Windows 8 and software RAID

Well having spent a number of weeks with Windows 8 RTM… my first question is, WTF? This is design gone mad. The constant switching between the desktop and the “Windows 8 start menu” i.e. Metro start menu, is incredibly jarring. So much so that I relented and came up with a start button hack. I wonder if anyone at Microsoft has tried this 😉

Some good news though regarding Windows 8’s Storage Spaces (at least we think its good news), our testing shows that Drive Bender is still king when it comes to performance. Again we see software RAID falling in a heap, why companies persist with this is mind boggling… were Microsoft paying attention when Data Core’s Drive Harmony hit users? On a test machine here, it used 1GB of RAM (not joking) and had the performance of a wet sock! Anyway, point being that it did not get much further than the initial beta test. Why? Because software RAID is slow, and if it breaks you cannot simply mount a drive and take a peek at the contents.

Now… some would argue that file duplication is inefficient with regards to storage usage, however in a world where storage is cheap and performance is not, this in our minds is the smarter trade off. And judging by the emails we are getting about Drive Bender’s compatibility with Windows 8 (you can read more on that here), I’m guessing we are not alone.

Finally though I would like to say “congrates” to Microsoft on their efforts with Server 2012… this is an excellent piece of software (Storage Spaces aside). The server management stuff is absolute brilliant, and it boots straight into the desktop… what a novel concept!

One response to “Windows 8 and software RAID”

  1. Matthew Sawyer says :

    Drive Bender beats Storage Spaces hands-down. I tried Storage Spaces for awhile, even though I have two licenses for DB. Storage Spaces just leaves me feeling like something’s missing.

    And when I think of it, yes, something is missing. Performance under Storage Spaces is slower than DB. And Storage Spaces most annoying feature is that if you ever detach a pool, and move it to a different server–or even reattach it back to the same server, it never automatically reattaches after a reboot!

    That means each time the machine is rebooted, I have to manually reattach the pooled drive.

    Overall I think Storage Spaces was a good first try. I had hoped to see improvements in Server 2012 R2, but the performance is still slower than DB and I still have to manually reattach pools after reboots.

    Looking forward to Drive Bender v2!

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