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Top 10 Windows 8 Features No. 8: Storage Spaces

Your typical hard disk drive today measures its capacity in the half-terabytes. If you’ve got a 250GB drive – or maybe a half-dozen of them – you may think they’re not good for much anymore. But what if you could use them to build a private cloud just like those OpenStack folks in the enterprise? In Windows 8, Microsoft is bringing the power of private clouds to consumers with the inclusion of Storage Spaces.

In this 10-part series, 26-year-veteran Windows tester Scott Fulton walks you through the best features, faculties and functions of Windows 8.

No. 10 : Refresh and Reset

No. 9: File History

Make Your Own Cloud

For years I’ve said that the next great version of Windows will be a deliverer of cloud service, and I’ve had folks from Microsoft tell me, “Oh sure, that’s what we’re doing, look at how we sync your photos with SkyDrive!” Indeed, syncing was pretty cool from a 2009 perspective, but Dropbox and are becoming nearly ubiquitous now. So with respect to Windows, syncing may already have become a “me, too” service.

Real cloud technology, when you get down to brass tacks, is about services and resources being provided to you in a logical fashion that’s separate and distinct from their physical locations. So when we talk about “public clouds” and “private clouds,” we’re referring to resources provided in big pools, on a metered basis, via the Internet (compared with big pools of resources – like hard drives – collected together in your own office). If the next Windows is to have any hope of greatness, it needs to start delivering some private cloud technology – ways for you to collect your processing and storage power together. One glimmer of hope for Windows 8 comes from Storage Spaces, a way for you to finally build one storage volume out of many.

The story of Storage Spaces in Windows 8 is not quite as simple as you may expect it to be (which explains the story of my life), but it makes sense if you stick with it a few minutes. With

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