New HP Home Servers Get Upgrade, Mac Functionality

mediasmart_1The HP MediaSmart Server ex485 and ex487 are now Mac compatible, which means they play nice with Time Machine, OSX’s backup utility. The new MediaSmart Servers appear identical to the previous models on the outside, but they have larger hard drives, quadruple the RAM (2GB vs. 512MB) and an Intel Celeron processor.

I just bought an HP MediaSmart home server on Black Friday and this announcement makes it obsolete, but I’m looking forward to an upgrade since I have a multi-OS household. According to an HP spokesperson there will be a software upgrade for existing MediaSmart users that will enable Mac Time Machine backups.

The new generation of MediaSmart home servers also have improved media sharing and off-site backup capabilities. The new tools allow you to easily upload albums to Google Picasa and SnapFish. There’s also a tool for uploading folders to Amazon’s S3 servers.

These upgrades are welcome and I plan on checking out one of them in the near future. I’m hoping that HP will delve deeper into Mac functionality than just Time Machine.

Here’s the full release from HP:

HP Launches New Home Server for PCs and Macs

HP MediaSmart Server centralizes digital media and files for backup, remote access, sharing and uploading to social media sites

PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 29, 2008 HP today launched a home server designed for use with both Windows and Mac computers.

Based on the Microsoft Windows® Home Server platform, the HP MediaSmart Server ex485/ex487 is a central repository for automatically backing up and accessing digital music, videos, photos and documents from multiple computers on a home network.(1)

The MediaSmart Server automatically organizes files across all PCs, streams media across a home network and the Internet,(2) and publishes photos to popular social networking and photo sharing sites.

A growing number of digital-savvy households have both Windows and Mac computers, with hundreds and sometimes thousands of media files and documents scattered across these devices,” said Jason Zajac, vice president of strategy, Worldwide Attach Group, HP. The HP MediaSmart Server protects, stores and organizes this content from anywhere on a network so consumers can access and share it any place they are connected.”

HP continues to innovate on the Windows Home Server platform giving consumers even more options to enjoy and protect their precious memories and valuable data,” said Charlie Kindel, general manager, Windows Server Solutions, Microsoft. We believe consumers will embrace the new MediaSmart Server as one of the most exciting computing products for the home.”

MediaSmart Server ex485/ex487 features include:

· HP Media Collector: conveniently schedules the MediaSmart Server to copy and centralize digital files and libraries from networked PCs

· Media Streaming: remotely streams photos and music to any Internet-connected PC or Mac

· Server for iTunes: centralizes iTunes music libraries on the server for playback to any networked Mac or PC running iTunes

· HP Photo Publisher: easily upload photos to Facebook, Picasa Web Albums and Snapfish

· HP Photo Viewer: allows easy sharing of photos with friends and family

· PC Hard Drive Backup: backs up networked PCs via the Windows Home Server backup feature

· Mac Hard Drive Backup: backs up Macs running Leopard using Apple Time Machine software

· Server Backup: duplicates designated shared folders to a separate hard disk drive

· Online Backup: duplicates designated folders to Amazon’s S3 online backup service for an additional layer of protection

· Smart Power Management: can schedule times for server to go to ”sleep” and ”wake up,” saving on energy costs

· Processor: Intel® Celeron®, 2.0 GHz 64-bit. Two gigabytes (GB) of 800-MHz DDR2 DRAM now standard on MediaSmart Server

· Expandability: additional drives can be added for up to 9 terabytes (TB)

“Customers are always looking for the right mix of features and ease-of-use when choosing digital home products,” said Danielle Levitas, group vice president, consumer, broadband and digital marketplace at IDC. “HP’s focus and investment in software allows it to deliver a home server with compelling features for Mac and PC users while offering a great customer experience that helps simplify the complexity of the connected home. This unique offering will help expand the home server market.”

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