb drives from newegg today as they go on sale for $59.99.... What's cheaper than that?

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axiomatic

Sorry Microsoft. You need to listen to your users. I really love WHS but without DE I just can not justify the upgrade. I have too many oddly sized drives to ignore that I am using DE with great success already.

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roleki

Without Drive Extender, this is a crippled product.  When pitching WHS to friends and family, one of the key selling points was that they could take the drives they had lying around, and add them to the mix.  Now they have to find x64 hardware with RAID capabilities... eliminates so many boxes that could have been repurposed, and it appears that OEMs are initially reluctant to step up for Vail... so where does that leave the product?  Kind of out there.

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jlh304

With drive extender gone I have no use for this program.  The writting looks to be on the wall as HP has said it's not going to make anythign with this.  The HP media servers were good but they are not sticking around for version 2 of WHS.

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nels0991

I hope this thing catches on, but it seems like developer interest is even lower than for WHSv1.  Logitech has stated they have no plans to bring their SqueezeBox Server software over to WHSv2.  That was one of the few addons I used.  I've inquired with some of the other addon developers, most are waiting to see what happens at launch, but there are a decent amount saying it isn't worth the work to rewrite their software to work with the new SDK.

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DoctorX

still dead for me.... since i have 18 drives... i figured i would need 2x$800 controllers.  If not whs... what then?

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brit53

 

I picked up a couple of 8-channel SATA PCIe raid controllers on eBay for less than $150 a piece - I was actually using them on WHS v1 by creating multiple 2TB volumes from the 6TB raid 5 arrays that I built, but with WHS 2011 I was able to create a single volume (5.8TB) on each raid controller so my server now see the 200GB system drive and two 5.8TB data volumes. I was concerned that "cheap" and "out of production" raid controllers would not provide the performance that I wanted/expected from my server but with the single volume onfiguration I often see transfer rate reach 200mb/s when copying between the two volumes (controllers), and consistently see 70-80mb/s when copying from one folder to another on the same volume (controller).

I like the new features of the WHS 2011 release (64-Bit operations, no 2TB disk limit and better remote access) so I was disappointed when MS made the DE announcement and figured I'd stay with v1 until I found something that met my needs.

However, there are two promising products offering DE like capabilities for WHS 2011 (DriveBender and DrivePool) that are both available in early Beta release and more possibly coming in the near future - they both appear to offer the functionality that DE was supposed to provide and I'm ready to consider moving to WHS 2011 so long as I can get the drive pooling in place to manage the location of data, balance disk usage levels, and ensure that I have critical data duplicated.

 

I have tried both the current beta releases and both appear to provide the basic DE capability. Both companies wanted to get something out there to fill the void and show that DE like functions can be implemneted reliably and easily for WHS 2011.  They both can create logical pooled drives with the ability to duplicate designated folders, both can keep on trucking for duplicated folders if a drive is lost/removed. I personally prefer the DrivePool solution at the moment as it is WHS 2011 specific, (DriveBender will supposedly work on all current windows server and workstation OS's). but it is early days yet and I will holdback on a decision re DE replacement until production release of both WHS 2011 and DE replacements.

 

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Neufeldt2002

Looking forward to a full review of this.