I'm going to be installing a new HP EX470 MediaSmart server for a friend soon. We ordered it from BestBuy online for $599.00, this is the same price everybody else is selling it for so where you buy should probably be dictated by return policy and customer service. Considering what you get, this price is reasonable. We also ordered 3 Western Digital 500gig hard drives to bring capacity to a very respectable 2TB.
I received the EX470 on 1/4/08 and began working on it yesterday the 5th. I installed the drives which a 4 yearld could install. My first impression is the EX470 is a high quality and very easy device to work on. I should mention that I have been testing WIndows Home Server since Beta1 on my own hardware and am still waiting for my own OEM copy but so far this software has been excellent.
Getting back to HP's version of it I powered up the EX470 and put the software setup disk in my main desktop and let it find the server. It found the server and walked me through the initial configuration. It installs a desktop link for the HP Medis Server and a link to the default shares. I completed the setup, no users or other shares have been created yet because I'm going to do that when I install it at my friends house.
I ran some benchmarks to see how fast files would copy using SiSoft Sandra 2008, network speed on my personal home made Windows Home server ran at 70MBps, benchmarks to the EX470 ran about 10MBps which was dissapointing to say the least. I ran a rebuild of the EX470 and benchmarked it again, same result. I have a Buffalo TeraStation here so I ran the same test on it at got about 10MBps, same as the EX470, considering this was to be a primary backup server you'd think they would have paid close attention to this. I have never been impressed with the TeraStation's performance either but it has done its job over the past 2 years. Perhaps since many will be backing up wirelessly after the initial backup they felt this performance was good enough, who knows.
Next I opened the Home Server console frm my WHS box and the EX470, mine opened several seconds faster but the delay wasn't that bad for the HP. Since I'm going to be managing this device over the internet I'll see how it works for remote access after the install. My experience with the EX470 was a very good one and I think most people will be happy with it's performance and features.
I know I'm knocking it for network performance but I doubt the average person will notice it as much as a geek like me would. I'll post a follow up after I install the unit very soon.