Friday, April 25, 2008

Pint-sized but versatile Linux server hits North America

Pint-sized but versatile Linux server hits North America

A pint-sized, multi-functional Linux server small enough to hold in the palm of your hand, was released this week into the North American market by Japan-based Plat'Home.

Designed to work as an Apache Server, MySQL database server, or just about any other type of larger Linux server, the new OpenMicroServer is particularly geared to places that are short on space, or where systems need to be remotely managed due to an absence of on-site administrators.

Because the 9" x 4" x 1.3" device was created in a land prone to earthquakes, it has been reportedly built and tested to withstand "extreme heat" conditions of up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in case of disaster.

OpenMicroServer runs a homegrown software distribution dubbed SSD (Sotokanda)/Linux, named after the area of Tokyo where the device was created.

Combining a Linux kernel with BSD Unix functionality, SSD/Linux is optimized to fit on a small internal ROM while also providing all necessary functions for networking and peripheral devices. The tiny device integrates a 400 MHz Alchemy (MIPS) processor; integrated Power Over Ethernet (PoE); 2x gigabit Ethernet ports; two USB 2.0 ports; and two serial ports.

OpenMicroServer has already been used by thousands of businesses in Asia, including the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) in Japan.

Although some of these applications require additional software or hardware, the pint-sized Linux server can supposedly handle functions that include VPN, firewall/router, wireless access point (WAP), authentication server, surveillance data collection device, load balancer with high availability, blog server, and VoIP/SIS server.

Documentation is available on the Plat'Home Web site.