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This one's bound to make quite a few WHS users unhappy. It appears Microsoft has decided to remove support for the Drive Extender feature found in the original release of WHS (and the first Vail preview release).

For those unaware, Drive Extender is the feature that enables someone to add multiple drives to the storage pool easily, and select specific folders to duplicate. Now, users will need to deal with disk duplication on their own (more than likely via a RAID 1 setup).

Not a good move IMO.
 

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I agree it is not a good move and has a ton of users upset. I enjoy WHS because of its ease of use and the ability to add drives as I need them. I work with networks, servers and desktops all day long and one of the great features of WHS I enjoy is it's ease of use and low maintenance.
 

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Wow the comments are quite fascinating to read. This seems like an incredibly stupid decision.
 

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No kidding. That was one of the real selling points of WHS, the ease of adding drives to your storage pool. While I know the limitations and it wouldn't be a good solution for other MS server products, for WHS it works.
 

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This was one of the best comments:

Pardon the poor analogy, but if you have a greyhound that wins every race at the dog track, and then you make him run in the Kentucky Derby and he (understandably) loses to the horses, wouldn't you rather just let him continue to run and win at the dog track? Microsoft is doing the equivalent of taking him out back and shooting him because he can't do something he was never supposed to do.

i.e. Microsoft found the DE feature broke some application compatibility. However DE was never intended for commercial purposes anyway.
 

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I like DE, using it myself, but with RAID hardware out there these days on the cheap, why not drop this and concentrate on making the rest of the product better.
 

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Good RAID hardware is not cheap. There are lots of cheap solutions that do software RAID emulation, some are Ok and some not so good. With modern motherboards supporting 6 SATA drives, a good software RAID solution would be nice. MS doesn't want to support that. (MS removed RAID support from XP but the code was still there and it could be activated with an unsupported hack.) I tried a couple of RAID solutions from Adaptec and Highpoint. Neither was particularly good. Both function about as well as motherboard RAID (except the Highpoint does RAID5) and both cost more than a motherboard with as many SATA ports. Support for the Adaptec card absolutely stunk. I found a serious bug and there response was to do nothing. My response was to use Linux, which has an excellent software RAID solution and works with any standard SATA controller. If Windows had decent software RAID support instead of hacks like drive extender and dynamic drives, I would have used it instead of Linux.
 

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Software RAID = Yech in my books and crappy performance. I haven't used it since NT 4.0. (other than DE in WHS) Look at products by Drobo or a Buffalo Terastation I would take any of these solutions over software based RAID.
 

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I agree that Windows RAID is garbage. It hasn't been available on non-server Windows since Win2000 either. Chances are that the Drobo and Buffalo Terastation use a variant Linux software RAID. They just hide it well. The Terastation uses a Linux Kernel. I couldn't find out what the Drobo uses. True hardware RAID cards cost $500 and up so I seriously doubt that these units use hardware RAID. Like I said before, Linux software RAID is a mature and very robust solution. The underlying interface is a little difficult to use but that is easily solved with some HTML and shell scripts.
 

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Regardless of what O/S is inside the box, it is being sold and supported as a hardware solution. One does not need to know Linux in order to operate and configure the device. Software based RAID with Windows, Linux, or MAC, you need to know the O/S in order to configure it.
 

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If you don't want to learn Linux, try Openfiler or FreeNAS. Both offer a browser interface that is similar to commercial NAS products. FreeNAS is based on FreeBSD Unix and Openfiler is based on Linux. They are free and run on a variety of PC hardware, just like WHS does. While I agree that WHS and proprietary hardware have their place, they aren't the only solutions.
 

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Well this bites.

I've been a happy WHS user for a while and appreciate the 'appliance' nature of the product. I started out with 4TB array and now it's up to 10TB.

I have friends with Drobo, Acer HomeStore and considered RAID options before committing to a home-brew WHS machine. IMHO, DE is better than RAID because it allows one to select which files are important for duplication, thus making more efficient use of the HDD array.

I want photo's, home movies and other family records duplicated, but not the multi-terabytes of 3rd party movies.

For me, not having DE will be a compelling reason not to upgrade, but I was rather hoping they'd improve the data-migration algorithm when a HDD is removed or added :(
 
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