24 June 2011
My first reason for the upgrade was to upgrade from using IDE drives on my old server. This box makes it very easy to change SATA hard drives. There's a door at the front which allows easy access to the hard drive bays. You have to mount the hard drive in a runner, but that's just a couple of screws.
My second reason was to reduce power consumption. The old server drew 80W at idle (as measured by my Kill A Watt). The new one only uses 20W, which is a pretty dramatic reduction. At $6 a month, I'm not going to be making a great ROI on this, but at least I'll feel more virtuous about leaving it on all the time.
The box is small and quiet, not a big factor for me as it lives in the basement, but that may appeal to plenty of others. I also enjoyed the humor of the vendor in including a 160GB drive in the package. (I put in something rather larger.)
I installed Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and it worked just fine. For this install I took the opportunity to use puppet - overkill for a home server but useful to give me some devops creds.
Overall something worth recommending but nothing too dramatic - but then I don't like drama in a server.