Plat'Home, a Linux company from Japan that specializes in combining eco-friendly, small, tough hardware with their own version of Linux, is announcing another in their series of MicroServers. Kanshi BlockS Pro, made to monitor servers and various network applications, is now available in North America.
This is a great example of applying technology where it's needed. A large percentage of IT budgets are spent on infrastructure monitoring and management. Up-time can be anywhere from just important to mission-critical. The problem for many companies, however, is that the medicine is worse than the disease. Implementing expensive, complex monitoring solutions regularly strains budgets or is simply out of reach, even if necessary.
Plat'Home's Kanshi BlockS is an "it just works" alternative based on open-source software and interesting Japanese hardware. Plat'Home claims that their devices "can be installed in minutes." And because of their small size, offices without server rooms--or server rooms that are overcrowded--can easily use them. Tomoyasu Suzuki, Plat'Home President, is quoted as saying, "Customers always comment on how they love the option of placing it virtually anywhere. For companies, departments, or remote offices tight on space, it's a great fit."
KANSHI BlockS offers compact, fan-less, hard-disk-less design for high reliability. Roughly the size of a coffee cup (4.5'' x 3.2'' x 1.5''), it can fit virtually wherever needed -- on a rack, next to a wall socket, or inside bigger appliances. Even without a fan, it can withstand temperatures of up to 104° Fahrenheit, great for offices without climate-controlled server rooms.
On the software side, there's as much flexibility as you would expect with Linux. Alive monitoring by ping, port monitoring, network monitoring with SNMP, graphical stats with Multi Router Traffic Grapher (MRTG), and lots more. Up to 255 devices, "regardless of manufacturer," can be monitored.
More details on hardware specs and software features are here