Nethserver with proxmox and NAS setup


I want to set up the following: Linux Server with typical SME services (AD DC, Fileserver, Groupware). It is supposed to serve ~3-5TB files to ~20 users.

I tested nethserver and really liked it. For the production environment I try to find the optimal setup. For various reasons, it appears to be a good idea to run it virtualized. I don’t have much experience with Proxmox but it seems to fit well. What I’m unsure about is the storage and backup setup for this environment.

My first approach would be a standard SME server with two large SATA-HDDs, then run Proxmox and storing the VMs on a RAID 1 using ZFS. In many recommendations (many by @Andy_Wismer) I read to store the VMs on a dedicated NAS. To be honest, I don’t really understand the advantage. At first glance, I see some disadvantages (more complexity, additional point of failure, the LAN link between Server and NAS is a potential bottleneck compared to local storage). Could you maybe shed some light what I’m missing here?

My second concern is how to handle the backup. Anyway, I would use nethservers internal functionality to backup configuration and data (e.g., to a NAS). Additionally, I’d like to store complete VM snapshots / images - for me this is one of the biggest advantages of virtualization here. Proxmox’ internal backup function seems unfeasible. Copying 5TB data on each backup is not practical. Is there another way to get incremental VM based backups other than using a Proxmox Backup server (which would be a third piece of hardware to maintain)? Or is there an advantage of storing the VMs on a dedicated NAS with regards to backup?

Your opinions are greatly appreciated!


Moin and welcome to the forum. Just write a message to@Andy_Wismer. For me, he is the Proxmox expert par excellence and a very friendly contemporary. Like all the others here, by the way.



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Hi Fabian

I have several clients in about the same size region as you’re planning.
I could give you some advice. Maybe a Voice call would be a good idea.

See my PM…

My 2 cents

Hi luxonion,

Welcome. Infact almost same requirement was there for me for our existing second unit, which I setup almost 1 year back with more than 20 user’s with no AD.

I was also new to the Nethserver and had some existing Hardware (Dell Server (was been used as Desktop), Synology NAS), and with the kind help from @Andy_Wismer and other’s I setup NS7 Server - AD, FileServer.

My Setup is as follows

  1. Single Dell Server 16Gb RAM 2 4Tb HDD (Dell Perch Hw Raid) with Proxmox Hypervisor running NS7 VM and other OS. A USB HDD with scheduled Proxmox backup (Daily) attached to Server as storage Pool.

  2. NethServer 7 acting as AD (Samba), File Server, Print Server, Zabbix, NextCloud, Virtual site etc.

  3. NethServer Backups using Restic in NAS Daily

  4. Custom Script to take automated Backup in NAS shared Directory with Incremental Backup using Rsync. (In case Server is Down than the Directory could be browsed by the user’s or they can use themself to get the older data – 7 days retention.

What could be done better is

  1. Proxmox Backup Server instead of USB Backup, because and problem that the backup will copy the whole VM and takes usually several hour, and CPU usage is high at that time and increase the RW cycle to the USB Drive reducing its life.

About VM on NAS doubt – the VM could be shared between multiple server, means secondary backup server thus reducing the downtime. And if your NAS and Server have dual NIC and , then a single direct Xross patch cable could be used for the data transfer between Server and NAS, means no load on the Network, high speed data transfer, security since different Network. The NAS management could be reached via the main network.

I am still learning thus I am not advising rather sharing my experience, and best thing about the Neth Community is that this very friendly and most helpful community.