When I plugged in my Ethernet cable and powered up the MV2020, I expected the fan to make as much noise as a fan in a tower PC, but instead I found it to be fairly quiet. Once the device started up, I installed the Windows-only configuration software in my MacBook Pro, which was running Windows XP natively—courtesy of its Intel Core Duo processor. After the installation, I was greeted with a screen from the new application (shown in Figure 2).
Figure 2: Media Vault Application
The browsing option from the Main menu brought up the Windows explorer where I could explore the default shares of the device. The second option allowed you to map a drive letter to the shares for more permanent access. For consumers with simple needs, setting up the first two options would complete their installation. Additional configuration options are available under the "Customization" selection for more advanced users.
Like nearly all NAS devices on the market, the real configuration of the device was performed using a web browser. If you selected the customization option, a web browser appeared and connected you to the Media Vault. Figure 3 shows the initial screen where you are presented with the option to configure the device or browse your shared folders.
Figure 3: Configuration Web Page
When I selected Browse Shared Folders, a screen appeared, showing the status of the device's shared folders (as shown in Figure 4). The Shared Folders screen showed that along with two internal drives, I had an external FAT-formatted drive plugged into one of the USB ports. HP supports disks formatted in FAT32 and ReiserFS, and NTFS in read-only mode. Note that the total supported capacity from all drives cannot exceed 1.2 Terabytes.
Figure 4: Shared Folder Configuration
Along with status, the screen also enabled me to create new network shares, restrict network access and delete shares, among other options. A submenu had some interesting features related to setting up a shared folder. Along with the standard SMB support, the folders could also be set up for access via NFS, web browser, and FTP.
Even though the Media Vault is geared toward Windows users, the support for these other protocols meant that other operating systems can also use the device. My compatibility tests showed that the shared folders could be mounted and used from both my Macintosh and Linux systems.