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NAS Reviews

Introduction

At a Glance
Product HP Media Vault (MV2020)
Summary Dual-drive NAS with RAID 0, 1 and built-in media and print servers
Pros • High performance
• Gigabit ethernet
• RAID
• Powerful backup capabilities
Cons • Physically large
• Windows-only backup utility

HP Media Valult

If you're in the market for a consumer-level network-attached storage (NAS) device, you have a lot of options these days. The available NAS devices are handy and flexible enough to handle the massive amount of data that people accumulate. Also, if you want extra protection for your data, options are available for that as well, since manufacturers are beginning to offer RAID features in consumer devices. RAID adds redundancy to help reduce your loss if a disk failure occurs.

There are several options in the market for RAID-capable NAS devices. In this review, I'm going to check out the Hewlett Packard Media Vault (MV), a device from one of the heavyweights in computers and consumer electronics.

The Media Vault, HP's initial entry into the consumer or "small-office" NAS market, offers gigabit Ethernet and RAID mirroring and comes in two models: one with a 300GB drive and one with a 500GB drive. For this review, I was supplied with the 500GB model.

Physically, the MV is larger than most consumer NAS devices on the market. Instead of being the size of an external drive, the Media Vault is comparable in size to a "thin client" or managed PC. The size is in part due to the expansion bay where you can add an additional SATA drive for additional storage or a RAID array. My review MV2020 also had a 500GB drive installed in the expansion bay; thereby giving me a total of 1TB of storage.

Much like a PC case, the exterior of the device is constructed of two-tone lightweight plastic and metal. The front panel has a door for the expansion bay, several status LEDs, a USB 2.0 port, and a power button with a blue LED that is bright enough to cast shadows at night. The back panel, shown in Figure 1, provides a Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, a Reset button, fan vent, and a power connector.

Media Vault Back Panel

Figure 1: Media Vault Back Panel

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