Banana pi is a small ARM Board, quite cheap and capable. It's not the cheapest or fastest board around (I'll probably make an article about odroid C1 later), but it offers a good compromise. Being built around Allwinner A20, it offers some interesting features : a Native SATA port, and a gigabit ethernet.
In the sick tradition of lots of ARM Soc makers, Linux support is not stellar, and Lemaker only propose a custom 3.4 kernel. With these kernels, I encountered stability and performance problems. As I wanted to experiment Ceph on this kind of hardware it's problematic.
And that's where (http://linux-sunxi.org/Main_Page) Linux Sunix community comes to rescue. These guys (thanks A LOT to them) are leading Linuxmainlining effort (http://linux-sunxi.org/Linux_mainlining_effort) and this is paying off. Should I add it's really up to Allwinner to do this kind of job ?
Anyway. we now have all pieces for having a complete vanilla kernel support, at least for all server-relevant components.
--- I use these custom kernels on banana pi , for lxc & ceph (OSD , MON) usage. I promised a guide for compiling a complete kernel + uboot for bananapi.
This is explained in banana pi custom kernel part IIGo Top