DE Removal has Consequences

The backlash continues regarding Drive Extender being removed from Windows Home server Vail.

ZDNet in the UK asks "What’s the point of Windows Home Server?"

So here’s a modest proposal: Don’t throw away Drive Extender. Instead deliver Home Server "Vail" and Small Business Server Essentials with a hybrid file system, where one drive letter is given over to a Drive Extender storage fabric and others are used for a more traditional NTFS system. That way you’ll get the best of both worlds; a powerful extensible storage array with built in redundancy for critical files, and a standard file system for those legacy applications and those that need block-level access to disks. That way we get the best of both worlds, the old and the new together. Otherwise Microsoft might as well just cancel Home Server, and hand that growing market over to the folks at Data Robotics…

Diskeeper the makers of the defrag utility Diskeeper 2010 HomeServer, writes on their blog:

There is still significant value in Vail. The thing that really distinguishes WHS from NAS devices is that WHS is a platform whereas NAS is an appliance. Appliances will do next year the same thing they do today – which may work for many. A platform, through new/added software, can be customized to be a great variety of things. You build onto the platform whatever you want it to do for you, and as you grow, it can grow with you.  Because of that potential, it’s amassed a base of passionate users with very high expectations (rightfully so).

Andrew Grant the developer of the add-in Whiist states in a blog post that he will not develop a version of the add-in for Vail now that DE has been removed. And finally fellow MVP Andrew Edney’s forthcoming book, Windows Home Server Inside Out by MS Press which was due early next year has been cancelled following Microsoft’s announcement.

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  1. Erik says:

    I only bought WHS because of DE and Folder Duplication, otherwise I;d have bought a NAS. I would not be surprised if MS recants.

  2. Tom Abell says:

    Great points and great quotes Philip! Yeah, I am hoping they figure something out, though perhaps this opens the door for innovation from other companies! That can always be a good thing…

  3. Unfortunately, I think what is becoming clear is that WHS is a product that is being phased out by Microsoft. The latest news today that they are dropping publication of an already completed WHS book was the wake-up call for me. First DE, now this.

    WHS is a great product, and it’s still in its infancy, but I think Microsoft is abandoning it to focus on the small business side of things where there is money and profit. I wish they would donate the DE technology to the opensource community, though I doubt that will be happening.

    But I have no doubt that WHS is probably on its way out. 🙁

  4. Sam says:

    HP quits WHS too….and although not officially linked to the removal of DE why would they provide a hardware platform for a crippled OS no-one will want.

    Sad times. Long live my v.1 until I find a Linux replacement

  5. GG says:

    Are you silly?
    The book was canceled because it was mainly about DE.
    Now that DE is gone, it is silly to spend that much time on it.

    HP left because they bought Palm, and want to do a Palm version of the OS on their products.

    Microsoft dumped DE because of file integrity.
    Too many corrupt files make too many unhappy.

    You really can do it all with regular drives.

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