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10th Birthday!
 1st Jan 2010 - 10th Birthday!
10th Birthday!
We celebrate our 10th birthday today having started business on the 1st January 2000 (near enough anyway!) During this time we have spent almost as much time keeping up with development as it has directly supporting it's clients. We never forgot however who we're ultimately working for. Most of our clients are small business's (1-100 computers) with small budget's, so all our research & development in this time has revolved around finding, testing and implementing the right solutions for them.

Rather than follow the more obvious and predictable 'Microsoft Small Business Server' route, we have been busy locating and testing the 'best of the rest'. Business's with 10 or less computers for example would be better off using the much cheaper Windows Server Foundation. Both free and Open Source, MailCleaner can be used to stop Spam & Viruses before they even get to a users computer. Comodo AntiVirus, unlike AVG, is free for commercial use, and provides an addition layer of protection. SmarterMail provides an excellent alternative to Microsoft Exchange, is free for 10 or less users, and very reasonably priced if you need more. Being totally Web Based (but hosted locally), it is also extremely easy to maintain and use. For Backup we use a combination of SyncBackPro for file copying, Finddupe for Data Deduplication, and FOG for Computer Cloning. Spiceworks takes care of all the network monitoring. Last, but by no means least, VMware Server is used to Virtualize MailCleaner, FOG, SmarterMail & Spiceworks into individual Virtual Appliances, simplifying the whole system, reducing hardware costs, and (with the addition of a second server) providing a High Availability option. The best part though is the price... all of these solutions (excluding SyncBackPro and SmarterMail) are completely FREE!

It's not only software we've been trialling, but hardware solutions too. Many of the solutions we implement in today's servers, would simply have been too expensive for small business's ten years ago. Virtualization has enabled us to take what would have been multiple physical servers and reduce them to just one. The increasing capacity of Hard Disks has enabled us to move from the 3.5" form factor to the more compact and energy efficient 2.5" form factor Hard Disks and SSDs. It took a while, but we have finally found a RAID solution worthy of our seal of approval... meet the Stardom MR2020-2S-S2 (see below). With disk speeds and capacities now way ahead of what is required for most Small Business's, the advantages of RAID 5 over RAID 1 are now largely moot, so this provides a perfect solution. With hardware costs plummeting too, we are now able to install two of these units on all our servers, creating a physical separation between the Operating System and that all important Data. There are many other fantastic pieces of hardware we could show you, but we don't want to give too much away to our competitors!
The following associated files are also available for download:
Download Stardom MR2020-2S-S2 (pdf)
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