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6/1/2010
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Lamont Wood
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SUTUS Offers Business In A Box

Canadian firm offers one box that replaces the eight that most offices need to get up and running: e-mail, file, and web server, wireless access point, firewall, router, switch, and IP PBX.

Canadian firm offers one box that replaces the eight that most offices need to get up and running: e-mail, file, and web server, wireless access point, firewall, router, switch, and IP PBX.A business needs eight different boxes to get up and running, IT-wise, these days, says Robin Porter, head of SUTUS, a small (15-person) firm located near Vancouver, BC. Together, the eight have a combined cost of at least $10,000, and it will take three days of skilled labor to get them running together, she added.

So SUTUS is offering all eight in one box, the Business Central 5880, already configured to run together in a unit the size of a laptop, for a price of $2,199. The basic eight, incidentally, includes an e-mail server, a file server with dual 250 gigabyte RAID capacity and an NAS interface, a web server, a wireless access point, a firewall, a router, a switch, and an Internet Protocol PBX. Any broadband Internet connection that arrives via an Ethernet cable will work.

It's for the small business that started out with voice mail for their phone system, Gmail for their e-mail, and Excel for their computer system, Porter said. "But eventually that breaks," she noted.

Aside from saving time and money by getting an integrated system, you have the green business aspect because you dispense with seven boxes and their power and cooling requirements, Porter noted. It also has management software intended for use by non-techies, which can additionally be configured remotely. In fact, she told of resellers who ship them to the customers and have an electrician plug them in and attach any peripherals. The reseller then finishes the set-up remotely.

Each unit will support a network of three to 50 users, with Windows, Mac, or Linux workstations. Units in separate locations will support four-digit dialing to each other. Point-of-sale terminals and security cameras can be connected, she added.

She added that Business Central exists thanks to the Intel "Tolapai" system-on-a-chip technology, which includes an x86 processor, controllers, and security functions. While this device is intended for embedded systems, Moore's Law probably makes it inevitable that we will eventually see the equivalent built into desktops. By then, presumably, SUTUS will have found other boxes to incorporate.

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