HP have released a number of Windows Home Servers over the last 2 years since Windows Home Server was launched. Now comes a Windows Home Server from HP that is aimed at the business user instead of the home user.
The X510 Data Vault Specification is as follows:
Processor : Intel Pentium Dual Core 2.5Ghz
Memory : 2GB DDR2
Capacity included : either 1 TB, 1.5 TB or 2 TB depending on the model
Open Bays : 2 or 3 depending on the model
Ports : 4 USB and 1 eSATA
Dimensions (inches) : 5.5 x 9.8 x 9.2
And those of you out there that want to use the eSATA port as a port multiplier will be happy to hear that HP have re-enabled it after the EX48x series only allowed connection of a single eSATA drive to the port! Good job HP, again, good listening to your customers feedback.
THE OBLIGITORY BOX SHOT
For those of you out there that love the shots of the box – yes, you know who you are, here it is. You will notice that the X510 box is a plain brown affair, instead of the usual black with coloured graphics. Personally I think this is more to do with businesses expecting plain packaging and not pretty colours and graphics.
WHATS IN THE BOX?
The contents of the box are very well packaged, you can simply lift out the X510 without any fuss. The box itself contains the X510, an Ethernet cable, a power cable, 3 software DVDs and the usual HP Setup Poster to get you going.
A LOOK AT THE X510 DATA VAULT
The X510 has the same look and feel as the previous HP MediaSmart servers – its small, sleek, a nice shiny black and it opens at the front to review the 4 disk drive bays.
INSTALLING THE SOFTWARE
Installing the software is just the same as on any other Windows Home Server – you just install the software on one of your network connected computers and just follow the steps. For those of you who like screenshots, here is a step by step through the installation process.
CONFIGURING YOUR WINDOWS HOME SERVER
As with the installation, the configuration steps are just the same – just walk through the questions and you will be ready to go. Notice that the default name for the X510 is HPSTORAGE. Again, here are the screenshot walkthroughs for those of you who are interested.
STARTING YOUR WINDOWS HOME SERVER FOR THE FIRST TIME
The first time you launch the Windows Home Server Connector the software will check to see if there are any HP specific updates that you might need. Given that the X510 has only been available a couple of weeks it was a bit of a surprise to see an update already.
THE WINDOWS HOME SERVER CONSOLE
This is where things get interesting and are different to what HP have done in the past. You will notice a whole new look and feel to the HP elements of the Windows Home Server Console including a Tour option that enables you to click on elements to see what they are and do. I really like this new look and feel and in my opinion will make it so much easier for those new users to get to grips with the Home Server in no time at all.
THE USUAL WINDOWS HOME SERVER CONSOLE STUFF
And here are the screenshots of the usual Windows Home Server Console elements.
HP DATA VAULT 3.0 UPDATE 1
I noticed that the Windows Home Server Connector software did not automatically update with the HP Data Vault 3.0 Update 1 package. I also noticed that I had a connection error with the HP Media Collector, but the Home Network Health information screen had advised me that the version of the software installed on my computer wasn’t compatible with the server and that I should uninstall and reinstall – which I did and it corrected the problem. For those of you interested, my computer OS is the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate. This is the same issue I had with the HP MediaSmart EX495, but then as they are pretty much the same bit of kit it is not surprising.
So, what do I think? Well, regular readers will know that I am a big fan of the HP MediaSmart Servers and the X510 is no exception. Yeah, I know that is the same thing I wrote about the EX495 for you eagle eyed readers, but it is in essence the same device, only aimed at businesses.
It is really quiet – now of course it only has a single drive in it out of the box but if you were to add some of the green quiet drives to it, this should help keep the noise down.
It is really good to see the eSATA port re-enabled as a port multiplier – so well done HP!
The new look and feel in the Windows Home Server is very intuitive and it is very easy to find what you are looking for. I know I am used to the console having used Windows Home Server now for nearly 3 years, but I honestly believe HP have done a lot to make it easier for those new users to find what they are looking for and also to guide them through doing whatever it is that they need to do.
So, why would you buy the X510 and not the EX495? Well for a start, if you were in the UK, you cannot get the EX495 but you can buy the X510. So there is probably the single biggest reason for buying it!
The software and hardware is exactly the same, the only difference is the Data Vault tab instead of the MediaSmart tab.
Basically this is a great Windows Home Server and you really can’t go wrong buying one!
List pricing for the UK is as follows:
(1 TB) £419.79
(2 TB) £516.34
(3 TB) £599.95
For the US market the prices are starting from $699 for the 1 TB and peaking at $999 for the 3 TB model.