Building or Buying a Backup server

I’m trying to decide between a Dell server or DIY SuperMicro server for running backups. My budget is not huge, but it isn’t non-existent.

We’re a VMware/Veeam shop, but just bought a Synology NAS and have an LTO-8 autoloader.

My end goal is to be able to backup VMs multiple times per day to disk, and daily to cloud services, possibly even weekly to Tape or external SATA drives that get taken off-site and rotated, but that may be a few years out. I also want to back up our large media sets (80TB+) and archive older media to both Tape and Cloud (wasabi for price?) while still being able to search for the archived media.

It kind of sounds like Veeam for VMware guests, and Archiware for Media backup/archival will work nicely, but now I need to build a server to run both of those.

I would LOVE to have the luxury of 2 separate servers, but I just don’t think we can swing it.

My current Veeam server only has 13TB of usable storage and is throwing warnings due to low free space. I’m thinking our future server needs to have at least 25TB usable in RAID 6 (because I’m scared of RAID 5).

I can re-use my existing HBA card to connect our SAN to the new server, and our existing mini-SAS card to connect the Tape Autoloader, but I’ll need at least dual 10GbE SFP+ NICs.

Any recommendations?

Hi Chris,

I have lots to say on this, but pretty swamped myself.

One of our engineers Josiah Brainard is my right hand on stuff like this though, and he’s got a bit more availability than me.

Book him an invite below and jump on a quick call with him. I think he’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

Our business (I own an IT company, but we’re overtly Christian) largely makes our margins by making creative server build/hardware decisions. We mostly use commodity stuff, but run some large enterprise applications for ourselves and customers on them. Backup boxes included.

I have a Josiah you might be booking a call with him. I told him to give you whatever free advice he can based on what details you have to provide him.

Take care,


I use a Dell PowerEdge R510 12 Bay and use 7200 RPM UltraStar drives.

You can get a good R510 on eBay cheap and the RAM and CPUs are cheap, too.

I would get one with the H310 controller at a minimum.

We use Veeam Community Edition (free) to backup our file server which is also a R510.