Igaware All-In-One Small Business Server review
There have been many attempts at creating the perfect small office multifunction server appliance, but almost all have come to naught. UK-based Igaware aims to be the exception. The All-In-One Small Business Server offers a good range of network security features, and Igaware tells us it has focused heavily on providing top-level customer support.
The appliance is an Asus desktop PC, with the model on review targeting small businesses of between 15 and 30 users. It provides a full range of communications services, and the price can be refined by licensing only those features you want.
Open-source utilities keep costs down, and include the NetFilter SPI firewall, ClamAV antivirus scanner, SpamAssassin antispam and SquidGuard web filtering. Igaware also offers the Zarafa mail server as a lightweight, lower-cost alternative to Exchange. It’s easy to manage and aims to provide a near-Exchange experience, including support for public folders.
We hooked up the appliance’s LAN and WAN ports, and from the tidy web interface set up the firewall to perform NAT on the WAN port. A failing of many competing products has been their inability to hide the underlying Linux kernel for management, but Igaware has made a good job of this, so Windows users don’t need to know about Linux.
As user accounts are created, they’re automatically given their own shared storage area, inbox and homepage for storing shared web documents. Quotas can be applied to both shares and sites.
URL filtering can be set globally for all users and individually, although you only have a choice of only 12 categories plus your own black- and whitelists. Performance was below par, though: with the gambling category selected, it blocked access to only 34 of the 50 online bingo sites visited.
For antispam testing, the box was set up to pull live email from a number of ISP accounts at regular intervals. The threshold for the low score proved too enthusiastic, resulting in a lot of false-positives. However, the higher threshold was very effective, catching 97% of spam during the five-day test.
Along with standard FTP services, this latest version now offers IP SAN support courtesy of SourceForge, where all target LUNs are presented under a single IQN. Performance was average at best, though, with drag-and-drop copies at less than 40MB/sec. File-sharing speeds were even slower, with our test copies returning top speeds of only 25MB/sec.
Small businesses looking for a complete office comms and security solution should check out Igaware. We found it easy to use and, although its web-filtering performance isn’t great, antispam scores are very good and it’s far better value than many rack appliance-based solutions.
|Server configuration||Desktop chassis|
|CPU family||AMD Athlon|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.40GHz|
|CPU socket count||1|
|Hard disk configuration||2 x 320GB WD Caviar fixed SATA hard disks in mirrored array|
|Total hard disk capacity||640|
|Gigabit LAN ports||2|