Microsoft’s Steve Sinofsky has written a detailed article about a genuinely exciting new feature of Windows 8 — Storage Spaces. I won’t repeat the details here, for those you can go straight to the horses mouth. However I will point out a key line from a home media server point of view: “There’s another resiliency attribute, called parity, which directs Storage Spaces to store some redundancy information alongside user data contained within the space, thereby enabling automatic data reconstruction in the event of physical disk failure.” To me, this sounds a LOT like a software RAID5 similar to that provided by UnRAID. Until Windows 8 is released and the technology is fully reviewed the details are of course somewhat speculative, but my reading of the article leads me to believe that Storage Spaces will enable the striping of disks, with a parity in the event of single disk failure. Further, it is reasonable to assume that this system will work with standard non-enterprise drives without suffering any compatibility issues. Finally, it is reasonable to assume that Storage Spaces will offer some of the performance benefits of hardware raid-5 too. If you have a home server with a lot of media and you want some redundancy, without huge cost, then this technology sounds like it might be the perfect solution. Thanks Microsoft!
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