Do you have a low power home server?

I’ve been meaning to post a follow-up to ‘Cheap low power home server options‘ for a while; partly for my own curiosity (I wonder what server I’d choose if I was looking now), and partly because more and more people seem to be looking for one (based on the highly scientific hit count for the original post, which is almost twice as popular as the second place post).

Rich is considering a SheevaPlug for example, some neat looking machines crop up on the Smart Home Blog now and then, and of course there’s the hugely popular (in Hursley at least!) Viglen MPC-L, which appeared just after I got my Netvoyager (still very pleased with my choice- up for 425 days and counting!)

The question is, what server are you using? And would you recommend it?! It’d be great to hear some experiences, whether you’re happy fighting something as small as a NSLU2, decided on a server anyone could use, counted the pennies, or splashed out on something more expensive.

Update: sadly Chris has discovered that the MPC-L and LX-1000 have been discontinued. (17 February 2010)

“so it looks like Viglen dont sell the MPC-L anymore and Netvoyager don’t sell the lx1000 anymore. What’s a low power geek to do?” @yellowpark

A few alternatives suggested by @rikp, @dllmr, @ScaredyCat, and @netcompsys:

Update: A couple more options which look quite tempting. (4 May 2010)

  • GuruPlug (the SheevaPlug2.)
  • O2 Joggler (very nearly got one of these when they were on special offer! Looks like a very useful device with the bonus of a responsive touch screen.)

Update: I gave in and bought a Joggler while they were briefly back on special offer, although I haven’t (yet) moved anything off my old Netvoyager. If you missed out on the Jogglers, the Aleutia T1 Fanless PC looks like another possible contender for home server duties. (6 July 2010)


Cheap low power home server options

Unfortunately my CurrentCost meter only gets hooked up to an aging ThinkPad 240 on a time-share arrangement with Jo; she is currently cursing about how slow the web is, so my graph on the power meter page is blank. Other people have a more reliable connection and are tracking down 3KW spikes and 100watt-ish blips. Good excuse for a(nother) gadget I reckon!

Current thoughts, in roughly ascending price order:

  1. SLUG: £57 (as recommended by @andysc)
  2. Netvoyager LX-1000: £130
  3. MicroClient Jr.: $214 (same case as above but includes 2 RS232 ports which is nice. Not sure I can be bothered with importing one… but more than one? Maybe.)

Out of the running (probably) are:

  1. Minifsk: $200+ (Looks neat and claims to have a serial port but in the US again)
  2. TinyTuxBox: cheapest seems to be about £193
  3. Asus EEE PC: better value at around £200?
  4. Linutop 1: €250+

And finally, Dale suggested a Pocket PC option earlier and Steve suggested an ASUS WL-500g. I must admit I’ve not looked in to either of those. I do have a Palm V kicking around but not sure that’d be up to the job! I also have a Linksys WAG354G but that is gainfully employed and doesn’t have any USB/Serial ports.

Decisions decisions.

Update: I’ve been very happy with the choice I made (a Netvoyager) but if I had to make the same decission today, it would be much much simpler: the Viglen MPC-L is a steal at £79! In fact, it’s such a good deal that I caught myself contemplating buying one as a second home server yesterday, which is obviously crazy. (30 November 2008)