November 23, 2010 News Tuesday: Thanksgiving Week Special Edition

Drive Extender Feature in SBS Products

When we first started designing SBS 2011 Essentials (formally SBS Code Name “Aurora”), one of our initial focuses was to provide support for multiple internal and external hard drives. Drive Extender provided the ability to take the small hard drives many small businesses may have acquired, and pool them together in a simple volume. During our current testing period for our SBS products, we have received feedback from partners and customers about how they use storage today and how they plan to use it moving forward. Today large hard drives of over 1TB are reasonably priced, and freely available. We are also seeing further expansion of hard drive sizes at a fast rate, where 2Tb drives and more are becoming easy accessible to small businesses.


When weighing up the future direction storage in the SMB segment, data access support and application compatibility, the team felt the Drive Extender technology was not meeting our customer needs. Customers also told us that they wanted easier access to data stored on Drive Extender drives so they are able to view these files outside of Drive Extender. Therefore, moving forward we have decided to remove the Drive Extender technology from Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials and Windows Home Server Code Name “Vail” all of which are currently in beta.


While this removes the integrated ability for storage pooling of multiple hard drives and automated data duplication, we are continuing to work closely with our OEM partners to implement storage management and protection using industry standard RAID solutions. This will provide customers greater choice as well as a seamless experience that will meet their storage needs. Customers will also have access to the in-built storage solutions Windows Server 2008 R2 provides for data protection, including software RAID support. We are also still delivering core features such as automated Server and PC backup, easy sharing of folders and files, Remote Web Access and simplified management without any expected changes.


As SBS 2011 Essentials also shares the Drive Extender feature with both Windows Home Server Code Name “Vail” and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, we are working with OEM partners to also provide similar data protection solutions for all members of this product family. Target product availability is still H1 2011, and we expect to deliver a new beta without drive extender for both Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Windows Home Server Code Name “Vail” early in the New Year.


For more information, please visit The Official SBS Blog.



Microsoft Announces Enhanced Testing Capabilities for Silverlight & Firefox Applications

On Monday, November 1 at DevConnections, Microsoft announced that Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 will be available on November 15. Feature Pack 2 contains enhanced testing support for Silverlight and Firefox applications along with a UI editor for coded UI tests. Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 brings more advanced platform and tool support for both manual and automated testing scenarios, powered by Visual Studio 2010 Premium, Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate or Visual Studio Test Professional 2010. Now you can test your Silverlight 4 and Firefox applications more thoroughly and have better control over your coded UI tests through an intuitive graphical editor. Feature Pack 2 enables you to expand test coverage of platforms for your applications through world-class tool support.

For more information, please read this MSDN blog post. To learn more about Visual Studio’s testing capabilities, check out the product page.



Microsoft Announces Beta Service Pack for Team Explorer Everywhere 2010

On Wednesday, November 3rd, Microsoft announced the availability of Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1 Beta. Visual Studio Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 enables development teams to easily collaborate across platforms. It provides the tools and plug-ins you need to access Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 from within Eclipse-based environments, so everyone can work together to achieve business goals. The highlights, in addition to a variety of minor enhancements, of the Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1 Beta are:

· Improved product localization: Enabling community created language packs and ease the overall localization experience.

· Improved gated check-in support for Team Foundation Server 2010: Giving Eclipse users the same gated check-in experience as Visual Studio 2010 users.

For more information, feel free to check out this MSDN blog post. To learn more about Visual Studio’s Team Explorer Everywhere, please visit the product page.