Those numbers look very good to budget-starved small businesses, especially since no client access licenses are involved. You buy it once and add as many clients as you want. It's also attractive from the standpoint that these are turnkey solutions -- you spend, say, $999 and get 500GB of RAID1 storage on a small-form-factor server with the Resara suite pre-installed. There's very little to do other than configuring it for your network, and with the Resara box, that configuration is backed up to Resara servers, so recovering from a failure doesn't require a complete reconfiguration from scratch. Soon Resara will add local and remote automated backups, too.
The plug-and-go network
This turnkey approach is ideal for small businesses, most of which couldn't care less how their network and servers function, as long as they continue to function. If you ask me, a small-business server should be like the DVR provided by your cable company: a prebuilt, set-and-forget appliance.
The core infrastructure components that make networks function have been mature for some time now. There's no real reason that a small-business network should be as complex and top-heavy as some I've seen. There's no real reason that owners need to fear significant unexpected costs when something goes off the rails due to a poorly configured system.
Solutions like Resara's that offer the most important features, driven by a simple, centralized management interface -- and unlimited support alongside lower TCO -- are a step in the right direction. It may be that more and more servers for small-business Microsoft networks won't run Windows at all.
This story, "Fire up a Microsoft network without Microsoft," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Paul Venezia's The Deep End blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.