Back in November of last year (2010), Microsoft was talking about killing a very promising and well receipted feature for Windows Home Server called Drive Extender. Just recently, in the very first release candidate of Windows Home Server codename “Vail”, Microsoft canceled this feature. Well, fear not, looks like we may get to taste Drive Extender after all.
What is Drive Extender you ask? Drive Extender is the technology that enables multiple physical disks to act as a single solid volume for storage, making it easy for anyone to add more storage.
As Computerworld reports, a few developers are working on fixing this for us. DataCore software, Division M, and StableBit are three companies working on creating such add-ins for Windows Home Server 2011 that will emulate the Drive Extender feature. Datacore plans on creating a Storage Virtualization add-in that will offer drive mirroring and will be released sometime in the near future. Division M is working on an add-in called “Drive Bender” which is slated for a release sometime next week. StableBit is also working on an add-in but no release information is yet known.
Microsoft defended their actions by claiming that more and more 1TB and 2TB hard drives are becoming readily available for the consumer to purchase and use. By having a large hard drive, one would not need to use a Drive Extender feature. With the release of Windows Home Server 2011 nearing, these add-ins offer hope for those who initially wanted the Drive Extender feature because they do not have or want to use a large modern hard drive. Microsoft also insisted that OEMs use RAID instead, but come on, we all want Drive Extender.Further reading: Drive Extender, Windows Server