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  • Question

  • It's been a while since I last looked into it, but what is the state of play with DE in Vail? I remember WGS saying they had emailed Steve Ballmer who said he would investigate?

    Is it defo gone for good? If so, what is the intended replacement, if yet known?

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 1:37 PM

Answers

  • Drive Extender will not be making a return in Windows Home Server 2011.

    The intended replacement is not yet known. Microsoft has not yet provided any information on that. I'd be surprised if we didn't start hearing about solutions for WHS2011 soon.


    http://www.tomontech.com
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 8:07 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • It's been a while since I last looked into it, but what is the state of play with DE in Vail? I remember WGS saying they had emailed Steve Ballmer who said he would investigate?
     
    Is it defo gone for good? If so, what is the intended replacement, if yet known?
    Rumor has it a new (RC) build of Vail is near. Then we will all know...
     
    But, by all accounts, DE is dead.
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    • Proposed as answer by dlwilliams12 Wednesday, February 2, 2011 10:45 PM
    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 1:59 PM
  • Drive Extender will not be making a return in Windows Home Server 2011.

    The intended replacement is not yet known. Microsoft has not yet provided any information on that. I'd be surprised if we didn't start hearing about solutions for WHS2011 soon.


    http://www.tomontech.com
    Thursday, February 3, 2011 8:07 PM
    Moderator
  • Drive Extender will not be making a return in Windows Home Server 2011.

    The intended replacement is not yet known. Microsoft has not yet provided any information on that. I'd be surprised if we didn't start hearing about solutions for WHS2011 soon.


    http://www.tomontech.com


    If DE is dead, then WHS 2011 is doomed to failure.  I've read the RC posts and DE has been replaced by a suite of manual processes.  If you shares get too big, you can run the new Move Folder Wizard.  Partitions are capped at 2TB, so what's the point of buying a 3TB drive if I have to put separate partitions on it?  And the dreaded drive letters are back, so 3TB drives will have a minimum of two partitions and therefore two drive letters.  What happens when I hit drive letter Z?

    So while DE made WHS v1 a truly hands-off appliance, a faithful, automated process; WHS 2011 throws a bunch of that automation out the window and turns the server into a second job.

    EPIC FAIL.  We the customers have spoken, and it was overabundantly clear that what we the customers wanted was for DE to be put back.  I guess nobody was listening.

    • Proposed as answer by Ericloewe Friday, February 4, 2011 6:47 PM
    Friday, February 4, 2011 4:40 PM
  • Amen!
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 1:47 AM
  • well i wont downgrade to 2011 vail, WHS v1 is fine and i realy like DE so i guess MS lost a coustumer...

    i guess a NAS is the future when my WHS v1 dies ... :(

    Saturday, February 5, 2011 10:36 AM
  • Drive Extender will not be making a return in Windows Home Server 2011.

    The intended replacement is not yet known. Microsoft has not yet provided any information on that. I'd be surprised if we didn't start hearing about solutions for WHS2011 soon.


    http://www.tomontech.com


    Thanks for clarifying.  This is very disappointing news, as the whole point to WHS was having a single storage pool that could grow along with my data.  Without this facility I might as well just chuck a NAS box on my network instead, as WHS's unique selling point has been lost (even if it did munch my data more often than I'd like - swapping out disks invariably meant having to delete a few folders and put them back later !)

     

    Saturday, February 5, 2011 11:05 AM
  • well i wont downgrade to 2011 vail, WHS v1 is fine and i realy like DE so i guess MS lost a coustumer...

    i guess a NAS is the future when my WHS v1 dies ... :(


    I'm going to do exactly the same. Keep V1 until Microsoft doesn't support it and then go to NAS.
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 11:58 AM
  • well i wont downgrade to 2011 vail, WHS v1 is fine and i realy like DE so i guess MS lost a coustumer...

    i guess a NAS is the future when my WHS v1 dies ... :(


    I'm going to do exactly the same. Keep V1 until Microsoft doesn't support it and then go to NAS.

