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Small Server Bonanza

We tested five inexpensive, reliable boxes aimed at small businesses, remote offices and workgroups. HP struck gold with its feature-rich, expandable ProLiant ML330.

If you're a small business looking for a reliable server, or a big business seeking a little server for an outlying office, have we got some boxes for you.



Maximum Throughput Tests
click to enlarge

Per our request, we received midtower machines; the largest was the white-box unit from Lantech. All were light and easy to move.

In evaluating systems for this review, we considered many factors. We wanted these machines to be viable for at least three years. Small businesses don't have the capital for a replacement cycle any shorter than that--and frankly, we expect users to keep them until the machines drop dead. Little businesses don't grow into big businesses without being thrifty with hardware.

Other key factors that define "real" servers are reliability, compatibility, manageability and serviceability. Until recently, big-name vendors have found it impossible to cover all these bases and maintain a low price. The white box largely filled that bill.

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