HP - 500GB MediaSmart Server
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- Processor BrandAMD
- Processor PlatformAMD LIVE!
- Type of Memory (RAM)DDR2
- Personal Video Recorder (PVR)No
- Direct-Disc LabelingNo
- Available Expansion Bays3
- Software IncludedInstallation, PC restore and Server recovery
Rating 4.3 out of 5 stars with 15 reviews(15 Reviews)
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Not designed for power usersPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
To address the previous reviewer's concerns, this product is not designed for people with a proficient level of experience in networking and/or building new systems. This was designed to operate like an appliance i.e. plug in and forget, not as an all-in-one server for power users who need the ability to back up via DVD or to operate as a complete system (This is possible, just not in the configuration offered by HP). No server I have ever used, business, government, or personal, has had a need for 7.1 audio card or a high end video card. The streaming offered via Windows Home Server is designed to be to a Media Center Compliant device, not from the server directly to the viewing source so these items referenced are never needed. Remember, this is not to be used as a personal computer, rather it is to be used as a server which you access from another PC. In that regard, you're biggest concern is HDD space and the bandwidth from your network. HP also offers a 1TB system from slightly more. Keep in mind that the drives are hot swappable, so it may be less expensive to order the cheaper system and install your own HDD. Overall, the system performs adequately for a first generation.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Very CoolPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I got my EX470 about 3 weeks ago. I immediately added 3 500 GB SATA drives. (Extremely simple process) So now I have 2 TB of space (1.5 TB of usable space..the system needs some of it) It was very easy to set up and is very compact. The instructions for physically setting it up are self explanatory. Setup CD is greatness. The only challenge I had was with the domain creation. During setup I chose a custom domain name, and purchased it for 2 years. But the setup process doesn't tell you it may take TZO.com (HP Partner) up to 3 days to set it up. But I got an email from TZO the day after I set up the domain name telling me that. Just wish I would have got the email at the time of purchase...but I am picky. So if you chose a custom name (very Cool) you will have to wait a few days to be able to access your server remotely or have others view your photos. But this was ok because it took me 3 days to find and organize all of my photos and stuff. (I wasn't previously very organized) The server has had an immediate impact in helping me with that. Again Very cool The Itunes functionailty is pretty cool. I only wish you could listen to your tunes remotely thorugh the same interface you can within your home network. Maybe there is a way. We'll see. The photo album process is very cool as well. I just wish you could have more accounts. To me the best part is the automatic backup process. It does it without any intervention on part. We have 4 PCs in the house and it backs them all up on schedule. Pretty Neat. All in all I am VERY happy with the purchase of my 1st server....
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
awesome solution for the homePosted .I would recommend this to a friend
It is worth noting that this 'server' is not your typical server (for all those with a bunch of certifications do not think of this as a server for an office). It is an easy to setup server for the home that will allow you to use it: as a gateway to all the pc's in your home much like gotomypc as a centralized file store that automatically can backup the files on it to another drive or locally on the same drive < why two options because you may want to store your backups off site for additional protection file sharing either with internal pc's or via the a browser on the Internet it can also backup your pc's to the server and do a FULL restore back should you lose a hard drive for example. No more reinstall of all your applications. Why the minimal hardware? because for its designed purposes see above, it does not need to be beefy so why make it expensive. All you need are disks, disks and more disks that can be added internally or externaly. you may also want to consider that developers are already lining up to create add-ons for this server that will expand it's capabilities to home webcams, family information management software, home automation, and other innovations that work with your home server. < ok I took that from Microsoft's site < search "home server" Anyway this is a great product with an specific purpose in mind: backup, remote access and centralized file sharing and it works easily and reliably - yes I said reliably afterall you will be trusting your digital memories to it and for the first time you can back them up. Search for "home server" to see other reivews.
