Do I need a home server?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by EHUnlucky7x9@ao, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. EHUnlucky7x9@ao macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    Ok... so here's my situation....I received an Apple TV for Xmas and I love it! I've been ripping my DVD's into my 500Gb external HD so I can watch it on the AppleTV. I just decided to put all my iTunes on the external drive. Now, I have other computers in the house that would want to listen to my music n watch the videos as well.

    I'm slowly running out of room with my external and I already have a 2nd external 500Gb used for Time Machine that has been maxed out already.

    Should I purchase a 1.6Ghz G5 PowerMac and use it as a Home Server? Would it be fast enough for all my Intel Macs in the house (5 C2D iMacs)?

    Do I need a server?
     
  2. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Why not move your stuff to a terabyte FW800 drive, attach that to one machine, and then share that drive across the network? Cheaper and easier than getting a whole new machine.
     
  3. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #3
    If you do want to run a server, get a rev. A Mac Mini cheap off eBay and run it headless. Easy to tuck away anywhere, and energy use should be pretty light. You can connect via VNC if necessary; the only time you'd need a display/keyboard/mouse is if the machine turns off, disconnects from the network, or locks up.
     
  4. Apocrathia macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    University of South Alabama
    #4
    Honestly, look at what you really want/need to do. If your only doing file serving, then don't bother with a full server. Just do the network attatched external as TuffLuffJimmy mentioned. However if you want to do stuff more than just sharing files, I'd look into a server.
    The biggest thing to keep in mind when thinking of home servers, is that you really don't need crap for hardware. Right now I have an Ubuntu server that shares files over AFP, acts as my time capsule, runs a torrent client, usenet client, shares my entire itunes library using mt-daapd, runs a upnp media server for my ps3, acts as a print server, local DNS, etc...
    All of that crap is running on a measly 1.8ghz athlon xp (doesn't even have sse2), and that is pure overkill already for what the system does.
    You have no need to buy a "new" system unless you are adamant on running folding@home and breaking records or want to run bruteforce cracks at 9000 KM/second.
    You could get by with linux & old PC hardware or even an older PPC mac mini off of ebay.
     
  5. carfac macrumors 65816

    carfac

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #5
    If you just want storage- iTunes, dvds, iPhone, and even time machine, and to be able to pull them up ANYWHERE in my house, I use a NAS. I use this D-Link:

    http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=509

    In fact, I have 2 now, too many movies!!!! :)

    I guess it will also do FTP and web servers, but I have no need of that.

    Works great, solid and cheap. Since it is purpose built, no futzing with Uhuru or other strange languages. To paraphrase another company, it just works.
     
  6. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #6
  7. carfac macrumors 65816

    carfac

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #7
    Good point- but you have to ask what YOUR goal is. An external is faster, but it only works on the computer it is attached to. If you want to use it anywhere else (or wirelessly), or think you may in the future, get a NAS. It is slower, but I stream full HD on my home 10/100/1000 network with no glitches, either... so it is NOT slow enough to be a problem. Plus I like just hiding it in my basement in a cubby there.
     
  8. deanjohnson7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    berkeley, ca
    #8
    as others have said above, if you're going to do more than just share files, go with the server. I'm running an old 450 MHz G4 with a sata hard drive controller card which allows me to have 1.5 TB of storage in an old slow machine. It works perfectly for serving up files to my :apple:tv as well as other file server duties.
     
  9. EHUnlucky7x9@ao thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    This is my goal..... I want to start giving all the Intel Machines in the house the ability to use Time Machine. So that's 5 machines.... 3 iMacs, 1 macbook, and 1 Mini.

    I thought getting a G5 PowerMac would be best because I can install large size HD's inside. I use to have a Mac Pro and I had used all four bays...but then I needed money forcing me to sell the MP.

    Now, I want to be able to backup LOTS of data..... storage space for pictures......have my iTunes connect to this backup space so None of my MP3's are on my desktop computer...... and possibly try out that upnp server for my PS3...if it will work on OSX.
     
