5 machine network, I need words from the wise.

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by top, May 15, 2012.

  1. top macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    #1
    Greetings, I run a small media company with 3 desktop machines and 2 laptops in a single room office. We are about to buy time capsule to replace old router and looking into a Mac mini server so we can transfer work quicker between the machines and also would like to have a central data area. I Will be transferring big files between the computers so network speed is important. I haven't ever used server before, how difficult is it to set up? What kind of speeds will I see during transfer of data?
     
  2. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #2
    Look at a Synology NAS & decent router like the AirPort Extreme or Netgear WNDR-4500. Use Gigabit wired Ethernet wherever possible to maximize throughput. Plug the works into an 8 port Gigabit switch.

    I'd recommend a Synology DS412+ or 1512+

    As an added bonus those NASs can run OpenERP
     
  3. rwwest7 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    #3
    Gigabit is waaaaaaaaay better than fast Ethernet for large files. That should priority number 1. A NAS for the file sharing, if you like to sleep at night don't settle for anything less than RAID 5.
     
  4. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #4
    Any RAID solution shouldn't help you sleep better. An excellent and well tested backup solution should do that.

    That said, I'm not sure I'd suggest RAID 5 these days. I'd suggest RAID 10.
     
  5. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #5
    Synology has their own RAID technology, supports Time Machine backups (a real must for your Macs) and supports remote backup including Amazon S3.
     
  6. Mattie Num Nums macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    I always tend to stray away from the proprietary RAID companies (Drobo et al.) They seem to be good but when they fail, you are pretty much SOL big time. For home I think those are great. When not just buy a Mac Server and a Gtech RAID?
     
  7. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #7
    You can choose conventional RAID types too. Synology makes a very solid server that's easy to setup and maintain across all popular OS's. Their higher end devices have dual Gigabit that can be set for speed or failover.
     
  8. Mattie Num Nums macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Why not get a Mac Mini Server and get some other benefits out of it like network home folders, permission management, ad integrations, etc? Its much more scalable and a better bang for the buck over time.

    I think that RAID solution would be great in an environment with a little more meat on its bones. I am a big believer in getting infrastructure portion setup before just sticking storage on a network, kind know what I mean?
     
  9. radiogoober, May 20, 2012
    Last edited: May 20, 2012

    radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #9
    But what would you do with the Mac mini in terms of disk storage, backup, etc?

    I'm considering a Mac mini for a server too, with the idea of making certain shares available, but obviously I'd have backup disks on the mini with CarbonCopyCloner handling nightly backups (which can email you if a backup fails, meaning a disc failed - I presume.) Screen sharing to manage it, etc. I'd even set my itunes library to be stored on it.

    For disks, it could be as simple as a slew of FW800 disks daisy chained to each other.

    ---

    To note, I already have a new Mac mini - it's awesome - and I have a WesternDigital MyBook Thunderbolt Duo (2x3tb) unit, which I clone drive 1 to drive 2 nightly, and I also have a FW800 3tb disk that drive 1 gets cloned to, giving me 2 copies of my data. For now 3TB is plenty.

    The only advantage I could see of getting another Mac mini as a server is that I could put it in my networking rack and clean up my desk space. I can't justify the Synology units though, because a lot of the options don't matter to me (I would never use their built in iTunes server, etc), and they're just expensive enough to where if you get the good units, it's cheaper to buy a Mac mini! The good thing about the synology is that with RAID you can have a much larger volume, but it creates a messy backup solution with USB drives, etc.

    ... :)
     
  10. iPhone Addict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #10
    Synology's SHR RAID isn't proprietary.
     

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