    Same here I'm afraid.  I went off WHS when chunks of data went missing but the only thing that kept it in my house was Drive Extender.  I need a storage and backup solution not a hobby. I spend far too much time working on computers already to want to sysop my own home setup - or all the other WHS systems I persuaded other friends and family to adopt.

    Very disappointing.  I'm still wondering whether there is any point to testing Vail RC, at least until MS listens to it's customers...  Greyhole beckons...

    Saturday, February 5, 2011 6:55 PM
  • I was really hoping they would reverse this decision.  If they want to kill WHS just cancel it dont release a neutered version that noone wants.  I forsee Amahi in my future if this isnt changed.
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 8:32 PM
  • I  wouldn't say "no one wants". My hard drives are large enough, so I don't really need DE and therefore WHS2011 suits my needs just fine.
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 10:10 PM
  • OK boss, there are some that will not miss DE.  Post back here when one of your drives starts to act up and you have to manually handle the process of replacing the failing drive.

    The way I understand the demise of DE is that now when a drive starts to fail, or I want to replace a smaller drive with a larger one, it's a strictly manual process.  Wizards are just a way of making a manual instruction set into a stepwise process - it's still manual.

    Even though it twisted my brain a bit to understand the concept of DE at first, instead of the "manual" drive letter, folder structure we have all been "trained" to put up with, it is a very user-friendly way to manage data.  Without it, we are reduced to managing files, folders, and drives.  This is a step backwards in the evolution of computing systems.

    Evolution forward means raising the human machine interaction level, not lowering it.  Getting rid of DE is like removing the automatic transmission and giving us a stick shift!

    Sunday, February 6, 2011 1:13 AM
  • I, too, will remain with my current installation. What a disappointment. Further, I am not clear on what the non-destructive upgrade path will be, Do we lose all our data?Must we restore from a server backup? If the new file system has to format all disks, how are the data to be preserved? I guess I'll stick with WHS until Ballmer inevitably stops supporting it, like he wants to do with the perfectly usable and widely adopted Win XP. If only there were a good alternative to Microsoft. I believe it is coming, and soon we will be free of their arrogance. Google OS, Ubuntu OS, I implore you to get things right. Millions can't wait to make the move (just like iPhone and Verizon.)
    Sunday, February 6, 2011 4:27 PM
  • The new file system does not format all drives, it keeps them the same.  Or at least on mine I just kept them unplugged first install then plugged them in after it's finished.  but the drives are no differently formatted then any other NTFS drive now.  Serverfolders are just stored in a server folder directory.  This system gives us more control..
    Sunday, February 6, 2011 4:31 PM
  • Just installed the RC version of Vail. Without the storage pool that DE technology provided, WHS has taken a big step backwards in usability. Using WHS 1, I had plenty of storage space available because the pool could easily expand disks. Now using the same disk configuration, the first backup resulted in a low space warning and an incomplete backup. Of course, there are a number of ways that I can fix this issue including moving folders, installing much larger disks, using a dynamic disk, etc. The point is that it requires techical knowledge, planning, and manual intervention, things that a consumer backup solution shouldn't depend on.

    Yes, the manual approach offers more control, but so does a simple NAS solution.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011 8:26 PM
  • >Just installed the RC version of Vail. Without the storage pool that DE technology provided, WHS has taken a big step >backwards in usability. Using WHS 1, I had plenty of storage space available because the pool could easily expand disks. Now >using the same disk configuration, the first backup resulted in a low space warning and an incomplete backup. Of course, >there are a number of ways that I can fix this issue including moving folders, installing much larger disks, using a dynamic >disk, etc. The point is that it requires techical knowledge, planning, and manual intervention, things that a consumer backup >solution shouldn't depend on.

    Exactly, Mike, exactly! I hate to nag Microsoft, but the fact remains that they've taken the HOME out of Windows HOME Server. In the beginning the intent was to provide a simple backup solution for the HOME user. Now, because of some supposed incompatibility with BUSINESS users, the HOME user seems to be left behind.

