A view from the drivers seat

Welcome to the New Year! The last few months have been very busy… just before Christmas, we posted Drive Bender v2.5, and Cloud Xtender v2.1, both of which now support the Windows 10 Anniversary edition. For some users, the latest version of Windows caused some headaches, as Redmond’s new driver signing model was fully enforced in this version of Windows (and Windows server 2016). If you tried to install Driver Bender or Cloud Xtender on a fresh Windows 10 Anniversary installation, neither product would work correctly because the driver is not able to load. For those interested in the technical aspect of our driver, it originally started life as a driver supplied by a third-party (www.eldos.com). However, at the time (in 2011) the basic driver lacked a number of required features, so we modified it to support what we needed and created a new driver called VHyperDrive. Fast forward to 2016, and the base Eldos driver now supports much of what we need, so the decision was made to use this driver moving forward for Windows 10 and beyond. As far as a user is concerned, this means little, however, for us, it means less work (yay!).

Speaking of work, in addition to Drive Bender and Cloud Xtender… we have been banging away at a new product called… wait for it (drum roll please…) “Drive Xtender” (yes a play on the original Windows Home Server’s pooling feature, Drive Extender). This is a hybrid of Drive Bender and Cloud Xtender in one neat package. Over the years we have learned a lot with regards to a) pool performance and b) product usability. This new product brings with it these years of experience, and

  • Web-based interface, no more client application… config Drive Xtender from anywhere!
  • A new pooling model that delivers very much improved performance, and no more hung Explorer due to slow performing drives.
  • Lower complexity (which in turn improves reliability).
  • Install-less configuration.
  • Create a pool from either local drives or cloud drives, or a mixture of both.
  • Designate which drives (local or cloud) will be used for duplication.
  • Upgrade path from Drive Bender, Cloud Xtender and other competitors pooling products.
  • And a whole bunch of other clever bits and bobs!

In short, Drive Xtender is a game changer for drive pooling and cloud storage.

Finally, we are also cranking away on Drive Bender v2.6… this version, while not too feature rich, does contain a lot of the code carried over from the new Drive Xtender project. This will results in improved reliability while also sorting a number of bugs. We are hoping to have a beta release of this version in February.

PS… I must also apologize to a number of our users regarding our tardy support response times. Over the past few months, we have experienced an unexpected rise in sales, which has also lead to more support requests… couple this with the constant Windows updates, and we are finding it hard to keep up. That said, we are working on ways we can better support users… and hopefully, things will return to normal soon!