  10. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    #10
    What about the new HP MediaSmart home server?
     
  11. EHUnlucky7x9@ao thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 8, 2006
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    New Jersey
    #11
    For those using everything wirelessly... is it worth it or is it useless and slow? Like transferring the data and accessing it?
     
  12. eleven59 macrumors regular

    eleven59

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #12
    i love having everything wireless. if its for streaming, as long as the external is hooked directly up to the computer running itunes, everything was instant
     
  13. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #13
    Isn't Time Machine unable to backup to any remote drive other than a Time Capsule?
     
  14. Gaelinic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #14
    Can an Xbox 360 access these servers directly? Or would it have to access the server through one of your PCs?

    Thanks.
     
  15. Apocrathia macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    University of South Alabama
    #15
  16. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    Wrong and wrong. Since like 10.5.2 you've been able to back up to most any networked HFS+ drive.
     
  17. EHUnlucky7x9@ao thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #17
    Hey Tuff.... I want to definitely set myself up for all the capabilities using an old PC machine. What do you think is the minimal kind of PC machine i can use. I'll just leave it somewhere constantly on and I'll try to throw in as many large HD's inside so I can save all the data onto this machine.

    Is it possible to save all the music into 1 iTunes library and have all 5 machines in the house access that one library, that way I don't have multiple copies of the same stuff?
     
  18. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #18
    Hmmm. This might be spendier than you were hoping, but have you considered an old (PPC) mac mini hooked up to a (last generation) drobo?
     
  19. EHUnlucky7x9@ao thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
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    New Jersey
    #19
    What's a drobo?

    Anyone else with suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
     
  20. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    a drobo is a small box that stores ridiculous amounts of data and stores them safely, so that even if a drive fails you won't lose any data.
     
  21. eleven59 macrumors regular

    eleven59

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #21
    just some curious thoughts

    for those using a mini as the itunes server with an external, i see recomendations for just getting an older ppc model. is there a certain spec that i shouldnt go lower than? ram? tiger or leopard? etcc...

    do you leave it running 24/7? do u have to turn the external on/off as well, or do you leave it on sleep mode if it has it?

    i doubt id hook it directly to a tv and rather wired directly off the TC and out of the way... some are pretty cheap on feebay....

    any thoughts or advice? thanks!

    basically it would be nice to have iton and ready to serve instead of having to keep my main comp on all the time just to watch something....
     
  22. odinsride macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #22
    Connect360 - I've been using it for a while now and it's great
     
  23. Yanwoo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #23
    I've done something similar to this. Don't think my system is necessary optimal - but it does what I need for now.

    I have an old PPC mac mini (1.4ghz i think) running 24/7 as my server, serving iTunes to my Apple TV and other machines.

    My media files are stored on an ReadyNAS duo w/ 2x500gb drives (RAID). The iTunes on my mac mini points to this NAS drive.

    I also have a 500gb external hooked up to my mac mini. It's purpose is to replicate the contents of my NAS so they can be backed up on to Mozy (unlimited storage for $5/month - but not from network drives). I do the replication with ChronoSync.

    Works pretty well most of the time. Although the mac mini (running leopard) is a little slow so when I do have to fix things it's a bit of a pain. It actually just crashed hard on me this past week - and I had to restore the o/s. That was a real pain - had to hook it up with keyboard/mouse and a screen (normally do admin etc. w/ screen sharing form my macbook pro).

    Just for reference, I do have a time capsule backing all this stuff up as well. Belts and braces :)

    Hope that is helpful.
     
  24. Bengt77 macrumors 68000

    Bengt77

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2002
    Location:
    Europe
    #24
    No, you don't need a home server. People in Africa do need food, though. (Sorry, I'm in a cynical mood today.)
     
  25. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #25
    People everywhere need food. Duh :rolleyes:
     

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