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With the news that drive extender development has been abandoned, I am looking at alternatives to WHS.

I am thinking about going with a standard 2008 R2 x64 build but not sure how I would get around what DE offers - mulitple mixed drives in a single pool. I am only really interested in the following:

Not having to use RAID
SMART monitoring of hard disks
Disk utilization monitoring (space, temp etc)

That's it. Not really bothered about remote access, client alerts (virus software missing etc) or PC backups. Being in IT I am more than capable of manually creating user accounts and shared folders myself.

I don't really want to hang around as i'd like to make use of SMB 2.0 in 2008 R2, and could end up waiting for something that might never happen!

Although this would be contradicting point 1 above, I did think about having 1 big RAID volume partitioned up (OS/Data), installing Windows 7 and using home groups with my HTPCs/Laptops etc, but I would lose the flexibility of adding USB drives if needed.

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