So which Brainiac at MS decided removing DE from WHS was a good idea? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • My whole premise on WHS (HOME being the important word here....) was that it was a simple and relatively easy way for folks at home (not techy geeks) to be able to have all their information backed up safe and secure and add storage easily as necessary.

    After doing a lot of reasearch  this is why I went with WHS v1 - the Drive Extender capabilities were what did it for me. So I got my PC up and running, installed WHS v1 - and have been as happy as a clam ever since - adding drives as and when I need, and not worrying about their size or anything else...it just works and it is EASY for me to do. the was the SINGLE biggest factor that led me to purchase this microsoft product. 

    As I was doing my research I read about other mechanisms - e.g. RAID - and even though I work in IT - I could not understand a word of what most of the documentation would talk about.

    Now that DE has been dropped from WHS - I will NOT be upgrading and I will NOT be buying this product or sending any money to microsoft for their upgrade until it is put back in.

    Which bright spark at microsoft actually believes that we as HOME users really want to become geek tech lords and can talk binary with the best of them OR that as a result of the upgrade I would then want/need to hire a permanent IT manager for my server and home network.....absolutely rediculous.

    The key here Microsoft is that for HOME users you need to keep it simple/easy and understandable....and you had this with WHS v1 - even I could understand it and get it working correctly....you have now done a complete about face and made this most precious capability difficult if not impossible with the latest release.

    Anyone from Microsoft willing to share the compelling reason why me as a non tech geek lord would want to spend money on upgrading to the latest and greatest WHS? I cannot find one....

    I want to thank MS for WHS v1 - its capabilities are simple, elegant and it just works...and by the looks of things I will be using that for a very long long time.....and sorry MS but until you bring DE back you will not be getting any more money from me (all in all a very bad business decision me thinks by MS). I typically like to upgrade to the latest and greatest at an appropriate time and don't mind spending money to do so....but because I cannot find a compelling reason to move from WHS v1 and because the DE capability is so fundamental for us HOME folks that just need it to work - I don't think my credit card will be coming out and adding the the MS bottom line any time soon.

    It's a real shame...basically the latest WHS from MS seems to be like Vista....nice UI but complete crap underneath - and no reason to for a user to upgrade...lets hope that this version of WHS is like Vista and they learn their lesson and do a Windows 7 on it and make it usable and worth upgrading to again. I live in hope.

    BTW - I would love to know which HOME "users" MS actually spoke to - they made some reference in their early announcements about speaking to some users who wanted to have DE removed....poppycock - it was down to needing more time and money to incorporate the feature back into the new architecture...and now that they decided against spending that time and money - it will actually end up costing them even more...i.e. WHS latest and greatest becomes a complete waste of time for any NORMAL home user). The point of upgrading is to get MORE capabilities...not less. As you can tell I'm bitter about it.

    Sunday, August 7, 2011 2:17 PM

All replies

  • To be honest, this is very old news (9 months now). And the only thing that DE actually gave users that they can't easily get elsewhere is the easy expansion of the storage pool without worrying about what data goes on which drive. The duplication feature was poor man's software RAID 1, to be honest.

    But to your point about "which home users": I personally believe (with no real evidence to back it up) that this was a marketing statement designed to make the removal of DE palatable. DE definitely caused problems with all sorts of line of business applications, and in order to be able to sell a small business SKU Microsoft needs the server to support LoBs. Home users with extremely large collections of media that they stream tended to have some issues with stuttering when DE V1 ran, and it's possible that Microsoft looked at those issues and said "Here's a nice scapegoat". But again, I have no evidence. And DE V2 as presented in early betas would have used a proprietary disk allocation algorithm that only Windows Home Server 2011 would have been able to read. That would have been a PR "Sword of Damocles" hanging over Microsoft's head, so the decision isn't completely without reason. Still, I think they should have spent the time it might take to fix the issues rather than removing DE.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, August 7, 2011 5:23 PM
  • AS Ken said, "this is very old news" and I would like to say move on

    however there seems to be a lack of 3rd party support for A/V.

    MS will not even support the product. Until then WHS 2011 is

    just an evaluation O/S. I also agree with Ken's statement

    "may work with != supported".


    In the meantime we still have V1 for those who need DE and

    a supported A/V that doesn't cost $400.00.

    Sunday, August 7, 2011 6:47 PM
  • Keep an eye on the development of DriveBender and StableBit DrivePool, both third-party projects aimed at providing DE functionality. Both projects are in open betatesting right now.
    Sunday, August 7, 2011 11:09 PM
  • Hi Monkmanusa, welcome to 2011!  ;-)

    I actually upgraded for the media streaming and DLNA features alone. While the loss of DE is lamentable, there is really nothing very difficult about configuring server disks and choosing locations for shared folders.  I find the new Server backup + shadow copies feature to be better (for me) than the old folder duplication; the ability to "roll back" to prior versions of files is really very useful.

    Not all is rosy, though.  By far the biggest issues technical issues for me with the current product are the various 2Tb volume limitations, and the speed (or lack thereof) of backup/restore.  I hope these are teething issues.  However, one troubling thing is the almost total lack of community engagement from the new Microsoft WHS/SBS team: after the DE blowup, they seem to be taking a stonewall approach. Responses to issues, if they come at all, are terse, and there is nobody really evangelizing the product to the community, disgruntled so they may be.

    It's interesting: There is a huge overlap of early WHS adopters snd Windows Media Center/HT enthusiasts, and it's safe to say that this is not an audience that the sesrver and business side of MS knows very much about. 

    Ironically, both products seem headed for the dustbin. The Xbox is the new living room strategy, and the cloud is the new everything strategy. For at-home backup, probably MS will ship a Time Machine-like appliance along with Windows 8 and WHS as we know it today will be over.

    So I say, enjoy it while it lasts!  I at least have a few hairs left I haven't pulled out yet. ;-)


    Monday, August 8, 2011 8:30 AM