Asus hops on the Atom home server bandwagon

Following in the footsteps of HP and Acer, Asus has announced a small-form-factor Windows Home Server machine based on Intel Atom hardware. The new Asus TS mini is debuting at an affordable $349.99, and with dimensions of just 9.6″ x 3.8″ x 8″, it should be easy to tuck away in a closet or on a shelf somewhere.

Internally, the TS mini has pretty basic hardware: a 1.66GHz Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and a spare 3.5″ drive bay. A small power brick supplies the necessary juice (just 24.5W at idle and 27.9W under load), and a single Gigabit Ethernet port provides the system’s connection to the outside world. Asus has included six USB 2.0 ports and two external Serial ATA ports, however, leaving room for a decent collection of external hard drives and other devices.

The company offers a $529.99 model with a 2TB hard drive and 2GB of memory, too. TS mini servers come with a year’s worth of 500GB web-based storage service courtesy of Asus, but you’re probably better off chucking in a second hard drive if you really care about failure tolerance. (Both TS mini variants come with Windows Home Server pre-installed, so setting up automated backups and selective redundancy should be a piece of cake.) Losing 2TB of data to a single drive failure would be a shame.

You can already pre-order the TS minis at Newegg for $349.99 and $529.99, depending on the model. The e-tailer quotes a November 23 release date, so these puppies should start shipping shortly.

Comments closed
    • Usacomp2k3
    • 10 years ago

    This is perfect for putting in a remote location, such as your parents house, to backup their computers and provide file hosting. The limitation of 2 drives won’t be a big deal in such cases, and it’s better than the 1 drive in such things as the HP LX195.

    • GreatGooglyMoogly
    • 10 years ago

    I will probably move to WHS (from a full-fledged 2008 R2 server) when the next version based on 2008 R2 comes out.

    Probably won’t go with a pre-built one though… those CPUs are a bit tame, even for gigabit transfers.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 10 years ago

    A few NAS makers have similar in four bay lineups. I would highly suggest one of these over older sparc based (common a few years back, very cheap now) NAS appliances IF you are looking for >30MB/sec throughput.

    These Atoms can do >50MB/sec. My older ReadyNAS can do about 30MB/sec. Plenty fine for most users (will stream 1080p mkv’s without any problems), but there are users that want more.

    • Buzzard44
    • 10 years ago

    Wait, I realize this is a “home” server, but two hard drive bays? Seriously? So you could RAID 1 for fault tolerance, and have to throw out your hard drives every time you upgraded size?

    Ok, I know you don’t literally have to throw them out, and you could externally attach them, but still, if I’m buying a new $350 – $520 system, I don’t want to have to slap drives on the outside of the system.

    • Spotpuff
    • 10 years ago

    Acer Easystore H340 looks like a better solution for about the same price.

      • Thresher
      • 10 years ago

      I was thinking the same thing. Does WHS not handle RAID?

        • Flying Fox
        • 10 years ago

        You can use a RAID array as one of your “drives”.

        • GreatGooglyMoogly
        • 10 years ago

        It has a more flexible (but not as performant) solution. You can add drives however you want, of any size you want, then you mark certain directories as “duplicated” and the software will, when idle, duplicate those dirs on at least 2 drives.

        You can also put any of these drives in another computer and copy the files over, without having access to the whole “array”, so disaster recovery is very easy.

        Not sure if you can set how many drives you want stuff to be duplicated on, because that would’ve been very nice (for instance, you could mark [b]really[/b] important dirs to be duplicated on 4 drives).

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    So, what are the advantages of Windows Home Server over something like FreeNAS or Linux? Seriously, I have no idea.

    Edit: or over any other pre-baked NAS solution?

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 10 years ago

    That power use seems a little high, funny how they actually specify it as some sort of advertising point…

    • wira020
    • 10 years ago

    atom 1.66?.. isnt that the pine trail?.. or am i being totally wrong?

    Wouldnt an HTPC makes a good mini server also?… despite the power usage that is..

    • Inkedsphynx
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve been considering building myself a home server, but I’d probably want it to dual-function as an HTPC. Haven’t decided if I want to go with something prebuilt like this, or build my own setup, likely with quiet water cooling, and the quietest DVD drive I can find (playing DVDs in my Xbox 360 is loud!)

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