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Old Jan 14, 2013, 11:28 AM   #1
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Thoughts on multiple Mac office purchase and network setup?

Hi all, I am helping a friend/client to purchase all new Mac equipment for a home office, and would like some thoughts on what to get/which way to go?

Basically, he would like to have a main computer for his work, and then two or three laptops for the kids/family to use at the same time. The laptops I believe are for space reasons, as he doesn't want them to leave the office.

I was thinking of an iMac main computer, a Macbook Pro for his laptop, then one or two Macbook Airs. Some NAS storage and a wireless printer. But then I started wondering if there was a better way/configuration?

Maybe 4 laptops, one dock and a cinema display? Or a server?

He did mention the possibility of having one computer which can be accessed by 3 or 4 monitor/keyboard/mouse setups. I've seen this is possible now with Lion onwards OSX Server, but would this really be worthwhile/cost effective? I don't have much experience with mac terminals etc.

Also, more storage is needed and I was thinking probably NAS so all computers can access it at the same time. I think he would prefer to have all the files on a large storage drive on the main computer, and then just backed up somewhere like a time capsule, but with lots of videos and photos, and looking at the drive sizes in new macs I don't really think this is an option. Also, the storage should be accessable via osx and windows as one laptop will be an existing windows 7 one.

Any help or thoughts would be very much appreciated! Many thanks.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 11:40 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Toronto, Canada
I'm running a similar setup.

AirPort Extreme, Synology NAS (fantastic device, has TM backup) and a Brother DCP-7065DN printer (very Mac friendly).

I use wired GigE where ever possible.
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Old Jan 14, 2013, 11:58 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Oregon
I've got a setup using a Mac mini server with 8TB of external drives. Besides handling file sharing and TimeMachine backups it also runs a Windows VM for Quicken access from the client computers, has a printer that is shared among the client computers, runs a VPN server for remote accessing of files, and a number of other server tasks (Plex server, calendar and address book servers). Clients include iMacs for my wife and myself, my wife's MBA and my MBP, two Mac minis as entertainment centers and a Window XP computer. Also several iOS devices for calendar and address book. An Airport Extreme Base Station for Wifi. It's been running 24/7 for over two years, but I have had to replace two of the hard drives that failed.
Retina iMac, 15" MacBook Pro, Mac mini with Yosemite Server, 7 other Macs and 5 iOS devices in the household. Yes, it's too many.
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