File Server For Scaling Capacity and Redundancy

Hi all,
I’m a complete networking newbie (Windows OS only so far)
Looking to make my first step away from just single do-everything desktop PC.
A friend had mentioned getting enterprise gear and Proxmox? I wanted to check for your recommendations here.

Current Setup/Gear
Currently on i7 6700k on an Asus Z170-A motherboard
All SATA ports are tapped out with full HDD.
Currently no redundancy. Making me more and more nervous.

I will require additional hardware.
Buy used enterprise hardware?
Or retire the 6700k for storage duties + add-in cards? And buy AMD Zen 3 in September?
Storage controller cards for now (for the next 3-4 months)? For redunancy?


  • Primary useage is for data hoarding,
  • These files, I don’t ever want to lose: Work files, personal documents, videos, photos.
  • These files, I can afford to lose: Temporary large files, videos and Steam library


  • Scaleable so I can continue to data hoard in the future (easy growth and migration?)
    less up-front cost of filling a server with drives?
  • Also can benefit from higher capacity drives coming out.
  • Redundancy

Not to have to address drives individually, all in 1 cluster?
Maybe some sort of online backup? Currently using Backblaze on my Windows desktop


  • Going down a proprietary route (saw Synology NAS fail on GamersNexus).
  • HD failure, ease of detection, maintenance and replacement


  • Currently only connection is 1 desktop PC.
  • May wish to scale to 2nd PC for HTPC
  • Streaming to mobile devices maybe

you can keep your current hardware and look for pcie add-on cards for more sata connectivity with more drives. firewire might be in your future. also you dont need super fast hardware. you can reuse old hardware.

You have backups right? If you do, then losing a drive should just mean some downtime and a little lost data from since your last backup.

If you do not have backups, that should be the first priority.

Getting used enterprise gear is one perfectly valid option, as it getting sata/sas cards for your current motherboard.

I agree that is not the best idea for anyone who can put their own machine together.

Part of the question is what operating systems you would be comfortable with. Are you ready to manage the system over SSH, or do you want a GUI where you can click things? Would you prefer a linux based OS, or BSD, or Windows? Does it not matter.

For large collections of static files (stuff that isn’t rewritten often) I like snapraid. It adds redundancy to disks at a file level so it will work with (almost) any file system, even disks with existing data and you can stop using it without needing to reformat. You can add and remove drives easily, as well as add or remove parity drives. Also if you lose more disks or data than you have parity for you only lose the data on the disks which failed and not the whole array. Because its snapshot based you can also undelete files if they were synced previously. On Linux you can use mergerfs or something similar to present the disks as a single drive while still being individual disks with their own file systems.

I’ve been using snapraid for years and I think I’ve lost maybe a dozen disks and not a scrap of data.

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