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Servers Get Cheaper, Courtesy of Netbook Hardware

Some cost-conscious server companies are beginning to use netbook hardware inside their machines to cut costs, according to The New York Times.

Intel's low-cost, low-power Atom CPU, which can be found in pretty much every netbook on the block, will be the engine inside servers from SeaMicro, a Santa Clara company. The company theorizes that many server applications simply don't require the serious high-end horsepower of Intel's Xeon chips, which cost data centers millions in utility fees because of their power-hungry architecture. Another startup in Texas, Smooth-Stone, is pursuing a similar avenue using ARM-designed low-power chips, and Dell has also joined the fray with Via-powered servers, seen below.

Dell Servers

The low-power server option should also come as inspiration to small business owners who want a robust Web presence but have been hindered by a need for space to database. Building your own server using low-power parts like this $65 Intel Atom chip and motherboard could mean cheap storage, low energy bills, and more than enough power for basic tasks.