bulding a server setup for my house

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by me2621a, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. me2621a macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2005
    you all have always been able to give me good advice on what to buy so why should this be any different.
    my house has a total of 6 computers in it 3 Pc:mad: and 3 Macs:)
    all these machines have some documents that need to be avalabe to the others so i got this idea of buying a xserve g4

    i found one for about thirteen nintey nine
    it comes with
    dual 1.33 G4
    60Gb HD
    512Mb of Ram
    and mac osx 10.4 unlimited server client.

    Is this a good deal

    my plans are to buy with it at least 2 500 gb hard drives and upgrade the ram to the max. (Now if someone has a cheaper and in there mind better plan such as building a intel xeon server and getting the 10.4 hack on ot and can suply me with the instructions and the files needed it would be very apreshiated but for now this is my plan)
    i just need to know a few things
    1. is this a good deal
    2. i plan to use this as a consolidated storage unit and that is about it (but stil will it be fast enough)
    3.I know that apple says the max amount of ram it can support s 2 gb however wil it recognize 4 Gb if i put 4 1 Gb sticks in it.
    4.What is the hard drive type that it takes and are these drives hot swappable.
    5. can somone give me the dementions
    6. im really only interested in this server because it supports mac osx so is there any onther cool things that this server can do
    7. when 10.5 comes out it will have that app time machine can i use this xserve as the backup location.
    I know a gave you alot of questions but when said and done t looks like i am going to end up spending about 1700 dollars and if this isnt going to do what i need it to do and do it right then i really dont want to spend the money.
  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Server unlimited alone is $1000, so yeah, that's kind of nice. Make sure the seller gives you the license key in case you need to reinstall.

    You know that Xserves can be REALLY LOUD, right? The slot loaders are tolerable, but if you're looking into this stuff, you don't want a tray loader (1.0 GHz) in your house.

    Here's a link to the manual so you can look into drives and dimensions and stuff.

    Supported drive modules, you're on your own if you want to try putting a different disk in one of those.

    On Time Machine: yeah, I would expect that your clients will beable to use that machine fine as a backup. A straight disk-to-disk kind of backup might make more sense for the server itself though. For home use, an external FireWire drive or two ought to be fine for that.

    2 GB seems to be the real RAM limit, memory resellers and Mactracker seem to all agree on that.
  3. me2621a thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2005
    the one i am looking at is the slot loading one(1.33G4).

    do these have lights out managment by anychance.
    what i meant about the rives is i am not going to spend 400 on a apple sertified drive when for 300 i can get the same drive.
    thank you for the manual

    Remember i am looking for multiple ideas
  4. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Yep, just warning you about the noise in case you look at more of these boxes :)
    Nope. The Intel model coming out in October will be the first to have it.

    On other possibilities: that Xserve looks like a good deal to me mainly because of the Tiger Server unlimited thrown in. Its features, however, may be wasted on a home setup.

    Personally, I'd go with a PC in a nice roomy chassis for drives, and throw FreeBSD on it. I guess that the only open question would be how well the Time Machine feature will be supported on non-Apple servers. It's always a toss-up before the fact if they're going to be cheery and open, or play the lock-in game.
  5. me2621a thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2005
    thats my worry also apple will support you if you are using a apple server however if you are using a linux server(my original idea) they cant and wont help you configure it.

    im not th best with software so i need the support
    anyway how loud can it be in a closet
    oh and do you think a single 2.0 g5 , 1 gb of ram, 80gb hd for 1900 includng unlimited server edition is a good deal

    just a thought what was the max hardrive that could be put in a imac g4 the 1.25 version
    in perticular were they laptop drives or was this a full size drive and if so what type of ultra ata
    think about this a 500gb imac 20 inch with 10.4 server edition on it unlmited client how does that sound with 2 esternal firewire 400 500gb drives and to push the onvelope lets put a second set of usb drives to give me a total of 2.5 tb
    what are peoples thoughts on that remember this is a house set up. (the reason i like this is because i can use it on my dresser instead and it can double as a digital pictre frame and evan a dvr with magelan i tv)

    I could also use a 500MHz g4 cube to do this and set it up identicly to the imac and that would be a little cheaper but not by much
  6. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
    Quite Frankly I don't see why do you need to get an Xserve just for storing
    files. You talk as well about maxing out RAMs which I find uncessary. Unless
    you are going to run processor intensive jobs or serve web apps et al, you
    are better off with a P3 or an AMD with 512MB of RAMs. For your needs, an
    Xserve is an overkill.

