Ideal SMB server setup?

Physical, virtual or combo?
One server or a couple of servers? Like a TrueNAS and a virtualization host for everything else? Or keep hardware costs down and squeeze it all in one server?
Interested in the communities opinions on it.


I think it really depends on your infrastructure budget, business needs, and anticipated growth. I don’t think there’s really an “Ideal” setup as the needs and budgets of a business vary greatly. So the answers you’ll get may vary and even then might not be the right fit for you. But ultimately it does come down to, what’s your budget.

Performance would be better across multiple devices, but for most a single host and virtualizing everything on it is usually good enough. I would spend as little as possible first and get familiar with things before deciding to spend a bunch of money.

That’s a fair point.

The scenario for the question is more for setting up clients. Not for me.

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Budget seems to be your prime consideration but take the fact that TrueNAS wants to see and manage the raw drives. TrueNAS does not need as much processor power as compute servers so you could build from refurb server (avoid HP) just equip with good amount of RAM and quality drives. Same for virtual host but drives can be smaller since data will on TrueNAS. Use NSF v4.

The exact config will be determined by your work load(s) but definitely go with two servers the initial cost will be less from the outset than upgrading later. Plus you will save yourself a lot of work later.

I could add avoid certain older Dell equipment too. Favorite servers are SuperMicro, go with X10 or newer and even X10 is a bit on the old side, but still a current product.

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