Expand Your HP Media Smart and Acer Aspire EasyStore Windows Home Server with the Icy Dock MB561US-4S-1
Benefits of MB561US-4S-1
* Quickly increase your storage capacity on a WHS.
* Port multiplier requires just one east Connector.
* USB and eSATA connectors for increased flexibility.
* Fan speed adjustment with Smart cooling technology.

* High capacity four drive enclosure.
* Hot swap capability.
* Aluminum construction.

The average home is becoming a digital playground for all types of media. However, what everyone keeps scratching their head over is how to tie it all together and make it available at the touch of a button.
Companies such as Hewlett Packard, Acer, and Asus have answered that question with what is being dubbed a "home server". Utilizing Microsoft's Windows Home Server operating system, a user is able to create an all encompassing solution for an entire home, small business, or even an individual who just has a lot of stuff to store! Windows Home Server, or WHS, allows a user to access any type of file from the server, anywhere they have an internet connection. It also provides the ability to set up localized back ups for everyone on the network, including Mac Computers. But probably one of the most popular features is its media capabilities, including displaying photos, and streaming music and videos. Since certain file formats are not readily playable, WHS will convert the videos on the fly so that they are able to play via web player or the WHS built in media player.
Many of the all-in-one solutions that are currently available come with a single SATA hard drive installed, with 3 empty drive bays for storage expansion. However, herein the problem lies. For some users, 4 drives is not enough space. The solution: Icy Dock's MB561US-4S-1. This quad bay storage power house allows a home server to double its total storage capacity from 8TB to 16TB! Featuring both USB 2.0 and high speed eSATA connections, the MB561US-4S-1 is versatile and can be implemented with just about any home server, whether an all in one solution, or for those daring individuals who have built their own monster data center.
While the USB can be used with just about any device nowadays, especially with the dynamic storage feature in Windows Home Server, let us focus on the eSATA aspect of the MB561US-4S-1. In previous versions of the popular HP Home Servers, an eSATA port was included on the rear of the device for an external hard drive however it did not support port multiplier. This meant that only a single drive could be seen through the eSATA port. In HP's newest generation of their Media Smart Servers, they have enabled port multiplication with the eSATA port, meaning that a device such as the MB561US-4S-1 which uses a built in port multiplier to send the four SATA connections through the single eSATA connection, can now be used with the HP Home Servers, particularly the EX Series. This model comes standard with a 1TB or 1.5TB drive, 4 internal drive expansion bays, 4 USB 2.0 ports, and an eSATA port multiplier connection.
An eSATA port multiplier can also be implemented on systems without the feature built in. For example, the Acer Aspire EasyStore allows the user to add a PCI Express eSATA port multiplier card. This will give the user even more flexibility in that the card chosen can also include a built in RAID function, and multiple port multiplier eSATA ports, allowing someone to potentially add an extra 10 drives to their system, or an extra 8 using 2 MB561US-4S-1's.
An advantage to using an all in one solution such as the HP Media Smart EX Series or Acer Aspire EasyStore is that it lets the user save money and time on the part and build process that goes into creating a home server. And using a mutlibay storage device such as the MB561US-4S-1 allows the person to easily expand their storage capacity by double or even triple the amount. This creates nearly endless amounts of space for music, movies, pictures, and important documents.
Home Server Compatibility List:
Acer Aspire easyStore AH340
HP MediaSmart: EX490, EX487, EX495, EX485, LX195
Asus TS-Mini
HP StorageWorks X510
LenovoD400 Idea Centre
Velocity Micro NetMagix HomeServer

*Home server must support port multiplication for eSATA use.