I regularly read Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows, so when I saw a story there entitled “HP Drops Windows Home Server Product Line” I thought to myself “Bummer!” Here’s a capsule summary of what Thurrott says in this story (it’s a paraphrase, not a direct quote, so I set it in italics here): In the wake of Microsoft’s recent announcement that it would drop its Drive Extender technologies (these provide automatic data redudancy across a pair of hard drives, and create an extensible storage pool with a single drive letter that can be expanded by adding drives to the system), HP has indicated it plans to discontinue its MediaSmart Server (MSS) products). And indeed, I am quite sad to see this product leave the marketplace. It offers SOHO users a rare combination of great features, reliable storage, and a pretty bullet-proof runtime environment at an affordable price. Even aside from its media management capabilities — which are pretty good, and kept getting better — the MSS boxes do a peachy job with automated backup, and low-maintenance network file storage, with a usable publicly-accessible Web interface from the Internet included at no extra charge. Good stuff!
But when I went looking for confirmation of this planned change, I didn’t have far to look. CNET also has a December 1 story entitled “HP discontinues MediaSmart Server line.” This is further confirmed on the Microsoft Home Server blog for November 30, which simply states that “…HP has told us they do not plan to provide a platform for Windows Home Server code named ‘Vail.’ HP has told us they will sell the existing version of MediaSmart Server through the end of calendar year 2010…” Thus, the end is no longer too far off, either.
I’m sorry to see this product go, as I spent many enjoyable hours digging into these systems and tweaking their hardware and software. It was a cute little box, too. Maybe I should try installing Windows Server 2008 on my box and see how it does in that capacity. Too bad: another one bites the dust!