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10 Server and Storage Options
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Get through those questions okay Good. Now the bad news: every item checked as Very important will cost more money. The more features, the more expense. As features pile one on top of another, the meter keeps ticking and speeds up. The next sections appear in decreasing order of complexity. If your checklist is full of Very important checks, you should focus on server appliances. As the number of Very important checks go down, the further down this list you can go and still meet your needs. Or, at least the needs based on this checklist. Now let me outline the different server types you should look at, depending on what your checklist tells us.
216 Part III Moving from Stand Alone PCs to a Network
All-in-one server appliances
Personally, I love all-in-one server appliances for small businesses and even some home users. I ve used several over the years in my home of ce, and think they do a pretty good job. This approval rating goes up even more now that broadband service providers do a better job of supporting home and small business networks. The market doesn t agree with me as well as I hoped about server appliances, however, and many of the best ones over the years have disappeared. In fact, the two best ones (the Cobalt Qube and the Netwinder Rebel) are gone. The good news is that new products are approaching the quality of software from the earlier systems, and the hardware is de nitely better today. Small companies tend to appear, make a great product, then disappear as they run out of money trying to reach their market. Sometimes small good companies are bought by larger ones and killed as when Sun bought the Cobalt Qube line as part of the Cobalt rack server product line they wanted, ignored the Qube for the rack servers, then discontinued all the Cobalt products.
Toshiba Magnia
Toshiba, long relatively unknown in the server arena (great laptops), now has probably the best all-in-one server appliance out today, the Magnia. Check them out in Figure 10-1.
Figure 10-1: Reigning all-in-one appliance champ, according to me.
Go to magnia.Toshiba.com and click the Magnia picture to nd this screen. Automated Web sites like Toshiba uses create some incredibly long and ugly URLs.
10 Server and Storage Options
You can t tell even with the zoomed-in picture, but the case is metal and feels like a tank. The 16 2 LCD screen helps with status information during use and particularly during installation. The Toshiba Magnia includes several excellent features: Wireless option with addition of PC card (extra $100 when ordered through Toshiba even though this is the same type of PC card you plug into a laptop). No routing features, but it can be used for a rewall through a dedicated Ethernet connection. Dial-backup option with addition of PC card modem for second PC card slot so the server can dialup your service provider if the cable/DSL service stops. Dual disk drives auto mirror of all data with scheduled disk-to-disk copy much like RAID Level 0 for fault tolerance. Number of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to remote sites limited only by load on the system. Most large companies force users connecting from home to use a secure and encrypted Virtual Private Network to link back to the of ce. Outstanding internal-use portal with excellent templates for documents, images, and photos makes it easy for small businesses or overly organized home users to present information. Provides all the network con guration details, such as IP address, for other devices on the network (Dynamic Host Con guration Protocol). One-click method to download all e-mail from service provider and make it available internally on the Magnia. Overall quality of the administrative tools, reached via Web browser, outclass all others on the market today. The clearly de ned screens contain logical features based on their headings, and warn you when you re drilling down into something that can get complicated. The Magnia 30 has a 1.2 GHz Intel Celeron processor, and the Magnia 25 has an Intel Celeron running at 566 MHz. That appears to be about the only difference between the two units. One great advantage of the Toshiba software is the ability to send backup les offsite to a remote File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server. You can also send them anywhere else on the local network the Toshiba can access, but the offsite option gains major points for Toshiba and their thoughtfulness.