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SwiftLives
Feb 12, 2011, 01:13 PM
I'm starting a new gig on Monday. Gonna be the Art Director at a very small marketing firm.

Anyway, the current setup is 2 iMacs and 3 all-in-one HP machines. Everything is new within the past 2 years.

The problem is that they don't have any sort of file server. All files are saved locally on every computer. Occasionally, they use DropBox to share files that are too large to email to each other. Ugh.

I was thinking of suggesting a Mac Mini server and a Time Machine for backup. Apple's propaganda seems to indicate that it can exist peacefully on a mixed OS X / Windows network. But does anyone have any actual real-world experience with this sort of setup?

I'm looking for a solution that will make file sharing in the office a bit easier and require very little maintenance, as I don't really want to spend much of my time being an IT person.

Thanks.



macjonnny
Feb 12, 2011, 05:53 PM
I really like my Mac Servers but they aren't exactly maintenance free. Here's something that works well especially for a handful of machines. MyBookWorld by Western Digital http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=300

It does a great job serving files to Mac and Windows machines and also lets you use as a TimeMachine server. You can get a 2TB version for about $200.

Good luck at the new job!

SwiftLives
Feb 12, 2011, 07:59 PM
That definitely seems to be a viable option. Almost makes me question whether or not some of the extra features that OS X Server offers would be worth it. Thanks!

foidulus
Feb 12, 2011, 10:18 PM
I wouldn't go for anything that doesn't have a gigabit ethernet interface.

But yeah, you can find NAS(network attached storage) for pretty cheap, you could even use Apple's time capsule which does have 2 terabytes and gigabit ethernet as well as wifi(and shares out files to both windows and macs pretty easily)

If you went the server route a cheap dell with Linux would work perfectly, no need to go with OS X server.

logandzwon
Feb 18, 2011, 08:06 AM
I was thinking of suggesting a Mac Mini server and a Time Machine for backup. Apple's propaganda seems to indicate that it can exist peacefully on a mixed OS X / Windows network. But does anyone have any actual real-world experience with this sort of setup?

I'm looking for a solution that will make file sharing in the office a bit easier and require very little maintenance, as I don't really want to spend much of my time being an IT person.

Thanks.

It does, mostly. There is a caveat though with Windows 7 refusing to join an AD domain. SLS can sometimes be a bit overwhelming to beginners. My usually recommendation is to set it up to do anything that looks like it might be interesting or useful. Take notes. then wipe it, clean reinstall, and and then only enable the options you want to actually use.

Finding a consulting guy to come in for a day and help guide you with that might be beneficial also. Maintenance will be super easy. You really only need to bother anything when your desktop mac gets an update, or you need to add/remove a user.

SwiftLives
Mar 15, 2011, 03:15 PM
I'm resurrecting this because I have a bit more info...

Another benefit of the server I'd like is VPN access. There are days when I will need to work remotely and need access to the files.

In addition to that, we're in the early stages of considering some project management software. But we don't want a web hosted kind that you pay monthly for - we'd like something we can install locally. Cheaper in the long run.

I've read reviews for the Western Digital Mybook that said its VPN service is essentially useless.

Is there any way to get remote access to a Time Machine being used as an NAS?