File server question

can i use a win 10 pro machine as a file server for 20 users?  I would like to be able to share files and data from this machine across the network. Is it possible?
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
yes but you are dangerously close to the connection limit.  That's twenty connections, not twenty services.  You could have services that use more than one connection at a time and use these up faster than one to one.
Also, there would be no domain as such so passwords would need to be managed on each PC unless you have no security at all.
If it is only a file server you need then a better solution may be to use a NAS. Some brands such as QNAP have no real limits on the number of connections allowed. A small NAS such as the QNAP TS-212 only costs a couple of hundred dollars plus the HDD's.
Adding to dAvid's point, you would need to maintain the credentials on this windows 10 system to match the credentials of your users. I.e. Once a user changes their login password, their access to the share will break.

Depending on your needs, in terms of what do the users do and what they need access to, an SBS/low end server (provided all the workstations in use are pro or higher)

20 users could also mean you only have a few workstations versus one for each user.
PMI ACP® Project Management

Prepare for the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® exam, which formally recognizes your knowledge of agile principles and your skill with agile techniques.

Mal OsborneAlpha GeekCommented:
Yep, that is possible, but would be a PITA to administer. Not recommended.
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
If the windows 10 box is a dedicated box for sreving files, you cn consider to install linux and then samba, this way you even can create a domain (PDC style or AD-Forest with samba 4)  the PCs can join so you have a way to manage logins on that samba server for all clients.

Samba does not have connection limits like the non server versions of windows, so you can connect as many times as you whish.
Muhammad BurhanManager I.T.Commented:
Install windows 10 and ensure all of the PCs are on same Workgroup for ease.
enable file sharing in firewall then you just have to add 20 users with same name and password (as the users already have for their machines) for granting them access to the Windows 10 PC thats it.

then you will apply share permissions on folders for security if needed.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
jonelr70115Author Commented:
Thanks to all for their comments.  This is what we presently have:
SBS 2011 with 25 licenses (23 users) being used for Exchange (we do not host our email), daily backup,  and as a file server.  This server has: 32GB RAM, Mirrored C: drive (275GB) & multiple 2TB hard drives in RAID 5 configuration.  Exchange is on drive E; Data Files are on Drive F: & our database program is on Drive S:\ . Each PC is presently connected to the server with a log-on.  I n recent days this server has become very slow for no reason that anyone can figure out (Dell tech says the Exchange store file is very large and could be the reason). Anyway, I am thinking that if I moved the data files off of the SBS server and onto another external something, that this might relieve the problem.  I was thinking that a Windows machine might do the trick but I see from comments above that there could be a possible problem with log-ons, etc,  The other idea of an external QNAP might work.  What are your thoughts on how to setup our system?
If you do not handle your own email, why do you have exchange running?  Exchange, SQL is a high IO memory consumer.  Does your exchange accept external connections? Your system might have gotten spammed and it is processing the NDR messages.
How much of the current memory is consumed?
network adapter properties, properties of file and printer sharing, prioritizing for application might .....

Many things could work, my suggestion would be to first identify what causes your issue.  It could be that one of the 2TB drives has been failed or kicked out of the RAID 5 array, that will have an immediate impact on the performance of data access on that volume/partition. E, F, S, are likely on the RAID 5 rather than the RAID 1 volume., All will see the impact.

depending on your hardware, if it is a hot-swap drives, replace the failed drive while the system is running, do not poweroff to replace the drive.
IS it hardware raid or windows OS managed raid?
IF YOUR system does not have hot-swap drives. Make sure to identify which DRIVE you need to remove.  IF you remove the wrong drive, the RAID 5 array will crash. One option is to add a new drive. Then boot and add the new drive as a hot spare which will trigger the rebuild.  Note RAID 5 will take some time to rebuild. While it is rebuilding the performance of the applications relying on access to that data will remain sluggish.
jonelr70115Author Commented:
We retrieve our email from an external server using Exchange; share calendars, etc.  All of the physical equipment including drives is in perfect working order-all diagnostics have been run and passed successfully.  The Hardware RAID configuration is working as expected.  When the "store file"  is at its largest, the amount of physical memory consumed is about 50%.
What is sluggish?
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
Sluggish means its not as responsive as usual and will be slower than normal. This is due to the high load on the disks and on the array controller during rebuild

see here, definition 2.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.