IBMs single-processor xSeries 206 provides an entry-level server for small businesses without burning a big hole in small IT budgets.
The xSeries 206 is IBMs first small-business server to come packaged with Intels latest Pentium 4 processor, integrated Serial ATA or SCSI RAID, and Microsofts Small Business Server 2003. Its well-equipped to tackle file-and-print, e-mail, Web and other general-purpose server needs in small shops.
The xSeries 206 comes in a small tower form factor (also rack-mountable, at 4U). Its starting price of $499 makes it competitive with entry-level servers from Dell and HP.
The xSeries 206 supports RAID 0 and 1 out of the box.
The server can be outfitted with Serial ATA or SCSI hard drives. The SCSI model, designed for sites with large data stores, supports four drive bays. The Serial ATA model can hold two large-capacity Serial ATA drives and has simple-swap Serial ATA drive bays that make servicing a snap.
The $1,284 system I tested had a 3GHz Pentium 4 processor, 512MB of memory, integrated Gigabit Ethernet and a 36GB SCSI hard drive. I liked the xSeries 206s easily accessible toolless chassis, and its prepackaged Windows Small Business Server 2003 will ease server deployment in companies with limited IT staff.
The servers five PCI slots (two of which are PCI-X-compatible), four memory slots and support for four 173GB hard drives can adapt to growing companies.
For more information, go to www.ibm.com.