Celestix Aires Micro Server
Small businesses may not have the onsite expertise or resources to set up e-mail, a firewall, Web server, FTP server, content filtering, virtual private networking (VPN), Web caching, Telnet access, and other network services from scratch. Celestix Networks has come up with a solution -- the 6.5-inch tall, 4-inch wide, and 5.75-inch deep plug-and-play Aries Micro Server for up to 25 users.
Four small buttons let users select menu options from a small, aquarium blue LCD panel to configure basic operations. A browser interface lets users communicate with the Aries from workstations and store files from Windows, Mac, or Unix machines on the 10GB hard drive. The Aries itself runs Linux, but that is transparent to the administrator, as well as the end users.
Aries supports an extensive array of connectivity options. The Aries has two Ethernet ports: a primary Ethernet for the local area network (LAN) and a secondary Ethernet for direct Internet connection.
You can use dial-up V.90 or ISDN connection through an external serial modem or the PCMCIA card modem. When using dial-up, mail queuing and schedules for mail retrieval can be set up. For broadband modem users there is a second Ethernet port available.
If all you want to do is share a cable/DSL account, buy a cable/DSL router for under $200. If you want a lot of Internet services in one place, however, the Aries can be a comparatively low-hassle solution.
Celestix Networks, Inc.
PROS: Built-in Internet software takes on advanced tasks, print server, file storage, tiny footprint
CONS: Pricey if all you want to do is share Internet access