Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Consumer Storage Updates

It's about a month late, but I wanted to make note of some consumer storage announcements and product revelations from CES that I thought were relevant.

Windows Home Server Announcements
First, the Windows Home Server folks announced that Shuttle and VIA have joined HP in developing home servers. Here is the rundown of the Windows Home Server products:
  • Shuttle: The Shuttle Home Server will be available in a basic 500GB version – the SH-4500 – and a 500GB version with hot-swap hard drive capability – the SH-K4800. Both editions offer limitless expansion with space for two hard drives and four USB ports for external hard drives.
  • VIA: VIA Technologies will be releasing 2 home server products – a model with 2 drive bays (based on the Artigo A2000), and a model that can hold up to 8 hard drives (NSD-8000). The compact 8-drive VIA NSD7800 server supports Windows Home Server to provide up to 12TB of secure, manageable storage for the whole family or home office.
  • HP: The HP MediaSmart Server ex485/ex487 can stream photos and music to any internet connected PC or Mac, and it includes the ability to backup Macs to the MediaSmart Server through Time Machine. The new MediaSmart Server has smart power management capabilities, and the user can schedule times for the Server to go to ‘Sleep’ and ‘Wake up’ saving on energy costs.

Incidentally, two of us have tried to get the HP MediaSmart Server to work, and we've both failed. I think that our older computers aren't liking the Microsoft software, so we're never getting backups to work. Pity.

Expanding DVR Storage with Attached Solutions
I expect that this is going to be an interesting area to watch as television operators seek to expand DVR storage, given the rise of HD content being recorded. Seagate showed off its Showcase product, which is compatible with some DISH Network DVRs.

Apricorn has a solution called the DVR Xpander, which is compatible with the Cisco (S-A) Explorer 8300.

We've heard rumblings that 2009 could see more eSata or even network-attached DVR storage solutions being announced. Some folks have told us to keep an eye on Europe for some interesting developments.

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