Adding external Raid (or NAS) to my MacMini Server

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by mherz, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. mherz macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2004
    I (small business, architecture) currently have a MacMini Server (late 2012) with two internal 1TB drives installed, running OS X Server 10.9. I'm using it mainly as a file server for my 5 or 6 MacMini workstations, but also as a print server (PaperCut). ALL data is centrally on the server. My employees don't have data locally on their workstations (apart from few exceptions) I'm using a bit of permissions and different access rights to certain folders, but not a lot. (Admin stuff accessible to only myself, rest is open to everybody.)

    I am now running out disk space and was thinking either to get an external Raid or NAS. The case for the Raid seems straight forward, as it would just mean using the external Raid instead of, or in addition to, the internal ones. I would probably go for a 2x4TB solution with a raid-1 setup.
    The NAS solution, though, seems attractive, as it often comes with apps that allow for external access, from outside of my office, using laptops, or even my iphone. At least according to their websites, products like LaCie MyNAS, or WD's My Cloud, etc. allow easy access from any kind of external machine, without setting up VPN. (I know that in principle this is also possible to do with OS X server, but I don't have a static IP, and I failed - too little knowledge - when I tried to configure this with something like dyndns)

    But if I were to go for a NAS, would this mean that I would use the Mac Mini Server only as a print server, and do all file serving (including permissions and access rights) through the NAS? Would the NAS sit independent of the Mac Mini Server, i.e. directly connected to the router, or would there be any point in connecting the NAS to the Mac Mini Server (through USB for example)? Would I have to login twice every morning (once to connect to my server, and then to connect to my NAS?)

    I hope these questions are not too confusing.
    Thanks for any recommendations.
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
  3. mherz thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2004
    Thanks for your help.
    My MacMini (2012) doesn't have thunderbolt, so I guess it would connect with USB or Ethernet.
    Question: connect the NAS directly to the router, or to the MacMini Server?

    And is there a NAS that you would especially recommend, that works best with Mac and has good utilities for remote access?
  4. Gav2k, Feb 21, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016

    Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Your mini does have thunderbolt mate.
  5. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    Go for an complete NAS box (synology or QNAP) and separate the two. A 4Bay unit would be my recommendation.
    This will give you better options going forward.
  6. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    I think you said it best right here. The question is going to be how much you value what the NAS brings you (if anything).

    As for the VPN, you do not need a fixed IP but you do need a fixed DNS name for your clients. From your post it sounds like you have figured this out already.

  7. HvLee macrumors member


    Aug 6, 2014
    The Netherlands
    I agree with AFEPPL, check out Synology. They are easy to setup and maintain and all their apps are available for OSX and iOS. It also serves as a timemachine target and what not. Low power consumption. I'm a fan of these boxes for many years.

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