Sun Microsystem's Sun Fire X4275 is an excellent all-rounder, although we'd love it if the noise could be cut down a little more.

External and internal design

The front of Sun's 2RU Xeon 5500 series server is dominated by 12 quick-release 3.5-inch drive bays, with a smattering of diagnostic lights — some on the drive sleds themselves for quick-look determination of failure. Six of the sleds in our supplied machine were blanks, waiting to be replaced with the real thing when necessary.

A flip lid exposes two banks of six Servo G0638D12BAZP-10 60mm fan units for a total of 12 units, each unit containing its own redundant fan. They're quick-removable simply by pulling on them, no latch required — however, you can't pull only one fan at a time if it fails, as two fans are attached to each quick removable module.

The 60mm fans are quite loud as server fans tend to be, and come in modules of two.
(Credit: CBS Interactive)

Each one of these pushes 69.3CFM of air at a maximum of 12,000rpm at 63dBA — needless to say the 12 of them, in combination with the Sanyo Denki 40mm, max 14,700rpm, 24CFM, 55dBA fans in both Power-One SPASUNM-03G 1050W, 85 per cent efficiency power supplies make a hell of a racket when the server is running at full load. Sun claims an operational noise level of 69.8dBA.

The redundant power supply. Each module runs at a stonking 1050W. (Credit: CBS Interactive)

Once you've flipped the fan lid you can push the rest of the lid off by sliding a button to the side, although if the server is running this will immediately power it down. This not only reveals the machine's innards, but the plastic baffling shielding the RAM and CPU heatsinks to direct airflow from the front of the machine to the back. This can be lifted off via a hinge attached to the rear of the fan cage.

The dual CPUs and RAM are covered with a plastic baffle to direct airflow.
(Credit: CBS Interactive)


The server supplied to us by Sun contained two Xeon E5540 "Gainestown" CPUs clocked at 2.53GHz with four physical cores apiece. With a Hyperthreading-aware OS, though, it presents itself as capable of handling 16 threads, resulting in a task manager likely to create a bit of envy. Three 2GB PC3-8500 RAM sticks were dedicated to each CPU for a total of 12GB system RAM, with timings of 7:7:7:20:1T. There's 18 RAM slots total, supporting a maximum of 144GB RAM.

Internally Sun supplies three proprietary slots that are connected to three daughterboards, each supplying dual-90° rotated PCI-E 2.0 8x slots. An internal USB port and a CF card slot are present on the motherboard should you need to boot an OS or VM off them, run a USB dongle internally or you require an intent log.

Two mini-SAS ports are on-board. One supports four channels, the other two, however, the two Seagate 300GB Cheetah 15K.6 SAS drives and four Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB drives that were supplied, were hooked into an Adaptec 5805 that identified itself as a "Sun STK RAID INT Controller". Interestingly, neither hardware arrays or zpools were set up, each drive was just sitting happily on the card individually, waiting for the sysadmin to configure it to their needs.

Adaptec's 5805 supplies the RAID acceleration for the Sun Fire. (Credit: CBS Interactive)

An Aspeed AST2100 performs its requisite underpowered VGA duties, only offering 4:3 resolutions. In Solaris it can manage up to 1600x1200, in Windows Server 2008, 1024x768. Flipping around to the rear presents two more USB ports, four gigabit Ethernet ports powered by Intel 82575EB chipsets, net management and serial management ports, the latter of which can be plugged into a supplied RJ45 > DB9 adapter, all connecting to Sun's ILOM.

Management ports and Ethernet ports dot the rear of the machine. To the right are two USB ports and a VGA port. (Credit: CBS Interactive)

Of course, as with any server, configuration options are vast depending on your needs and budget. While no doubt Sun would love to ship you Solaris (our review sample came with Solaris 10 10/08 installed to one of the SAS drives), being one of its x86 machines allows it to offer OpenSolaris, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.7 or 5.3, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2, VMware ESX/i 3.5 U4, Windows Server 2003 and 2008 as well.


Performance in any situation when it comes to a server is an open-ended question. How is it configured? What environment is it installed in? What software do you need to run? What's more important, CPU grunt or disk I/O? Ultimately establishing a set of meaningful benchmarks that can appeal to all is a tough exercise at the server-end of town, and most would be best off running an evaluation program and testing what IOPS they can pull in their own environment before purchasing.

For those interested in the new Xeon 5500 architecture though, a few "canned", CPU-based benchmarks were run for the sake of comparison: Cinebench R10, STARS Euler3d CFD, and wPrime.

Cinebench R10, 1 CPU 3641CB
Cinebench R10, 16 CPU 24210CB
STARS Euler3d CFD, 16 threads 5.857Hz
wPrime 32M 6.02s
wPrime 1024M 144.581s


Sun Microsystem's Sun Fire is an excellent all-rounder that can be custom-specced to suit most small-to-medium-business needs. Whether you need to apply yourself with some dense storage or just need the compute power of 16 cores, its flexibility is commendable. It's not the quietest server around, but stuck in a server room no one is likely to notice.


Manufacturer: Sun


  • Network interface
  • 10/100/1000 LAN


  • Primary hard drive
  • 300 GB


  • Dimensions (H x W x D)
  • 87.6 x 436.5 x 762.0 mm
  • Weight
  • 29.54 kg


  • Graphics hardware
  • Aspeed AST 2100


  • Amt of RAM
  • 12GB
  • RAM type
  • DDR3-1066


  • Processor
  • Intel Xeon
  • Processor speed
  • 2.53 GHz


  • Operating system
  • Sun Solaris 10

The Altos R520 is a 1U rack-mount server with a clear role hosting infrastructure services such as Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, security firewalls and so on. It's also very scalable: it can be configured with enough processing power to handle Web applications, and has room for enough internal storage to cope with basic file- and print-sharing duties. At a push you could even use it as a database or e-mail server, although you may need to add external storage or connect to a SAN (Storage Area Network) where large amounts of data are involved.

Acer Altos R520

It's only 1U high, but there's a lot crammed into the Altos R520, including dual core processors, masses of memory and up to eight internal hard disks.

Housed in a solid metal chassis with a clip-on front bezel, Acer has opted for a standard Intel OEM case with a slide-off lid giving plenty of elbow room when the internals need attention. Dual redundant power supplies were fitted on the review system, and we also counted some ten cooling fans in the main cavity plus two more in each of the power supplies. That's more than enough to ensure adequate airflow in a crowded rack, but when they're all running they do make the R520 sound a bit like a jet fighter.

The internal layout is extremely neat. The Intel S5000PAL motherboard occupies about a third of the space with very few cables required; those that are needed are all clearly labelled. Diagrams and part lists are also pasted on the inside of the lid.

Two sockets are provided for 64-bit Intel Xeon processors. The test machine came with a pair of dual-core 1.6GHz Xeon 5110 chips, but any processor from the Xeon 5000 family can be specified including both dual and quad core implementations, with 4MB of L2 cache and clock speeds of up to 3GHz.

That makes the server very scalable. With dual-core processors, for example, you're effectively buying a 4-way server, while with quad-cores fitted you're into 8-way territory. Moreover, the Xeon 5000 processors all include support for Intel's Virtualisation Technology (VT), making the R520 a good choice when it comes to running the latest VMWare, XenSource and Microsoft virtualisation tools that can take advantage of this feature.