    Nancy Ward
    Windows 8 BetaFerret
    Please Don't Text and Drive
    My Grand Kids May be in Your Path


    Nancy Ward
    Sunday, February 6, 2011 9:34 PM
  • I'm a bit confused it still lists that Drive Extender is part of Vail and has been improved yet here are all these posts to the contrary. I realize the announcement is dated April 10th, 2010 and it was my understanding at some point MS back peddled and removed DE at that point I stopped looking in on the Vail developement and focused on getting the most out of my WHS v1. My WHS is scratch built and can make the transition to 64Bit so I figured I would check up on Vail and see if MS put DE back in since HP and ASUS were dropping future WHS products becase of them taking it out. If DE is really not included in Vail anymore then they should remove the annoucement post that lists it as a feature.
    Monday, February 7, 2011 2:56 PM
  • I’m disappointed that Microsoft dropped DE from WHS as it was the main feature that enticed me to purchase and use Windows Home Server.  I don’t want to debate the pros and cons – they’ve already been thoroughly discussed - and I know that DE isn’t perfect but it should be improved not dumped.  I, like others here, will continue to watch to see if it makes it back into the product at some point but I’m not holding my breath.  WHS 2011 without DE is, IMHO, DOA for the home user.  I feel betrayed and abandoned by Microsoft and that moving to a release candidate of WHS without DE is simply management’s way of saying “wrap this thing up as quickly and cheaply as possible and move on”.  I’ll stick with the old version of WHS until it’s no longer supported or no longer meets my needs and will then most likely move to a NAS device.   RIP WHS.

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011 1:25 PM
  • I may still run Vail on a box just to manage the backups and restores of our Home PC's. and heep my WHS v1 for the DE file storage and media center for our gagillion pictures, Music and Movies. I have 2 desktop gaming PCs, 1 gaming Laptop. then my Wife has Her Laptop and I repurposed her old Laptop for our Son. then I have several Backups of other Family PC's I have built (My Father in Laws Gaming PC, My Brother in Law's Gaming PC, and My Wife's Cousin's PC that I built that he keeps F'ing up and I keep restoring it) With the exception of my MAIN Gamer our Pc backup dont take up tooo much space on our WHS v1 but that's mainly because I have alot of drives hooked up to that puppy with vail I guess ill have to go Raid 5 with (3) 2TB drives for the backups then delete all the old backups off my WHS v1 to regain some space. Of course first I will have to figure out how to backroll the build I want for WHS 2011 with out the wifey killing me (Hmmm looks like it time to start Ebaying some of my stuff and start saving up for that project :P )
    Tuesday, February 8, 2011 10:27 PM

  • I’m disappointed that Microsoft dropped DE from WHS as it was the main feature that enticed me to purchase and use Windows Home Server.  I don’t want to debate the pros and cons – they’ve already been thoroughly discussed - and I know that DE isn’t perfect but it should be improved not dumped.  I, like others here, will continue to watch to see if it makes it back into the product at some point but I’m not holding my breath.  WHS 2011 without DE is, IMHO, DOA for the home user.  I feel betrayed and abandoned by Microsoft and that moving to a release candidate of WHS without DE is simply management’s way of saying “wrap this thing up as quickly and cheaply as possible and move on”.  I’ll stick with the old version of WHS until it’s no longer supported or no longer meets my needs and will then most likely move to a NAS device.   RIP WHS.

    ^^^^^^^^^  This EXACTLY.

    WHS without DE does not meet my needs for a home server.  It was the be-all-end-all feature that made WHS perfect for my situation.  Vail is of zero use to me and that makes me sad.  It's like MS shot my dog.  LOL

     

    Friday, February 11, 2011 7:42 AM
  • It is interesting that DE being pulled from WHS is causing such angst.  I have a few observations.

    How many copies of WHS sold shrink wrapped versus how many licences were sold to OEMs?

    WHS was never a consumer installed software, it was always to be installed by an OEM, the availlability of shrink wrapped OEM copies notwithstanding, therefore if MS stated that their partners are the reason for pulling it, we have to take that at face value.

