Another request for a small scale iServe alternative

I was interested to see a call by Tom of New Rowley for a home-orientated Mac server for storing all the digital music, video and photographs people are collecting. The product described by this post was very similar to the one I described as ideal for the small business sector a while back. It is nice to see that I am not completely crazy and that such a product would satisfy a couple of juicy markets. Whilst I do not think I would buy one for my house I am pretty sure an iServe for the home would be a lot better than the current crop of large external storage devices available for the average consumer.

Mac Serve anyone?

Probably the biggest untapped server market out there is at the small business level (two to twenty people). At the moment there are a number of Small Business Server (SBS) solutions in this market from a number of companies:

The desktops are the servers

Using Windows file sharing, Samba and Bonjour the business configures their own little desktop-based server for file and print sharing. Thanks to semi-intelligent Internet gateways from the likes of Linksys/DLink that handle DNS and DHCP setting this sort of thing up is relatively easy. Whilst ugly this is probably the most common file/print/Internet sharing solution in most non-tech related small businesses. Unfortunately when things go wrong they can really go very bad, I've seen a number of desktop-servers go belly up because of Internet spyware and viruses.

ClarkConnect 3.0 Review

Linux provides an excellent platforms for web, email, file and print services. Whilst extremely effective in larger businesses, distributions such as Red Hat and SuSE/Novell are too extensive and time intensive to be used within small businesses as a general purpose server.