To go with the processors the motherboard has lots of room to add memory, with eight paired DIMM slots on the quad-channel memory bus designed to take fully buffered DDR2 667 modules. The review server came with a modest 2GB installed, but, with the right capacity DIMMs, you can fit as much as 32GB altogether.

Error Checking and Correction (ECC), also comes as standard with optional memory mirroring and sparing to cope with possible failures. However, you'll need at least double the RAM to take advantage of these options, making the server unnecessarily expensive if high availability isn't a priority.

A year or so ago we wouldn't have expected much internal storage on this kind of 1U server. However, with the advent of smaller 2.5in. disks that's no longer the case. In fact, the Intel chassis used here has slots to take up to eight such disks altogether, plus an optional optical drive if required. In Acer's configuration, two of these slots are for fixed disks while the remaining six are designed to be hot-swappable, with the disks mounted in special slide-out carriers.

Note, though, that the base models shipped by Acer don't include any disks as standard -- that's typically down to the reseller. Ours came with a pair of 5,400rpm 80GB SATA Hitachi disks cabled to a separate daughterboard that can be swapped for a Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) card and drives if preferred. Either way, the maximum internal capacity is just under 1.2TB with plenty of choice when it comes to 2.5in. disk capacity and speed. RAID facilities are also built in, although mostly implemented in software -- in which case, if data availability is an issue, it might be worth considering a plug-in host bus adapter instead.

An ATI controller looks after the display, while a pair of Intel PRO/1000 Ethernet interfaces handle network connection. You also get two expansion slots, both capable of taking PCI Express adapters, one of which takes high-profile cards and can also accommodate PCI-X adapters. As a result, you could easily add a host bus adapter for either internal or external storage, or additional network cards for connection to an iSCSI Storage Area Network.

Remote console redirection is yet another built-in option, and Acer also bundles its own server management tools with the R520. However, unlike servers from a direct seller such as Dell, the price doesn't include an operating system or any help when it comes to installation. An optical drive is extra too, but both can be supplied by the reseller. Given that it's based on industry-standard Intel components, all the usual certifications for Windows, Linux and NetWare apply to the R520. Acer itself offers a three-year on-site warranty for the hardware with additional installation, service and support services available from the reseller or system integrator involved.


Manufacturer: Acer

Cabinet (chassis)

  • Case form factor
  • 1U rack mount

Hard drive storage

  • Hard drive interface type
  • SATA
  • Hard drive type
  • standard
  • Hard drive size
  • 80 GB
  • Rotation speed
  • 5400 rpm
  • Second hard drive installed
  • Yes
  • Second hard drive size
  • 80 GB

Interfaces & networking

  • Ethernet
  • Integrated dual-port Gigabit Ethernet
  • Expansion slots (free)
  • 1 x low-profile PCI Express X8, 1 x high-profile PCI Express X8 (changeable to PCI-X slot)
  • Other
  • maximum of 8 SATA or SAS hard drives (6 hot-swap); integrated SATA software RAID (0, 1, 10), 650W PSU plus 1 hot-swap redundant PSU


  • RAM installed
  • 2048 MB MB
  • Number of memory slots
  • 8
  • RAM capacity
  • 32 GB GB
  • RAM type


  • Motherboard
  • Intel S5000PAL
  • Chipset
  • Intel 5000P
  • Data bus speed
  • 667, 1066, 1333 MHz

OS & software

  • Operating system
  • not included in price
  • Software included
  • Acer Altos Advanced Server Manager v7.1, Acer Altos EasyBuild v7.1, Altos EasyDiagnostics


  • Processor manufacturer
  • Intel
  • Processor model
  • Xeon 5110
  • Clock speed
  • 1.6 GHz GHz
  • Number of processors installed
  • 2
  • Number of processors supported
  • 2
  • Level 2 cache
  • 4 MB

Product type

  • Product type
  • Rack

Service & support

  • Standard warranty
  • 3 years
  • Service & support details
  • on-site


It can handle a wide range of backend business applications, but HP's Proliant ML370 G5 is over-specified for organisations with more modest requirements.

HP Proliant ML370 G5The first thing you notice about the HP ProLiant ML370 G5 is its size. It's massive, with room for not just the latest dual-core Xeon processors but enough memory, storage and other options to suit a wide range of applications. Because it's very solidly built, the huge desk-side tower housing the ML370 is extremely heavy, requiring two people to lift it. It can also be rack mounted if required, although it ends up 5U high and the rack would need to be well anchored to prevent it tipping -- especially if you choose any of the optional extras. Our review model, for example, came with a redundant second power supply and an additional bank of hot-swap fans. You can also add a lot of storage, making for a very heavy and, at times, quite noisy system.

Still, all that bulk means plenty of space to configure the server to your exact requirements, starting with processors. As with the Dell PowerEdge1950, HP now supports the latest Intel dual-core Xeon "Woodcrest" chips, and our review system came with a single Xeon 5140 clocked at 2.33MHz with a 1333MHz frontside bus (FSB). However, you can choose from a variety of Xeon 5000 and 5100-series chips and fit up to two on the Intel motherboard to suit a wide range of applications.

Quad-core chips are also available for the ML370 G5. Note, though, that as on the Dell PowerEdge 1950, the faster processors can push the price up significantly so it's worth making sure that any performance gains will actually be exploited and that the rest of the configuration is up to the job.

Similar comments apply when it comes to memory: specifying more than you need will be costly and pointless unless you expect demand to grow in the future. Our review server came with 2GB, which is a good starting point; fully buffered DDR2 DRAM is used throughout, and there's support for ECC, online sparing and memory mirroring for maximum availability. You can also specify an optional second memory board, taking the maximum RAM capacity up to 64GB. This is double the amount that the 1U PowerEdge 1950 can handle, and is great for data-intensive database servers.

The massive tower chassis provides plenty of room for storage. There are eight 2.5-inch hot-swap drive bays on the review machine, but these only take up half of the available space set. Another set can also be configured with Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), which is the preferred technology here, HP having recently announced its intention to standardise on 2.5-inch SAS disks across the ProLiant family. An integrated RAID controller comes as standard, while a variety of others can be specified to fit into the two PCI-X and six free PCI Express expansion slots, plus a huge number of external storage options.

For this review, HP provided a pair of 36GB 10,000rpm drives, but 72GB and 146GB disks are also available, giving a maximum internal capacity of over 2TB, depending on the level of RAID protection configured. SATA disks can also be specified, although 60GB drives are the only option in this case. However, on this kind of server, most buyers will opt for SAS.

A Gigabit Ethernet server adaptor with built-in TCP offload engine is integrated onto the motherboard, and this could be used for connecting to an iSCSI SAN. The ML370 G5 server also gets a new integrated Lights-Out (iLO) remote management processor, adding virtual KVM and power management facilities that enable the ProLiant server to be controlled remotely via a Web browser. Remote management, of course, is also possible using a variety of tools, some of which are included as standard, with others being optional extras.

