Pros small,nice looking, fast, silent
Cons It will format any hard drive BEFORE you can use them
Summary The pros :
This is a good little server. You can upload/download files via a web interface. Use it as a iTunes server too. You can install different add-in like uTorrent. It's also possible to connect to the server from the internet and manage it from anywhere. I've not been able to do that. To be able to use the full option, the server must be use with IE.... with firefox, I was unable to control the server from the web.
You can use it as a backup server when installing the right software.
The server can also duplicate files on the server, if one drive fails, your files a not lost.
Fast server, use SATA drives with a 1Gigabit network, and it will be very fast
My others computers saw the shares on the drives as soon as I finished installing the server.
The cons :
When you add a hard drive, SATA or USB, or eSata, the wizard adds it to the 'main storage'. If you already have a 500Gig and adds another 500Gig, you won't have 2 drives of 500Gig, like D: E: as in any other GOOD OS, but ONE of 1Tera, D: The wizard informs you that the drive WILL BE FORMATED before you can use it. BE CAREFULL. Once you copy files to the server, let say you want to remove a SATA drive. You must tell the server you will do so, and will transfer the files from the hard drive you want to remove, to the others.... This could take a long time. And when you physically remove the drive, you have an **empty** drive. What's the point if I can remove the drive, but not the files ? I didn't try to shutdown the server and remove a drive, without 'telling' the server. What I think is that the files a partially on each drive.
Formating the drives before using them was the reason why I return this product.
Pros Good Hardware, Size, Expandibility.
Cons Windows Home Server Data Corruption Bug!
Summary Microsoft knows that Windows Home Server has issues with Data Corruption, and has been unable to track down the issue. Their own support forums show this issue as known, and they don't have a fix! In my opinion this seems to be another instance of a OS that has been rushed to market, and the customers left as Alpha testers. The function of this device is data centralization and integrity. The device to fail in that area makes it a total loss. Until Microsoft fixes this issue with Windows home server, this product is crippled by a failure of an OS! But HP did a nice job on the hardware, too bad Windows Home Server makes it unusable.
Pros Smooth user interface. Four trays that can support 1 TB HD each and a few USB ports to expand storage capacity in the future. Quiet fan and server telemetry from the unit keeps you informed on vital temperatures within the unit.
Cons Can be difficult to setup after upgrading the server software. This unit does not like operate from bridges like the D-link DAP-1522. This version does not support Apple's Time MAchine interace like the current releases EX485/487 models.
Summary I purchased this to replace my on emonth old Linksys NAS200 server, which I could never get to work all the time and it was very slow. The HP server retains professional quality,should be ideal for home use, but be carefully read the instructions and my lessons learned.
Now there is little I can add to what has already been written on this HP Server. So let me share with you some personal notes that I have collected in the first week of ownership. If it helps one of you out there it will have been worth the time and effort.
During the first days, I could not get the HP unit to work with a D-Link Bridge DAP-1522. The PC's and iMac could see it but it could not see the computers. The server required a PC to be hardwired connected to the bridge in order to work, which was worry some for me, since I did not want a PC to have to be directly connected ot the server in order for it to operate.
The solution was to hook the HP unit directly to the wireless router port. Maybe I had a firewall problem with the DAP-1522 or some other software problem, I don't know, all I know is it did not play with the bridge without a PC also hooked into the bridge Ethernet port.
Under lessons learned, titled "Damm firewalls":
I recommend that during any server software installation turn off all firewalls. Especailly those found in third party anti-virus programs. They can cause more headaches than anything else. After the installation you can turn them back on. Beware that running more than one firewall at a time this can be a source of problems for any PC software installation and operation situation.
Second lesson learned titled, "Shooting yourself in the foot".
If you buy and install the HP unit eventually you will update the server software, by running the HP updater software. Right idea but it comes with some problems if you are not careful.
Now that your server is updated, the PCs may no longer be able to get a connection to the server. The reason is the server is now operating with a newer version of code. If you reinstall the connection software from the HP CD-ROM to your PC, it willl not be able to communicate to the HP server either. When you attempt to run the connection software it will come back with an error message claiming the server is not powered up or some other excuse, but it will not tell you what to do to correct the problem.
To fix this problem I had to access the server for the latest connection software, which was part of the software update! (That is what the error message should have mentioned in the first place.)
With the firewalls turned off. Use your web browser, enter your "<servername>:55000", where the <servername> is your HP server name that you have given it, or just HPserver if you have not changed it. This should bring you to the server software download page where you must download the connection software to each PC connected to the server.
You can also downlink the server toolbox software from there as well or the HP support web site. The toolbox software can diagnose the connection problems between your PC and the HP sever and provide you with hints as to how to solve the problems.
The other problem I have with this HP server is getting the server web site to work. I have not solved that problem yet, without it I cannot remotely access the server, which was one of it's many selling features (hence minus one star from my rating).
The other problem is the interface to the iMac. While this is a PC product and no expectations should be made concerning the interfacing to the iMac, it was another selling feaure with this unit. Yes, the Mac can see the network drive but it will not appear on the desktop. Yes, you can share files from the mac to the Server but you cannoot with this version of the server use the HP Server as a Time machine storage device, like you can with the 2009 models (EX485/487).
Comparing the server hardware specs (old vs. new), I am sure the only difference is software, such that an update to the server and providing the connection software to the Mac and everything would work fine. But I cannot locate any information on just how to update the Current server to that configuration.
Venting: You would think there should have been an upgrade path offered to owners of the previous generation of HP Servers.
Last lesson learned. One of the things I should not have loaded on to the server was McAfee software. It was one of those so-called recommended downloads the HP server updater came up with, that once installed it reduced the server performance significantly. You have to ask yourself do you really need it on your server? In hind sight I say no. My problem now is how to get rid of it without screwing up the "working" arrangement? My gut feeling is let it be for now and let it expire in a year at which point it should drop out of the "loop".
Best of luck to you.
Pros Reasonable price, decent curb appeal, seemingly easy set-up.
Cons Not RAID capable - will loose you stuff just like any other PC.
Summary Help me here. I'm looking to install some sort of Home Server that will protect all my sensitive data, photos and other stuff. While this cute little box will back-up all your files, it's just a likely to loose your data as any other PC. The Windows Home Server software seems to be a simple - maybe quite attractive - back-up software with a few extra bells and whistles. Nothing that I've been able to find about the HP hardware or the Micorsoft software implies that your critical data will survive a catastrophic hard drive failure. I'm back to thinking about converting an old Dell PC to a server of some sort with SATA cards and Linex software. Thoughts....?
Pros Great way to backup PCs, set up remote networks
Cons Not an entry level product, only for serious users
Summary I love this product. It's a much better solution for backing up all my PCs than my current NAS. The iTunes backup feature is cool and I love the remote access.