I’ve been a long term fan of the Windows Home Server, (WHS), environment and have run both WHS and WHS 2011 machines.

I started with a physical machine for WHS, but then migrated this to a virtual machine, and then continued with the virtual route for WHS 2011. Virtualisation offered a simple answer to the ever increasing number of computers at home, so perhaps a topic for a future post? However, I wanted to write a quick post about Disk Extender, (DE), technology.

In the original WHS, DE was an integral part of the OS and worked seamlessly after some initial glitches when WHS was launched. But during the course of it’s life this was a robust feature that allowed a number of disparate disks to appear to the OS as a single disk. As I mentioned in my Vail Fail post, Microsoft in it’s infinite wisdom decided to drop this technology for WHS2011, and I pondered the idea of not moving on. But as a tech geek I was unable to resist the lure of moving on, and although the backup process has to be a little more considered, I’m generally happy without the need to add DE to the OS.

Then as the launch of WHS2011 approached and obviously subsequently, various vendors have come forward to reintroduce DE to the OS. So contenders such as DriveBender and StableBit DrivePool have appeared to “fill the void”. But is it too little, too late? When I first heard of these I thought, “Great it’s just whats needed”, but you know what, these companies have had too many iterations of beta releases for me to be interested anymore. There is no way I would trust my data to beta software, which means that I have got used to “naked” WHS2011, and frankly with it’s twice daily backup to another disk – I really don’t think any of these DE replacements are really required.

Their development cycle has frankly gone on too long and of course we will have to pay for them when they arrive. My suggestion is embrace the backup capabilities already built into your WHS2011 machine and forget these DE pretenders….