Good, cheap server solution?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ingenious, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. ingenious macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #1
    I'm looking for an $800-$1000 (USD) server solution that includes Mac OS X Server 10.4 (or 10.5 when it comes out) and can do web, email, files/printers, jabber, time machine (if it's 10.5), and maybe (not absolutely necessary) remote home folders.

    Ideas? Used is fine (obviously for that price! :rolleyes: )

    Edit: Could a mod move this to a different forum (like "Buying Advice..."), please? I just realized I put it in the wrong one... Thanks.
     
  2. Quartz Extreme macrumors regular

    Quartz Extreme

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Location:
    Outside of the box
    #2
    Well, if you really want to use OS X Server a (legal) copy will set you back $500. In that case, if you picked up a used Core Duo Mac mini for around $500, you would have a setup that would work nicely for $1000. The mini would make a very nice server, it has a small footprint and low power consumption, and has wireless and gigabit ethernet built-in. Though you might want to add external storage and more RAM down the road. Definetly wait until OS X 10.5 Server comes out in Spring. Also by this time, they will probably update the Mac mini. This would be the best way to go if you just want your server to work reliably with minimal hassle.

    Alternatively, if you have the time to tinker, you could do it all on Linux for substantially less. You could run all the services you mentioned: web, email, file, printer, jabber (...all except for Time Machine server and other goodies you get with OS X 10.5 Server). If you go this route, I would recommend using Ubuntu Server 6.10. In terms of hardware, you can use anything with Linux. And there would really be no practical benefit to using Apple hardware for Linux unless you already have the hardware you want to use. You put together your own server using parts from Newegg and get something similar for way cheaper and better for serving than what Apple offers in your price range.
     
  3. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #3
    I am actually really glad i just came across this thread. I have been wondering about this for sometime now. I am a bit confused when it would be appropriate and necessary or simply just really helpful to set a server up like this. I always think of large sets of servers running at a corporation, but have seen this to be the opposite all the time now, i.e., individuals running servers at home.

    Forgive me if it sounds like i am diminishing what the original post intends, that is not my intent at all; but it doesn't sound like he is doing all that much more than I am. I edit photos, play iTunes, lots of word processing and email.internet (tend to have tons of tabs open). More recently I have been getting into quartz and dash code, finally i tend to run GIS software a lot and have several data sets I call upon.

    How do I evaluate whether I even need a server?

    How does it actually work and provide a benefit?

    Are they difficult to maintain, I always here "we had a server problem" types of explanations, but is that more likely an aspect of running several servers for a corporation and not someone like me?

    Lastly, what does the server software actually do?

    Sorry if these are really basic questions, but they are confusing to for me at this point and wanted to get some help form a group that often has a solution. Thanks
     
  4. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #4
    No server nerds out there?

    And Mods please move this into buying advice if you see this, per the original posters request.
     
  5. ingenious thread starter macrumors 65832

    ingenious

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, United States (Kansan in exile)
    #5
    I'm talking hosting email and a website and a jabber network and services such as these. If you're just wanting a place to store video and music and such, you should check into a network-connected or just plain external hard drive. A server can be a backup site for these as well, but it's a waste if you don't use it for some other services as well.
     

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