In the last 6 weeks 2 major updates have totally changed the media server landscape. DVBLink server 4.5 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012 in combination look to offer an ideal windows-platform for a home media server.
Posts Tagged: storage spaces
So, Windows 8 is coming in late July (October for retail customers). There are no signs that Microsoft will relent provide an option to switch back to the Windows 7 start menu, and instead will force the horrible metro interface upon everyone. As a result many of us will undoubtedly stick quite happily with Windows 7, however there are 2 reasons to use Windows 8: being forced to as it will come on all new PCs soon and for improvements including a performance increase and the new storage spaces feature amongst others. If you fall into either of these camps but, like me, can’t stand metro, there are now more options available than when I last wrote about this issue.
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!