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Mini-server has Nano processor, bootable CompactFlash

Jan 13, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 12 views

Via Technologies released a compact server for SOHO (small office home office) and SMB (small to medium business) based on its 64-bit Nano processor. The M'Serv S2100 measures just 10.2 x 5.3 x 4.5 inches high, accepts up to four terabytes of storage, and has a CompactFlash slot for embedded OS installation, the company says.

Via's M'Serv S2100 is said to use a 1.3GHz, 64-bit Nano processor plus the VX800 northbridge/southbridge. (Last month, Via introduced the nano-ITX Epia N800 motherboard with exactly this combination of components, but without the second DIMM slot and gigabit Ethernet port featured here.)

Via's M'Serv S2100
(Click to enlarge)

According to Via, the M'Serv S2100 (above) may be used not only as a server for SOHO or SMB customers, but also as a network video recorder with IP-based cameras, and in "cloud-intermediary service roles." The device has two bays for 3.5-inch SATA II hard disk drives, plus a CompactFlash slot that supports DMA mode, the latter allowing the system to boot quickly and reliably from an embedded operating system, the company adds.

The system is said to have two DIMM slots for DDR2 RAM, allowing an unstated memory maximum that is most likely 4GB. External connections, pictured below, include three USB 2.0 ports (one on the front panel, two on the rear), a VGA output, and two gigabit Ethernet ports. Like the company's previous Artigo A2000 mini-server, the device measures just 10.2 x 5.3 x 4.5 inches, the company adds.

Ports on Via's M'Serv S2100

While Via doesn't say which of its 1.3GHz Nano CPUs the M'Serv S2100 employs, we believe it to be the enhanced U3100 that was introduced last November. That's because Via touts the inclusion here of its VT virtualization support, "for the latest virtual server applications," offered by the 3xxx Nanos but not by the earlier 2xxx parts.

The device is also said to offer Via's PadLock security engine. A feature of Via processors at least since the 2003 introduction of the Eden-N, PadLock offers hardware-based Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) functionality, and imposes significantly less overhead than software-based encryption, according to the company.

Specifications listed for the M'Serv S2100 by Via include the following:

  • Processor — Via Nano processor clocked at 1.3+GHz, with VT virtualization and PadLock encryption
  • Chipset — VX800 northbridge/southbridge
  • Memory — 2 DIMM slots supporting up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM (presumed)
  • Storage — 2 x ports/bays for 3.5-inch SATA II hard disk drives; 1 x bootable CompactFlash slot
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x VGA
    • 3 x USB 2.0 (1 on front panel, 2 on rear panel)
    • DC input
  • Power — 75W DC adapter accepts AC input from 100 to 240V
  • Dimensions — 10.2 x 5.3 x 4.5 inches (259 x 135 x 115mm)

Jerry Yuan, embedded business development manager for Via, stated, "The Via M'Serv S2100 is uniquely positioned to offer a wide range of essential server applications for small business and home office users. The VIA Nano processor brings with it an advanced set of features that makes [this] … an exceptionally compelling mini-server product".


Via says the M'Serv S2100 is available now for system integrators and OEMs, though pricing was not specified. The system is said to support a range of Linux distributions including Ubuntu and SUSE Enterprise Desktop 10 (Service Pack 2), as well as FreeBSD, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008.

More information on the M'Serv S2100 may be found on Via's website, here.

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