Finally, the HP hardware is fully certified for all the leading Windows, Linux and Unix operating system implementations. These can also be preinstalled along with selected applications configured to customer specifications, although the range and cost of such services is likely to differ depending on the reseller or system integrator involved.

We were very impressed with what the new ML370 G5 has to offer. It's perhaps a little over the top for basic file and print sharing, but as a database server or as an ERP platform in a larger company it's got everything you might need, and then some.

HP ProLiant ML370 G5
Company: HP
Price: From AU$3,895


With computing power to burn, the PowerEdge 1950 is ideal where high performance is required, such as clustering and Web front-end duties. However, the ramped format does make life more difficult when it comes to database hosting and other backend deployments.

Dell PowerEdge 1950A two-way SMP server designed to accommodate Intel dual-core Xeon processors, the PowerEdge 1950 sits at the top of Dell's 1U rack-mount range. It's not a particularly expandable solution -- there simply isn't room for lots of adaptors or disks -- but that hasn't stopped Dell's designers cramming a lot in to create a server that can be used for a variety of purposes.

The PE 1950 is very solid and well built. No special tools are needed to install or service it, and the whole of the top lifts off for access. A sliding rail kit can be supplied as an optional extra and there's a lockable front bezel to prevent unauthorised tampering and stop the server being switched off accidentally. You can also specify a second, redundant, power supply if required.

The Intel motherboard takes up only a fraction of the space inside the chassis, with two prominent sockets for the 64-bit Xeon processors. The review system came with Woodcrest chips fitted (now referred to as the Xeon 5000 and 5100 series), which are both faster and more energy-efficient than earlier Intel dual-core designs. However, the amount of power you'll have on tap will depend on the processors chosen, as will the price you'll have to pay.

Dual-core prices continue to fall as new designs are introduced and quad-core products are released. Our review sample, for example, had a pair of mid-range Xeon 5140 chips, clocked at 2.33GHz with a 1,333MHz front side bus (FSB). You can also specify the much faster (3GHz) 5160 chips. At the other end of the scale are the Xeon 5050 processors, also clocked at 3GHz but with a 667MHz FSB. Dell has also recently added quad-core Xeons as an option.

Of course you could start with one processor and add another later as needed, but with such a huge range of options and prices it's worth getting some expert advice. A low-cost configuration with one processor, for example, will probably be more than adequate for basic file and print sharing, but processor performance can have a big impact when it comes to clustering and application hosting. It's also worth bearing in mind that processors need to be matched, and if you don't order what you want up front you could encounter difficulties when upgrading later on. This perhaps explains why very few two-way purchases are ever beefed up with a second processor.

Memory can also have a big effect, both on your wallet and what you can do with the server. There are eight DIMM sockets on the PE 1950, which can accommodate up to 32GB of DDR2, fully buffered, DRAM with optional memory sparing and mirroring capabilities for those looking for maximum reliability. You can start with as little as 256MB, but ours had a more reasonable 4GB -- more than enough for file sharing and a decent amount if you're hosting an intranet server or a small company e-mail system.

There are yet more options when it comes to storage, starting with a choice between standard 3.5-inch internal hard disks or small 2.5-inch notebook-format drives. With 3.5-inch drives the limit is just two, using either Serial ATA (SATA) or Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) connectivity. The SATA disks can hold up to 750GB each, while the biggest SAS drive is limited to 300GB. If you opt for smaller 2.5-inch drives, SAS is your only choice, at a mere 73GB per disk; however, you can cram four 2.5-inch disks into the case, as on our review system.

Our review server also came with a basic integrated RAID controller, although more advanced plug-in RAID adaptors are optionally available. You can also specify a TCP offload engine (TOE) to be enabled as an option on the integrated Gigabit Ethernet network interface, which would be valuable when connecting the server to an iSCSI SAN.

Further expansion is via plug-in adaptors: riser cards provide either two x8 lane PCI-Express slots or a pair of 64-bit 133MHz PCI-X connectors.

On the software front, Dell will factory-install Windows Server 2003, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 ES or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10. Finally, you get the usual integrated remote management controller plus additional out-of-band management options.

Dell PowerEdge 1950
Company: Dell
Price: AU$9,079.40


This is a good choice for compute-intensive applications, but the System x3455's restricted storage and availability options limit its use when it comes to general hosting duties.

IBM System_x3455Like both Dell and HP, IBM sells a variety of industry-standard servers based on Intel dual-core, and now quad-core processors. However, IBM was also one of the first server vendors to use AMD silicon, and the model we looked at, from its xSeries family, is based on the latest dual-core Opteron chips introduced in 2006. There are several different AMD models in the xSeries line-up: the System x3455 is a 1U rack-mount server targeted primarily at customers looking to run compute-intensive scientific, technical and financial modelling applications. As such, it can be fitted with two dual-core Opteron processors but is somewhat restricted when it comes to storage and redundancy options.

On the plus side, the two processor sockets are capable of accommodating a variety of chips from the 64-bit Opteron 2000 family. These processors are designed specifically for two-way server deployment.

Clock speeds vary from 1.8GHz on the Opteron 2210 through to 2.8GHz on the 2220; our review system came with a pair of 2.6GHz 2218 chips fitted. However, as with the Intel processors, some care and advice is needed here as unused power can be expensive -- as can be upgrading to faster processors should the initial configuration prove inadequate.

Note, too, that slower chips are more energy efficient, enabling the x3455 to get by on just 95W compared to around 110W with the fastest processors installed.

Other than these differences, the processor specification is much the same, with 2MB of L2 cache per socket (1MB per core), support for DDR2 memory and built-in hardware virtualisation features (AMD-V) -- useful when running applications such as VMWare, Microsoft Virtual Server and Xen Server software.

Naturally the processors also feature support for AMD's Direct Connect architecture, which does away with the concept of a frontside bus. Instead, the memory and data I/O are all managed directly by the CPUs, with on-die controllers able to communicate at processor speeds. This approach also provides much more linear scaling as processors and cores are added, with dedicated HyperTransport links for inter-processor and external I/O communications.

What this all means in actual performance terms will depend on the overall configuration. However, in independent benchmarks dual-core AMD Opterons have generally been found to outpace Intel's Xeon equivalents. Moreover, it has no effect whatsoever on compatibility, with the x3455 and other AMD-based servers certified for and able to run the same range of Windows, Linux and other industry-standard server software. Depending on the reseller, you can also have an operating system and application software preinstalled.

On the downside, quad-core Opterons are not yet available (they are planned for release later in 2007). However, the new processors will use the same socket as the existing dual-core designs, so the x3455 and other AMD Socket F-based servers will be upgradeable in much the same fashion as those designed around the latest dual-core Intel Xeon chips.

Our test server had a basic 2GB of memory fitted, while the maximum capacity on the x3455 is 48GB using 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM with six DIMMs per processor. This is part of what IBM calls its Xcelerated Memory Technology, which it claims enhances the level of performance possible over comparable Intel-based platforms. Note, however, that the memory is interleaved, so DIMMs have to be added in pairs with ECC and optional Chipkill support so that the server can continue working should a DIMM become defective.

