servers to home users isn't exactly a trivial task given that most
either don't have the money to buy the devices or don't have the
understanding to set them up and make them work. Still, Windows
Home Server represented a fairly intelligent effort to bring
consumers on board. It sold home servers under the premise of
home backup and media machines, and it came bundled with reasonably
priced, super easy to set up hardware from
companies like HP.Unfortunately, bugs plagued the OS in
the beginning. For months a bug that corrupted
users' files went unfixed. And now in the wake of that
mess and the eventual fix Microsoft has made the curious decision of
abandoning one of its key technologies for the operating system --
Drive Extender.The decision only applies to the new
version of Home Server, code-named "Vail", that is
currently in beta and will soon go on all the new server products.
It also applies to Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. The existing version of Home
Server will not be impacted.With the move Microsoft has made
the risky decision of throwing out what was one of the primary
selling points of the operating system. Drive Extender was a
feature that would take all your internal and external drives
connected to the server and combine them into a single storage pool.
With that single storage pool in place it was much quicker and easier
to make backups or share a large media library.Problems did
plague the feature, though. Backups proved problematic, and
when the backups failed users were left with no way of recovering
their lost files as the Server OS's didn't have the same recovery
features as Windows 7. Furthermore, Microsoft says that users
should just go out and buy bigger hard drives. It says that the
advent of relatively affordable 1 TB and 2 TB drives makes drive
extender obsolete.The decision to ditch Drive Extender was
post.Many customers who were hoping to purchase a Home
Server with the intent to combine a bunch of old hard drives into a
single storage site are now even more irate. They apparently
wanted Microsoft to fix the
feature, not ditch it.States one commenter, "Well,
congratulations. I have 3 HP MediaSmart servers in my family,
and was planning on going with a new one based on Vail when it got
released. Good job, MS- you've just shot yourself in the
foot."Another remarks, "Most stupid decision ever.
It was THE main selling point. All the people I sold a home server
got it for THAT reason. Else, they would have bought just another
NAS."There are always some sour grapes with any major
decision to drop features, but in this case one has to wonder whether
Microsoft's decision seems highly questionable. After all, it
has effectively eliminated one of the biggest selling points of its
Home Server OS. And given that it was a tough sell in the first
place, that could be disastrous to the future of Home Server.Home
Server "Vail" products will launch in the first half of
quote: Microsoft has made the curious decision of abandoning one of its key technologies for the operating system -- Drive Extender.
quote: Linux for example makes a great home server platform
quote: States one commenter, "Well, congratulations. I have 3 HP MediaSmart servers in my family, and was planning on going with a new one based on Vail when it got released. Good job, MS- you've just shot yourself in the foot."
quote: it's like dropping the ability to play games on an xbox360
quote: it's THE main feature that defines WHS...
quote: it's a HOME SERVER. and that means, we, the HOME users, should judge what is needed. NOT ANY BUSINESS USERS. that's completely utter wrong.
quote: Some people use far more then 2TB of data as it is