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StableBit Drive Pool Add In for WHS2011


jam3ohio
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This is very interesting. I hope they have the technical expertise to pull it off and support it. If they are starting from "scratch", they will likely run into many of the same issues Microsoft did, so it may take some time to work all the kinks out.

 

Regarding the questions about Microsoft pulling DE from WHS 2011, I think it goes beyond the technical implications and into the business model. This Acer quote from the Microsoft Connect email says quite a bit along those lines:

 

“We're excited to offer this new and improved, easy-to-use OS on our Aspire easyStore Home Server this Spring. Designed for households and small businesses with multiple PCs, Aspire easyStore offers a simple way to network computers, centralize, share and protect digital data as well as access it remotely from anywhere in the world."

 

**Designed for households AND SMALL BUSINESSES**, Acer is targeting Windows Home Server for _business_ use. That's right - a _Home_ server for _Business_ use. I suspected that something like this would happen when I started reading that WHS v1 was being used for small business desktop backup and to backup SBS servers. In addition, Microsoft claimed that the reason they were dropping DE from WHS 2011 was because they couldn't get it to work well with some _business_ applications.

 

Problem is, Microsoft already has a small _business_ server - Small Business Server - with SBS 2011 coming in multiple versions for various sized small businesses. It is not clear where WHS will ultimately fit in the SBS eco-system. My guess is that it won't - small businesses don't want to buy _home_ products, they want to buy lower end/cost _business_ products.

 

In addition to DE not working technically (-assuming Microsoft even tried-) in WHS 2011, DE in a _business_ environment would impact the sales strategy for Microsoft and its hardware partners, like HP, Acer, etc. Think about the now discontinued HP MediaSmart WHS systems. With DE out of the picture, small businesses wanting to use WHS 2011 in a real _business_ environment, will now have to buy higher cost storage - RAID type hardware solutions (in HP's case, think ProLiant/RAID instead of MediaSmart/DE - quite a cost difference).

 

The bottom line is that I fear we are seeing the end of the Windows _Home_ Server. I suspect the next version of WHS 2011 will get renamed, losing the _Home_ designation as it dissolves into the SBS eco-system. Microsoft is heading to their _business_ customers, and further away from consumers and _home_ media eco-systems. WHS with DE was a perfect platform to build a consumer based home/living room media eco-system, with WHS/DE as a central server appliance and XBox 360 as the end point. Microsoft has only themselves to blame if they find they can't compete with Apple, Google, etc. in the home living room.

 

Hopefully third parties can step up and create reliable DE clone add-ins for WHS 2011. Although, I am a bit skeptical, because DE is core to the OS and I think it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a third-party DE solution to be technically equivalent (performance, robustness, etc.) to a Microsoft developed DE for WHS 2011.

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Interesting -- I would love for someone to "fix" WHS2011 in this way and bring that functionality back. I would also love to see a smaller developer teach Microsoft a thing or two. Sometimes they can achieve things that larger slower-moving organizations just can't seem to do. I don't know if it's too much product development "by committee" or some piece of the product doesn't fit with long term goals, but it's frustrating seeing something that worked this well just go away.

 

That said, I'm with Geek Accountant on waiting a LONG time to see these product thoroughly tested and proven under real-world use before I trust it with my (and my customer's) data.

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So I will be the first to say it...not a snow balls chance this ever gets out of beta in our life time. There..its been said. I'm sure we will all have fun testing it.

 

Let's see, hundreds of thousands of $$ are spend at Microsoft to get it right, twice, and we still don't have a working product. Could it really be that easy?

 

Needless to say, I'm not believing this just yet. Just saying...

 

Jim--

 

I think you are right. This developer has exactly zero shipping commercial products right now. That much being said, let's see what happens here. We lose nothing by keeping an eye on this and using testbeds to help test this out...

 

 

Jim

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Yes, but I thought the part they couldn't get right was the running of certain business apps. My understanding was that for the normal home server user, DE worked fine in v2. Did I miss something?

 

Do we care if it will run business apps? As long as the throughput is good enough for some high bitrate Blu-Ray and you don't mangle a single file I say go for it. Develop away!

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So I will be the first to say it...not a snow balls chance this ever gets out of beta in our life time. There..its been said. I'm sure we will all have fun testing it.

 

Let's see, hundreds of thousands of $$$ are spend at Microsoft to get it right, twice, and we still don't have a working product. Could it really be that easy?

 

Needless to say, I'm not believing this just yet. Just saying...

 

If every little company in the world thought that we would have zero innovation. Who am I to say a little guy can't code up a DE app? Maybe MS did it wrong. I say twirl that sling shot David. Goliath is in your cross hairs!

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Do we care if it will run business apps? As long as the throughput is good enough for some high bitrate Blu-Ray and you don't mangle a single file I say go for it. Develop away!

 

Seriously.. high-bitrate Blu-Ray uses something like 4 MB/s on average. You have to screw up specatulary not to manage that.

Now if you'll start streaming five of them at the same time, you might run into some troubles with fragmentation and seek times..

Edited by kermi
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Hopefully third parties can step up and create reliable DE clone add-ins for WHS 2011. Although, I am a bit skeptical, because DE is core to the OS and I think it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a third-party DE solution to be technically equivalent (performance, robustness, etc.) to a Microsoft developed DE for WHS 2011.

I think this may be the key; maybe StableBit Drive Pool won't be the core of the OS, but rather a 'guest' drive management system. If you have it work on specific drives only (much like you can now with DE), and it is NOT the core drive manager of the system, it might be possible to have the rest of the system handle business apps properly by not letting them use the drive pool area. We could, maybe, end of with the best of both worlds: backups, folder duplication, and use of dissimilar drives in a drive pool, AND reliable use of business servers like Exchange, Sharepoint, Project, etc. Now THAT would be very cool.

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