Unfortunately it's not all good news, with the biggest limiting factor on the x3455 the provision of just two 3.5-inch internal hard disk bays. That limits storage capacity to 1TB using SATA-150 drives or 600MB with SAS, which is reasonable enough. However, there's no support for hot-swapping and the fact that there are just two spindles limits the level of redundancy that can be provided. Indeed, with just two spindles the built-in RAID controller is limited to fixed mirroring/duplexing -- although plug-in adaptors can, of course, be used to connect the IBM server to larger, more flexible, external storage arrays and SAN set-ups.

Two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces are provided, but there's no TCP offload support and you only get two 64-bit PCI-Express expansion slots. One of these can accommodate x16 adaptors while the other is an x8 slot that can also to take so-called HTx cards designed to interface with the I/O subsystem using the AMD DirectConnect architecture. An InfiniBand card is one adaptor that can take advantage of this format.


For raw power Sun Microsystem's Sun Fire X4450 is the gutsiest server we've seen, and at 2RU it's compact considering its specs. However, priced at over AU$27,000, this machine will make a dent in your budget.

Test Procedure
After a subjective assessment of the native pre-installed operating system, we installed MS Windows Server 2003 in preparation for benchmarking.

Test software used was SiS Sandra 2008, Cinebench 9.5 and Intel Sungard 2.5. We also measured power consumption.

Sun Fire X4450
Sun is not wasting your money with exotic looking casings, after all, it's a server intended to be hidden away in a rack. Who cares what it looks like?

But we do care about how it looks inside, and the internals of this system are neat and compact. This 2 RU machine is crammed with raw power. There are two sets of six fans lined up for redundancy, so 12 in total that cool the drives, main board and processors.

An additional small fan can be found in each power supply, but these also benefit from the main fan bank already mentioned. Naturally the twin power supplies are hot-swappable. Too often we look inside a server and think, "what a mess!" Strange air flow and cable routing is common — but not so with the X4450. There is hardly a cable in sight and airflow is straight as an arrow from front to back.

The Sun Fire was supplied with Sun's Solaris 10 operating system — as we would expect. The Solaris interface is similar in look to the Microsoft Windows OS family, perhaps bearing the closest resemblance to Windows XP. It comes complete with system tray and the primary menu on the taskbar at the bottom left of the screen. However, digging into Solaris reveals a menu structure that is markedly different to Windows and thus some time for adaptation may be required for those new to Sun systems.

Nevertheless, we found navigation to be straightforward and logical. There was no obvious control panel, unlike Windows. However, a similar panel can be found via the file system and each configuration component is individually accessible from the menu tree. Hardware composition is difficult to assess via software and even asking how much RAM is present appears to be a nonsense question given Sun's decision to combine RAM and swap files into a virtual memory structure.

The application suite associated with Sun servers is a veritable roll-call of major open source applications (for which Sun has often had major developmental input). There is the Mozilla and Firefox Web browsers, Thunderbird email client and GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) for graphics manipulation.

Finally there is StarOffice 7 — the more stable commercial version of OpenOffice that contains some propriety code. Open Office should not be too bewildering to MS Office users. There is also "Java Media Player" — Sun is also responsible for the development of the increasingly widespread Java programming language.

You are also not restricted to using Solaris. Windows, Linux and VMWare operating systems are also supported on the hardware.

Ports include two USB at the front and back, VGA, four gigabit Ethernet and a management port. There are eight hot-swappable drive bays plus a DVD RW drive. Two drive bays were filled with 146GB 10,000rpm SAS drives. At the rear there are six PCIe slots (two 8-lane and four 4-lane).

There was 32GB RAM installed (an interesting mixture of 2GB and 4GB units) with the capacity to expand to 128GB. Processing power was delivered by four quad-core Intel Xeon E7350 2.93GHz CPUs.

The machine consumes 23 Watts when powered down and 395W when idle. Our score for typical power consumption was 586W — this is rather high, but perhaps not for such a powerful machine as this.

Benchmark Test Overall
Cinebench 1 CPU Render 45 seconds

X CPU Render 7 seconds
144.5 seconds

For raw power this is the gutsiest server we have seen. The benchmark results are the best we have seen in high end servers — particularly the Sungard score — although we cannot claim to have tested such a machine with specs quite like this before.

Sun compares this machine against an IBM x3850 and a Dell R900 in its features description. These are both 4 RU machines (the Sun Fire is just 2 RU in size), yet Sun manages to pack just as much inside the case.

It would certainly be interesting to see how one of these machines fared with the 16-core configuration of the Sun Fire. Smaller drives (2.5-inch) help cut down the size of this machine, but these may be harder to source and be more expensive.

The Sun Fire is supplied with a three-year warranty with additional service plans being available. Sun also offers training, online FAQ and support. At over $27,000 this machine will make a dent in your budget, but its pricing is akin to a similarly configured Dell R900 and likely to be cheaper than the IBM x3850. Pricing tends to vary with location and customer so we can't away anything precise on this point.


Manufacturer: Sun Microsystems

Cabinet (chassis)

  • Dimensions (W x H x D)
  • 42.5 x 8.8 x 71.1 (2 RU) cm
  • Weight
  • 25.6 kg

Hard drive storage

  • Hard drive type
  • SAS

Interfaces & networking

  • USB
  • 4
  • Ethernet
  • 4


  • RAM installed
  • 16 MB
  • Number of memory slots
  • 32
  • RAM capacity
  • 128 GB
  • RAM type

More Information

  • Other
  • For complete product specifications and configuration options, see the Sun Microsystems website.

OS & software

  • Operating system
  • Solaris 10


  • Processor model
  • Quad-core Intel Xeon X7350 processor (2 x 4MB L2, 2.93GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 130W)
  • Clock speed
  • 2.93 GHz
  • Number of processors installed
  • 4

Service & support

  • Standard warranty
  • 3 years

The HP ProLiant DL585 G5 is a powerful server with a strong emphasis on reliability and serviceability that reduces overall device cost.

A high-end server really is an engineering marvel, comparable to the great buildings of the world. This marvellous machine manipulates massive quantities of data every single day. A good server will analyse your company's data as well as itself, to ensure it will continue to operate at full capacity 24 hours a day. Even the best equipment will fail eventually so designers paid close attention to making the repair process as efficient as possible.

Getting the HP ProLiant DL585 G5 up and running out of the box is a painless process. SmartStart CDs (for 32- and 64-bit Windows) in combination with the ROM Based Set-up Utility (RBSU) prepared the machine for the operating system installation. A great discovery was that no 3.5-inch floppies are used to set the RAID up! Select a few options and enter the Windows install key, SmartStart then requests a Windows install disc and completes the installation itself.

Good management does not stop with installation. There is also remote, web-based iLO management and the Systems Insight Manager allows central management of servers and other equipment. Optional packs also exist for server migration and virtual machine management.

It is attention to detail that keeps HP amongst the leaders. HP claims that its customers experience just one-tenth the downtime of the industry average. Examples of HP's attention to detail include things such as using shipping screws to ensure everything remains stable until it is delivered.

With the lid off, you can see the server's error display panel, allowing for quick diagnosis of hardware faults. Each fan, power supply and memory slot has its own fault LED. CPUs have two LEDs each (the second LED is for temperature). The minimum amount of cabling is also used, carefully laid to make servicing easy. CPUs and RAM are not visible with the lid off, but these are housed in a removable drawer accessed easily from the front of the machine.

