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I intend to buy a computer for a small scale server and now I am considering between a ordinary PC-based home server and a plug-computer which is quite new and somewhat experimental. At the moment, I have some choices:

  • According to this question, I may build a low-cost, relatively high-performance PC as my home server. However, I'm still unsure about its stability.
  • A Mac Mini: relatively expensive, but it's totally okay if it's worthy what it does.
  • A plug-computer: a new idea, seemed to appear at the beginning of last year, very low-cost and could be optimized for server stuff. But I have don't have much information about and I need some relatively deep comparisons between those computers.

Do you own a home server? Please share your ideas and information about this. Thank you!

Edited: Almost forgot, these are all I need to do with a server:

  • File sharing.
  • Media sharing.
  • Remote controlling.
  • Backup.
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migration rejected from serverfault.com Sep 30 '13 at 9:46

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Tog, Mokubai, Dave M, Breakthrough, Olli Sep 30 '13 at 9:46

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Probably better asked on SuperUser as it's home pc based. –  Robin Day Feb 2 '10 at 8:06
    
My bad, thank you. –  cmpitg Feb 2 '10 at 8:10
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2 Answers

I guess for this I would actually recommend a Windows Home Sever, maybe take a look at the Media Smart Server from HP, this gives you the advantage of multiple Drive bays, and its preconfigured to do pretty much everything you want (not sure what you mean by remote controlling).

The other way to go would be buying a cheap Nettop, maybe the Asrock ION 330, or something similar, and running either some Windows and add the Stuff you need, or maybe setup a Ubuntu/Linux or maybe if you know your way around a FreeBSD/OpenBSD.

Those Plug-Computers sure seem like a nice Idea but I guess they are fairly limited in what they can do, and are not easily extensible by either Soft or Hardware. Instead I would recommend a Linksys NSLU2 if you can get your hands on one because there are Linux Distributions supporting it, so you can do pretty much everything you would ever want Software wise.

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+1 WHS deals with all the application and configuration issues for you, that's worth a lot of time as long as they fit you. A Mac Mini with OS X server on it would work too but it would require pretty much everything to be set up by just like if you bought a standard Windows Server or slapped any Linux or BSD distribution on some hardware ^^ –  Oskar Duveborn Feb 2 '10 at 8:51
    
Thank you guys. However, I had a lot of problems with Windows and I don't know about the stability of Windows Server compared to Windows and *nix. I have been used Slackware for 4 years and still prefer it to Windows. What I meant by "remote controlling" was SSH, GNU Screen, TeamViewer (Windows)... or stuff like that. Some of my friends suggested me a Nettop too and it seems to be a good idea. By the way, I don't mind setting up the system to make it work. Any more details about choices would be great :-) –  cmpitg Feb 4 '10 at 8:21
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I have a GuruPlug Plus that I'm currently using for routing, firewall, and gateway services on my network. Fits that bill nicely.

Some plug computers have an eSATA port, but only one. All have USB ports. You'll be attaching drives through that.

So if USB attached storage is fine for you, a plug computer is something worth looking at. However any serious I/O will require at least SATA. I would recommend against a plug computer for heavy disk-based file serving.

The plug computers are low power consumption, but be prepared to learn a lot about Linux and U-Boot in the process. Note that some early plug computers such as the Sheeva have heating issues.

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