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Customized Server Appliances For SOHO Clients

Small businesses, home offices, and home users alike are quickly becoming overwhelmed by data. Whether it's digital pictures, videos, scanned material, or plain old documents, one thing has become certain: Managing all that data on more than one system has become an overwhelming burden.

In the business environment, the problem gets solved by installing a server. But for the typical small office/home office (SOHO) user, this option is usually too costly. Another option, peer-to-peer networks, seems no better: P2P typically mulitplies management problems by the number of computers.

This management nightmare creates an opportunity for the smart system builder. The solution: create customized server appliances. A server appliance offers the benefits of a traditional server, but at a much lower cost -- and without the traditional management burdens associated with a full-blown server.

Selecting Ingredients: OS

From the system builder's perspective, constructing a server appliance is not that different from building a typical whitebox PC or server. The one exception is product selection. For a server appliance, no exotic hardware is needed. Instead, the system builder should choose basic components that stress reliability over performance and that offer adequate storage needs.

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