PDA

View Full Version : Lion Server vs Standalone?




guitarak
Mar 25, 2011, 03:50 PM
Hey guys and gals, looking for a little expert insight...
I have a Mac Mini (mid-2010, non-server model running 10.6.7) hooked up to my TV for a pretty sweet home theater setup. At some point in the near future, I'm going to, one way or another, have a media server set up to stream to other TV's in the house (using either my wife's PC or my old Xbox with XBMC installed), watch on my iPhone and MBA away from home, etc. I've been eying a few NAS systems, but I noticed OS X Lion will include server functionality. Does this mean I could just hook a large external HD to my Mac Mini and use it as a server instead of buying a stand-alone server? And if so, should I? Are there advantages to going with a stand alone unit (like the Synology 211J, which I've had my eye on?)

Thanks in advance for the help!!



talmy
Mar 25, 2011, 04:47 PM
Any Mac can be used as a server for this. You don't need the server OS, Lion server or Snow Leopard Server for that matter.

To ask yourself if you need the server version, read the description of Lion and Snow Leopard server services. If you don't need any of them then you don't need the server version.

Consider a NAS to be a computer with more than the usual number of disk drive slots that can only be used as a file server (some times additional services, depending on the NAS). If it does the job, you'll save money, but it won't be as flexible.

My Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server story is here: http://almy.us/server.html

guitarak
Mar 25, 2011, 05:05 PM
I guess I really mostly need file sharing over the internet to other computers, phones, etc, so I really just need the Mac Mini to broadcast what's on it to the internet in a safe and protected way. The Wiki Server is a huge plus, as are the iCal and Address Book Servers, to allow my wife and I to avoid work-arounds in sharing our calendar and contacts, notes, etc. So it sounds like I could probably get along with Lion Server and adding a 3TB or more external HD to my Mini, as long as these features are being added to the regular release of Lion without having to shell out the big bucks for the separate Lion Server (which it sounds like Apple is doing).

talmy
Mar 25, 2011, 05:13 PM
The iCal and Address book servers are unique to the server OS. You can run a Web server with any Mac, the server program is present, and you can install free Wiki software.

Be aware that running a Web server that goes over the Internet is a violation of most service provider's residential terms of service and can get you disconnected. You typically have to get business class service that costs so much that it is cheaper just to pay for a web hosting service.