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Device Profile: EmergeCore IT-in-a-Box SMB server

Jul 13, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

EmergeCore has used Linux in a line of $1395-$2450 office servers for small-medium businesses (SMBs). The IT-100 and IT-500 are touted as easy to use, Slackware-based, all-in-one networking and server appliances with low power requirements and support for WAN cards, 802.11g, multi-domain hosting, and other sophisticated networking capabilities.

The EmergeCore IT-500 (left, click to enlarge) has a 16-port switch and optional WAN card. The IT-100 has a 4-port switch

Both the IT-100 and IT-500 include a range of open source software providing basic Internetworking capabilities, along with basic email, LAN, and Internet server software required by SMBs. The devices are marketed directly, and also target ISPs (Internet service providers), LECs (local exchange carriers), VARs (value added resellers), and local/regional consultants who recommend products.

What's under the hood?

The IT-100 is based on a 533MHz Transmeta Crusoe, and includes a 4-port switch, while the IT-500 uses a 733MHz Via processor with a 16 port switch. Both devices also provide a wireless 802.11g access point supporting Radius authentication. The IT-500 can optionally include an AFT A101 WAN card from Sangoma for direct-to-WAN connectivity at T1 or E1 speeds.

The IT-100 and IT-500 include 128MB and 256MB of RAM, respectively, and 32MB and 64MB of Flash. The devices include 20GB and 60GB 2.5-inch laptop-size hard drives, respectively, and the IT-500 supports an optional second drive.

The devices include two USB ports, and parallel and serial ports. The IT-500 also includes a PCMCIA port, and supports USB 2.

Software side

Both devices run EmergeCore's “CoreVista” operating system, an implementation of Linux based on Slackware V. EmergeCore implemented the Linux OS in-house, without commercial support. The OS has a “Windows-like” GUI, the company says, that allows business owners to install, manage, and maintain a suite of commonly used IT services without advanced networking or computing skills.

Supported services include an email server with virus- and spam-blocker and per-domain web interface, a firewall, DHCP server/client, NAT router, web server, proxy server, VPN server (the IT-100 also includes a VPN client), file server, and ftp server. The devices can serve multiple web domains, with per-domain graphical traffic reporting. Additionally, web site building tools based on customizable templates are offered. A CRM (customer relationship management) application provides a contact manager, opportunity tracker, and sales reporting.

The devices offer a management interface with system summary, alarms and monitoring, remote management, system backup and restore, and Internet software upgrade automation.

The IT-500, when ordered with a Sangoma WAN card, also includes “self-configuring” drivers that automate the process of line and protocol set-up, according to Sangoma.

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