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VIA M'SERV: the Perfect Little Linux Box?

Apr 06, 2010, 17:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Ferrill)

"Last year about this time we reviewed the VIA ARTiGO A2000 and found it to be a great hardware complement to the FreeNAS distribution. This time around we take a look at the latest incarnation of the small server box from VIA named the M'Serv S2100. We had to look pretty close to see the differences in the two from the outside. On the front panel they're virtually identical with the exception of one LED. On the back panel the two audio ports have been replaced with a second Ethernet port.

"Internally the two models look very similar. There is the easy release front panel revealing two slide-in slots for SATA disk drives. The CompactFlash slot is still there giving the same option as before to build a FreeNAS server booting from an image on a CompactFlash disk. New to this model is a second memory slot supporting up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM. The processor also supports hardware virtualization for running the latest Linux kernels with KVM.

"Distro options

"Like the previous version, the M'Serv S2100 runs FreeNAS well. We were able to move the SATA disks and CompactFlash, and it picked back up right where it left off on the A2000 box. The extra memory, additional Ethernet port and hardware virtualization support open up a whole lot of new options for this box. The only issue we had was the speed of the Ethernet ports which always came up at 100MB."

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