StableBit DrivePool, a solution to your Drive Extender Woes
As I mentioned in an earlier article, the whole “Drive Extender” fiasco seems to be being put to bed in short order as a number of 3rd Party applications swoop in to fill the void. I discussed Drive Bender, a solution from Division-M briefly in one of my recent articles.
On Friday, Covecube the company behind StableBit DrivePool, another Drive Extender replacement solution, released it’s technical overview of the technology driving StableBit DrivePool. In a nutshell, the program is a Windows Home Server 2011 add-in that:
Pools multiple physical drives into one virtual drive and provides file duplication on a folder level.
The Technical Overview goes on to describe various aspects of the software’s features including StableBit DrivePools’ benefits:
At its core, StableBit DrivePool is designed to solve 2 problems:
- You should never have to worry about running out of disk space. If you’re running low on disk space, then just plug in another hard disk, add it to the pool, and you’re done. You don’t have to change the way you organize your data to meet the needs of the system. The system should be flexible enough to meet your needs.
- Important files should have an extra layer of protection. All hard drives fail, this is a fact. It’s just a matter of when. File duplication works to keep 2 copies of every important file on two separate hard drives. In case one of them is inaccessible, the other one is used to fill in the gaps. You’re in control. You get to choose which files to duplicate and which not to, on a folder by folder basis. No need to match disk sizes or to repartition anything. Once again, the system strives to meet your needs, not the other way around.
Feel free to catch up on the rest of the Overview here, but I’ve got to express how great this is to have Microsoft give companies out there the chance to come up with solutions for the missing Drive Extender. From what I read, Microsoft had some pretty good technical justifications for dropping DE out of the core windows 2008 server OS. I have little doubt that MS knew that there were viable solutions out there already in the works when the were deliberating about DE’s removal. If you read the story behind Covecube and StableBit DrivePool, you’ll find out that their DE replacement was already on the drawing boards long before Microsoft pulled the plug.
To me the important thing to remember is that WHS is (and in my opinion, always was) far from dead just because Drive Extender was removed. What the move did was open up the doors for smaller companies to provide solutions for the missing technology. This in turn causes these companies to work to outdo each other by coming up with new features and functionality within their software…things Microsoft may never have stumbled upon because there was no need to provide a solution for had they not dropped DE.
This is innovation everyone and innovation is what brings us more cool toys to assist in home system integration and in creating the Connected Home. Not only that, it employs more people at these companies which is obviously good for the economy. It’s time to get over Drive Extender’s removal, accept it for what it is, and move on.
Windows Home Server is alive and kicking!
Look for in-depth reviews of both of these WHS Drive Extender replacements in the new future as their beta products become a little more stable. If any of you have used either of these solutions yet, PLEASE feel free to leave comments on your first impressions! If you enjoy writing, why not consider doing a write up for us? We’ll make ya famous!
Stay tuned…WHS 2011 is still alive and kicking!