How to build a file server

Level of difficulty: Moderate.

A file server is used when data is shared between many computers, either at office or home. It is operated by a network where one computer can get access of the data of another computer. It can be built with affordable prices.

Materials Needed:
- Specialized hardware and software
Step 1
Find out how many people are going to use the network, if it is less than 10 or exactly 10, then the hardware for it will not be very expensive. If the number of people who use the network on a continuous level exceed 10, then you should use faster computers with maximum amount of RAM to get the best performance.
Step 2
The server needs an operating system, choose according to your preference, a Linux would be good. Use an operating system which will run well on inexpensive hardware and give good performance as well.
Step 3
The hard disk should be capable of sharing your files, so depending on the size of the files, the hard disk as to be installed accordingly. A hard disk of 80 GB is sufficient to hold text documents, spreadsheets and word processing files. But if there is shared music, files, videos and large database files, then use a hard disk with larger space.
Step 4
For file sharing applications, you can either use an old PC or start building your own. Keep the budget low, and if you are using an old version of Windows or Linux, you can use an old PC. The Ethernet card is the most vital requirement for the file server.
Step 5
If extra RAM is required, then you can install it. File servers which are small need 256 MG of RAM, while big file servers need 512 MG of RAM for better performance.
Step 6
Now you are ready to start installation of the operating system, turn on the file sharing system. If you are using Windows operating system with Linux server, then use Samba server package. For Windows share using the administrative tools. You can also use the control panel button.
Step 7
If the network is being used by a large amount of people and you require high performance, use RAID controller. It controls data loss and has a higher capacity.