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AVADirect Custom Small Business Server System (Page 5)

By Chris Ramseyer | Oct 11, 2010 04:10 am CDT
Rating: 86%Manufacturer: AVADirect

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Let's take another quick look at the specification list again. As we mentioned before, there are a few issues that should be addressed right from the start. The first is digital video, or more specifically, lack of it. That means no HDMI or DVI and with it, no HDCP. Most users are going to remote desktop into the system to make changes, so the lack of digital video isn't that big of a deal unless you are looking for a joint client / server system.

The next issue has to do with the storage system. Even though the server uses four of the best traditional platter based drives, they are connected to a low budget RAID controller. We will hold off for the actual tests before diving in on this one, but no cache and no XOR engine means your RAID 5 isn't going to be efficient.

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The next issue with the storage system goes a little further than just poor choices in hardware. The system ships with four Seagate Constellation ES SAS drives that are 2TB of capacity each. Since AVADirect put all of the drives a single array, it breaks the 2TB limit. In a nutshell, Windows will only see up to 2TB per drive or array. The way to get around this is to configure the drive in "dynamic disk" mode. The problem is you can't boot to an array; that is, load an operating system off of a dynamic disk. In the end, the 'as configured' storage system is only capable of using only 2TB worth of its 8TB available capacity.

On the bright side, the Small Business Server we received does have a very fast quad core processor that is backed up by 4GB of high speed DDR-II RAM from a quality manufacturer. The Chenbro case the server is housed in is very nice and offers higher security than the QNAP and Thecus systems we test monthly.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Chris Ramseyer

Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.

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