Microsoft yesterday made available the release candidate of their upcoming Home Server product Windows Home Server 2011. The product, formerly known under its codename Vail, is expected to ship later this year. An update to the Windows Server Solutions SDK has been released along with the release candidate which "which provides tools and information to develop add-ins and extend the functionality of Windows Home Server 2011".
This WHS RC is the first public release to include changes in the storage features, so let’s look at some of the changes you can expect. All existing technologies such as server and client backup, health monitoring, remote web access, streaming media, and simplified dashboard management are still included.
The release candidate comes with a new Move Folder Wizard which can be used to move date from one hard drive or partition to another.
You can see the Move Folder Wizard in action in the video below:
Additional features mentioned in the release candidate availability posting:
As Hard Drives are added to the Home Server, your health alerts will notify you that a new Hard Drive is available. From here, you can automatically format and configure the new drive for additional storage.
Data protection also includes daily Server and PC backup, Previous Versions via Shadow copy which lets you return prior versions of existing files (without needing to restore from backup), and a protection feature for pre-defined folders (such as Recorded TV, Videos, Photos) in case these are accidently deleted.
Drive Extender, a feature that has been available before, is not included in the release candidate release of Windows Home Server 2011 and will not be included in the final release of the product. The move has been very controversial.
Drive Extender basically allowed a user to combine hard drives to a storage pool which offered several benefits over comparable RAID solutions. This included for instance the option to combine hard drives of different sizes and that not special hardware or RAID controller was needed to set it up.
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