ADVICE: Setup for my Office

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bammac, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. bammac macrumors member

    May 20, 2005
    Wondering if anyone can help me with our upcoming upgrade to Mac in the office.

    We currently have old PC's networked together to share data and internet etc on the XP platform.

    We are in dire need for an upgrade of technology and wish to move the office to OS X.

    Primary Use
    Our main use of the machines is really Word, Excel and Outlook (IMAP), which is really covered with Office 2003.

    The really only legacy software is an access based rostering package called CareLink+ (by icon global). Which as far as I know requires SQL running on a machine that the rest connect to, and Crystal to output reports etc.

    Desired Additional Functions
    I would also like my staff when they are on the road to be able to log into our systems remotely when they are out of the office. Something we currently do not have.

    I'm thinking of purchasing a MacPro to act as the central server and then have the staff connect to that via C2D iMacs. That way we do not have issues of data being stored on individual machines but rather on ther server. Making it easier for backups as well as users to move from iMac to iMac in the office and still retain there user settings etc.

    We currently have a 1.5mb Internet link into the office which will be upgraded to ADSL2+ soon (24mb down/1mb up). We also have a 801.11b router as well as an 8 Port switch. We currently use Cat5 cable in the office, but would replace it with Cat6 if nessasery as well.

    We would be looking at getting a couple of Macbooks for the staff on the road as well as 3G phones to connect online. I will also be upgrading my PowerBook G4 to a Mac Book Pro.

    I will also be replacing our faxes & printers with 3 Epson Lasers printers in various incarnations that can be networked.

    Considering keeping two of our PC's in case they will be required to run the afore mentioned CareLink+ system with the 2nd as it's mirror backup, and then network it to the MacPro Server. If this is the best option that is.

    To obviously go all MAC!!!
    To be able to still run our legacy rostering software either via virtulisation software or whatever else will work that will still allow multiple users to use it at once as we can currently do.
    To ensure that as my office expands (eg more machines added) that we have the infrastructure to do it easily.
    My staff can log into our systems remotely, including the Carelink+ software.

    Your Help
    So if you have any suggestions on the best course of action on hardware, running the legacy software on the new system ets or just some considerations that would be great. At the moment the real stopper is the CareLink+ software, if we can connect to that system then I would be very happy. Also and advice on remote access and what I need would be great.

    Basically if anyone out there can help me design this, that would be great.

    Sorry for the long post, I thought I would dump as much info I could to hopefully give you an accurate picture of where I am at.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
  2. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    As a quick first step, have you looked at Parallels?
  3. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Well the Mac Pro would be a fine server. I think you should get OS X server edition for it. Also for a router, I would recommend setting up m0n0wall. Its a great free firewall with remote VPN abilities. So you can have people join the network over an encrypted tunnel. This may work well for remote staff.
  4. bammac thread starter macrumors member

    May 20, 2005
    Yeah I have, and it looks great, just thought someone may have an even better solution, hence why I sort of left it open.

    It is certainly something I was thinking of as a possible way to run our legacy software.

    If anyone else has any other ideas that may work as well, I would love to hear them!

    Thanks bigandy for your quick response!
  5. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    I just noticed you running wireless for an office! I have never liked that idea. I really hope it has WPA on it, and RADIUS would also be a good idea. I personally never have wireless systems in work environments unless its a must have in which case I separate it from the rest of the network with m0n0wall then run RADUIS authentication so it has access to things needed on the main network.

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