You know what’s wrong with your house? It doesn’t have enough PCs. You need a PC for your work (running Vista) a Media Center PC (or one running the right version of Vista) for your living room so you watch your digital media and record TV. And you need a laptop (running Vista) to keep you working hard on the way to the office, and a UMPC (with the new UMPC version of Vista) for when you want to travel light. Plus you need phone running Windows Mobile. Oh and get one of those HP TouchSmart PCs for your Kitchen – they run Vista as well. Now you’re all set. No, wait – now that you’ve gone and bought all those PCs, you’ll need a server to keep all your data safe and and well organised.
Fortunately for you, Microsoft and HP have just come up with the HP MediaSmart server. It runs the new and previously only rumoured Home Media Server OS and is designed to keep all your important home media – music, video, pics, documents, etc – in check when you’re running a large home network. It can keep your data safe by duplicating information across hard drives. Interesting this doesn’t use the traditional RAID system as that wasn’t user-friendly enough and the advantage of the new system is that you can pop up to 4 SATA hard drives in and out of the unit without too much risk of mucking everything up. It also takes USB storage device in the front slots.
The MediaSmart Server also allows each machine to access data, or upload data a lot more simply and it will backup a lot of things automatically. One of the more enticing features is the remote access system, that means you can get at anything on the server, or on an attached machine, remotely, merely using Internet Explorer.
It also works with remote desktop, if you have the appropriate version of Vista or XP, you can connect up and perform tasks on your home machine while you’re away.
HP is the main partner to be offering a machine running this new OS, but it is likely others will be joining in soon. The HP MediaSmart Server is due out in the 2nd half of 2007.