One of the biggest buzzwords we hear in the IT world these days is “the cloud.” We are often told of the benefits of storing our data in a location far away from us. But, there are times where we need to have complete control of our information.

After all; what guarantees are there that our data won’t end up in the wrong hands? It’s for those reasons and more that plenty of firms prefer to have in-house file servers. Is that something you wish to do as well? If so, today’s article will show you how to build a new file server for your business.

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Standalone or rack-mountable?

The first step is to decide whether you want a standalone tower server, or one that you can mount in a rack. Both options have their benefits, and it all comes down to your particular needs and budget.

Tower servers are useful for small office environments. Whereas you may wish to have a rack-mountable one if you want a rack that will house other servers in the future.

Choosing the right components

Irrespective of form factor, building a server is no different to building a PC. You need the basic components – RAM, hard drive, motherboard, CPU, and a power supply. Once you’ve installed them in your desired case, you can concentrate on configuring it!

Here are some tips to choosing the right components for your server:

  • Use server-grade motherboards and ECC (error-checking) RAM;
  • Consider going for a dual-CPU system, using Intel Xeon or better processors;
  • Install SSDs (solid-state drives) instead of conventional hard drives.

Buy a RAID controller card to set up your SSDs

What would happen if one of your SSDs died? If you had a single-drive server, your data will die with it! That’s why it is important you set up a failsafe system for those “just in case” scenarios.

I recommend fitting a RAID controller card and connecting your SSDs to it. That way, if one of your drives goes down, the others can take over. Consider setting up a “hot swappable” solution. That way, you don’t need to power down your server to replace the faulty SSD.

Configure your server operating system

Once you’ve got the hardware sorted out, you need to configure the operating system. The one you choose is down to personal preference.

Many people set up Linux servers because they are cheap (most of the time, they are free). If you’re a Microsoft person, you may prefer to use the Windows Server OS.

Set up an efficient database system

It’s likely that you’ll have one or more databases on your file server. They might be part of a CRM system, for instance.

I recommend using an in memory database from Altibase. That way, your data will get served faster, especially if complex queries get run on a regular basis.

Set up a fast network and Internet connection

Last, but not least, you need to ensure that your network in the workplace is fast. It doesn’t cost a lot to use Gigabit Ethernet in your office. It’s also crucial in environments with scores of users.

If you want to access your server from a remote location, don’t skimp on your Internet connection! You should get one or more leased lines to provide high-speed access from anywhere in the world