Search for server operating system for a small start-up

Hello dear forum users,

I am new to the topic Truenas scale. Please excuse my ignorance.

I am looking for a server operating system for a small start-up (5 employees).

What must it be able to do:

Proper interface
Data access management (Samba; NFS)
ERP CRM system Dollibar
Filter internet access for each employee for viruses, trojans, tracking etc.
Scan e-mails for malware
Work as consistently as possible
VPN access
Virtual Windows for every employee

Can the True Nas scale fulfil?

Many thanks in advance

No idea what you mean here.

SCALE supports both protocols, but I’m not sure what you mean by “Data access management.” If you mean user permissions, yes, they’re supported.

There isn’t an app available for Dolibarr. Options in this case would be:

  • If it runs as a single Docker image, use the “Custom App” feature to run it
  • Create a “sandbox” and run it there, optionally with some sort of Docker management layer like Dockge or Portainer
  • Create a virtual machine and run it there.

TrueNAS isn’t a firewall. You could install a firewall like OPNsense or pfSense as a virtual machine under TrueNAS, though I prefer to have my firewall on dedicated hardware.

TrueNAS itself won’t do this, and I don’t see an app available for it either. This is probably something that would need to run in a virtual machine, if you were going to put it on the NAS.

Um, I guess? TrueNAS is generally pretty stable.

You’ll need to define this requirement a bit more. If you mean providing access to remote users via a VPN, this really belongs on the firewall, but there are VPN server apps available for TrueNAS as well.

You can run as many instances of Windows as you want as virtual machines, as long as your server has the resources to handle them.


Both are supported. SCALE will now always have the more recent version of SMB than CORE.

That’s not what your NAS should do unless you want to load it up with apps and other things (docker, etc.) I would shy away from this approach and instead use a proper gateway (i.e. Mikrotik, etc.) or a dedicated firewall appliance like OPNSense.

If that is a major concern, I’d host everything mail-related in the cloud and be done with it. Mail servers are not that hard to set up and maintain, but having everything in the cloud on a trusted provided will save you a lot of time and hair.

That really depends on your administration and hardware choices. TrueNAS Scale is being used in production systems AFAIK w/o major issues for pure file-serving. Where things go sideways re: SCALE is Kubernetes, AFAIK.

I’d do that via the dedicated firewall, not TrueNAS. Keep it simple, dedicate appliances to specific functions to limit the damage if something goes wrong. I would seriously shy away from exposing a TrueNAS of any type directly to the internet. Instead, use your firewall to set up and log VPN access. Then the TrueNAS simply responds to file requests as needed.

No idea. I don’t use scale (I’m on CORE) but I sort of wonder why it would be a good idea to run virtual Windows sessions unless you’re dealing with a odd licensing issue? To me, those kinds of VMs were always about minimizing the number of seats I would have to pay for to keep a copy of AutoCAD or whatever around. But I’m happy to be educated otherwise. Good luck!

@alexander As someone who has both been in Enterprise IT and run my own small businesses I understand where you are coming from.

My advice here is managerial rather than technological.

I can understand all your requirements (except perhaps the Virtual Windows one) - but I would characterise them as non-trivial and likely to require significant technical skills to setup and maintain. I can also understand that with only 5 employees you cannot employ a specialised IT person.

So my advice is to contract for IT services from a reputable local IT company - and ask several to quote against a more detailed description of your requirements for providing hardware, setup and ongoing maintenance and management.

In terms of your requirements:

  1. I assume that you will need a LAN too - so I would add that to your requirements.

  2. You might be better off with small windows-appliance PCs than Virtual Windows (and I speak as someone who in the past delivered a 1,000 seat virtualised windows environment).

  3. You should also consider physical security for your IT and perhaps for your office and think about whether you need to add video surveillance to your requirements.

  4. You should also consider the availability requirements for your server (what happens if it is fully down for a day or two) and should probably include a UPS in your requirements and consider what hardware you need to have the system/network down for no longer than the maximum outage you can live with.

  5. Don’t forget the need to backup your data.

BUT, if you are looking at technology, I would probably start with a half-height lockable rack containing the UPS, switch(es), server(s). You might be better off with a virtualised hypervisor running several appliances (TrueNAS for storage, a firewall, an email scanner, a VPN, a Dollibar server etc.)

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Well. My TrueNAS SCALE server does this.

  1. I run mailcow for email.
  2. i run pfsense inside a vm with hardware pass through for firewall/vpn/tls etc
  3. i run docker compose apps for all other services except nfs/smb
  4. I even run a windows vm as a build server.

It’s best to have the pfsense as separate hw, otherwise restarting the nas will take down the router.

You could say the same about any other service hosted on the nas.

Meanwhile, VDI (virtual windows for every employee).

Well. You could. Would need to solve the GPU sharing issue, which I don’t think TrueNAS has a solution for. Maybe proxmox.