Win7 Pro or WHS2011 for File Server/Workstation


Mar 18, 2011
Here is what I am trying to do...

I need a file server for a small office, 3 computers. I also need to be able to access these files when I am home. If I can provide temporary access to other remote users, that would be a bonus. I want to be able to back the files up in the "cloud."

Currently, I am using CrashPlan to back up a couple of the systems. I have also been using "Box" in hope of not needing the local file server. However, Box is having issues keeping everything in sync on only 3 computers.

I have thought about keeping Box for some purposes, like the ability to give temporary access to the cloud files to anyone. It also has great versioning and backup. The Pro version is $45 a month for 3 users and 1TB of storage.

I was looking at the 8TB Western Digital Sentinel. However, for $1200 I felt I could build something better suited for my small office.

I have an extra AMD Athlon II 3.0ghz dual core processor, I just ordered a decent Asrock board and other components for it.

My "plan" is to partition the drive for the operating system and storage. This way, when I add the Raid, it should be simple.

I always talk myself into things I don't need, so here is what I am thinking for the Raid...

Adaptec RAID 6405E controller running 2 Western Digital RE4 drives in Raid 1. Then, when I can afford another upgrade, adding 2 more identical drives and running Raid 10. The Adaptec should handle it all almost automatically.

Back to the OS...

The "main" purpose of this machine will be a file server, but I would also like it to handle music for the office. I use Pandora, Rhapsody and iTunes. I don't need it to "stream" it anywhere, just play audio to an attached amplifier and sub-woofer. It will never be used for video.

If a 4th machine is needed, I would like to have it available for basic office computing as well. Unless, there is a major reason not to.

I'm sure this all sounds pretty novice to some of you, but I appreciate your help.