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Old Dec 12, 2012, 08:31 AM   #1
js81
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: KY
RAID Box/NAS/server advice for '09 Mini/MBP

First, let me apologize - I know this is going to be a long post, lol. If you read it through and especially if you respond, thank you thank you thank you!

SUMMARY: I'm tired of dealing with connection issues between OS X and Windows Home Server. Suggestions? I have an '09 mini and 5 1TB SATA hard drives.

OK, here's my dilemma:

I have always had a Mac for the last several years, but I have always gone back and forth with my main desktop/bulk storage machine. Until just recently, my desktop was an HP workstation - during its tenure with me, I also purchased and setup an HP Microserver to put all of my external hard drives (5 total drives, a couple were inside the workstation) into one accessible place. A couple of months ago, I got fed up with the big-ness and loud-ness (not to mention the hot-ness!) of the HP workstation. So it went to eBay and I replaced it with the best Mac I could afford - a 2009 mini server. And I already had an '09 15" MBP.

Since moving to the mini meant giving up my five internal hard drive bays, I knew that all of my data (and hard drives) would have to live in the Microserver. No problem - moved everything over, it's got 5TB of storage total anyway, and I only have about 1.5-2TB of data right now...

Now I'm running into issues. Problem isn't really the server (it runs Windows Home Server 2011) or the mini (Mountain Lion), per se - it's that the network connections refuse to stay active. I've read that's an issue with 10.8, but let me explain one other part - sometimes the mini refuses to let me reconnect the drives unless I reboot it. Same with the server; sometimes I have to restart it. In other words, these two just refuse to get along. (And don't get me started with the MBP - it's wifi of course, so these issues are even worse.)

Basically, I'm tired of it. I'm almost 100% convinced that it's a combination of Windows Home Server and Mac OS X not cooperating. Not sure who's at fault; don't really care. Just tired of restarting my machines every day...

What do you guys suggest I do? Here are some of my thoughts:

1) Use a different server OS. Maybe FreeNAS or Ubuntu. Have any of you used either of these with Mountain Lion? How's it work with OS X? This would be the easiest/cheapest, so obviously I'm for it.

2) Sell the server and get a RAID enclosure. Something like the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2. (Keep in mind that my 2009's don't have Thunderbolt or USB 3.0, so it would have to be something that supports Firewire 800)

3) Sell the server and get a NAS of some sort. After my current network issues troubles, I almost think I'd prefer attached storage. I can simply share to the MBP, as the mini is always on.

4) Some other suggestion I haven't thought of?

What I have right now:
4x 1TB WD Green hard drives (WD10EARS)
1x 1TB WD Blue hard drive (WD10EALS)
Gigabit Ethernet between mini and server

One last bit of info: I'm a poor school teacher and we have a new baby. Spending money (for drives or enclosures) is out of the question. I can sell things to do this, but I can't spend any extra. My wife would kill me.
__________________
Late-09 Mac mini server, 16GB iPad 2, 12" iBook G4, Dell D830 "Macitude"

Last edited by js81; Dec 12, 2012 at 09:04 AM. Reason: added link
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