In the long history of the business machine, one of the enduring form factors has to be the “small” form factor. This small sized computer is usually small enough to fit into a cabinet or just under a user’s monitor. That kind of versatility in space gives way to the computer’s use a small single-purpose server when taken from the user. This time around I look at the Dell Optiplex 390 Small Form Factor (while remembering the venerable Compaq Evo SFF). The computer has to to run reasonably well and hold up to the demands of the average user.
Looking for a nicer solution to backup, I came across AppAssure and decided to take a closer look. My previous exposure to Microsoft’s Data Protection Manager lead me to Dell’s offering based on features and performance.
Since most of our customers are smaller businesses (50 users or less), backups tend to be file synchronization, cloud or tape options. The small business is generally not served by the more enhanced power of bare metal restores and technologies like de-duplication. And it’s a shame, because there is a real market for these great tools if they’re at a reasonable price. In talks with Dell representatives, I learned that AppAssure was a little-known company, and Dell wanted to put some muscle behind this venture to help it take off. My first exposures to the product were through countless seminars and demonstrations. Great for an overview, but not so good if you want to understand how this works. I moved to a trial version (which you can download here – registration required) to see more about this.
In a business environment, I’m generally a fan of small form factor machines. They’re usually engineered well and provide the users all sorts of options in terms of positioning. One of the better small form factor machines of the past was the Compaq Deskpro 550SFF (Remember those?). Today, I have my hands on Dell’s Vostro 260s device to set up and I’ll share my thoughts and impressions of this device.
The tower version of it’s cousin, the R410 Server from Dell, the PowerEdge T410 is a lower-end server suitable for up to 15 users on a small Network. I have previously looked the R410 (read that review here) and now have the opportunity to check out this one. The intention of this new server was for it to become a simple Domain Controller coming in at a less than $3,000 price tag. Here’s my look at the server, the setup and how well it stacked up to the intended job description.
Much of the recent news I’ve heard about Dell involves what they aren’t selling anymore (like phones). But, what still sell are laptops and ultrabooks. I’ve really never been the biggest fan of Dell’s laptops, preferring to recommend either Toshiba or Lenovo offerings. Today, I’ve ordered a Vostro 3550 laptop and I’ll share my thoughts on that.
The higher-end (and much heavier) server tower offered by Dell as the PowerEdge T710 is one heck of a monster. Measuring more than a few inches deeper than the lower-end T410 server, this bad boy looks to be built for power and speed. Today, the plan with this PowerEdge T710 is to set it up as a member server of a domain and eventually use it as a database server. I’ll take the machine through it’s paces and show you what I thought of this server. Along the way, I’ll share some tips and other information I think might be useful.
The Dell XPS 17 laptop is huge, so massive, you really need two hands to pick it up. But, despite the size (or because of it) you’re treated to a huge, wide screen, a full size keyboard with a number pad and allot of wrist space. Given how big this is, you might be surprised how sleek the outside looks. There is a nice metal sheen on the palm rests too. Today, I’m going to take a closer look at the XPS 17 laptop by Dell.
It’s no secret that I’m generally a fan of Dell’s servers. They make pretty reliable rack mount servers for just about any size of business. When I was able to get my hands on a Dell PowerEdge R210 II Server with Windows 2008 R2 pre-installed, I was looking forward to relaying my thoughts about this one. After ordering, this server took about a week to arrive.
Another day, another server to review. This time I’m looking at a tower server that is likely more of a small business powerhouse. This time, I would be replacing another Dell server that was long on years and short on reliability. While reviewing the PowerEdge T310 server, I’ll let you know what I liked, what wasn’t so great and provide any suggestions I have for Dell for general improvements.
Aimed firmly at lower end shops, the Dell PowerEdge R410 1U Rackmount server is the sort of server that comes with a pretty good set of options. I had previously seen a higher end model server, so this was a chance for me to check out one that was configured for a little over $1,500 CDN.