What are the System / Hardware Requirements for a dedicated file server for up to 100 users?

Posted on 2012-09-20
Last Modified: 2012-09-20
Configuring a Windows Server 2008 ESXi VM for file-sharing.  What server resources are most utilized in file-sharing (Memory/CPU). What are the Electronics involved in file-sharing across a network?  What mechanics take place in file-sharing so I know how to configure the server.
Question by:victor2008
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    What is the file server used for? If it is just for user documents like Excel and Word, it will not need to be to powerfull. Disk space is more important. I currently have a file server that is used for 150 people and has about 2 TB of files. It is an older blade server. It has 2 Xeon processors that are about 6 years old. A modern server could use one core and still have more power that the current file server. It is running 32 bit OS so it is capped at about 4 GB of RAM. We dont have any problems with it.

    You could give it one vCPU and 4-8 GB of RAM and not have any problems.

    All you have to do is enabled the file services on the Windows server and then create the shares. You can use DFS if you would like.
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    You asked a similar question.  And while ryan80 is correct, one vCPU and 4-8 GB of RAM and you shouldn't have any problems, the same can be said of one vCPU and 1-2 GB of RAM.  I managed file and print servers for a large biomedical research firm.  SOME used nothing but word docs... others stored many GB of data.  At worst, we had 5 file servers at once (for functional separation) and users storing profiles on the network as well as data.  And at a minimum EACH had 200 users.  We consolidated into two big clustered file servers - and each still used VERY LITTLE RAM.

    I'll say what I said in your other question - RAM and CPU on a file server ESPECIALLY for a business small enough that their IT person would be asking this question is ALMOST CERTAINLY so small that ANY single CPU and 1-2 GB of RAM will be FAR MORE than enough.

    Your focus should be on disk speed and network speed.  And beyond a general idea, you should be referencing what your environment already uses.  Whenever you upgrade, you need to understand your environment.  We can only understand it as much as you tell us and you will inevitably leave out details.  Upgrading/dedicating resources because you think or want logic to dictate how much you need when your company of the same employee head count may differ radically in work done can mean we have two VASTLY different experiences and requirements.  UNDERSTAND your environment first or you end up throwing money and resources at something that doesn't need it and eventually, when someone better qualified comes in and questions it, you end up looking bad to management.

    Author Comment

    environment already uses:

    Folder Redirection, Roaming Profiles, basic file sharing.
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    One place to start would be looking at what you are currently using.

    Dont forget that this is a VM, so start with a lower amount of resources and then you can add more if needed. Start with 2GB of RAM since that is the recommended amount for server 2008 and add more if needed.

    ESXi itself will use more resources, when you assign more resources to the VM. If you dont need a lot of CPU resources (less than what the 1 vCPU can handle), it will actually be more efficient to have 1 vCPU rather than having multiple vCPUs.

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