Links: Windows Home Server Bombshell

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[Last updated: Nov 27, 2010]

With Microsoft’s recent dropping of Drive Extender from Windows Home server I’ve been doing so related browsing and find the following links of interest:

Let’s not forget that Windows Home Server v1 is still around, and gets mainstream support from Microsoft until January 2013.

The Home Server Show Podcast, episode 114 has a good discussion about the implications of the announcement. They avoid the the extremes of either bashing Microsoft or being fan boys.

Paul Thurrott has a couple articles discussing Microsoft’s move, including info on discussions he’s had with Microsoft. In addition to being a tech writer he’s also been a big WHS supporter and user.

If your looking to replace WHS there’s the open source Amahi Home Server that seems interesting. I should mention that while I’m posting the links, I haven’t used this or any of the other software mentioned in this post. A migration guide is available that compares drive extender to Greyhole (the technology included in Amahi)

FlexRAID is open source software that provides a interesting take on data protection. I find it interesting in that they do say it’s not suitable for databases but is suitable for storing files. Almost sounds similar to Microsoft’s problems being on the SBS side rather than the WHS side of development. Might be that this will work on Windows Home Server v2.

FreeNas: from the site:  FreeNAS is an embedded open source NAS (Network-Attached Storage) distribution based on FreeBSD, supporting the following protocols: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, TFTP, AFP, RSYNC, Unison, iSCSI (initiator and target) and UPnP. It supports Software RAID (0,1,5), ZFS, disk encryption, S.M.A.R.T/email monitoring with a WEB configuration interface

I might look at the software out of curiosity, but at this point I think I’d stay with WHS v1 rather than moving to something else which may lock me in. If I leave WHS v1 before 2013 I’m more likely to go with a Linux server such as Ubuntu or the super-stable CentOS to serve my files and give me the maximum flexibility. WHS simplified everything, making RAID (OK, not RAID but data protection) stupid simple and it served out the files reliably. If I leave WHS I might as well go with maximum flexibility.

Drobo is offering a discount to WHS users (actually anyone with the coupon code) as a promotion. I have a Drobo but am not a fan. I don’t see the value proposition. Mine serves as a backup drive.

A little drive extender related humor.

Ars Technica has a good analysis of the Drive Extender removal and these two lines sum up my own opinion:

If Microsoft is going to stick with its decision and remove Drive Extender across the board, the company might as well cancel Windows Home Server altogether. I think, however, this is a bad decision.

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