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Microsoft should be proud of their work ..Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
First, I am programmer that works from home, with some expertise in setting up a usable home network. This little box allows me to remote in when i am on the road, replace a few NAS drives, simplify backup, AND share music and photos. There's only one REAL BIG complaint that I have, and that's working with 64 bit systems. I will go into that... I added 3 1TB drives to this in minutes without shutting the system down. The drive sleds are very innovative, as they require no tools to use. You just need to lift a handle, pull out the sled, and place the new HD in using pins that flex to hold the HD in place. You then just put the drive back in its bay and lock the lever/handle in place. Visually, there is a light for each drive that will show you it is ready for use. You must use the WHS console to add the drives to your existing storage, and the light goes from purple to blue - and is ready to use. What is cool here is that your users don't see 4 different drives, but just 1 with all the space as if the existing drive automatically grew. If you want to replace a drive with larger capacity, it is simple as well. You use the console to remove the drive. When you remove a drive, WHS will copy the data off of that drive to the others (if they have room to do so) and then tell you when it is safe to dismount it. Before this, I was using 4 seats of gotomypc professional for just under $600. I got the pro level because I wanted to administer all of the boxes centrally. I am keeping 1 account of gotomypc active, because you cannot remote into a 64 bit OS from the web interface at this time. But the cost savings here almost pay for this alone! I have three NAS drives, and two of them are going away as obsolete. I mainly used them for backup using Retrospect. I still am keeping Retrospect for my Windows x64 boxes and my linux clients, as the backup doesn't support 64 bit OS's at this time. I am backing up to the WHS through Retrospect, and it is being backed up to the other NAS. The WHS allows you to duplicate shares to multiple drives, so this is in a since like having 3 backups of the data. For the 32 bit Windows clients, this backup is near perfection. It's mindlessly simple to set up, and it keeps multiple backups and automatically disposes of the older ones if you need the space. The mindless backup for 32 bit clients is easily paying for the rest of the cost of this box. So for 64 bit users, this may not quite be for you just yet. Microsoft has stated that they are working on the 64 bit client for WHS, but gives no release date. As soon as they get this, it will serve my needs much better. Both remoting and backup can be solved for 64bit OSs if you have the know-how, so it's not as terrible as some might make it, but is annoying enough that I deducted 1 star for each. The sharing functionality for music/video is really nice. Two of the pre-existing shares are called "music", and "video" and if you have a media center extender/XBOX360, it will show up there as a media center with whatever playable content you happen to put there. It won't magically allow you to play iTunes AACs, but any format that your media center could play, it will work. If you do have iTunes - it may add more value because you can have the system create a music database from ALL of the iTunes user's machines. I use iTunes and so does my wife, but this won't work for us because I'd like to be able to use the music directory directly available to iTunes for each of us, so that we both share the same song list, and if she buys a song, then it shows up in my iTunes library and I can make a playlist with that song in it. This is *almost* how it works with the iTunes sharing here. I can see a shared system named "HP MediaSmart Server" but you can't copy the songs locally, and you can't edit the playlists it contains. Kind of a bummer, but it may work for you. The photosharing web application is a nice idea. You can make albums using photos from your machine - but surprisingly you can't just pick from the "photos" share on the drive. So if you want to do that - you must map a drive to the "photos" share and choose them that way. Not very efficient to copy from the network instead of directly from the disk! You can then create a list of people to share the album with, and send out a message to look at your album. You can choose existing users you've set up for remote access, or create a visitor profile. This allows you send it to Grandma and not have to create a "Grandma" user on the server itself. Very nicely done. Another small caveat is if you use TZO for Dynamic DNS currently. You need to call TZO to get your existing account setup correctly on the box. I've had the EX470 for 4 months now, I had some issues with this server which all have been fixed once I've installed the Power Pack 1. This issues were: There is still no connector to Vista Ultimate 64bit. I have not used the photo sharing application because there are just much better options on the internet. I do stream to my XBOX 360 and PS3 - but you can't stream MP4 based video - so this means no M4Vs, no DivX/Xvid. It has no problems streaming MPEG movies, so this is a limitation of both the PS3 and 360. In terms of add-ins - I have tried a lot of them, but kept 2 - Jungle Disk and LobsterTunes. Jungle Disk uses the Amazon S3 SOAP APIs to back up your home server's share files online. It is slow, but it works and is very cheap to use. It does not backup the WHS OS or local files - just the shares. LobsterTunes exposes my music collection to my smart phone. It does not stream them, but makes a local copy on the device - so make sure you have an unlimited and fast data plan for this. I've used it to pull up obscure music for a friend to sample, and it's a keeper. I have also installed Raxco's PerfectDisk software to keep the drives from becoming overly fragmented. I have upgraded the memory to two gigabytes as well. This should be the standard in these servers. It made a HUGE difference in throughput and response times from the WHS OS. I have also installed my own SSL certificate because I was sick and tired of seeing the bad certificate message everytime I used the web interface. Most people won't get this problem because they are using the standard windowshomeserver.com domain. Those that use custom domains will know what I mean. The slippage occurred because of a nasty bug in WHS ( google for KB #946676). This bug causes files to get corrupted if you attempt to modify the files directly on the home server. It will only affect WHS boxes that have multiple hard drives for storage. Now, all storage drives on the OS will show as one drive, with WHS constantly monitoring and moving the files around to "balance" the amount of space used on each drive. The problem is that in order to show the shares as a single drive, their contents are mapped and cached in memory. It's basically like a switchboard operator that knows where your files are supposed to be. Most of the time, there is no problems, but the mechanism to update the switchboard operator's lookup is not keeping up with the balancing when there is a lot going on. So instead of getting Klondike 5-3226, now your getting mostly that, but maybe a bit of Klondike 5-3227. Again this issues have been fixed once I've installed the Power Pack 1 patch ..
