Designing my studio network, opinions needed (diagram included))

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by donkeytra, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. donkeytra macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2009
    Greetings. I run a small multimedia design agency with 6 designers, 3 developers, and a general manager. We do everything from 3D, Full HD post-production to print and web development. As the staff number grow, we quickly run into 2 problems:

    1. Project management for hybrid environment
    2. Shortage on storage/backup strategy

    So, the attached diagram is what I've come up with so far, getting either a Mini/MacPro/Xserve to act as our:
    a. File server
    b. OSX Server (calendar, wiki, contacts, Open Directory, and etc.)
    c. Project Management (like DayLite, FileMaker, and etc.)

    Do you think the Mini will do? From my research, Mini is able to handle up to 50-200 people, and 1T of storage should be enough for our live projects; but my main concern is using it as a file server, will it be able to handle, say 5 people writing/reading gigs of files simultaneously, while keeping up with the other functions? I was initially looking into an XServe or Mac Pro for the job, but since it's probably not a good idea to render with our file server, I figure I should let Mini handle the day-to-day stuff, and getting a Mac Pro as a rendering machine.

    As for the backup solution, I'm looking at the Drobo because of its flexibility, but can I set things up so both the server and all the clients automatically backup to the Drobo?

    We haven't had much luck with $50 routers, they all die within a yr or so. So I was looking into either the AP Extreme or something like this one:
    What do you guys think? Will the AP be able to handle when we expand to, say, 20 people? Btw, we are on a gigabyte network right now. Can we setup VPNs with AP?

    Whoa, sorry for the long post, hopefully I've provided enough information. Any advice will be awsome.


    Attached Files:

  2. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    You'll want to investigate your storage some more. It could simply be purchasing a NAS is the way to go, but that also depends on your current environment and how many more people you'll hire in the next few years. These also can be client independent, so it's worth investigating.

    For backup, you want to get the media offsite. One small fire could destroy everything. So either look at tape, single hard drive media, or cloud based. All are viable solutions with each one having its own set of advantages/disadvantages.

    For a router, I'd suggest a Draytek.
  3. donkeytra thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2009
    Thanks, belvdr. To answer your question, I'm planning to have enough power/storage for 20 people with this setup, beyond that, I'm prepared to make another upgrade. So, why do you suggest a NAS opposed to Drobo? I mean, I am planning on using Drobo pretty much like a NAS, but I liked the fact that it supports mixture of dif size drives, which makes expanding easier. Please correct me if I misunderstood something here.

    Yea, offsite backup is already in place;) Looking into Draytec now.

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