Why I love my HP Media Server

I just can’t describe how much I am loving my new HP EX490 Media Server. I’ve had it running flawlessly for 2 weeks now. Everything just works, simples! It’s small dimension also means I am saving a lot of space. I’ve configured LightsOut to further conserve my electricity consumption.

Anyway, this post is to highlight the awesome (and what makes the EX490 stand out) feature of this Media Server – it’s built in interface system. Assuming that you enable Remote Access with the appropriate user settings, there’s endless possibilities to explore! If you go to the WHS console and go to Settings>Remote Access tab and change the website homepage to the HP Mediasmart Server homepage you will be greeted with this screen when you access your server’s https URL:

(Please click on each picture to get an enlarged version)

Now isn’t that just sexy! I personally feel it is miles better compared to the original WHS page. You can virtually do ANYTHING here, browse shared folder, stream videos, stream music, stream photos, remotely connect to your server (Remote Desktop) or other online computers in your network – the options are (virtually) endless here!

One of the features I love here is the HP Photo Publisher feature. It enables you to upload media (mainly photos) from your server to some of the popular media hosting sites as shown in the screenshot below:

However I think the icing on the cake is the Media streaming option. It has (in my honest opinion) the prettiest and most functional interface one can ever ask for. I’ve only enabled Music streaming but just check this out:

There is probably more to explore but for the mean time I’m sold. I think it’s just THE essential toy for any geek out there 🙂


Windows Home Server

After having some issues with my home built Home Server machine, I’ve decided to upgrade and go for the HP MediaSmart Server EX490.

I’ve been reading up on the HP Mediasmart server EX490 and it seems to be the right tool for my needs. I am so far very impressed by it. Very easy to setup and run anyone can do it!

Here’s a few pictures of my Home Server :

EX490 box

Front View
Rear View

I’ve also purchased 3 Seagate 2TBs Hard drives to boost the internal storage capacity up to the current possible maximum of 6TBs + 1TB from the system HDD.

Seagete 2TBs HDDs

I like how small and sleek the EX490 is compared to the machine I’ve built.

I felt a little bad for the old machine though so I did a clean reinstall of WHS on it with minimal addons. What I did next was to make it my “secondary” server. I use it with the sole purpose of making backups of important folders from my main server. This also means I can disable File Duplication completely on my main server.

I’ve found  Robocopy VERY useful in transferring files over from old to new server. Just write a simple batch script and just leave it running! No more stressful GUI stuff 🙂

I’ve also setup the secondary server with SyncToy 2.1 and used the built in Windows Scheduler to automatically sync important folders every day. I have also used an addin called LightsOut to further manage when my server switches on and goes into hibernation/sleep. You got to think about the environment (and your wallet) too!