Redundant systems are critical to making servers reliable. This unit's redundant components include its fans, power supplies and even the ROM. Hot replacement can be performed on its hard drives, fans and power supplies. The fans (three pairs), span the full 4RU device providing effective straight-through cooling.

At the front are two USB ports, VGA socket and access to all the drives. Up to eight hot-replaceable SFF drives can be installed, the slimline DVD/CD-RW drive comes standard and an additional slimline bay (for a floppy drive) is available. At the rear is another VGA socket, two USB ports, two PS2 ports, a serial port, the iLO2 management port and two gigabit network ports. Inside the DL585 there are nine expansion slots (2x PCI-X and 7x PCI Express) with the ninth slot taken by the RAID controller, leaving eight free.

How we tested
After a subjective assessment of the native pre-installed operating system (if any), accompanying software and the hardware itself, MS Windows Server 2008 was installed in preparation for benchmarking. Test software used was Cinebench 9.5 and Intel Sungard 2.5. Power consumption is also measured.

The machine consumes a whopping 62.4W while powered down (of course, the machine would not be normally powered down) and 411W while idle. Our score for typical power consumption was 551W — a little high, but this is a powerful server. It would be good to see more energy efficient processors in high-end servers.

Benchmark Test Overall
Cinebench 1 CPU Render 72 seconds

16 CPU Render 10 seconds
210 seconds

Benchmark test results highlight that this is a very powerful machine, but it is not the fastest in its price range ($32,820). A recent test of a Sun Fire server by the Enex TestLab discovered its benchmark scores were 50 per cent better (for a device roughly three quarters of the price).

But brute force is not everything. For IT managers, equipment running a little slower is less concerning than excessive and expensive downtime. High quality hardware and software engineering is important.

HP offers a range of service options to reduce management time. Available services include finance, system installation, integration and life-cycle management. HP prides itself on having excellent phone support for clients in addition to relatively simple maintenance that can often be done by the client.

The full on-site warranty including parts and labour is three years standard and includes a 90-day set-up support service. HP customer service offers support for Windows and some Linux-based systems as well as Solaris and VMware.


Manufacturer: HP

Cabinet (chassis)

  • Dimensions (W x H x D)
  • 48.3x17.6x67.3 cm
  • Weight
  • 36 kg

Hard drive storage

  • Hard drive type
  • Eight-bay Small Form Factor (SFF) Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drive cage
  • Hard drive size
  • No hard disk drive in standard configuration (tested with 2x 72GB drives) GB


  • LAN ports
  • 2
  • LAN standards supported
  • 1000Base-T


  • Web-based management
  • Yes


  • RAM capacity
  • 256 GB
  • Memory specification compliance
  • PC2-5300

More Information

  • Other
  • For more specifications and configuration options, see the HP website.

Physical features

  • Standby power
  • 411 W


  • Power source
  • AC Adaptor


  • Processor manufacturer
  • AMD
  • Processor model
  • 4x AMD Opteron 8356 quad-core processor
  • Clock speed
  • 2.30 GHz
  • Number of processors installed
  • 4
  • Number of processors supported
  • 4

Product type

  • Product type
  • Rack


  • Graphics processor
  • Nvidia NForce Professional 2200 and 2050 chipsets, and AMD-8132 chipset


Hostgator Reviews

Hostgator is a privately owned company that was founded in the year 2002. Host gator provides reseller web hosting and shared hosting solutions. The website is instrumental in offering its services to over 400,000 websites on their shared and reseller plans. It is a leading provider of reseller accounts and boasts of over 10,000 resellers who have chosen hostgator to provide the network, servers, and support required to launch a hosting business. The company seemingly holds a high rung and is well regarded in the web hosting community.

Host Gator

The company commenced its operation in 2002 and uses the Planet data center in Dallas Texas. Their servers are dual Xeons with 4GB memory and IDE Raid hard drives.
Hostgator offers the following types of web hosting plans :

· Shared
· Reseller
· Dedicated

Shared Plans:
Customers have a many options to choose from under this plan and it comes with the Cpanel control panel. Quality services and support is offered 24/7 via phone, live chat, and an email ticket system. All their plans offer unlimited domain names (except hatchling) as well as a lot of bandwidth and disk space. Below are the options or plan categories available under this plan:

1. Hatchling:
Under this plan category, 50 GB of disk space and 200 GB of bandwidth is offered. Other services include 20 sub domains, 20 FTP accounts, 20 POP3 accounts and 1 domain is also allowed. This service is priced at $6.95 a month; that is charged annually.

2. Baby:
This plan category offers 100 GB of disk space and 1000 GB of bandwidth. Moreover, it offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $9.95 a month.

3. Swamp:
Under this category, customers get an access to 200 GB of disk space and 2000 GB of bandwidth. The plan offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $14.95 per month.

4. Semi-Dedicated:
This plan category offers 25 GB of disk space and 500 GB of bandwidth. The plan offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $74.95 per month.

Reseller Plans:
HostGator’s reseller hosting plans come with the Cpanel (your customers or endusers control panel) and WHM (reseller control panels to create Cpanels for your customers or end users) control panels. Hostgator resellers have the flexibility to host unlimited sites. Quality services and support is offered 24/7 via phone, live chat, and an email ticket system. Besides offering unlimited domain names; the reseller account also offers free domain registry account (eNom domain reseller account), free hosting templates, a billing program, and much more. Below are the options or plan categories available under this plan:

1. Aluminum Reseller Plan:
Under this plan category, 12 GB of disk space and 125 GB of bandwidth is provided. The plan offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $24.95 per month.

2. Copper Reseller Plan:
The copper reseller plan offers its customers 20 GB of disk space and 175 GB of bandwidth. The plan offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $34.95 per month.

3. Silver Reseller Plan:
30 GB of disk space and 250 GB of bandwidth is offered under this particular plan. The copper reseller plan offers its customers 20 GB of disk space and 175 GB of bandwidth. The plan offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $49.95 per month.

4. Gold Reseller Plan:
40 GB of disk space and 300 GB of bandwidth is offered under this plan category. The plan offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $74.95 per month.

5. Diamond Reseller Plan:
50 GB of disk space and 350 GB of bandwidth is offered under this plan category. The plan offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $99.95 per month.

Dedicated Plans:
The plan includes complete server management as well as a control panel with every server. The best part of a dedicated server is that you can customize it to suit your requirements and get the most out of the plan. Moreover, you get to choose which operating system you want to run which include Red Hat Linux 9.0, RHEL3, RHEL4, CentOS, or FreeBSD. Any aspect can also be upgraded such as memory or disk drives. Below are the options or plan categories available under this plan:

1. Basic Dedicated Plan:
There are no set up charges for this plan category and the processor provided is Pentium 4, 2.8 GHz. The plan offers a bandwidth of 1500 GB and a hard drive of 80 GB, SATA. Upto 5 IP addresses are allowed and the plan offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $174 per month.

2. Standard Dedicated Plan:
There are no set up charges for this plan category and the processor provided is a Dual Xeon 2.4. The plan offers a bandwidth of 2500 GB and a hard drive of 2×80gb SATA. Upto 5 IP addresses are allowed and the plan offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $219 per month.

