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Drive Extender Replacements

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50 replies to this topic

#1
mavrrick

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OK so we know we will have Stablebit Drivepool, DriveBender, Datacore Drive Harmony.

I would expect eventually they will all have similar performance and such, but do we know anything yet about how they functionally differ on how they accomplish the drive pooling. How are they differentiating themselves. I know I want drive pooling eventually, but can't seem to get much information about how each works.


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#2
Garry

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OK so we know we will have Stablebit Drivepool, DriveBender, Datacore Drive Harmony.

I would expect eventually they will all have similar performance and such, but do we know anything yet about how they functionally differ on how they accomplish the drive pooling. How are they differentiating themselves. I know I want drive pooling eventually, but can't seem to get much information about how each works.

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Probably won't get info on how they work as they are under development and
the developer isn't going to share that info anyway as they are competing with
each other.

#3
Pete Cousins

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I've only done lots of reading (2011 home server to be built this week, hopefully), but from what I've read:
1) I don't want Drive Harmony. It appears to be software RAID 1, and I can't afford to waste space on half my drives (as they're different sizes and I want to duplicate everything). Also looks like drives have to be added in pairs (!!).
2) Drive Bender appears to currently have more functionality. For example, drive balancing. I believe that Drivepool only duplicates files when they are written. They don't get moved later if I add a new drive. Maybe that's not really an issue. I believe the install for DriveBender is a bit more polished too.
3) The StableBit drivepool website looks nicer, and appears to have more information.
I'm keen to pick one and get moving with it (once my server's up and running), but don't want to make the wrong choice and have to undo it later. I'd wait but my videos folder won't fit into the 2TB limit. I've still got the disks from my old WHS from before the motherboard died, but will need to reuse them in the new server.

#4
JazJon

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I'm anxiously waiting to see which DE replacement gets the most positive reviews. It's obviously between only two real competitors Drive Bender or Stablebit DrivePool. They both "look" great so far, no clear winner just from checking out GUI screen shots & reading about them alone. Drive Bender works on multiple OS's while Stablebit is WHS only. I can see both plus's and minus's for going diverse vs specializing. Balancing and other speed/quality enhancements would be great. maybe Stablebit can bundle in and fully integrate their SMART/Disk Scanner monitoring

#5
Burnman

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I have a question on these drive extenders. If you have to do a restore, WHS 2011 obiviously isn't going to see all the drives as 1 and all the files on the drives. Once the operating system is installed and the drive extender addin is restored will it recover all the drives and files on them. If I switch over to WHS 2011 I won't be using file duplication, as I don't use it now.

I'm just really concerned about doing a restore if the system drive would fail or the system OS would get corrupt.

Has anyone tried doing a restore with any of the Drive Extenders.

Any tips or info would be appreciated.

#6
generious

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I have a question on these drive extenders. If you have to do a restore, WHS 2011 obiviously isn't going to see all the drives as 1 and all the files on the drives. Once the operating system is installed and the drive extender addin is restored will it recover all the drives and files on them. If I switch over to WHS 2011 I won't be using file duplication, as I don't use it now.

I'm just really concerned about doing a restore if the system drive would fail or the system OS would get corrupt.

Has anyone tried doing a restore with any of the Drive Extenders.

Any tips or info would be appreciated.


I have been using drive bender for about two months now as for your question regarding restores ect.
You reinstall the OS or recover from media, install drive bender, open up the drive bender manager interface.
Select " Restore or repair a pool"

You now have three options the first one
"Restore a pool from drives" - This is option is the one you want for a fresh restore.
The second option is " Repair a pools configuration" this is to repair damaged pool.
The third option is "Repair a pool and recover duplicated files" this is to be used if a disk has failed or been pulled from a system.


I have tested the first option haven't had a specific need to run the third one as of yet.

My advice if you haven't tested it create a vm and install whs2011 on it, and configure up a couple of drives and install both and see which you prefer, my choice will be drive bender it is more advanced, more room for tweaking and the developer is extremely active in the forums and responsive to support issues and bug fixes.

