A non-windows SMB/CIFS file server...
I have a stupid question, and my google-fu has failed me.
Can I use something like FreeNAS virtual machine or even a 1U pizza box as a file server head, and have the storage be an iSCSI LUN that's been presented to the FreeNAS head? I know for a solid fact that windows 2012R2/2016/2019 can do this all day long, but I reallly would prefer a non-windows SMB/CIFS server for sharing files, because there's too much that can seriously wrong.
This is for a medium business- We already have a rack mount QNAP that we've been playing with for archiving files, but in all honesty I don't think it would be able to cope with nearly 1000 users and 17+ TB worth of files being thrown at it. the windows file servers we are currently limping by with are not keeping up at all.
Our current alternative to the windows file server is getting an entry to mid-level Netapp (FAS 2750 or perhaps an 8200), which will fit the bill, but be as expensive as all hell. (I did pitch the boss the idea of buying an 8300 or higher end unit, and adding all flash shelves to it next fiscal as a replacement for our aging nimble appliances, which are going EOL in 2 years. He's somewhat receptive to it, but would prefer something all flash for replacing the nimble appliance.)
Pure Storage says that we can bolt on a Windows Storage Server to one of their all flash arrays, but again- it's windows.