I was in need of a fast and reliable file server with built-in web server. Having investigated various NAS solutions, I decided that a full blown server would be the best option in terms of support, performance, scalability and future proofing.
I chose the HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L partly because I like HP hardware and partially because of the Â£100 cashback offer. I've always liked HP hardware as they offer a good hardware specification using high-quality parts at a very reasonable price.
HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L Specifications
- AMD Turion™ II dual core processor running at 1.5 GHz
- 2GB of RAM
- 250GB Hard drive
- 2 PCIe Slots
- 7 USB 2.0 ports
- 4 bay RAID rack
All of this at a very reasonable Â£199 and minus the Â£100 cash back makes this an absolute bargain!
The particular version of the N40L MicroServer I bought was OS free which means that I can install Linux without paying for a Windows licence.
I've installed Ubuntu Server on the N40L MicroServer and setup Linux Raid10 to look after the four 2TB hard drives I installed. I also setup Apache, PHP and MySql to handle the web-based R&D. If you want to see more on how to setup and configure Linux you can see my Linux tutorials.
The HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L is an entry-level server for the home and micro-business markets. It incorporates server-level components at rock-bottom prices, however, you do have to spend a little more to get the best from the server - upgrading the memory and hard drives mainly.
One large downside to this is the fact that HP used non-standard propitiatory form factors and soldered on components. This means that should the video card go, or the processor or motherboard the whole system is useless. You can't replace the motherboard unless you buy a replacement from HP, and the processor cannot be upgraded or replaced. This is a shame because after a few years use I'm sure I'll be wanting to upgrade the hardware but keep the very nice chassis.