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View Full Version : Is OS X Server the best way to go?




brainwave89
Nov 28, 2012, 05:54 AM
My wife has a four person law office. All of the workers needs to share tasks, contacts, documents and calendars. They also need to access their documents outside the office.

One of the four will be getting a new iMac shortly. The other three are currently using PC's.

Does it make sense for all of the users to use Mac's and get a Mac Mini with OS X Server? I presume using the server they can satisfy all of their needs.

I want to make it easy and effecient for them to do their work. I also want to be ahead of the curve if and when more people are hired. I'm also concerned about maintaining a high level of security with their information and day to day operations of their computers.

Any feedback will be appreciated.



blueroom
Nov 28, 2012, 06:07 AM
You might also want to give a Synology NAS a look. A DS213 is quite able to support a small business.

brainwave89
Nov 28, 2012, 09:11 AM
Thank you Blueroom. That is a great suggestion.

What I am very concerned with is security. The prevalence of trojans, virus and so on on the Windows platform combining the sensitive information that they deal with makes me wonder about being on a Windows platform.

I just may overly concerned but....

This is a situation where money is not an issue.

1911
Nov 28, 2012, 04:08 PM
I agree with BlueRoom, take a close look at the Synology products.
I have moved several small clients away from Windows Small Business Server onto a Synology unit.
The only complaint I ever get is that "I miss Outlook."
If you can get past that one item, you'll have a happy client.

blueroom
Nov 28, 2012, 04:18 PM
Synology makes it easy to add third party apps too. Zarafa appears to be a drop in replacement for Microsoft Exchange.
http://www.synology.com/support/3rd_party.php?lang=us

rutledjw
Nov 28, 2012, 05:58 PM
You know, a solution here is Office 365 or Exchange Online. Very cheap (I think the Exchange only is $6 / user-month) and for my tests, it worked great.

If you're getting rid of Small Biz Server, I'd really give that a look for E-mail and calendar...


The only complaint I ever get is that "I miss Outlook."
If you can get past that one item, you'll have a happy client.

motorboating
Nov 28, 2012, 09:20 PM
Beware about switching legal firms. Many countries have tight laws on the accounting and timekeeping software they can use, and this is often Windows only.

Investigate your software alternatives fully. If you can do it, great. But don't hastily commit.

Check data rentention laws. Ensure that you're using best practices. If a document has to be legally held for 14+ years as in the UK, and you're not intending to keep a paper copy, don't just stick it on a NAS. Like a RAID, they cannot be relied upon as a backup.

Not attempting to scaremonger here, but I have moved legal practices to the Mac, and it's not without its own set of rules and potential hiccups.

brainwave89
Dec 6, 2012, 01:06 AM
Thank you all for the Synology suggestion. My DS213 arrived today and I look forward to playing with it.

Cheers!

Penn Jennings
Dec 6, 2012, 02:21 AM
I tried a Synology 213 a month or 2 ago. While it does work, a Mac Mini as a server will be much faster and give you more options I think.

Time Machine worked and had quotas which was nice. Every now and then one of the MBPs wouldn't backup after coming out of sleep. While it was easy to get it going again, backups need to be fool proof and require no attention. I've never had any issue of any kind with Backups using the mini. Also, a good Synology will cost you $300 for a 2 drive unit without drives. A mini is only $600 and you can add USB 3.0 external drives. The total cost once you start adding drives is not that different. For Macs, the mini with external drives smokes the Synology on a wired network. They are the same over wireless.

I love the Synology for a lot of things, for a business though, I'd consider a mini with server.

PaulKemp
Dec 8, 2012, 04:08 PM
My wife has a four person law office. All of the workers needs to share tasks, contacts, documents and calendars. They also need to access their documents outside the office.

This seems perfect for Office 360 in my eyes. Very cheap, easy to setup, integrates into Mail, iCal and Reminders. You get Lync as a bonus. All in HTML 5. Document sharing as well with sharepoint. :)