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I need to choose a server that can be used either by a single-user and scale up to four people, ie. not corporate stuff, although it has to be dependable, affordable, compact and quiet.

The OS will be Linux or FreeBSD, and applications will be business apps such as POP+anti-SPAM, telephony, CRM, ERP, knowledge management, etc.

I like compact boxes, but I read that Atom-based mobos like Intel's D945GSEJT are optimized for single-use, not running several applications simultaneously.

For those of you selling solutions for such small settings, what brand/models would you recommend?

Thank you.

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Well, I don't sell such things, but the Atom in my netbook is dual-core, so I'm not sure how that wouldn't be a nice multitasking setup. I think that it might be a bit short on grunt for a box that's doing all those things for multiple users -- especially if your idea of CRM or ERP is some Java monstrosity.

I'd be inclined to go with an entry-level server-grade chassis with the usual server level trimmings, like a couple of nice fast disks, ECC RAM, and that sort of thing. They're pretty cheap at the basic level. It might cost a bit more to make it both compact and quiet -- those tend to be conflicting requirements if you want something with a bit of grunt. Then again, I'd probably put the box in a real DC these days and ignore the noise of the thing; I'm completely over stuffing around with trying to build a little mini server room in offices.

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Thanks for the feedback. I avoid Java like the plague too, so the solutions will likely be PHP-based. BTW, what does "DC" mean? – OverTheRainbow Nov 3 '09 at 13:14
Data Centre. Nirvana for hard-working servers and hardware porn enthusiasts alike. – womble Nov 3 '09 at 13:21

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