    When WHS was released, 500GB drives were the biggest around, with DE in most setups that included less than 4 drives, you have 2TB.  Now 2TB drives cost less that 250GB at the time, yet there is a claim that DE is a must.  It is a good tool to have no doubt, It is not a must.

    Folks who claim to have technical knowledge are unhappy that they have to use the knowledge of using available tools to expand their storage.

    Friday, February 18, 2011 2:58 PM
  • It is interesting that DE being pulled from WHS is causing such angst.  I have a few observations.

    How many copies of WHS sold shrink wrapped versus how many licences were sold to OEMs?

    WHS was never a consumer installed software, it was always to be installed by an OEM, the availlability of shrink wrapped OEM copies notwithstanding, therefore if MS stated that their partners are the reason for pulling it, we have to take that at face value.

    When WHS was released, 500GB drives were the biggest around, with DE in most setups that included less than 4 drives, you have 2TB.  Now 2TB drives cost less that 250GB at the time, yet there is a claim that DE is a must.  It is a good tool to have no doubt, It is not a must.

    Folks who claim to have technical knowledge are unhappy that they have to use the knowledge of using available tools to expand their storage.

    Some of us are partners, I've sold a number of WHS V1 machines to clients and was never given a memo or consulted about this decision.  Most of my customers use Windows Media Center with Extenders and enjoyed the single extra-large, easily-expandable, storage pool for TV recordings (HD WTV files can get huge).
    Saturday, February 19, 2011 6:10 AM
  • It is interesting that DE being pulled from WHS is causing such angst.  I have a few observations.

    How many copies of WHS sold shrink wrapped versus how many licences were sold to OEMs?

    WHS was never a consumer installed software, it was always to be installed by an OEM, the availlability of shrink wrapped OEM copies notwithstanding, therefore if MS stated that their partners are the reason for pulling it, we have to take that at face value.

    When WHS was released, 500GB drives were the biggest around, with DE in most setups that included less than 4 drives, you have 2TB.  Now 2TB drives cost less that 250GB at the time, yet there is a claim that DE is a must.  It is a good tool to have no doubt, It is not a must.

    Folks who claim to have technical knowledge are unhappy that they have to use the knowledge of using available tools to expand their storage.

    You seem to have missed the point of Drive Extender.

    1: For a home user, it allowed mis-matched drive sizes to be added to a storage pool easily.
    2: The storage pool was the combined size of all the drives. (This isn't the case with DE-less Vail, you now have discrete drive letters for each drive)
    3: Files were duplicated at the folder level allowing you to specify which shares you wanted backed up. All files in these shares would be on two physically separate hard drives for ease of recovery should a drive fail or should the server fail.
    4: Drives can easily be removed from the storage pool and replaced with larger ones.

    To replicate item 2 in Vail you can use a RAID array, but you will have some wasted space depending on the RAID type, whereas DE didn't have any wasted space.

    There is no way I can see in DE-less Vail to replicate item 3 without additional 3rd party software - synctoy etc.

    To replicate item 4 in DE-less Vail is easy, but to do it you have to keep all drives individually, meaning they all have drive letters, and are no longer pooled, negating item 2 - in DE-less Vail items 2 and 4 are mutually exclusive.

    In short, DE did a lot more in the background that was genuinely useful/essential for home use.

    Saturday, February 19, 2011 3:36 PM
  • I personally am not going to miss it one bit.  For my usage, I welcome the addition of being able to use this software without having to turn all the DE stuff off.  I think that the cost of enterprise raid solutions has reached a point that there is no valid excuse for not using real raid storage.  I do understand that if people liked the idea of spraying data all over dissimilar drives of varies age and size, that they could be upset.  On the other hand, if you have data that you really are concerned about, I would not use DE anyway.  Folder duplication is just that... duplication.  What a waste of space.  I use WHS right now with a 43TB raid 6 array for BD and DVD storage, and I would have never thought of doing this with DE.  I think that DE was thought about during the days of MP3 size files, not 50G BD images.  I have people that use DE with large collections, and the balance that the machine does it's just plain silly.  One person copied 8TB of data to his pool, and the thing balanced for darn near a week.  It held the whole bus of the machine hostage during this process, and made media streaming unavailable. 

