Do We Need Another Drive Extender? A First Look at PoolHD from Anvil AG

poolhd logoA new Drive Extender offering is on the market.  PoolHD from Anvil AG is making a run at the expandable storage market with PoolHD and a promise that it will be simple, fast and infinite.  The first version was released June 18, 2013.  With a starting price of $12.95USD and a Windows Home Server 2011 / Windows Server 2012 Addin scheduled to release on June 26, 2013, the offering looks interesting.

I am using a Window 7 VM with 2GB of RAM on top of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Standard w Hyper-V role.  The VM has a 60GB OS Drive with 4 x 50GB Data Drives.  Disk 1 and 2 are VHDx Dynamic and Disk 3 and 4 are VHDx Fixed.  Downloaded the 30 day trial.

It’s a very simple install. With few install options, I select all the defaults. It goes very quick.

Click on any of the images for a larger view.


After a reboot,


Drives E/F – Dynamic VHDx 50GB Drives
Drives G/H – Fixed VHDx 50GB Drives

An ATTO of the OS Drive C for a benchmark.

PoolHD C Drive

Dynamic VHDx 50GB Drives with no data.

PoolHD E DrivePoolHD F Drive

Fixed VHDx 50GB Drives with no data

PoolHD G DrivePoolHD H Drive

Creating a New Storage Pool

Create A Pool

First Drive E Added.  New Pooled Drive I Created

Drive Created

First Drive in Pool

Second Drive F Added

Second Drive to the Pool

Both Drives Now in the Pool.  Drive options available for the drive.

Both Drives with Options

Drives G and H Pooled to Drive J

PoolHD J from GH Drive

Drive Performance with
Drives E and F Pooled to Drive I
Drive Performance with
Drives G and H Pooled to Drive J
PoolHD I from EF DrivePoolHD J from GH Drive ATTO

Transferring Data from Local Drives to Pooled Drive I (Click to see larger version).  The data moved was 12.6 GB of mostly mp3 and mp4 files that are 50 – 300MB in size. Copied the same 12.6GB Folder from 3 Devices.

From the Drobo FSFrom the Drobo 5N
Transfering from the Drobo FSTransfer from the Drobo 5N
From the WHS 2011Completed Transfer
Transfering from the WHS2011dashboadfull

With the data loaded on the drives, the used space on drive I is 38GB split between E and F with 19GB each. 

Drives with Data 2

Turning on Duplication across the two drives

Duplicate Files

Drive I x 2

Now Removing

Remove Dup

Will keep looking at it.  Lots that can be done here.  Leave your comments below.