HP Media Vault mv5150 review ~ Ask The Admin

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

HP Media Vault mv5150 review

You saw when I un-boxed and released the HP MediaVault mv5150 into the wild (aka my home/office) here. It has been playing nicey nicey with the rest of my gear since.

At first I thought the Media Vault was going to be something that only the wife and distant relatives were going to love. Allowing wifey to stream videos throughout the house or having the relatives look at pictures of my daughter online...

Which she is and they are.

But after working with the little guy and getting prepped for this review I started really using it for work. Now I have realized its true potential. The revision system and backup options alone are dope. There are so many things I want to share with you about this little guy as it really impressed me.

The box is so much more than just storage like the Western Digital products I have used before as it allows for revisions of files, automatic backups, serve media via the web, stream media, be a central iTunes repository on your network (updating the main server with ALL the iTunes shares on your network.) All this in a little nix appliance with a super small footprint.

Did I mention it looks good :)

As soon as I got it out of the box and plugged in I was greeted with some geeky blue and purple LEDS (which can be dimmed or deactivated). It grabbed its IP address from my router's DHCP server and I was loading up the included software.

It went pretty quickly and was painless. Then it offered to configure the Media Vault for me... Oh how nice! I was connected to the Media Vault via IE and proceeded to configure the rest of it. Because you know I love me some options! You can connect a usb printer to this guy and make it a network printer. This thing just keeps getting better and better.

I set up my external domain name so I can share my shared content with people out on the web. And of course I needed to setup my router to forward port 80 and 443 but again the Media Vault was kind enough to do that for me via uPnp... Kind of neat, kind of scary!

Make sure you have completed the setup (READ THE SETUP POSTER!) and have gotten the screen below BEFORE you try to use the web sharing options or you will frustrate yourself in troubleshooting (If that's where you are at there is a link at the bottom of this post to help you troubleshoot).

I continued poking around and enabled remote file browsing and of course the Administrator user name and password (Which can be used to gain root on the box - more on this later)

Hmm... A nifty little email features give you even more ways to share your media with friends and family.

The backup options are not only impressive but it is super easy to use. Here are some screen shots of the backup menu so you can see what I am talking about:

I let the software map a drive to the unit for me and began pushing my 100's of gigz of stuff on over to it.

No - Lets NOT go into detail of what that "STUFF" actually is...

I copied over my website files looking to make use of the revision feature. This means I could save over my file up to 7 times and have 7 different copies available to me.

I was also able to mirror specific folders from one drive to the other meaning I can make use of either two full 750gb drives or mirror one to the other or mirror some and use the rest for more space.

This is something I have NEVER seen before as an option on a device like this. Props HP!

The included software allows you to back up your computers on the set it and forget it mentality.

I give the MediaVault TheAdmiN's fabled 3 thumbs up... :)

Let me get back to working streaming me some iTunes. Check out the 500gb model for only $292.32 from our Amazon affiliate link. Hey give us a little bit of a kick back for recommending it, wont ya!

Oh and if you are feeling adventurous here is the link to a tutorial on getting root access to the box. Let me know if you get it to play doom!! If you don't know what the previous sentence means - this article is probably not for you.

The same guys have a great troubleshooting tutorial on websharing if your router does not like uPnp or your ISP is blocking ports here. And a sincere thank you goes to Eric McIntyre from MyHomeServer for allowing me to use your images: MV2120-Webshare-Success-small.png and NTIBackup-small.png - geeky apologies for the snatch and run!