Microsoft lost some friends when it announced that Windows Home Media Server was losing a key feature. The Drive Extender kind of justified the toaster servers by allowing for easy hard drive pooling. But for some reason, Redmond decided to go forward without the function. Well, the official product is in fact gone, but a few 3rd party add-ons recently appeared and seem to fill the void.
StableBit DrivePool will bring most of the Drive Extender’s functions to WHS. There’s easy hard drive pooling, duplicated folders, and the ability to remove physical disks without partioning or moving foldings. The system runs as a WHS add-in so even user interaction will be similar. It’s currently in an alpha release.
MSWHS points to two other similar offerings as well. Drive Bender claims its bringing data pooling “to the masses” with support for Vista and Windows 7. Then DataCore also supports WHS with enterprise-class storage solutions.
Drive Extender was without question the best reason for owning a Windows Home Server. Microsoft might disagree, but 3rd party add-ons are quickly appearing to take the baton.