    Just get an off-the-shelf PC, install on it Linux and SAMBA. Anyway, this is
    only my opinion of course :)
  7. me2621a thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2005
    i apreshiat that can anyone give me feedback on those other 2 deas that i had. also anyone know if the g4cube will suport more than 512mb of ram and the reason like to have ram is i plan to use the machine for mnore photo editing not the xserve but these otheroptions. i dont want to gowith the linux system because apple wont upport them and a am a complete idiot when it comes to linux so that is a no. however thank you now any other coments
  8. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    It can hurt a little to get file servers running on BSd or Linux, but the pain is brief and basically a one-time thing. And once you've been through the ordeal, it will be one of those "oh, is that all there was to it?" things.

    A ventilated closet I hope! Maybe not too bad, as long as it isn't one of those hollow doors they like to use in new construction.

    Maybe, if it's Tiger on there. I think those came with Panther though. That machine was about $3000 new.

    The iLamps take 3.5" drives, and the later ones like that have Ultra ATA/100. The internal drives are not the easiest to change, but the connections are quite standard once you dig your way in.
    Sure, iLamps make fine little servers! They're quiet and you don't have to hide them in the closet :D This is what I'm using for home swerving. I think I'd skip the USB drives and put all the externals on the firewire loops though.

    Have you looked at the G4 towers? Those might be a little easier to deal with in the expansion department. You'd get the expandability of those Xserves without the ugliness and location issues.

    Cubes can have cooling issues when you start trying to max them out. There are fans and things you can get, but I'd leave those for the Cube fetishists.
  9. me2621a thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2005
    ok so you are saying that the the imac g4 will make a fine server
    do need tiger server edition or can i just open files for sharing off of plane old 10.4 tiger.
    how much ram wold ou sugest im thinking around 512 to a gig do you agree
  10. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    For home use, an Xserve is expensive, overkill, noisy, and difficult to relocate.

    An iMac/ cube/ Mac Mini doesn't offer you the HD expansion you will need in a server.

    You say you aren't good with software, so configuring Linux / BSD on a PC might be too much for you.

    I currently run a RAID5 backup array (3x300GB HD) inside a PowerMac G3 (350 mhz, 1GB ram).

    I don't advise you to buy a PowerMac G3 - no gigabit ethernet, no Wake-On-Lan etc.

    Strongly advise you to consider buying a higher end dual G4 or low/midrange G5 Powermac.

    Dual 1GHZ G4 will run you about 500-600 dollars, and it will meet pretty much all you need, as well as using your knowledge of OSX to administer it. Can add drives, RAM etc as needed.
  11. Willis macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2006
    What feels like the middle of nowhere
    I was going to say as already mentioned. Get a late G4 or G5 PowerMac as they will do the job just fine. Im thinking of getting a Mac Pro in a few years to act as a server as I have a lot of photos now over 4 machines, it'd be nice to have them all in one place where i can get them easily.
  12. me2621a thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2005
    well the reason i am not a fan of the powermacs is that they are farly loud( i realized the xserve was louder but when i herd one it was redicuouse so that is when i thought of a imac g4.) i hav already changed multiple hardrives on imac g4 systems and think it will work. i dont mind using exsternal drives i actualy prefer it because then if need be i can move it to a diferent system like my new mac pro. im not considering a mac mini because it uses a notebook drive and i feel that i want to stay with a desktop drive. See one thing that is a issue is space. the xserve was easy because i came up with a way to suspend it however a full desktop is just to big for the room therfore it looks like im stuck with eather the cube or the imac 1.25 20inch anyway the benifet of having the 20 inch imac is it can double as a picture fram that i can just pay a iphoto slid show on.
  13. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Seems you've looked at the alternatives, discarded what you thought you wanted on the basis of further information and decided on a solution that better meets your cash, skill levels and needs.

    Go for it then.
  14. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    An XServe is massive overkill but if you want it, go for it.
  15. mattjgalloway macrumors member

    May 21, 2006
    That Xserver is HUGE overkill. I have a server at home which runs a file server for documents on the network and mp3/video files to every pc in the house including a hifi pc for playing music in the lounge.

    It runs Linux (along with every other pc in the house except 1 windows pc and 2 Mac laptops) which was easy to setup in my opinion. And it cost me about £400 for the components only...

    So my recomendation is to go for a normal PC running Linux as suggested before. It's cheapest and does the job perfectly. I even run iTunes on my Linux server to make the Mac laptops have more of a Mac feel to them...
  16. kbonnel macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2004
    In a nice place..
    If you want to share files, get a NAS solution. Something like the Infrant ReadyNAS. It has great performance, good capacity (4 SATA slots), and is really simple to configure/setup. Not too mention it is cheaper than the xserve.


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