Most small businesses can't afford such luxuries as a dedicated tech guru. So when it comes to installing and using a complicated server, they're often left scratching their heads. EmergeCore is reaching out to those modest-size companies with its IT-100 system. It's easier to implement than a traditional server but offers many standard server features, such as e-mail, Web, and file-sharing capabilities, a firewall, a VPN, and an easy-to-follow management tool. It also includes other handy extras, such as an integrated wireless access point and the ability to build your own Web site. Just don't expect blazing performance from the IT-100: its 533MHz Transmeta Crusoe processor and scant 128MB of memory mean it won't take well to supporting more than a few users simultaneously.
If there's one truism about networking devices, it's that they're just not easy to install. That said, EmergeCore makes it as simple as possible to set up the IT-100. The system includes a very clear and well-written installation guide that takes you step-by-step through the process, helping you along with lots of colorful screenshots and icons--some of which look oddly like Fisher-Price Little People. Once you plug in the power cord, attach the device to your modem or router, and connect your PC to the device, the install guide instructs you to log on to the browser-based configuration tool. After adjusting a few basic settings, you'll have the IT-100 up and running; however, your job is hardly over. From there, you must tackle the 475-page instruction tome to learn how to manipulate the IT-100's ample features.