I’ve been speaking to more and more colleagues who’ve opted to purchase the HP Proliant MicroServer for a number of reasons, if you haven’t come across one, think of a three Mac Mini’s sitting on top of each other, featuring an AMD processor, a few GB of memory and space for four full height 3.5 inch SATA hard drives with a network connection and some USB ports and a VGA port so you can switch it on and use it out of the box.
The specs are here. Officially there were two models, the N36 and now the N40, officially supporting Redhat Linux and Microsoft Windows Server products.
I emailed them over a few days asking them what they used their MicroServer for an here were the top three responses:
“Cheap NAS appliance – it’s got four 1TB drives and stores all my music/documents as a NAS drive, it was in fact better than buying one of those out of the box NAS solutions. I downloaded FreeNAS and then just plugged in 4x1TB drives and plugged it into my router – effortless and sits there humming away quietly.”
“Media Server – I’ve got it running Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 like a dream and we share our music and videos from it, put in a larger hard drive, and added a bit of memory, but it’s been great and love it”
“ESX in a box test lab – I’ve got ESXi running on it running five virtual machines happily and love it, it’s great for my home lab testing and has been quite an effective tool to learn VMware and go over a few scenarios. I had to buy some more memory and a larger disk, but it’s been working fine and nice and quiet in the office, could ask for much more.”
It’s great to hear how people are using their MicroServer, you can of course run normal Windows Server on it and have it as your first server, your file or application server and many people do. We’re going to be publishing more content about our MicroServer over the next few weeks and months.