Phoronix: Excito B3 Mini ARM Powered Server
Many interesting things come from Sweden whether it is Tunnbrödsrulle to Glögg to IKEA, but how well are these wonderful people able to create compact, home servers? After reviewing the CodeLathe TonidoPlug and PogoPlug, Excito, a company from Limhamn asked if we would be interested in checking out their new Linux-based home server, the B3. With that said, here is the review of the Excito B3 home server, which is actually a rather exciting device with its capabilities ranging from being a Bit Torrent download server to a home router with web serving capabilities.
no "phoronix approved" mark???
Can you provide more info about the Wifi controller? Model, brand, and manufacturer, please.
I'm also curious if this can be configured as an access point (wifi router) or station (for bridging local LAN with another LAN wirelessly). My first assumption is that the wifi is used to connect the server to a wifi router.
The Wifi on B3 is used in AP mode to support the built in router. (One could of course configure it in station mode from the command line. But the UI only supports AP mode.)I'm also curious if this can be configured as an access point (wifi router) or station (for bridging local LAN with another LAN wirelessly). My first assumption is that the wifi is used to connect the server to a wifi router.
This looks really nice. I'm using an old computer that consumes at least 10x more power for most of the tasks that this little server can handle. The only thing that is missing is the possibility of installing 2 hard drives. If it allowed this and there was an option for buying it without any drives at all it would be the perfect server. I already have 2x500gb HDDs on my current server, and these would go to waste.
I purchased this summer a Sheeva plug, which is quite similar in the specs and connectivity (just one less ethernet and no wifi). But it definitely fulfills my needs, even though it's more of a development kit than a final product. So I use Webmin to administrate it.
What is missing on the Sheevaplug is a power button, I like to shut everything down when I go to sleep and put it on when I wake. With my internet box and shared usb printer it makes around 50W, and I see no use keeping it on. So its more convenient to have a power button to shut it down without a computer.
What about NFS ? I configured both NFS and samba on my plug, NFS has the advantage to have damn small overhead, and I reach great throughput like 50-60MBps symmetrical. Samba is more around 40MBps, but I've only spent small time configuring it. Even though NFS is not that interesting in home conf, it can be preferred to some, and it would be interesting to see some benchmarks.
Can the wifi be totally disabled, and save some wattage like on laptops ?
Looks real nice, but for $400, my dual atom server was just over half the price for, at worst, the same specs. I can appreciate the form factor and DC power pack as a cause for the price premium, however.
I like that you can get root access. Is the OS running off the hard drive or some sort of embedded flash? I'd be worried about borking the install somehow and having no recourse to reloading the OS.