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I want a small (in terms of size) box to run W2K8, SQL Server and provide a load of storage (so maybe 4 SATA drives). I don't need graphics, sound or any frills. What is the most cost effective way to achieve this? Build my own? Buy one off the shelf?

Appreciate any suggestions..

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It depends on you existing skill set and whether you just want to have fun and learn by building your own. If you want something that'll just run then maybe just buy one off the shelf, if you want to do it yourself then any old machine will do with a decent enough CPU, some memory and a disk controller - then pick your software (FreeNAS, OpenFiler etc.) and away you go.

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