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Group test: what's the best server?

The best server for your business

PC Advisor reviews the best servers you can buy for your business.

5. Fujitsu Siemens Computers Primergy TX120

If you need a file server for light to medium-load tasks and you're a small business or a large one with lots of small branch offices, the TX120 could be just what you're looking for. It's quiet and unobtrusive so it'll fit in with any office environment. While the upfront price might make you jib, the cost savings to be had by using FSC's feature-rich server management software and the lack of a need to build a dedicated server room could be reason enough to buy one - or more.

4. Buffalo TeraStation Pro II Rackmount

This system offers a huge amount of storage for the money – up to 4TB per system at today’s capacities – and enough data and hardware redundancy to suit most users. We’d choose it every time over the more general-purpose PC-based SAN systems on offer. Performance is okay through the single Gigabit Ethernet port, and disk I/O was satisfactory. But fussing about details isn’t what the sub-£1,000 SAN is about. It’s about reforming storage, putting it into a grown-up rack and developing a rational policy towards backup, archiving and availability. Go beyond the usual obsession with storage and think what a SAN basic would would be like to set up, manage and use every day. It's one place to put everything but it's also one place for problems to occur.

3. Apple Nehalem Xserve

Apple's Nehalem Xserve packs more into one rack unit than any other server. For one price, you get a best-in-class server and a commercial Unix OS with unlimited client licences, plus a foolproof management GUI. The 2.26GHz eight-core model outguns and out-greens the original 3GHz, eight-core Harpertown Xserve if you fill it with RAM.

2. HP LX195 MediaSmart Server

HP's MediaSmart Server LX195 is a very cleverly designed machine that is definitely the most beautiful and smartly designed home media server we've seen. For Windows only and cross-platform households it's well worth a look.

1. Sun Fire X2270

The Sun Fire X2270 is an impressive entry into the Nehalem-based server market. Sun's x64-based hardware has been superlative for the past few years, and these new servers are the latest in a line of solid server platforms. Leveraging the surprising power of the Nehalem architecture, the Sun Fire X2270 should find a home just about anywhere - assuming that Oracle's acquisiton of Sun doesn't rock the boat.

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