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  1. #1
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    Storage Spaces might be Win8's best feature yet




    WOODY'S WINDOWS

    Storage Spaces might be Win8's best feature yet


    By Woody Leonhard

    In following Windows 8's somewhat painful road to fruition, I've found a lot of things to lambaste.


    But one new feature Storage Spaces might by itself justify the jump to Win8. It's a killer application.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/woody's-windows/storage-spaces-might-be-Win8-s-best-feature-yet/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    Storage Spaces sounds great but I have an implementation question. Does it play nice with utilities like TrueCrypt?

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    "Amazing. This is the way storage should've been implemented ten years ago"

    It was. Not 10 years ago but in 1988 on IBM midrange systems.
    I love to call mine an AS/400 just to tick people off! You know - that "legacy" system!
    And you are right, as described, this could be a killer Windows feature.
    I hope it's released for general availability and not just in server versions.

  4. #4
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    Does it seem that Storage Spaces will be able to correctly handle off line backup storage? That is, will it be possible to remove an external hard drive for offline storage with all data intact and accessible?

  5. #5
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    As your column noted, it seems simpler that the OS would be on a drive NOT in the pool. Same for programs/applications? Or would they work OK being in the pool?

  6. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Not Practical for Home Users

    Now for the wet blankets -- SECURITY SCANS and VIRUS RECOVERY -- and -- DISK MAINTENANCE -- and -- PERFORMANCE DEGRADATION --

    How on Earth would such a system detect, remove and repair damages from a malware infection? And how on Earth could one perform any file scanning or disk maintenance in any reasonable time frame?

    Just cleaning up duplicates, junk files, orphans and other gunk would take an eternity, if not longer. Am I missing something here? And if you never clean up the junk in your file systems, how do you maintain fast and reliable Windows Explorer and physical drive performance?

    How do you check for and repair errors in individual drives? File System errors and bad sectors are chronic issues in the NTFS file system, even on independent hard drives. And even normal partitioning and <MBR/Track 0> have chronic issues with all file systems. These issues have been among the Top Ten reasons that RAID and Volume Striping have never caught on with consumers.

    All backup and recovery tools choke badly or fail altogether when you start messing around with file location uniqueness, or drive and partition independence. Just look around The Lounge, and there is no shortage of issues encountered by our own members in these areas.

    And if you think Windows 7 Libraries are confusing (as The Lounge again amply demonstrates) just try wrapping your brain around Storage Spaces! Where exactly DOES that one troublesome file REALLY live? Is there even a single answer? Where exactly do I look for ALL my unneeded duplicates?

    Do Programs and Apps store their Program Data and User Data in one location, or is it all scattered around like all the normal data files? How does this affect third-party and Microsoft program stability and performance?

    Does file defragmentation now mean so little that we should utterly abandon the practice? And what effect does this have on overall performance of the extended file system? What long-term usage effects can we expect from increasingly fragmented files, partitions and drives (Windows Volumes)? Issues tend to accumulate.

    Fred Langa should weigh in on some of these questions, too. He is much more aware of file fragmentation issues than Woody seems to be.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-01-12 at 13:07.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    You don't mention laptops, can't remember the last time I saw one with multiple hard drives. Rather makes a nonsense of "plug in a new drive" doen't it?

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    Clarity or Obfuscation

    I'm not sure what to think about this new technology. I have hated the prior MS approach of locating data storage and providing UAC to their concept of where things belong, (i.e. C:Users\myname\some deep and dark labyrinth of subfolders). My PC has four 500 GB discs divided into two RAID mirrored C: and G: drives. I try to keep my data on the G: drives and the OS and programs installed on C:. This helps when installing a new OS not to endanger data even if a complete new OS install to C: is required such as going from XP to Win 7 64 bit. My personal preference is to make two large subdivisions of data on G:, (i.e. Data and Dnloads) with subfolders of my choice underneath each. To me, my downloads are just another classification of data that I did not personally create. I want to find my data where I know I have put it.

    Is this new approach going to help me or is it going to further obfuscate my use of my Personal Computer and is it going to provide the UAC I want to file locations I select?

  9. #9
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    Implementation, usage, security, and management questions are all interesting but unanswerable by anyone outside of Microsoft at this point in time. The blog post was a high level overview of a feature that has not seen the light of day yet. Until it is seen in the feature complete BETA at the end of February we really have no idea about the actual implementation. No one even knows if it will be in a consumer SKU.

    Joe

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    This is an exciting development

    I'm also hanging on to version 1 of windows home server. After I set up my WHS on my son's old computer in the matter of a couple hours (even making my web interface visible went smoothly), I told everyone who asked about storage and backup how amazing it was. The machine originally had a 100GB drive. It now has over 2TB of storage. I also found a backup service that handles WHS. So I have disc mirroring and onsite and offsite backup. My servers in the office aren't all as well protected! I hope that they really do deliver it in Windows 8. I'll rebuild my entire home infrastructure in a heartbeat for that!

    Thanks for the info!

  11. #11
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    Implementation, usage, security, and management questions are all interesting but unanswerable by anyone outside of Microsoft at this point in time. The blog post was a high level overview of a feature that has not seen the light of day yet. Until it is seen in the feature complete BETA at the end of February we really have no idea about the actual implementation. No one even knows if it will be in a consumer SKU.

    Joe
    I don't think my questions will be answered even with the Beta. The answers will come as consumers get their hands on this technology. They and they alone will determine whether they can understand the way this technology stores data. And it will be up to the companies who make cleanup and backup software to determine whether or not diagnostics and maintenance routines can be established for this new system, and if so, what form it all will take.

    I for one do not wish to be an early adopter. I have enough things going wrong with the current Windows data storage schemes to last two lifetimes. More complications is the last thing I need now or in the near future.

    Let the pioneers get the arrows in their backs. I'll come over to this technology when and if it proves its worth. Maybe a few years later. I want control and understanding in my computers and hard drives, and this technology leaves me with neither.
    -- Bob Primak --

  12. #12
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    Gary is correct. This stuff has been implemented properly in the "IBM i" operating system, and it's predecessors, for years. Actually since the late 1970's. The original and the best at disk/storage virtualisation. It's about time the technology reached the desktop, so congrats to MS for eventually having a look at it. (Maybe somebody found their AS/400 sitting in the corner, whirring away and said "hmmm, this looks interesting..."). However, Bob is also correct. The quoted WHS experience (bugs etc) leads us to think that it will not be a great implementation in v1.0. But give it a few years of Service Pack's etc. and maybe Windows 9 will get it right. pk

  13. #13
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    Y'all talk a lot about Windows 8, but I'm still struggling with Windows 7 problem related to disappearing Desktop ICONS. Do y'all expect Win 7 will be fixed before being forced to Win 8?

  14. #14
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by easylivin.elk View Post
    Y'all talk a lot about Windows 8, but I'm still struggling with Windows 7 problem related to disappearing Desktop ICONS. Do y'all expect Win 7 will be fixed before being forced to Win 8?
    If you could open a new thread with your issue and post it under the Windows 7 area of this forum, and provide details about when and how this occurs, I think we at the Lounge could help you fix the problem. Microsoft will not stop "fixing" Windows 7 for years to come. Windows 8 is being pushed so hard at this time, not to upgrade existing laptops and desktop computers, but to signal Microsoft's intent to enter the Tablet marketplace. No need to fear loss of support and development for Windows 7 at this time. It's the Windows XP die-hards who are going to be left high and dry come 2014.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-02-01 at 12:19.
    -- Bob Primak --

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