What might be for me might not be for you! so test it instead of someone telling what's the best one to use! :)

#7
Burnman

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I have been using drive bender for about two months now as for your question regarding restores ect.
You reinstall the OS or recover from media, install drive bender, open up the drive bender manager interface.
Select " Restore or repair a pool"

You now have three options the first one
"Restore a pool from drives" - This is option is the one you want for a fresh restore.
The second option is " Repair a pools configuration" this is to repair damaged pool.
The third option is "Repair a pool and recover duplicated files" this is to be used if a disk has failed or been pulled from a system.


I have tested the first option haven't had a specific need to run the third one as of yet.

My advice if you haven't tested it create a vm and install whs2011 on it, and configure up a couple of drives and install both and see which you prefer, my choice will be drive bender it is more advanced, more room for tweaking and the developer is extremely active in the forums and responsive to support issues and bug fixes.

What might be for me might not be for you! so test it instead of someone telling what's the best one to use! :)


Thanks for the reply. Good explanation on how it works.

I still don't understand why MS removed it from the software. What were they thinking. I was totally set to upgrade until they announced that. Now I have reconsidered and tried to find reasons why, and what benefits I would really gain. I haven't purchased the software yet, I've only used the beta that was out. I'll have to check MS site to see if you can download a 30 day trial so I can try your suggestion.

#8
Ronski

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I've had a couple of emails from Tranquil PC (major UK media pc manufacture) today, seems they are going with DriveBender or MonStor as they call it, it's priced at £29.95

#9
JazJon

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I've been using Drive Bender for the past week. So far so good I like it.

#10
perbear

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I've been using Drive Bender for the past week. So far so good I like it.

I know that the StableBit DrivePool is in Beat (phase or Milestone 2 with two more to come before released), how are the other two; are they also in beta and if so in what stage are they? Feature complete (which StabelBit is not)? I guess if the original writer wants a comparison between full featured softwares that are optimised and without any faults we have to wait for some time yet.

#11
intimnasc

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Well its been a month since anyone has commented. I am tossing back and forth on drive bender and drivepool but haven't decided. Any of you guys had any new experiences since this thread started? I'd love to hear the opinions of both people that know what they are doing and the more advanced users.

#12
Hyram

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I've been researching this heavily the past week or so, and I was fuming to find out the beta program had closed -- of the pending options, I consider Drive Bender to be out in front by a country mile.

Division M can name any price, even four digits, and I'll buy it -- I just want it yesterday :P

#13
mavrrick

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Can you please explain why drive bender is so far ahead for you.

#14
intimnasc

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I am leaning towards Drivepool myself but not sure its even needed anymore. My reasoning is if you read their boards the developers are focusing on minimum frills and talking about opening up some of the code for others to design addins 9for it. It is supposed to be more bare bones "it just works" kinda software that will not need alot of user interaction. I also like the fact it is being written exclusively for WHS 2011 and nothing else.

Drive Bender on the other hand is being written for multiple operating systems with more bells and whistles (which generally leads to more early problems) and seems to require more base knowledge than I am able to commit to learning.

Just my opinion from what I have been reading.

#15
daveyboy37

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Can you please explain why drive bender is so far ahead for you.


Thats probably because he hasnt actually tried StableBit DrivePool...
Im totally unbiased i actually use Drivebender on my main PC and DrivePool on my WHS.
They both do a great job....but having experienced both i can honestly say that the only things that DriveBender has the edge with are
1. Compatibility with any windows OS
2, The ability to create more than one pool.
Alex at StableBit has already stated that this functionality will come after final.

And in reply to Intimnasc......Yep every update with DrivePool has for me at least has been smooth(Though some have had slight issues).
With DriveBender every release seems to have a devasting effect on someone!! This is undoubtedly down to trying to create something that will run on different O/S.

@Hyram... why are you fuming that the DriveBender beta is closed... Its been closed for several months and you must already be in the beta because u have just told us how far ahead DriveBender is.

