updated 08:45 am EST, Mon December 29, 2008
HP ex485, ex487 servers
HP has announced the existence of two new server products, the ex485 and ex487 MediaSmart Servers. Unlike most such systems, the new ones are intended for home use, and are thus based on Microsoft's Windows Home Server technology. Each allows for the backup and storage of various media files on a home network, such as music and video, along with more general file types a user might need to access. A MediaSmart can also be used to share content online or via LAN.
To this end the servers support streaming music and photos to Macs and PCs, when connected via the Internet; locally, iTunes libraries can be centralized and used to stream audio without burdening one particular computer's hard drive. PCs have the additional benefit of Media Collector, which can schedule the copying of media from local systems, and apps for quickly viewing or publishing photos.
The MediaSmarts additionally allow secondary backup to an attached hard disk, or offsite backup via automatic upload to Amazon's S3 service. Each server runs a 2GHz Celeron processor with 2GB of RAM; the ex485 ($599) comes with 750GB of storage, while the ex487 ($749) doubles capacity to 1.5TB. Extra drives can be added up to a maximum capacity of 9TB.
Pre-orders for the servers begin on January 5th, from online stores such as Amazon and NewEgg. Shipments will only begin in February.