The Redeye Complex

Friday, September 07, 2007
Windows Home Server ... an explanation and some product detail.

AnandTech provides a well written explanation of what Home Server can do. It answers my question of whether the system while offering RAID like features actually uses RAID. Answer - no. And based on this explanation that's not a bad thing.
WHSDE has a very interesting data protection feature that in many ways is a poor man's RAID 1, and yet smarter at the same time. By default WHSDE is constantly balancing all the drives so that no single drive is storing a larger percentage of data than another, so in the case of a drive failure the data lost will be an equal fraction of the data. More importantly however folders can be marked as needing additional protection (folder duplication), at which point WHSDE will make sure that the contents of that folder are on at least two separate drives when doing its balancing act. This is what makes WHSDE a poor man's RAID 1, as this balancing isn't done in real time and there's not immediately a copy of every single bit, but it's also smarter because this kind of protection is possible even among mismatched disks, disks on different controllers, external versus internal disks, etc. It offers slightly less protection than RAID 1, but as a tradeoff it's a lot more forgiving too.
And someone from HP must be kicking themselves because they scheduled a fall product launch the same day as new iPods were announced. One of their new products is the Media Home Server. Here is a PDF. Amazon has some info too.


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