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HP mv5150 Media Vault Pro

At a Glance
Product HP mv5150 Media Vault Pro (mv5150)
Summary Two drive Linux-based system with support for RAID 0,1 with built-in media servers and web photo/file access.
Pros • Handsome, rugged industrial design
• Easy access to Root for those who want to tinker
• Built-in DLNA multimedia server, iTunes
• Good offering of network protocols
Cons • Easy access to Root for those who want to tinker
• Drives not hot-swappable
• No email/SMS notification
• No jumbo frame support
• Sluggish user interface

At CES in January of this year, HP announced three new storage products.  Each of HP’s new Media Vault NASes is built on Linux rather than on the Windows Home Server platform as the Media Smart server is. 

The entry point of the new Media Vault line is the mv2120.  Aimed primarily at the home user, this dual-drive NAS features 500 MB of storage and is priced at $299.99.  The next step up is the $599.00 Media Vault Pro mv5140 with 1TB of storage.  And the top of the line mv5150, our review unit, features 1.5TB of storage with a price tag of $799.00. 

The mv2120 ships with a single drive, but you can add capacity with the purchase of a second drive.  The mv5140 and mv5150, the “Pro” versions, both ship with two drives (500GB and 750GB respectively). 

As with virtually all dual drive NAS products, each of HP’s new Media Vaults support RAID 1 (mirroring) to provide fault tolerance for your data.  Additionally, the storage on each media vault can be expanded using the 2 included USB 2.0 ports.  All of the new Media Vault NASs have a built-in DLNA media and iTunes servers and feature file and photo sharing via the Internet.

Product Tour

The Media Vaults ship in a handsome black metal housing that measures 5.472 (W) x 5.374 (H) x 9.623" (D).  The top grey panel provides a nice accent color.  On the front panel there’s a “light bar” drive status indicator for each drive, one of the Media Vault’s two USB 2.0 ports and three LED status indicators along the bottom of the front panel. 

The LEDs indicate network activity, power, and health.  Through system preferences, you can set the LEDs for on, dim or off.  When “off” is selected, the power LED stays illuminate.  Interestingly, the drive status LEDs do not show drive activity – only status.  The perforated holes on the front panel not only give the Media Vault a nice look, but also help provide ventilation to keep the drives cool.


Media Vault with front panel open 

Figure 1: Media Vault with front panel open


The front panel opens to reveal the two drive bays (Figure 1).  The drive in the top bay mounts in a tray and is easily removed.  The other “system” drive requires the removal of four screws in order to get access to the drive.

Media Vault rear panel

Figure 2: Media Vault rear panel

The rear panel is quite simple (Figure 2).  There a power switch, power connector, the second USB 2.0 port, security slot for a standard Kensington cable lock and an RJ45 10/100/1000 Ethernet jack.  Though the Media Vault supports Gigabit Ethernet, it lacks support for jumbo frames found on competing devices such as Buffalo’s LinkStation Pro Duo, (reviewed) QNAP’s TS-209 Pro (reviewed) or Synology’s DS-207 (reviewed).

Component Details

Media Vault main board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 3: Media Vault main board

The Media Vault is powered by a Marvell 88F5182-A2 Orion processor and 128 MB of RAM.  A Marvell 88E1188 gigabit Ethernet controller, found in most gigabit NASs, provides the network connectivity. 

Check out the slideshow See the slideshow for more admin screens and internal details.

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