Sadly, today Microsoft announced that they would be ceasing development of the Drive Extender feature that was to be part of SBS 2011 Essentials and the new Windows Home Server version. No – Microsoft are NOT cancelling SBS 2001 Essentials OR Windows Home Server, but they are removing what I consider to be a key feature to those products. They announced it today here on their blog.
Why would they do this? Honestly – only Microsoft know. What I know is that I’m disappointed that the feature is gone, particularly from the Home Server product as this was a very cool way to easily expand your drive storage pools without needing to have drives all of the same size. From what I saw, it worked pretty darn well in Windows Home Server v1 – sure there was a hiccup with storing certain types of data on it, but for music, videos and photos it seemed to work pretty well indeed.
What do we do now? Well – we do what we have always done. We use either Software RAID built into Windows Server that underlies all of this (yuck) or Hardware RAID to give us the protection we need for our drives.
I know that a few of my fellow MVPs were told of this recently and sworn to secrecy under our NDA, and we honestly were dumbstruck as to the fact it had been cancelled. I can only assume that the powers that be at Microsoft know what they are truly doing by removing this feature. On the flip side however, it means that any server backup or antivirus product that worked with Windows Server 2008 R2 will now most certainly work with SBS 2011 Essentials without modification! See – there is a silver lining there somewhere