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HP unveils latest IT/CE crossover product

HP has redesigned the old black or beige coloured storage sub-system. The computing giant also slimmed the tower model down by more than half, chopped the price dramatically and boosted the capacity to reach 1.2 terabytes.

Called Media Vault, the product is intended for two markets as a desktop add-on: Consumers and the small business market, defined as 15 users and under.
Kate Smith, product manager for consumer desktops and storage at HP Canada, said the Media Vault is a crossover product that falls into the CE space.

“This brings media into your living room, and certainly, from an IT perspective, it is great for data sharing and backup. From a consumer perspective, we believe that all digital media will be in one space. Providing a secure environment will be important to both,” she said.

She added that the small business target market is broken down in three areas: the micro business of 15 employees or less, the home-based business and the SOHO market.

This addressable market has many different IT environments, but typically they have multiple networked PCs with either the business owner or an outside IT consultant acting as the IT decision-maker. These businesses could also have a non-dedicated PC as a file and print server and require back up capabilities.

Currently, home servers have not taken off in the market because the price point is still too high at between $2,000 and $3,000 per unit, Smith said.

Looking to distributors
HP Canada wants distributors such as Ingram Micro Canada and Synnex Canada, both with dedicated CE/IT divisions, to pick up Media Vault and recommend it to smaller VARs.

“HP in the past could not reach this market and there is an opportunity for resellers to reach these markets,” Smith said.

The Media Vault starts at $399 for the 300 gigabyte model and $599 for the 500 gigabyte unit. Expansion to 1.2 terabytes would still be less than $1,000, Smith said.

HP Canada is also providing customers with around-the-clock support through a help line.

To scale up from the standard configurations, users will need a SATA-based hard drive as HP does not offer standalone hard drives. An external USB drive is optional for portability. The product is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux-based systems.

By comparison, the HP StorageWorks All-in-One storage system at 1.5 terabytes is priced at $6,700.

Smith said the software included in the Media Vault can help users or small businesses continuously back up software, digital media files and other documents automatically on any type of schedule.There is also one-step disaster recovery if the hard drive fails, and the unit can be used as an archive storage server. Users can share and manage documents, photos and videos throughout the environment. The unit can connect up to three printers via USB ports.