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Best product for 2007!Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
Ok I read some of these reviews before me and can't figure out why they wrote what they did for the most part? This is a basic home server Low power usage auto backup of pc's Photo sharing Media Streaming and more..... HP did not add a high power processor or video card as it is a low power unit to be green on power usage. You can add more ram if you like, I have 2gb in mine and it runs smooth. There are all kinds of sites/add-ins popping up to expand this unit even further than HP wanted. I think this is the best piece of equipment I have purchased in awhile and look forward to learning new things about it everyday. This is not a full blown server that east kilowatts of power, you can leave it on 24/7 and it quite as can be. Again buy it and use it for what it was designed for. If you want tos spend $$$ get a big server. Props to HP and MS for hitting this one out of the park!
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Home ServerPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
Home sever is great it will back up any Windows XP or Vista based PC or Laptop, and work as a central repository for your files and data. It can also stream video and audio to remote media plays and extenders (Xbox 360 and others), but unlike what others my think, it is not an extender itself it does not connect to your TV. There is no need for sound card, super high speed CPUs or high grade video cards, as that is not what this product is meant to do, it is a file server, back up sever, and web server. At CES they announced Power Pack 1 for windows home server which adds support for 64 bit OSs and the ability to back up the WHS (Windows Home Sever) itself to an external drive. HP also announced several updates of it's own. This is one slick server build on what I consider the missing link for a missing link for multi computer homes, Windows Home Server.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
HP home server experiencePosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I have a fairly extensive network at home and had been using a 1U server for backups but the noise level and complexity of it was more than needed for a home user. The HP unit is small (for holding 4 drives in it) very quiet, almost silent, to set it up it was as easy as plug in the power and network cable, turn it on and install a small application on the PC's in the house, within minutes it was ready to back up the computers. I loaded music on the unit and all the computers in the house can play it through iTunes (even my Apples). streaming different music to 3 or 4 different places at once is no problem. I installed the Tivo Add-in so I can see photo's play music and things through the Tivo's in the house, not as simple as I'd like to see for adding add-ins (Plug-ins) as I'd like for it to be, for the basic functions this this is awesome and super simple, being as it runs Windows 2003 Server as its heart with some creativeness you can do many things with it but its not for the faint of heart, requiring logging into it using remote desktop and things. I read up a little on the folder duplication and it sure seems like the next generation of RAID, a Microsoft server team member said RAID was for bugs not computers...lol.. A couple things I wish were include (and I'm sure will be) are the ability to plug a printer in via USB, two network interfaces and the ability to use it as the router in the house. But overall I rank this product with a 4 star rating, the hardware is beautiful, the setup is simple. I feel for a first run at it the people at HP and Microsoft are bringing something to home users that more need, how many times have you heard the story of someone losing all their data (family pictures and things) due to not backing up, this unit with just a few clicks takes care of that. Apple is also getting on the backup bandwagon, so people start backing up now it will save you grief later
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Great PurchasePosted .I would recommend this to a friend
This is a great little server for automating backups and centralizing storage of media files on your home network. It is compatible with newer Media Extender devices so you can play your favorite movies or photos from the server without the need for your PC to be on. The server is highly expandable by allowing you to put in 3 additional SATA hard drives (no screws or tools required!). It also features an eSATA port and USB 2.0 ports that allow you to even further expand storage. I love the Add-ins that are becoming available that help you further enhance the capabilities of this server. (Note: HP does NOT support some of these .. use caution.) You can also remotely access your pictures and media/files from the internet by a domain you can either purchase or choose a free one at yourdomain.homeserver.com. My only gripe with this is that it does not allow you to use the remote access feature on PC's with Vista Home Premium or Vista Home Basic as the "Remote Desktop Feature" is not supported in those versions. For those looking to use this feature, you'll have to upgrade to Vista Ultimate on the PC you wish to access remotely to enable this feature. Overall, this little server may "seem" a bit expensive, however, it truly is a great value for the money because of it's expandability and features. My only disappointment is the lack of remote access on "ALL" Vista versions.