Devices built on Windows Home Server can be perfect for backups and file sharing in small business networks. Here’s more information about what it means to use Windows Home Server to back up workstations in small businesses.

It’s been hard to explain that to business owners. The name “Windows Home Server” does not precisely shout out, “Backup System For Small Businesses,” does it? I’ve felt uncomfortable in law offices unpacking the HP MediaSmart from boxes festooned with dancing photographs and filmstrips and happy children’s faces.


The reality is that Windows Home Server backs up multiple computers more effectively than anything else on the market, and adds some file sharing and remote access features that can be quite useful in many offices. Microsoft realized it had misjudged the appeal of Windows Home Server and began a pitch to small businesses a few weeks ago.

That may be why HP announced the HP StorageWorks X500 Data Vault today, focused on small businesses. It’s listed on the HP web site in its “Large Enterprise Business” section with no glitz, no fancy fonts, no pictures, just a dry recitation of the very serious features that make it swell for businesses.

I’ll be interested to see one up close. From a distance, I can’t find anything meaningful that’s different from the consumer version, the HP MediaSmart EX487 with the cute pictures. The X500 Data Vault is built on Windows Home Server and appears to have exactly the same features – the remote access, the file sharing and strong passwords and file duplication and all the rest, just like the consumer version.

In fact, tucked at the bottom of the “Q&A” page at HP is the very last bit of info:

“Q10. What other features does the HP StorageWorks X500 Data Vault offer?

“A10. In addition to providing a complete platform to store, secure and share data, the HP X500 Data Vault also offers a variety of applications for managing and streaming your digital media. Features such as HP Media Collector, HP Photo Publisher, HP Photo Viewer and others allow you to automatically catalog and share your digital media with co-workers, business associates or family.”

The X500 Data Vault for business looks a lot like the HP MediaSmart in a different cardboard box. Prices are similar. Want to know what the difference is between Windows Home Server for business and Windows Home Server for consumers? The picture on the left is the brand new very serious business server; the picture on the right is the playful home server. Is this pitch to businesses really nothing but a marketing ploy for a new cardboard box?


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