Drive Bender ER1

We are moving ever closer to the release of Drive Bender ER1. That said, we are getting a lot of questions around this ER1 release, and what this means for the full featured Drive Bender v2 release.

Well for those that may not already know, ER1 stands for “Early Release 1”, and is basically a production release of the new v2 code, but with some of the features yet to be added.  At the start of 2014 we looked at our timelines for the Drive Bender v2 release, and the number of fixes and updates made to the v2 code over and above v1… in view of this, it was decided that we should feature lock the v2 code, test and refine what was in place to the point that we could release a v2 version that would replace the current v1 release.

Why… why not wait until all features are in place? Well there are two main reasons, 1) The feedback on the new interface has been incredibly strong, and we wanted to get this out to our users ASAP, and 2) The new code base offers much more in the way of speed and reliability over v1, not to mention a the few niggling v1 bugs had been quashed!

So whats next? We are in the final stages of ER1 testing and bug fixing, and we now have a great platform to bolt on the balance of the v2 features. Here’s a list on the new features coming in ER1.

Drive Bender v2 ER1 (release soon)

New user interface
Drive Bender v2 brings with it an entirely new interface, this is to improve usability and overall interface performance. With this we are also improving the notification engine and introducing client notification popups.
he new Server 2012 R2 server addin interface

he new Windows interface

Under the hood
Under the hood Drive Bender v2 is a vastly different beast, we have re-architect most of the core application, the result is a much faster, robust and scalable platform. Features such as NFS support, pool GPT partitioning and better handling of drive disconnection are just some of the new features of this new code.

File system health monitor improvements
The performance of the file system health monitor has been improved, along with improved duplication issue detection (such as repeated failure of duplication creation etc) and general drive health.

Network drive support
This new feature is straight forward, you can now add a network path to the pool, and it is treated just like a physical hard drive.

Landing zone support
This is the ability to set a specific drive to be used for all writes to the pool, then at a later time, these files are to be moved from the landing zone drive to the rest of the drives in the pool. The idea here is that a fast drive can be set as the landing zone to improve overall write speeds to the pool.

Changes to file balancing (more to come)
We have improved the “even balancing” method and have add limited “cascade balancing” support (if you disable balancing, Drive Bender now reverts to cascade balancing).

Post ER1 release

Obviously the are a number of major v2 features still to come (you can see a list of v2 features here), and we’ll be working on these as fast as our little fingers will carry us. We are hoping to delivery a number of these in the first post ER1 beta. Finally I can hear you asking “what is happening with VSS support”? Well this is proving to be quite the challenge to say the least. The VSS framework put in place by MS is, well, to be kind, poorly documented and mostly held together with gaffer tape… however our intention is to deliver this after v2 ships providing we can get it to work reliably.

Finally I’d like to make a shout out to the users that have helped with beta testing, your feedback has been invaluable, thanks!

34 thoughts on “Drive Bender ER1”

  1. If I “upgrade” by buying version 1.x now does the free upgrade to version 2.0 ER1 also include all future versions of 2.x for free too? Thanks.

  2. I have an older computer that was running WHS v1, but I don’t need to use the WHS front end to pool drives with its outdated software, etc. I read that Win2003 can read GPT data drives with the Service Pack added, and I can add a lot of hard drives to this old computer with Sata port multiplier cards or USB3. Will your upcoming new version 2 of DB work Ok with this older 2003 OS??? Should all features function or ? Thanks.

  3. I want to use “Folder level balancing” in the future.
    If I use v1 now, will v2 be able to change “even balancing” to “folder level balancing” of an existing drive-bender-drive by resorting the files automatically in the background?

  4. Another feature question for you: will this v2 release support multiple duplication? If not, will a future release support it?

    I see in the list of planned features you have “Drive-specific duplication,” but I’m unsure if that means multiple duplication targets.

    1. ER1 is not far off… unfortunately we have had a couple of show stopper bugs that have been difficult to nail down (although it looks like one of them has now been sorted). Once these are sorted, there will be a final beta and then the ER1 release.

  5. So pleased to hear that DB v2 is getting close to release – I’ve held off on my Server 2012 essentials rebuild for far too long.

    Good work guys and thanks for keeping it free for V1 users.

  6. Wow love the look of the new interface. One question, anyone here running the beta and can comment on performance? I recently moved away from DP because of performance, and found DB v1, far superior. Would like to know if v2 is just as good?

      1. I installed the latest Beta, had a “hickup” with the upgrade, I have two pools and one drive showed up in both… Could have been a pre-existing condition but the new interface made it easy to spot… Other than that, has been running smooth… The performance is noticeably better.

    1. You can use either BitLocker or TrueCrypt with Drive Bender. FYI – if you are using v1 with TrueCrypt, you need to enable physical drive number emulation (under setting -> advanced).

    1. Well we have many users running the latest beta… however there are a number of issues with this beta (I should note there are no issues that effect file integrity). We are pushing to have the final (final being relative ;-)) beta out this week.

  7. A cool feature to add would be to speed test the read and write of each drive. Because since you now allow us to choose what folder goes on which drive. I can speed test to find my fastest drive and put all my movies on that drive. Just an idea.

    Also did that final beta come up?

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