Small Business Server - out of the box

I’ve been tinkering around with trying to make an old hard drive work as a server and losing patience with attempting to figure this out. What’s the best option for me to just purchase a Linux server out of the box for a small business? I’d like it to have cloud capabilities for offsite employees to be able to get files as well as host our email.

Ive been looking at Rob Brax’s epuipment. Pretty cool stuff. Check out

Interesting! So, I assume I need to create an account and then I can see equipment for purchase? Or is there a different place for this. Sorry - maybe I’m having a blonde moment. :slight_smile:

This link should work

looks like it views differently on phones. Check it out on a computer

It sounds to me like you are trying to do network attach storage (NAS) instead of a server. That is just a hard disk that is accessible to all the computers on your network.

A server has much more capability than that, although some of the NAS devices out their like Synology are more server like that NAS like.

My server is built on a Raspberry Pi. I have the ARM64 version of Ubuntu server installed on it and also put Nextcloud on it. I am using a USB hard drive dock to store my data on. If you get the right USB hard drive dock you can use multiple hard drives on it and run them in raid to have redundancy.

I will in the future likely upgrade to a more robust server setup but for now this was the cheapest option for me to get into running my own server since I did not have any other computer equipment lying around.

You can get a decent refurbished server from Dell for at about $1200 dollars or so that might serve your needs.

From a personal standpoint, you’re right, I don’t need a server. For my business, I do and I have employees that work remotely so they aren’t on my network. They would be accessing the files, I assume, via remote desktop. So, do you still think a refurbished Dell server would be my best bet?

Thanks for passing along that link. Looks like the email servers are coming out soon. The router looks quite interesting too. Definitely going to dig into this and see if it’s a good option for us!

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Shane, I do have old equipment lying around and would like to set up a NAS so that I can get rid of DropBox. I’ve already dumped Google Drive. Do you have any suggestions on what a good set-up might be? Sorry did not answer you sooner. FreeNAS has really good NAS software. Also Nextcloud is great as well.

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No worries, we’re all busy. Thanks for the information. We purchased a Raspberry Pi 400 and installed Next Cloud on it. I can now reach it from anywhere in the world. My husband is a web guy, so he set-up port forwarding on our home router. Now to find a UPS, so that when the power goes out next time it doesn’t nuke our Pi.

Great! Glad to hear that you were successful a setting up Nextcloud! It feels great to have full control of your data! I was just talking to my brother-in-law about Nextcloud and how important it is to take control of our data. He was with a cloud storage company once that closed up and he lost all his data he had stored on their servers. Just like that poof it was gone. We never know what might happen. So many people trust their data to other companies that could potentially close the doors at a moments notice. We must take responsibility of our on information instead of trusting others with it. They not only could they loose it all but they also use it for their profit and use it against if they consider you a political enemy or you disagree with them and they see you as a threat to threat to their cause.


I have a company with employees that access my Synology servers both on and off site. I have been running Synology for years and am about to Host my own email with the NAS soon. These units are Linux based and have so many apps to run all kinds of things that it may be worth a shot to take a look.

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