5-7 iMacs in need of Server

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by HawkiNation, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. HawkiNation, Jul 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012

    HawkiNation macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2012

    First off, we are a company of about 110 people, but only about 50-60 use computers. Everything has always been PC based, up until a month ago when our graphics department got new 27" imacs running OS X Lion. Everything is great with the machines themselves, except talking to the PC server, especially during read/write is very slow. I am in the department and it's like I have a brand new Ferrari and am stuck in traffic (though I have and probably never will own a Ferrari, I can imagine this would be a horrible situation). We mainly use Adobe CS (primarily Illustrator and Photoshop).

    Having just bought these machines, keeping cost down would be the best.

    What would be the best option to connect 5-7 iMacs to one hard drive in hopes of achieving faster browsing/read/write speeds? I am not sure the IT guy would like to redo the software for the entire company, so I think we would just want a mac server to host files for the 5-7 of us, and then still be able to stay on the PC network for everything else, like email, internet connectivity, and being able to access those other shared drives when needed. Any ideas would be very helpful! Links to specific hardware/software also very appreciated :) Thanks!
  2. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    What's the network topology look like?

    The lack of details will prevent any decent opinion on the matter.
  3. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008

    In the meantime, try using the IP address of the file server instead of its host name and see if this speeds up "browsing" on the file server. If using the host name improves the performance, then you have a name resolution issue and you can work around that by adding an entry for the file server to the /etc/hosts file on your Mac.

    But in my experience, the new SMB implementation that Apple first shipped in OS X Lion is a huge piece of incompatible crap. It's a miracle that there are things left that still work despite all the efforts from the guys in Cupertino who tried hard to break everything.

    If your file server is a Unix/Linux machine, using an ssh/scp client will yield better results than using smb to access the files on that machine. If your server is a Windows machine, then, well, good luck with your incompatible Mac.
  4. HawkiNation thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2012
    That's a lot of info I don't know unfortunately. I will have to see if IT will give me that info.

    As far as the IP address instead of a name, do I need to get the IP address from him as well?

    If it helps any, whenever I log in, all the information is loaded automatically for me. I can connect to the server like I am browsing a HDD.
  5. HawkiNation thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2012
    I just heard back.

    I asked:

    1) Our network topology and
    2) What kind of machine(s) we are using for our server? Windows or Unix/Linux?

    He responded:

    1) TCP/IP over Ethernet
    2) Windows 2008 Active Directory servers

    Does this help?
  6. HawkiNation thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2012
    Thanks for that. I will forward this on to IT and see if he's seen that at all when looking for solutions. Will this software work with existing hardware? Or will we need a machine running Xserve?
  7. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    And you're recommending this based on what data? What HBA are you going to place in an iMac to connect it to a SAN?

    The poster above has no accurate information about your configuration, so my guess is they recommended it solely based on Apple's page (i.e. brochure).

    Your network topology info was way too light. What are link speeds of each machine and how are the switches connected? Are they monitoring any of the links for degradation or utilization?

    You might be better off finding a local shop that can walk you through all of this. It's not something you want to change on a whim and could cause even worse performance.
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    What do people have to access "fast"? Multi-stream HD videos? 1GB photoshop files? Or just office documents?

    Thunderbolt can connect to xsan.
  9. AtomicGrog macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2011
    You shouldn't have to invest in a new server topology, investing in a second is a waste of time, cash and space.

    You should be able to configure your iMac's to integrate with Active directory seamlessly and be able to mount home drives, shares etc., maybe even go as far as use windows logons on the iMac's (never pushed my luck this far but it looks viable.).

    Suggest you have a gander at this: http://training.apple.com/pdf/wp_integrating_active_directory.pdf

    Likelihood is your current performance issues are related to DNS configuration, Wins or lack of password synchronisation. Get the two environments integrated correctly and your problems should go away.

    Would also suggest your support staff have appropriate skills/training, it way to easy to blame the OS for cross platform issues, when in reality its configuration.
  10. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    Think you mean "to a SAN", as xSan is just software. That's a good point though.

    Still, there's no evidence this is a solution to this problem. As the poster above mentioned, it could be just a config issue.
  11. PaulKemp macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
  12. HawkiNation thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2012
    Thanks for your reply. We are mostly using Illustrator files. None of them are very large. When we get to the folder we are looking for, the file is pretty easy to open and doesn't take long at all to load. It's more when we have to add new folders on the server or change a folder name when there are several other sub-folders in the same folder. Sometimes if I create a new folder and rename it immediately, it will still remain "untitled folder" for several minutes. It's gotten to the point where I will do something else while it processes and I will check back in 3-4 minutes (the window usually changes, so I know its done!). Even after it is done creating the folder, it will take some additional time to be able to use it and create new folders/files inside.

    As for file writing, we've been getting a lot of "Can't save preview" from Illustrator or "end of file error - couldn't be written" (or something along those lines) from Photoshop. Sometimes I will have to keep trying to save the photoshop file 3-6 times to get it to actually save.
  13. irnchriz macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2005

    Best to grab yourself a QNAP NAS box and bang it onto a gigabit switch along with all of your Macs.
  14. jmggs, Jul 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

    jmggs macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2007
    Mac implementation of SMB is crap. I have a Windows 7 Pro PC, a Linux Debian Server and a two Macbooks Pro. I can copy a file from linux server to windows with 110 mb/s, from linux server to mac is arround 20 mb/s. I'm using wired gigabit intranet. The mac don't always discover the pc and so on. I using the connections with fixed IP address.

    Apple don't care about server and implementing Mac in networks.:mad: It's a nightmare. Sometimes work sometimes not.

    Try to use fixed ip address and DNS and gateway on Macs. the is some good tools to integrate mac on Windows networks:


    They have a free version that is very good:)

    And this one that is not free:

    and likewise open that i don't know what append to company.


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