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The World's Smallest Sametime Server?


So after a small Domino server was pulled out of an envelope at Lotusphere, I thought it might be fun to make a very small physical server, so I started looking around for different components.  For small motherboards, you want to look at ITX motherboards, there are different one's out there and they can vary in size, I wanted small.  I also had a requirement of 1Gb memory minimum, many of them have a limit of 512Mb.  That's when I came across the Via Artigo, a sweet little builder kit that comes with everything you need except memory, disk, screen, keyboard and mouse.  If you didn't already know it, if you can follow Lego instructions then you already have most of the skill needed to put a PC together.

So about a week or so ago I ordered up one of these little babies, along with a 1Gb SODIMM chip and 160GB 2.5 inch drive.  Totaling just under $400. Today it arrived, ooh the excitement.  10 minutes later I had built the physical hardware (there is a video of someone else building one here, and it really was that simple).

The case is aluminium, painted in a high gloss paint, I already have finger prints all over it.  Did I say it's small? Take a look at the photo below and compare it to the size of the apple.  If you wanted to you could actually keep this in the 5.25" bay of another machine!

After the hardware was put together it was a case of using a USB CD/DVD ROM drive to install from.  I installed Centos 5.1, Domino 8.0.1 and Sametime 8.  Over the weekend I will run Server.load to see what kind of IM load this little machine can take.

When powered up the machine is very quiet, the only moving parts are a small fan and the 2.5 inch drive, with the supplied little rubber feet this also cuts out any vibration noise.

The machine has the potential to be very handy as a portable demonstration server, it just fits in the side pocket of my computer backpack.

Here are some pictures with it alongside other objects so you can get an idea of how small it is.

The Via Artigo Box

Via Artigo compared
to hand

Size Comparison
Business Card

Via Artigo Compared
to Blackjack cellphone

Size Comparison
 with an apple

Size Comparison
with an applet

Via Artigo Box contents
Click on this picture to see an explanation of each item.

Put toghether

This could be a great hands on session for Collaboration University, where you build the physical Server and install the software


Gravatar Image1 - Very nice. I am jealous. I could see it being very handy.

Gravatar Image2 - I'm jealous too. I want one. Does it run Windows Server 2003? I saw that it says it only runs on XP/2000?

-Tim E. Brown

Gravatar Image3 - @2 I don't know about Win2k3 I was wondering myself.

I think the only issue really might be be the drivers.

After I have load tested linux, I will see if I can install 2003

Gravatar Image4 - I know we're all supposed to just spin up VMs for server testing, but I just love these little boxes. So cool.

Gravatar Image5 - Ooooh that sounds like Carl just volunteered for another hands-on session at CU! Sold!


Gravatar Image6 - Very cool!

Gravatar Image7 - Does it have a fan ? Is it loud ?

Looks very nice.



Gravatar Image8 - @2 I installed windows 2003 standard server, it runs great, and the OS already had all the drivers, no CD of drivers needed.

@7 It has a fan, it's nice and quiet, at least as quiet as my laptop.

Gravatar Image9 - This would be cool for running Lotus Connections - even smaller than what was at Lotusphere 2008!

Gravatar Image10 - This is getting interesting ... The CTL IL1 has nearly the same specs 8and* has a display, keyboard, and card reader.

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this could be a very cool little demo "server" !

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