Finally why are people using the Tranquil PC endorsement... as if it somehow means its a better product. Tranquil do Home Servers and media PC's(ie W7). So for them it is the only option, not necessarily the better option.
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#16
daveyboy37

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I am leaning towards Drivepool myself but not sure its even needed anymore. My reasoning is if you read their boards the developers are focusing on minimum frills and talking about opening up some of the code for others to design addins 9for it. It is supposed to be more bare bones "it just works" kinda software that will not need alot of user interaction. I also like the fact it is being written exclusively for WHS 2011 and nothing else.

Drive Bender on the other hand is being written for multiple operating systems with more bells and whistles (which generally leads to more early problems) and seems to require more base knowledge than I am able to commit to learning.

Just my opinion from what I have been reading.


Can i just ask what you have read relating to the minimum thrills with DrivePool? I certainly havent seen anything about opening up to 3rd part developers...(But hey!!... I may have missed it.) In fact in the next release M4... Alex is talking about integrating a kind of striping to boost the I/O speeds. That in theory sounds to be quite innovative. (So this is raid 1 mirroring, with the speed of Raid 0 striping on a folder basis rather than a Hard Drive basis. All without the worry of a raid controller failure.)
Sorry... im not trolling. Just curious to what you have seen on the forums.

#17
S-F

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In fact in the next release M4... Alex is talking about integrating a kind of striping to boost the I/O speeds. That in theory sounds to be quite innovative. (So this is raid 1 mirroring, with the speed of Raid 0 striping on a folder basis rather than a Hard Drive basis. All without the worry of a raid controller failure.)
Sorry... im not trolling. Just curious to what you have seen on the forums.


Could please expand on this? Currently it is my understanding that both drive bender and drive pool reduce network throughput. A while back some people posted comparisons of transferring the same file to and from the same hardware with and without the add ins and speeds were always faster without . Now this very well may have changed. I don't know. I made a post or two asking for updated benchmarks and real world tests and no one responded. I guessing that most people using these tools are simply not interested in network speeds. Personally I get frustrated on a regular basis with my V1 WHS because network transfer speeds blow. I see on average about 20 MB/s between the server and the the clients where I get over 100 MB/s between clients. I will be leaving WHS V1 this winter and I'm doing it for three reasons: piss poor network speeds, no support for newer larger drives and the inability to back up the OS.

#18
daveyboy37

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Well currently speeds are definitely slower for most people using DrivePool. Some people are saying they are only getting 15-20 M/bps... Personally i get about to 60-70 M/bps writing a single mkv from my PC to a pooled drive on my server(over the network.) Several mkvs together give me about 50-60 M/bps. This is before DrivePool has been optimized for I/O speeds. This compare with about 85 M/bps for the single MKV going to a non pooled drive. Most of my drives are 5400 rpm. My router is a sagem that my isp insist i use and a cheap £30 TP-Link Gigabit switch.
Personally i have little interest in my write speeds anyway.Only read speeds. I have set 4 clients watching different movies on the pool simultaneously, no lag, no stutter. That isnt to say the movies were not all actually on seperate physical drives. (I didnt really check.)
As for the striping i mention, you know about as much as me at the moment... All i know is its coming. On the next release M4, i will report back any change of I/O speeds.
What i cant quite put my finger on is why some people are getting poor speeds with DrivePool. I can only think its something hardware specific.

#19
generious

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Still running Drive Bender here and still running without any problems.

As for speeds I don't have any issues in this area, I get close to 99MB/s when transferring 1GB + files from my own system to the WHS with pooled drives via DB.

I had done ton of testing on the speed end several months ago using various nics in my systems and hp procurve switches and tweaks on the WHS end and main system end and enabling jumbo frames and disabling TX/RX ect, disks in the whs are samsung F4 disks and the main disk in my workstation is a ocz vertex 3 ssd.

Stablebit Drive pool is running on a VM just to keep a eye on it compared to drive bender and I still prefer drive bender.

#20
SilverRubicon

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What i cant quite put my finger on is why some people are getting poor speeds with DrivePool. I can only think its something hardware specific.


It's not hardware specific. It's whether you're writing to a duplicated or non duplicated share.




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