3. Elite Dedicated Plan:
There are no set up charges for this plan category and the processor provided is Dual Xeon 2.8. The plan offers a bandwidth of 2500 GB and a hard drive of 2×73gb SCSI. Upto 5 IP addresses are allowed and the plan offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $279 per month.

4. Pro Dedicated Plan:
There are no set up charges for this plan category and the processor provided is Dual-Core 3060 Conroe. The plan offers a bandwidth of 2500 GB and a hard drive of 4×500gb SATA II RAID10. Upto 5 IP addresses are allowed and the plan offers unlimited domains, sub domains, FTP accounts and POP3 accounts. This service is priced at $374 per month.


How Much Disk Space?

A small or medium web site will need between 10 and 100MB of disk space.

If you look at the size of HTML pages, you will see that the average size is very small. But if you look at the size of the images used inside these pages, you will often find the images larger than the page.

Expect each HTML page to take up between 5 and 50KB of disk space on your web server, depending on the use of images or other space-consuming elements.

If you use a lot of images or graphic elements (or sound files or movies), you might need much more disk space.

Make sure you know your needs, before choosing a web host.

Monthly Traffic

A small or medium web site will consume between 1GB and 5GB of data transfer per month.

Calculate the following: average page size * expected page views per month

Example: If your average page size is 30KB and you expect 50,000 page views per month, you will need 0.03MB * 50,000 = 1.5GB.

Larger, commercial sites often consume more than 100GB of monthly traffic.

Before you sign up with a host provider, make sure to check this:

  • What are the restrictions on monthly transfer?
  • Will the web site be closed if it exceeds the volume?
  • Will you be billed a fortune if the web site exceeds the volume?
  • Is upgrading a simple task?

Connection Speed

In the early days of the Internet a T1 connection was considered a fast connection. Today connection speeds are much faster.

1 byte equals to 8 bits (and that's the number of bits used to transport one character). Low-speed modems can transport from about 14 000 to 56 000 bits per second (14 to 56 kilobits per second). That is somewhere between 2000 and 7000 characters per second, or about 1 to 5 pages of written text.

One kilobit (Kb) is 1024 bits. One megabit (Mb) is 1024 kilobits. One gigabit (Gb) is 1024 megabits.

These are connection speeds used on the Internet today:

Name Connection Speed per second
Modem Analog 14.4-56Kb
D0 Digital (ISDN) 64Kb
T1 Digital 1.55Mb
T3 Digital 43Mb
OC-1 Optical Carrier 52Mb
OC-3 Optical Carrier 156Mb
OC-12 Optical Carrier 622Mb
OC-24 Optical Carrier 1.244Gb
OC-48 Optical Carrier 2.488Gb

Before you sign up with a host provider, surf some other web sites on their servers, and try to get a good feeling about their network speed. Also compare the other sites against yours, to see if it looks like you have the same needs. Contacting some of the other customers is also a valuable option.


Free Hosting

Some ISPs offer free web hosting.

Free web hosting is best suited for small sites with low traffic, like personal sites. It is not recommended for high traffic or for real business. Technical support is often limited, and technical options are few.

Very often you cannot use your own domain name at a free site. You have to use a name provided by your host like This is hard to type, hard to remember, and not very professional.

Good: Bad:
Low cost. It's free. No domain names.
Good for family, hobby or personal sites. Few, limited, or no software options.
Free email is often an option. Limited security options.
Limited or no database support.
Limited technical support.

Shared (Virtual) Hosting

Shared hosting is very cost effective.

With shared hosting, your web site gets its own domain name, and is hosted on a powerful server along with maybe 100 other web sites.

Shared solutions often offer multiple software solutions like e-mail, database, and different editing options. Technical support tends to be good.

Good: Bad:
Low cost. Cost is shared with others. Reduced security due to many sites on one server.
Good for small business and average traffic. Restrictions on traffic volume.
Multiple software options. Restricted database support.
Own domain name. Restricted software support.
Good support

Dedicated Hosting

With dedicated hosting, your web site is hosted on a dedicated server.

Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option. This option is best suited for large web sites with high traffic, and web sites that use special software.

You should expect dedicated hosting to be very powerful and secure, with almost unlimited software solutions.

Good: Bad:
Good for large business. Expensive.
Good for high traffic. Requires higher skills.
Multiple domain names.
Powerful email solutions.
Powerful database support.
Strong (unlimited) software support.

Collocated Hosting

Collocation means "co-location". Collocated hosting lets you place your own web server on the premises (locations) of a service provider.

This is pretty much the same as running your own server in your own office, only that it is located at a place better designed for it.

Most likely an ISP will have dedicated resources like high-security against fire and vandalism, regulated backup power, dedicated Internet connections and more.

Good: Bad:
High bandwidth. Expensive.
High up-time. Requires higher skills.
High security. Harder to configure and debug.
Unlimited software options.

If you have one of those garbage cans that are stored under the kitchen counter, then you have probably noticed the smell. No doubt the rats and mice have noticed that area too.

Turkish Designer Cem Tutuncuoglu has come up with a way to keep garbage from getting smelly with the Minus Frozen Garbage Container. As you may have guessed, it keeps your garbage odorless by keeping it below zero.

So how does this work? There are cooler grills located on the sides of this guy, and an electrical engine at the base. On the top of its lid is an antibacterial blue light that prevents bacteria formation.

The garbage can goes right in this Minus Frozen Garbage Container, and I wonder how difficult it will be to take it out. After all, if it does freeze, then the garbage might be a little heavy. After all, a huge percentage of garbage is water, like a human being.

I wonder if the garbage will be frozen into one big piece that is the shape of the can. If that’s how it is going to be, maybe I should keep WALL-E under my sink. Maybe it could freeze my garbage and compact in a nice cube instead of something cylindrical-shaped.

As I mentioned before, this is a concept device for now. Perhaps we are looking at a future with frozen garbage in the house? I suppose it will inevitably lead to trash thawing in the landfill.



I don’t know about you, but personally I feel that most video game accessories are really not that essential, and with the Nintendo Wii getting a whole ton of shovelware for this generation while featuring games with simple waggle controls and very little substance, it also makes perfect sense for such a console to get a bunch of accessories that aren’t really worth what you pay for. Surely you don’t need a tennis extension to get a little bit more kick from Wii Sports, do you? After all, playing in a cramped room is bad enough as it is. The Wii Steering Wheel II will up the ante over the previous generation model by offering full compatibility with the Wiimote + Motion Plus. According to the product description, the Wii Steering Wheel II is “simulation controlling, let you feel real and exciting. Enhance the joy of playing games.” I’m not too sure about forking out $10 for a nasty bit of plastic - what about you?



