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Affordable IT: White Boxes and Used Gear

Your project requires a couple of servers and a new switch. You get some prices from your regular first-tier suppliers and quickly discover that your appetite exceeds your capacity.

So you ask your boss to increase your budget, right?

Wrong! Money is tight everywhere. It's time to look for less expensive equipment so you can have your cake and eat it, too. No-name servers (white boxes) and used networking equipment fill the bill when budgets are being squeezed.

Low No-Name

Systems integrators target their lowest-end white boxes at the home desktop market, and for good reason: Home users can more easily live with the instability of such equipment than their professional counterparts.

Ask yourself how much your business will suffer if your Web server decides to take the day off. The mish-mash of lowest-end no-name systems tends to cause incompatibilities with the server OS that are difficult to diagnose, resulting in spotty uptime. So, despite these systems' low prices, we recommend that you steer clear of their siren song, lest you find yourself dashed against the rocks.

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