New HP MediaSmart Home Servers on the Horizon

HP will be shipping updated models of its Windows Home Server products starting February 1st. The EX485 will be the 750GB (1 drive) model and the EX487 will be the 1.5TB (2 drive model). Like it’s predecessor, the single drive model is the one to buy since 750GB hard drives are as low as $55 and easy to install.

Most of the buzz has been about the new feature that allows the HP MediaSmart Windows Home Server to be used as a backup destination for Time Machine. HP also includes software to allow the Windows Home Server to be backed up to Amazon’s S3 service. The server hardware gets bumped to 2GB of memory and an Intel 2.0GHz processor.

Some of the enhancements, such as the Time Machine and S3 features will be available as a software update to existing owners, probably around Feb 1st when the new servers start shipping. This means it’s probably not worth buying the new servers if, like me, you have one of the initial home servers. But you may want to consider upgrading memory to handle the new software.

HP has a brochure (pdf link) that details the technical abilities of the new servers and includes a table on which features work with Macs. (via MSWHS blog)

The servers won’t start shipping until February, but Amazon and NewEgg will notify you when the server is available.

Hands-on reviews have already started appearing, here’s a few:

HomeServerHacks.com – Hewlett Packard announces two new MediaSmart servers.

MediaSmartHome.com – Bringing Your Blended Mac & PC Household Together and Unboxed and Reviewed

WeGotServer.co.uk – Hands On