Building a file server for a small office

Hi there!

I haven't built any pc in a few years and I got a little out of the picture about current components and stuff. So I assumed I wouldn't take any risks and rather ask, then to read thousands few years old opinions that google throws at me. I am building a simple file server for a small office and I think buying some brand server is an overkill and not optimized for our use case. We really don't need slot for tens of RAMs, 16 core server CPU and stuff. The only thing that the server will be used for foreseeable future (few years at least) is file sharing and storing which must be fast and reliable.


Current setup of the office is five Windows 7 machines running Corel Draw and writing and reading on an old WIndows XP Pro storage. That is quite scary, since it started acting up few days ago and we cannot afford to lose data, or to be cut out for a day or two. So what I had in mind was building a new server running Debian or Ubuntu from middle-end desktop components, but with several HDDs in RAID 5, some gigabit network card and a UPS. Do you think it is wise to build server from desktop components?


Sorry for the long post and thanks a bunch in advance for replying.


P.S.: Sorry about my english, I am not a native speaker.

Why not just get a Network Area Storage (NAS) system?

Are the speeds of NAS up to speed with regular file server? Even though there are only 5 PCs currently connected to the storage, we plan to scale it up to at least 15 users writing and reading from it at the same time with file sizes ranging from 5-150 MB.

NAS' are ran by specialized software designed specifically for the function of a NAS. For your application it would seem to be the most cost effective manner of accomplishing what you're looking for. I don't think you would have any issues even with 15 users connecting to it at the same time. Remember, on very rare occasions do more than 1/3 of your company actually write or read data.

I agree. A NAS would probably be the best idea.