Logitech’s back with their latest gaming peripheral - the Logitech G27 Racing Wheel which aims to deliver the “definitive sim racing experience” for both the PC and Sony PS3 platforms. The G27 Racing Wheel will come with a powerful, dual-motor force feedback mechanism which is able to smoothly and accurately deliver high-fidelity force effects to the hand-stitched leather wheel, letting you experience real-world feelings that drivers have to go through including traction loss, weight shift and more interestingly, the road’s surface. Helical gears ensure that you enjoy exceptionally quiet steering action as most noise and unwanted vibration has been removed by then. As for the six-speed gated shifter, it enables you to select the right gear for the turn in a jiffy, while new RPM/shift indicator LEDs provides a visual cue as to when you’re supposed to up- or down-shift. Fans of heel-and-toe downshifting will be pleased to know that the clutch pedal has been designed to accommodate such actions to ensure high RPMs throughout the track alongside quick gear changes. Expect to see the Logitech G27 Racing Wheel hit the US and Europe later this September for $299.99.

Press Release


Verbatim has long been a trusted name when it comes to portable storage - remember how their line of floppies were superior over all the others simply because of the Teflon coating that they offered? I certainly bought that hook, line and sinker, and it is nice to see the company moving on with the times by offering a new InSight portable USB hard drive. Coming in a sleek, durable enclosure that has been enhanced with a premium piano black finish, Verbatim ensures you will tote your data in style while offering choices of 320GB and 500GB worth of portable storage space. TO make matters even more interesting, Verbatim has also included an Always On display that will display the drive name and available free space in real time, even when the drive has been disconnected from the computer which it has been plugged in.

Each purchase of the 320GB and 500GB capacity hard drives will be accompanied by Nero BackItUp Essentials, covering a whole lot of ground when it comes to having a complete data protection solution. With Nero BackItUp Essentials, you will be able to benefit from a full, automatic system backup alongside restore functions. It is a snap to use, where the software will help guide the user to set up scheduled backups by date and/or time, where even newbies are able to do so without calling for help. Other security features include data encryption with password control options for added peace of mind.

Tipping the scales at less than 6 ounces, the Verbatim InSight portable hard drive measures 6″ x 3.4″ x 0.63″, holding a 2.5″ hard drive inside that spins at 5400rpm while featuring 8MB of cache memory to optimize performance. It will be completely bus-powered, hence doing away with the need for another power supply. Compatible with Windows Vista, XP or 2000 and Mac OS 9.x or higher systems, you can pick up the 320GB and 500GB models for $119.99 and $149.99, respectively.

press release


Have you ever noticed that airports always have the coolest systems of mass-transit? I suppose when your baggage claim, as well as departure and arrival gates are miles away, you probably have to. Practically every airport I have been to involved a ride on its own personalized subway train.

Heathrow airport of London has recently added its own mass-transit system, but this is more of an exhibit or ride for the Science Museum of London, rather than a way of helping passengers. However, it could easily be a model of the future of mass-transit, which would hopefully be an age full of driverless vehicles.

These Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) vehicles have their own special track that is narrower than a normal road. They are good for four passengers, and controlled by a touchscreen that allows them to set their destination. From there, they sit back while the automated vehicle cruises at an average speed of 25 mph, without any fear of accidents.

Sounds pretty futuristic, doesn’t it? Oh, it is. It requires ahead-of-their-time thinkers to come up with these PRTs. Fortunately, the design team had a little help from Mark Lowson, who is one of the original designers of the Saturn rocket for the Apollo missions.



There’s this old saying - repeat something often enough, and people will start to believe it to be the truth. Well, guess the folks at Sony must’ve heard the prayers and rants of many Sony fanboys over the years on how the PS3 console was way too bulky, and having repeated a rumor countless times of a PS3 Slim coming our way many months ago, guess the age old adage kicked into action with Sony officially unveiling the new PS3 today, where it comes in an extremely svelte form factor. Heck, if it had been a contestant on the reality show “The Biggest Loser”, chances are pretty good the PS3 Slim would walk away as the clear winner with a couple of beauties in tow (fondling its controllers, of course). Let’s take a look at the PS3 Slim in greater detail right after the jump.

The internal design architecture of the new PS3 Slim has been revamped from ground up, changing the way the main semiconductors, power supply unit and cooling mechanism look in order to achieve what was thought to be impossible. While the original PS3 held a 60GB hard drive within, this remodeled version holds a 120GB hard drive despite trimming down its internal volume, thickness and weight to 67% of the original. Not only that, power consumption has also been reduced by one-third, further lowering the amount of fan noise in the process. You won’t find a glossy, fingerprint magnet as the surface material here since it relies on a textured surface finish instead to provide an all new impression and a casual look.

North America, Europe/PAL and Asian countries will get the new PS3 Slim from September 1st onwards, while those living in Japan will be able to pick it up a couple of days later. The 120GB PS3 Slim will retail for $299 and euro 299, depending on which region you’re at, while the current 80GB PS3 Phat will see a price drop to US$299 and euro 299 from August 18 and August 19, respectively. In addition, the 160GB PS3 Phat in the US will also see a price drop to $399 on August 18 as well. All PS3 Slims will ship with version 3.0 of the system software to keep it up to date.

Press Release

1. No unique Twitter ID

Do you have a primary ID that you use for all social networks and e-mail? Use it for Twitter too, as this would help your acquaintances to recognize you faster. In your profile you must link back to your Website or blog. Provide all the contexts at first instanceso that you don't need to update it everyday.

2. Chalk out a strategy to be focused

Well, we spend a lot of time in Social Networking. So it should be a part of your strategy. The bottomline is to make the best use of time. It doesn't take a whole lot of time very week to build up a group of followers. If you are on the right track you might have 1000 followers in 2 months. While planning your Twitter campaign, keep three things in mind

  • Time you can afford to spend on Twitter as compared to other modes of publicity
  • How can your social efforts generate exposure to your strategy
  • How would your strategy generate traffic for your visitors

3. Get a custom twitback

What drives most Twitter users is curiosity. Most of Twitter users watch out for something interesting. It's no use posting links all the day, as you already have a link back to your site on your twitter page.

For better, you can have a pretty twitter background aligning with who you are and is consistent with your branding. If possible get a professional designer to generate a background according to your direction. With a cool background you are supposed to gain a lot more followers. If people find that interesting, they'll follow you.

With custom twitback you can display more information about yourself. In addition to your 160 characters bio include other contact information such as your Linkedin profile link; link to your blog; your phone number or any other important details that you would like people to know. The links are not clickable, but people would be curious enough to type it into the address bar.

4. Visualize Data Quickly

This is one of the primary needs in Twitter. Well, there are certain ways to quickly visualize your Twitter information. With apps like Twitter Blocks you can visualize and navigate your Twitter community of friends and followers. Tweetstats is like a Twitter CSI that keeps a track of Tweets per hour, Tweets per month, Tweet timeline and reply statistics. Well, that provides a full analysis of your success on Twitter.

5. Optimize your tweet

Here's an SEO tip for Twitter. For any conversation you involve in the lead is important. If you are looking for SEO, write the important words in the lead-in. This would ensure that what appears on the tweets title tag. Typically, 42 characters are factored into each tweet's title tag, which includes the account name and the initial characters of each tweet.

While conceiving the tweet, keep in mind that your full tweet and all the characters are being indexed by major search engines.

6. Provide some link love

Insert the back links to ensure that it redirect users. If you are sharing links use the URL shorteners like TinyURL and Bitly. Those like not only tracks the click-through for the specific links you share on the platform, but also allows you to track links in aggregate. You can see when people are clicking on your links most.

