With and without DE

On November 28, 2010, in Aurora, by

This is one of those times I’d love to have parallel universes.  I’d love to see with and without the DE decision.

From a thread in the Vail forums… a reminder that DE2 wasn’t the perfection it is thought to be… A poster in the forum recapped how DE2 had issues:

“Why was DEv2 fundamentally flawed? Its been reiterated on these forums numerous times, but to recap.

DEv2 had massive overhead. Data protection required a 60% decrease in total storage space. That was simply unacceptable to anyone with a large storage library. Yes, 2TB drives are cheap, but that still doesn’t mean I’m willing to sacrifice 14.5TB of my 24TB array for data protection. Even someone with a modest 4 drive, 8TB config would be making large sacrifices here…

DEv2 was unsafe without data protection. Yes, it had additional ECC. But the 1GB “chunking” mechanism essentially turned your storage into a giant RAID0 array, where any SINGLE drive failure would result in data loss.

DEv2 had appcompat issues. These were being chased down all the time. Everyone remembers the nightmare that was V1 appcompat, with certain applications being deemed “unsafe” and people loosing email and photo libraries.

Bottom line. The primary goal of any storage system is to prevent data corruption, and keep your data safe. RAID has been doing this for decades, and is now easier to use than ever. I strongly suspect OEMs are simply going to sell servers with RAID protected storage, configured out of the box, and be done with it.”

The decision to nuke DE, while not a KIN, Response Point, Microsoft accounting or any of the other nuked projects of late, still feels like it’s impacting the passion of Home Server big time.  Understandably so.  Folks who build add ins on Home Server are already indicating that they aren’t sure they will build an add in for Vail as a result of the DE pull. 

I see folks say that small firms will be sunk without DE, but with DE2, I see them with risk of data loss as well.

Bottom line I don’t think DE2 was as wonderful as people think it was.  It still sucks that it was pulled, but I don’t think DE2 was perfect.

I have this saying, when life gives you lemons you make lemonade.  I’m still hoping that there’s some lemonade in our future.  Time will tell.


7 Responses to With and without DE

  1. jeffl says:


    What’s wrong with raid? Perhaps the opportunity here is building a web app integration to monitoring your raid. Perhaps a software raid 5 control for 3 or more drives.

    Personally, I think the 4 disk 8TB raid 5 solution is better. With a 24 TB RAID 5 might well be the best thing going. It reliable and with the right integration I personally think DE was a waste of Dev time. They could have spent the time integrating simple control for software raid and this never would have been an issue. Hind sight is always 20/20.

  2. Paul says:

    All well and good to say go for RAID jeffi, but how many home users are going to buy 3, 4 or 5 of the same size and brand drives at once? That is why DE1 was so good and why WHS was popular. The low cost, ability to use any drive size and connection type, and it’s ease of use. If you want to remove a drive from raid can you copy the data over to the other drives before removing it? NO! DE is so flexible. They remove DE and they kill WHS. All they need to do is put the DE1 app/features back into Vail, and then work on getting DE2 to work later, if they can. Otherwise just keep using DE1.

  3. Joe Raby says:

    If DE1 worked and was fixed, why not continue using it in Vail/Aurora?

    Is it because it didn’t work with Server 2008’s core?

    Remember, DEv1 was built on top of NTFS, but NTFS was built on top of DEv2 (Is it some kind of virtualized storage wedge between NTFS and the hardware? Like a “hypervisor” for storage?).

  4. Joe Raby says:

    Aurora is still the cheapest point of entry for Windows Server, this side of Foundation (but Foundation is only available via major OEM’s).

    Where else would you get a cost-effective business-class Windows Server OS for home use too, aside from Vail? Something that you can actually load Windows-compatible applications on, as well as use as a Remote Desktop Gateway with easy domain services, among other features?

    How’s that for lemonade!

  5. Chris Knight says:

    OK, definitely late to the party on this one – why don’t the dev team simply put DE1 back into Vail, Aurora and Breckenbridge?

  6. bradley says:

    DE1 is 32bit not 64bit and it built for 2k3, can’t simply put back in something that wasn’t written for this code.

  7. Chris Knight says:

    64-bit target recompile fixes the 32-64 bit issue. Unlikely to be any code changes needed just for this.
    Probably more to do with the NTFS version changes between 2003 and 2008, and wanting to support Previous Versions properly. I imagine they wanted to do storage virtualisation by pumping everything into VHDs, which is what Breckenridge would be doing if it’s based on the WSS2008R2 code, so something under NTFS would be needed.
    I guess Aurora and Breckenridge took precedence over Vail in this regard, where traditional RAID works and is understood well. Pity that all three are based on the same source code – Vail will always lose out in terms of features in this regard.