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View Full Version : What is best to use as a server?




AtmChm
Apr 25, 2012, 07:21 PM
I am thinking about setting up a file server and I have the following options:

PowerMac:

G4 gigabit ethernet dual 450 MHz, G4 digital audio 733 MHz (I have a Sonnet SATA card to use a SATA drive with either of these)

G5 dual 2 GHz, G5 dual 2.7 GHz

OS:

10.4 server, 10.5 server

Looking for advice on what would be the best setup? Should I use one of the G4s with 10.4, or one of the G5s & which server OS with the G5?

Thanks!



zen.state
Apr 25, 2012, 07:33 PM
For file serving only CPU speed is totally irrelevant. A G5 tower can only hold 2 drives and will use 500+ watts. That is way too little drive expandability and way too much power drain for files.

I would get the dual 450 G4 which can hold up to 8 drives with the right brackets. It will only use about 200 watts of power no matter how many drives you put in it.

A G5 is overkill for CPU/PSU power and for what you want to do. It is the least expandable PowerMac ever made when it comes to hard drives and that what you need expandability with on a file server.

estrides
Apr 25, 2012, 07:59 PM
Processing power does have a role in server use, even file transfering. For the little amount of files you will most likely be transferring back and forth, Id say stick with the G4. But if you can, invest in a gigabit NIC card.

Thats what will truly make any computer shine in a server situation. That and fast storage.(SSD)

EDIT: If you could sell your G4 for a G4 cube/G4 mac mini, you'd be even better off!

Just my two cents.

AtmChm
Apr 25, 2012, 08:21 PM
As a clarification, I have all of the computers mentioned, so this is not an issue of which to purchase.

I also have two G4 Cubes, one with dual 1.5 GHz Powerlogix 7447a upgrade and one stock 450 MHz, but I was not thinking these would be the best for a server. I'd have to use an external FW drive to use a large SATA drive with the Cube, or get a PATA/SATA conversion sled for a 2.5" drive. Don't really see the point in any of that.

I would be learning from scratch on how to set up a server. I know most of the server functionality is built into the regular version of OS X, but I've read that the server version has GUI apps to help setting up/managing server settings for novices like me. Anyone had experience with this in either 10.4 or 10.5?

zen.state
Apr 25, 2012, 08:22 PM
Processing power does have a role in server use, even file transfering. For the little amount of files you will most likely be transferring back and forth, Id say stick with the G4. But if you can, invest in a gigabit NIC card.

Thats what will truly make any computer shine in a server situation. That and fast storage.(SSD)

EDIT: If you could sell your G4 for a G4 cube/G4 mac mini, you'd be even better off!

Just my two cents.

Sorry but I fully disagree with you. For a personal file server that is only used in someone's home CPU speed is irrelevant.

Also, a file server needs drives to be a file server and you're telling the OP to sell a G4 tower for a cube or mini that can each only hold one drive. You make no sense at all.

zen.state
Apr 25, 2012, 08:41 PM
I would be learning from scratch on how to set up a server. I know most of the server functionality is built into the regular version of OS X, but I've read that the server version has GUI apps to help setting up/managing server settings for novices like me. Anyone had experience with this in either 10.4 or 10.5?

You don't need the server version at all. It isn't meant for simple file server use as all that ability is in the standard OS X.

Here are all the steps you need to take:

1. Connect the system you want to use as a file server to your LAN and turn it on. You don't even need a screen. Just be sure to activate file sharing and screen sharing on the server.

2. Log into it from your main Mac by clicking on it in the shared area of the finder sidebar. You can also control it remotely via Screen Sharing which is built into 10.5+

3. Done.

estrides
Apr 25, 2012, 10:56 PM
If he gets the Cube it will use much less power and take up much less space. If he needs extra storage, then connect via USB/Firewire.

EDIT: Sorry OP, didnt realize you had a Cube. If you don't mind taking up the space then go for it. I feel like less consumption overall, is best for a server. And on top of everything, you don't need any server versions of those operating systems. The base ones can do everything you need.

zen.state
Apr 25, 2012, 11:03 PM
If he gets the Cube it will use much less power and take up much less space. If he needs extra storage, then connect via USB/Firewire.

You clearly know nothing about the Cube's power consumption. The Cube's have either a 205 or 225 watt power supply vs. 200 in a Gigabit Ethernet tower.

estrides
Apr 25, 2012, 11:10 PM
Is that really what they both idle at? If so, sorry for speaking out of line. I figured the G4 cube used less power idling because there were less components actually pulling power.

zen.state
Apr 25, 2012, 11:39 PM
Is that really what they both idle at? If so, sorry for speaking out of line. I figured the G4 cube used less power idling because there were less components actually pulling power.

Yes really. The info is all over the place to see for yourself. The dual Gigabit actually have a 220 watt but that is still lower than the higher of the 2 in the Cube's.

So the Cube would use the same or slightly more power yet only be able to hold 1 Internal drive and only an ATA drive. You also cannot add a SATA or USB 2.0 card to a Cube as it has no PCI slots. Your solution of externals just adds to the power use as all 3.5" externals need their own power and the external options are only FW 400 and USB 1.1.

I am just confused as to why you claim he should use a Cube when you don't seem to understand much about it or it's limitations. Your solutions are very impractical and give him limits that he would never have with a tower.

estrides
Apr 26, 2012, 10:12 AM
Well you know what assuming does...:rolleyes: Apologies OP, I was looking at this in terms of an ergonomic sense. Less space, easier shape to work with etc.

Although demeaning, zen has educated me. Sorry for the ignorant post.

zen.state
Apr 26, 2012, 10:47 AM
Although demeaning, zen has educated me. Sorry for the ignorant post.

Others can verify that I was much nicer to you than most I call out. You are a very mature person to admit you were wrong. Many will never do that and just keep arguing in circles.

Hrududu
Apr 26, 2012, 11:44 AM
Just one other reason to avoid using a Cube is the extended hours on the PSU are probably a really bad idea. Cube power supplies are getting harder and harder to find, so I would try and preserve it. G4 towers are so cheap now that if the PSU dies, just trash the machine and pickup another one for $15.

SuperJudge
Apr 26, 2012, 11:53 AM
G4 towers are so cheap now that if the PSU dies, just trash the machine and pickup another one for $15.

This.

I'd also add: if you're going for an early G4 tower like a GigE or a Sawtooth, pick up two or three from the get go. They're cheap enough and you'll have a full supply of spare parts at the ready. You can also cannibalize the double-height drive sleds from the others to give you space for more drives from the outset.

AtmChm
Apr 26, 2012, 02:30 PM
Just one other reason to avoid using a Cube is the extended hours on the PSU are probably a really bad idea. Cube power supplies are getting harder and harder to find, so I would try and preserve it. G4 towers are so cheap now that if the PSU dies, just trash the machine and pickup another one for $15.

Ok, I never intended to use a Cube as a server, so that's not an issue. Also, I already have the machines I started this thread with, so I'm not looking to buy anything.

Seems the consensus is with using one of my G4s. That being the case I'll need to use Tiger for the OS. Are there compelling reasons to use 10.5 instead?

jbarley
Apr 28, 2012, 11:23 AM
For file serving only CPU speed is totally irrelevant. A G5 tower can only hold 2 drives and will use 500+ watts. That is way too little drive expandability and way too much power drain for files.


They can be upgraded to hold 5 drives internally using something such as this (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet%20Technology/ENCG53HD/).