On 7 Aug 2008, at 11:29, Darragh wrote:
> I'm very likely hoping for too much but I'm doing some work in an
> office that would really benefit from a small server.
>> Requirements of this server are:
> Something about the size of a normal residential internet router.
> AS quiet as one too.
> A distribution of Linux..... obviously.
> most importantly, easily configurable to authenticate users on
> windows machines.
> some kind of mail server to pull in mail from a number of pop3
> servers. Squirrelmail for remote access would be nice but not
> Another very important function is a proxy. Both for regulating
> usage and reporting. Squid would be great.
> If at all possible, a method of attaching removable storage either
> via LAN or USB would really help.
>> I know I'm asking for a lot but the people I'm doing this work for
> are not particularly technical. However, their requirements are
> expanding as they take more staff on. Their already paying out
> quite a lot for more desktops so I want to keep the price of this
> device reasonably low and one major factor is keeping the running
> cost down as well.
They shouldn't really need to be be paying much for desktops in this
day and age. If the budget is tight, Dell's cheap end will provide a
perfectly functional desktop for considerably less than one week's
average industrial wage - and if you pay them an extra €15 you can
even get XP instead of Vista - how's that for a deal?
> I've heard of projects in the past set up to build Linux
> distributions on very portable hardware so I'm almost sure at least
> some of this functionality is possible.
>> If absolutely necessary, I could configure this functionality on a
> normal PC but I'm still not as skilled at this than most of you and
> I've only about two and a half weeks to get this up and running.
Hardware which fits the bill is out there e.g. Buffalo's Linkstation
range, which comes with a distribution of Linux which is optimised to
be a home NAS. However, it (and probably other similar devices) will
have a number of problems fulfilling your requirements.
1) Underpowered CPU, so will have a hard time dealing with all of the
above under load
2) Not a lot of RAM - see point 1
3) Doesn't come preconfigured to do most of the above, which I think
is what you'd like to have.
Another option, if small and quiet is very important, would be a Mac
Mini. It would have more RAM and a more powerful CPU than something
like a Linkstation but again, you'd have to install an OS on it and
then configure everything you need individually.
TBH I think the best option for you would be something like Clark
Connect [http://www.clarkconnect.com], running on a small PC. It won't
be quite as small as you'd like, but it should be reasonably quiet,
and it will have far more CPU and RAM than a small appliance. And it
has the advantage that it comes OOB ready to do most of what you want.
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