    A 3ware SAS 97504i card is on New Egg for 329.99.  Couple that with an enclosed with an expander, and you are done... and more importantly... very well protected. 

    Saturday, February 19, 2011 10:03 PM
  • It seems to me that if people don't subscribe to your way of doing things, they have no rights at all!

    "...without having to turn all the DE stuff off ... people liked the idea of spraying data all over dissimilar drives of varies age and size...Folder duplication is just that... duplication.  What a waste of space. ...A 3ware SAS 97504i card is on New Egg for 329.99."

    Good grief, man, the rest of us aren't as stupid as you make us out to be, and you're not the only one in the universe! And, finally, as a retiree on a fixed income, I don't have $329.99 in disposable income, and neither do a lot of folks here!

    Finally, Windows HOME Server is for those of us who have more than one HOME computer!


    Nancy Ward
    Sunday, February 20, 2011 12:25 AM
  • +1
    (I understand Star Ferret has been diverted to another address.  My toes are safe.)


    _______________

    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    _______________
    <Nancy Ward> wrote in message news:70e9c3f0-30b3-4390-bc87-5c4b59751799@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    It seems to me that if people don't subscribe to your way of doing things, they have no rights at all!

    "...without having to turn all the DE stuff off ... people liked the idea of spraying data all over dissimilar drives of varies age and size...Folder duplication is just that... duplication. What a waste of space. ...A 3ware SAS 97504i card is on New Egg for 329.99."

    Good grief, man, the rest of us aren't as stupid as you make us out to be, and you're not the only one in the universe! And, finally, as a retiree on a fixed income, I don't have $329.99 in disposable income, and neither do a lot of folks here!

    Finally, Windows HOME Server is for those of us who have more than one HOME computer!


    Nancy Ward


    BullDawg
    Sunday, February 20, 2011 2:34 AM
  • 5. If the entire server goes up in a big cloud of noxious smoke, it’s relatively trivial to mount each drive in a desktop computer (either internally or via an external SATA/USB thingie) to retrieve all files from all drives. RAID controllers use proprietary formats so it’s very likely the only way to recover is to replace the RAID controller with an identical RAID controller – same manufacturer and model. Of course, server backups are strongly recommended.
     
    I keep hoping one of (or all three) of the companies highlighted on We Got Served last week will finally save the day with an alternative to Drive Extender that really work without having to go through the hassles and expense of setting and maintaining up a RAID or JBOD array.
     
     
    "Richard Holland" wrote in message news:75996b05-2a58-4c48-aacc-79adc54e2c3f...

    You seem to have missed the point of Drive Extender.

    1: For a home user, it allowed mis-matched drive sizes to be added to a storage pool easily.
    2: The storage pool was the combined size of all the drives. (This isn't the case with DE-less Vail, you now have discrete drive letters for each drive)
    3: Files were duplicated at the folder level allowing you to specify which shares you wanted backed up. All files in these shares would be on two physically separate hard drives for ease of recovery should a drive fail or should the server fail.
    4: Drives can easily be removed from the storage pool and replaced with larger ones.

    To replicate item 2 in Vail you can use a RAID array, but you will have some wasted space depending on the RAID type, whereas DE didn't have any wasted space.

    There is no way I can see in DE-less Vail to replicate item 3 without additional 3rd party software - synctoy etc.

    To replicate item 4 in DE-less Vail is easy, but to do it you have to keep all drives individually, meaning they all have drive letters, and are no longer pooled, negating item 2 - in DE-less Vail items 2 and 4 are mutually exclusive.

    In short, DE did a lot more in the background that was genuinely useful/essential for home use.

    Monday, February 21, 2011 11:37 PM