Past time for a Server Upgrade...


Dec 30, 2006
Hi All,

Looking for help/advice on a Server Upgrade...

I'm currently running Windows Server Essentials 2016 to primarily handle my backup/restores/shares and Stablebit Drivepool for storage pooling etc... However, I'm now thinking of streamlining this server and decommissioning a couple other auxiliary boxes onto a single Windows 10 'server' and staying with Drivepool (it's just easy and works). On that software/platform, I'm planning on creating a number of Linux VMs and a couple Windows 10 VMs. The Backup of the VM and other workstations, as previously recommended by sinisterDei, will most likely be done via Veeam or some other similar solution (i.e. not dependent on the OS).

I'm very open to a complete replacement of hardware with the exception of the Norco Case. For my purposes, it's been rock solid and just works. Although I'm currently utilizing Intel specific hardware, I'm open to exploring AMD solutions as well. I would REALLY like to keep the IPMI functionality of the SuperMicro boards, but I understand that I 'may' need to sacrifice that to get a really robust CPU/Board combo.

Below were my thoughts/ideas (such as they are)...

What I want/like in a Server:
1) File Server - I primarily utilize this server to serve up files for media (movies, television, music) or to transfer large files from/to the server. File transfer rates have been very slow. I'm not certain if it's due to the SAS cards I'm using or the CPU/Board/memory or some combination therein. The drives are all 7200RPM mechanical drives. While I know they will be a limiting factor at some point, as they are not SSD, it still seems overly slow to me (even on local transfers from one disk to another within the server box). Startups and other basic computing functions (i.e. unzipping files etc...) are a bit slow as well. All in all, while it was a decent setup several years ago, it's starting to feel a bit old and worn. I haven't really kept up on the latest and greatest hardware, so I would very much appreciate any input/thoughts on the best path for upgrading this server. Oh, one more thing, I REALLY like the SuperMicro IPMI functionality, so if there are recommendations to upgrade the motherboard, I would REALLY like something that either has the same or similar functionality (if possible).

2) Backups/Restores (OS related) - This is a big one for me. I must be able to serve up files quickly, take bare metal backups on a scheduled basis and be able to restore them easily. This is where the WHS*** Operating Systems shined. It was SOOOOO easy to setup/utilize (at least for Windows machines). If I could find some software that did this in a similar fashion, that would be ideal. As stated above, I'm having some issues/challenges with the WSE 2016 software and I'm not opposed to replacing it. Also, I have added several Linux servers to my farm and, if possible, would also like to be able to backup/restore those as well. <-- As mentioned above, I believe Veeam may satisfy this requirement.

3) Duplication of Files - I MUST have duplication/replication of files (at folder level). I know it requires additional space on the drives, but I would prefer not to use Raid Arrays as I want to be able to pull a harddrive and have the files available without requiring rebuilding the array or worrying about replacing an array card. I don't want to start a debate about how great Arrays (or how they are not great). This is just my preference and what works for me. As such, I currently utilize Stablebit Drivepool to pool all the drives on the server. I don't know if this is still the best (or at least OK) method for pooling the drives or if I should be leveraging Windows Storage spaces or ???. Perhaps this is causing the slow speeds? I'm open to ideas/suggestions, but would really prefer to stay away from the Raid Array requirements/discussion if possible. <-- I think I'm going to stay with the DrivePool solution as I haven't heard a convincing reason to eliminate it (at least for my purposes/requirements), but I'm open.

Additional Requirements/information.....
  1. On one of the new VMs on the new hardware/infrastructure, I would like to run a Plex Server. I want to completely eliminate the old box that I have been using for this purpose. I will also be completely eliminating the Graphics card in my old Plex Server/box, as it is VERY old and utilizes a lot of power. As such, as part of the new Server hardware, I will need a Graphics Card recommendation (it will need to fit the board and the Norco box).
  2. My overall budget is 500-1000 (unless there is a solid reason to have a bigger budget).

Any help/thoughts are very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Current Setup:
Case:Norco 4220, PSU:Corsair 650HX(CMPSU), MB:Super Micro X8SIL-F, CPU:Intel Core i3-530, RAM:Kingston KVR1333D3E9SK2/4G, CNTL Cards: LSI00301 SAS 9207-8i (2), Fans:Scythe 120mm, OS: WSE 2016, HD's:Hitachi/Seagate/WD 7200RPM drives, SysDrive: WD Blue 3D 500GB, Graphics Card: NONE (built into CPU only)
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Feb 2, 2021
For plex the Intel igpu can transcode a bunch of streams especially in the HD 660 or xe in newer chips. Other option if you need transcoding would be a quadro card like p2200.

Drive pool is great except a weird bug in h2 latest build, and but either fixed or powershell still works.

Without getting into bare metal, maybe use VMware workstation and have base apps native to win 10 like plex.

For backups we use Veeam and it is great however not inexpensive.

Sad thing at least with x11sil f is they only support xeon chips and i3s, so if you wand cores and igpu they are pricey. Not sure about lga 1200 stuff.


Jan 2, 2012
Just posted in your other thread with basically the same question. You should ask an admin to combine the two...
With my setup, I easily saturate 1G network link with file transfers over local network, that's ~115mb/s. I could even do that with my old old drives, which were 2TB 7200rmp Hitachis. Something is wrong with your setup.