7. Don't make a spammer of you

Most Twitter users are suspicious with tweets and quite often misunderstand common tweets. Now, if you land on the wrong foot, no chance you gotta face the penalty. If you keep on tweeting and like a spammer, people would not only ignore you, but also block you.

Take note, people would follow you back if you

  • Interact
  • Keep a balance between your followers and following ratio
  • Tweet a lot about what you're up to without links to your site

It's important that your conversation is interesting. Remember, no one pays heed to a conversation that involves a guy/girl in a bar with all street talks through the night. Try to involve in small, but important discussion.

8. Maintain a degree of parity

Keep a parity between the number of people you follow and the ones you are following . See that you don't follow more people than the number of tweets you’ve sent. Posting loads of funky stuffs without any real meaning makes you look like a spammer.

Here's a summary of what you need to do as a beginner

  • Don't over-post
  • Maintain a degree of parity
  • Use the reply button liberally
  • Follow as much as you’re followed,
  • Provide as much information as you receive,
  • Try to provide more free advice than the amount of service-related tweets you do for your own product

9. Go with the flow

If you are overconfident that you know better than anyone else, you are at loss. Like Google, Twitter also keeps on tinkering with its platform. So make sure you follow their blog to keep up with the latest tweaks.

10. Take Twitter with You

Push you Twitterstream to Facebook to replace your update and serve it up on your blog as well. This is important as the Twitter is aligned to volumes of blog post.


Keep an eye on Twitups

If your are looking to party through Twitter look for this one. Tweetups are meetups with people on Twitter that are organized mostly near your locality. It's a great option to meet your Twitter acquaintances or friends face-to-face. To know how just read this Tweetups idea.


1. Above All, Keep It Personal

Although Twitterers like CNN breaking news have been very successful, generally, corporate Twitter accounts are a mistake. Twitter is about person-to-person communication and not a broadcast tool for faceless corporations. To use it in that way is to miss the potential of Twitter.


CNN Breaking News Twitter Page

Does that mean you cannot have a Twitter account for your organization? Not at all. For example, if John Boardley created a Twitter account, you may not recognize the name. However, if he used the name ILoveTypography, you would be more likely to follow because you know the I Love Typography website.

It is not the name that matters so much as the tone of the posts. Tweets should be more than an endless string of press releases and links. They should include personal content and a dialogue with followers.

This is important because it enables you to make a connection with your followers. An open and honest relationship with followers is very powerful. It builds trust, loyalty and engagement. It encourages repeat traffic and word-of-mouth recommendation.

2. Learn From Others

I have learned a lot about Twitter just by reading the tweets of those I admire. Merlin Mann, for example, injects a lot of humor into his posts, and his followers really respond to that. Darren Rowse, on the other hand, strikes a good balance between recommending content others have written and promoting his own posts.

In addition to examining the styles of others, you could also examine statistics. Use a tool like TweetStats to examine how often others tweet and how often they reply to their followers. All of this helps to build a picture of what makes a successful tweeter.

There is also a growing number of great websites that give advice on how to get the most out of Twitter. One of my personal favorites is TwiTip, which covers such subjects as “The Merit of Twitter Competitions” and “How to Get Unfollowed on Twitter.”

3. Get A Good Desktop Client

Without a shadow of doubt, the most powerful Twitter client currently available is TweetDeck. This AIR application not only runs on Windows, Mac and Linux, but also provides a range of superb tools for managing your life on Twitter.


TweetDeck is the most powerful desktop Twitter tool available

With TweetDeck, you can create groups, filter tweets, monitor certain subjects as well as post tweets, replies and retweets. In fact, it is so powerful that it can be somewhat intimidating at first. Don’t let that put you off. Check out thisshort tutorial on TweetDeck’s core features, and you’ll be up and running in no time.

4. Use Twitter On The Road

If your Twitter account is going to be personal as well as professional, then you will almost certainly want to use it on the road. One option is simply to useTwitter’s mobile website. However, if you are fortunate enough to have an iPhone, then there is a wealth of Twitter clients available to you.


I have paid for and tried almost every Twitter client on the iPhone, but the winner hands down is Tweetie. I love Tweetie. It has a clean, easy-to-use interface and yet is packed with powerful features, including the ability to:

  • handle multiple Twitter accounts,
  • navigate reply chains,
  • view Twitter trends and perform custom searches,
  • access complete user profiles.

In many ways, it is even better than TweetDeck because it has much of TweetDeck’s power but in a much cleaner interface. If only they made a desktop application!

5. Tracking The Results

TweetStats is just the tip of the statistical iceberg. There is an ever-growing number of tools you can use to track your activity on Twitter. However, the ones that really interest me are those that track click-throughs. What I really want to know is, if I post a link on Twitter, how many people click through?


If the link points to one of my own websites, I could use Google Analytics’ URL tagging tool. However, this is somewhat fiddly and only works if I am linking to my own website. What’s more, these URLs can get long, which is a problem when you’re limited to 140 characters.

Fortunately, there is a tool called TwitterBurner, which solves these problems. It shortens URLs and tracks all click-throughs, even to websites you do not run yourself. Best of all, it is now supported directly in TweetDeck (although not in Tweetie, unfortunately).

6. Follow And Be Followed

*Editor’s note: We had no role in Paul’s decision here to write this here, and it is because of the seven other tips that we decided to publish this posting. =)

Always remember that Twitter is a two-way conversation. A big part of successful tweeting is replying to those who tweet you. Twitter is not just about who follows you, either. It is also about who you follow. One service I find particularly useful is Mr Tweet. Mr Tweet provides two type of information:

  • First, it suggests people you might want to consider following, because they fall within your broader network (i.e. people who are followed by your friends),
  • Secondly, it suggests those from your list of followers who you should follow back.

For each of these people, it provides various statistics, including:

  • the number of followers they have,
  • the chances of them replying to you,
  • how often they update.

This is a great way to extend your network of contacts and increase the chances that your tweets will be retweeted. It’s also a great way to meet new people!

7. Integrate Whenever Possible

If you intend to use Twitter for anything other than personal use, it needs to be incorporated in the rest of your Web strategy. That means it needs to link to your other online activity, including your website and other social networks. There is no shortage of tools to help you do this, from the basic Twitter widget to a tool for sending your tweets to Facebook.


One tool that caught my attention is called TwitterFeed. It posts content from an RSS feed to Twitter, which is a convenient way to update your followers on new posts. However, use any tool that automatically posts to Twitter with caution. It can easily become annoying if used too much. Also, it lacks the friendliness of a personal post.

8. Don’t Over-Think It

Of course, the problem with all these tools, statistics and analysis is that they can suck the spontaneity and personality from your tweets. While some of those late-night drunken tweets are best left behind, you want to avoid making your tweets too sterile.

Let me explain. I am naturally a fairly good public speaker. However, once I attended a public speaking workshop. The instructors taught me about all of the techniques that make for an exceptional speaker. However, instead of improving my skills, they made me so amazingly self-conscious that I was paralyzed. I started over-analyzing what I was doing.


The danger is the same with Twitter. Sure, Twitter can be used as a marketing tool, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be fun too. Don’t let articles like this suck the joy out of tweeting!

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