SME Server:Documentation:Administration Manual:Chapter4

From SME Server


Hardware Requirements of the SME Server

Warning.png Warning:
Version 10.0 of SME Server is based on CentOS 7, version 9 is based on CentOS 6.5. SME server 10 and SME server 9 are not compatible with i586 architecture.


The minimum hardware requirements of the SME Server are modest compared with other server software available today. However, because of its critical role in your office, selecting an appropriate host computer is important. The hardware requirements of the host computer depend on such things as the number of users on your network, whether you plan to use the proxy server on the server, and the speed of your Internet connection.

When you consider the requirements, please be aware of the following notes:

  • The server ships with the remote access services disabled by default. Enabling webmail will increase the resource requirements of your server, in particular the memory requirement. Other remote access services, such as SSH and PPTP, are also processor-intensive. You should consider a fast processor speed if you intend to make significant use of these services.
  • The server should work with any x86-64 compatible CPU that can run Centos 7 for SME Server 10. Note that AMD desktop (as against server-grade) processors have not been tested by upstream, and a notice will be displayed accordingly: however many users are employing them satisfactorily at all levels of utilisation.
  • The amount of available RAM is one of the most important considerations for server performance as it reduces the load on the disks. If a tradeoff is required, extra RAM will usually be more beneficial than a faster CPU.
  • For a dedicated connection in server and gateway mode, your server requires two ethernet adapters (also called network adapters or network interface cards). For a dialup connection or server-only mode, one ethernet adapter is needed.


Important.png Note:
Version 8.0 of SME Server is based on CentOS 5, Version 9.0 of SME Server is based on CentOS 6 and use the 2.6 series Linux kernel. This combination supports a wide variety of hardware, but it is important that any hardware chosen for the server has been tested for compatibility before deployment. We expect that all hardware which is marked as "Certified" or "Compatible" for RedHat Enterprise Linux Update 5 and RedHat Enterprise Linux Update 6 on the RedHat Hardware Compatibility web site, located at: RHEL5 and RHEL6, will function correctly with SME Server 8.0 and 9.0. We do not recommend the use of server hardware which is not listed as "Certified" or "Compatible".



Important.png Note:
Version 10.0 of Koozali SME Server is based on CentOS 7. It is important that any hardware chosen for the server has been tested for compatibility before deployment. We expect that all hardware which is marked as "Certified" or "Compatible" for RedHat Enterprise Linux Update 7 on the RedHat Hardware Compatibility web site, located at: RHEL7, will function correctly with Koozali SME Server 10.0. We cannot recommend the use of server hardware which is not listed as "Certified" or "Compatible" although it may very well work.


4.1. Minimum Hardware Requirements

The following information outlines what we consider the bare minimum system that will function as a basic file/print server and network gateway. Note that we do not believe such a system will provide satisfactory performance for features such as webmail, remote access via PPTP, Virus and Spam Scanners, which are cpu intensive will not perform well on this platform. To utilize all the features of SME Server 10.0, please have a look at the 'Recommended' Hardware Requirements. Note: as Koozalli SME Server is based on CentOS 7, the hardware requirements and support for CentOS 7 also apply here.

Table 4.1 Minimum Hardware Requirements
Category Specifications
Architecture PCI-based x86-64 compatible processor
Processor speed 1800 MHz
RAM 768 MB to install, 2048 MB to effectively run all services including Clam AV, more memory is better.
Hard Drive SATA/PATA or SCSI - at least 10/20GB (or 2 TB disk)
SCSI adapter SCSI adapter must appear on the supported list (only necessary for SCSI systems)
Ethernet adapter(s) The ethernet adapters installed on your server must appear on the supported list.
Modem (for dialup only) Only modems that are Linux-compatible may be used. WinModems are not supported.
CD-ROM drive SATA, ATAPI or SCSI
USB drive or key USB2 is recommended for the install, as issues may arise with booting from USB3 keys or drives. USB3 drives are faster for backup etc.
Monitor any
Graphics card any supported

4.2. Recommended Hardware Requirements

The following information is what we would suggest is the recommended minimum to utilize all the features of SME Server 10. How many users this configuration will support depends on how heavily the server will be utilized, but should be sufficient for at least 25 users.


Table 4.2. Recommended Hardware Requirement
Category Specifications
Architecture PCIe-based x86-64 compatible processor
Processor speed multi Core 2GHz
RAM 4 GB or more, 8 GB supports most applications, more will be utilised if available
Hard Drive One or more SSD/NVMe/SATA/PATA or SCSI - at least 50 GB for the system, and more for the space needed by your data. Server-grade drives are strongly recommended for critical servers.
SCSI adapter SCSI adapter must appear on the supported list (only necessary for SCSI systems)
Ethernet adapter(s) The ethernet adapters installed on your server must appear on the supported list.
Modem (for dialup only) Only modems that are Linux-compatible may be used. WinModems are not supported.
CD-ROM drive SATA,ATAPI or SCSI - optional if installer is put on USB key
USB drive or key USB2 is recommended for the install, as issues may arise with booting from USB3 keys or drives. USB3 drives are faster for backup etc.
Monitor any
Graphics card any supported

4.3. Hard Drive Configuration

For default RAID configuration options as chosen by the installer, please see here: [RAID settings]

Do please note that the installer expects drives to be empty. Previously used drives should be wiped before being used for an install: this is sometimes tricky depending on which operating system was previously installed. Please see Here.

4.4. Supported Ethernet or SCSI Adapters, or Tape Drives

Either one ethernet adapter (in the case of dialup connectivity or server-only mode) or two ethernet adapters (for dedicated connections in server and gateway mode) must be installed on your SME Server. Your ethernet adapters must be supported by Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

If the computer you plan to use for your server has a SCSI hard disk, your SCSI adapter must be supported by Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

If you intend to use the tape backup capabilities of the SME Server, you must have a tape drive that is supported by Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

4.5. Virtualisation requirements

  • Virtualbox
  • Proxmox
  • Linux KVM
  • VMWare
  • etc.

You can virtualize the Kooxali SME Server on any computer when your processor has amd-v or vtx instructions. You need these instructions to use more than one core in the virtualised guest. Note: sometimes although supported, this has to be enabled in the BIOS.

The amount of memory is a miminum of 2GB for the guest to be comfortable, and at least 4 GB with a lot of contribs installed; as always with memory more is usually better.

For more detailed information on a virtualized SME Server, please see the Virtual_SME_Server page.