Experts - setting up my Mac Pro as server/storage, advice needed

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by entatlrg, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #1
    I have:
    - '09 Mac Pro with 24" ACD
    - 15" MBP with ACD

    I'd like to get them properly set up and organized.

    My first goal is to work from ONE main computer, I've juggled too many computers and I want to simplify my set up. My 15" MBP will be my work/pleasure, use everywhere computer.

    I'd like to set up my Mac Pro to work similar to the HP Media Center. I want an 'always on' computer/server for working files, downloads, back up etc.

    Some suggest I buy an HP media server, it's ready to go out of the box, comes with a url for web access etc. But, I'd rather set up my Mac Pro to for this purpose.

    I have two video cards in the Mac Pro so I'm going to hook one up to my 24" ACD and get an adapter to HDMI so I can run directly to my 65" Panasonic TV as well.
    * Or can I do this wirelessly, I realize I can, but am confused on the best way to go about it.

    How could I set up online access to files stored on my Mac Pro's Hard Drives. From my MacBook Pro I'd like to be able to access files, photo's, and movies when I'm traveling. As well as store data online for back up.
    * I'd like to be able to work from and store files on the Server, leaving no data on my MacBook hard drive this way I have no hassles with syncing software.

    How could I set up online access similar to how the HP Media Center gives you the url/online access?

    I also have a 1TB Time Capsule with 1TB usb drive attached. And a MacBook Air that I use only as a netbook and store no files on.

    Am I going in the right direction for a well organized set up? Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    #2
    Honestly? The easiest way to actually do this would be to just buy MobileMe. That would do everything you have asked for.

    However, these things CAN be done by you with some work.

    You can setup dynamic DNS (dyndns.org) for a URL that points to your Mac Pro.

    Also, you would want to forward ports for things like file sharing/screen sharing etc out your router.

    You can store some things online using DropBox, and any computer you want to could share these online files...
     
  3. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #3
    Mobile Me wouldn't give me enough storage.

    I'd like to be able to access files (read, write), photo's, movies on my Mac Pro from anywhere, again similar to how HP Media Center works.

    Drop Box, Sugar Sync etc is what I'm trying to stay away from. Instead of syncing via a service I'll manage my files myself ... working from a server solves that.

    Question is how do I set up the Mac Pro to work as a media server, it's a better idea than the HP Media server I think because it's not monitor-less like the HP, plus no windows software involved.

    I know it's possible, just not how to do it.
     
  4. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    #4
    But it would give you access to all of your macs, and you can share the drives/screens or whatever just like if you were in the same network. So, yes, it would give you enough storage and is exactly what you're looking for. I'm not saying that you would store all of your stuff online.

    You can also share or write to any drives hanging off the back of your Airport Extreme.
     
  5. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #5
    That's great! Thank you. Didn't realize it was that easy, lol.

    With my Mac Pro I don't see the need or desire to use an HP Media Server instead. I can't see any benefit except I'm told Windows Media Player is 'plug and play' simple ... personally I've never found anything Windows that simple....

    Is there any advice on how I might hook up the Mac Pro to my big sceen, what media software to use in OSX. I'd be playing back torrent files, movies, viewing home photo's, video.

    With all this in mind, that would make my Mac Pro a very effective part of my set up... I use it already to edit huge CAD files, video and photo's ... add the role of a server via Mobile Me, with extra HD's it's a back up/storage system and if I can get the media part set up running smoothly direct to my TV it would be the ultimate!

    Still a little confused how to go about it all, best thing is to probably jump in and try and start setting it up.
     
  6. LouisBlack macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Balham, London
    #6
    Plex is a very good media front end... as is XBMC.

    My only worry would be the huge energy consumption that a Mac Pro would have. An Ion based nettop would perform the same job using less than a 10th of the electricity.
     
  7. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #7
    Would it be easier to get the HP Media server ... I could use my 15" MBP for all my work files ... if I did that a media server would work.

    It's just starting to sound easier and more straightforward to buy something like this HP Media Server (or Linksys) and I'm up and running. My only concern of course will be using my Mac Pro and 15" MBP in OSX will it all work with OSX / Windows seamlessly ...

    It says it does, anyone have first hand experience?
     
  8. AndyfromTucson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    #8
    I have a Mac Mini hooked up to my LCD TV using an adapter. Watching stuff on it is dead simple:

    - For DVDs just pop it in the Mac and the DVD player software will automatically start.

    - For TV shows I go to hulu.com using a web browser, start playing the episode, and then click the icon to switch to full screen.

    - For playing video files from whatever source (torrents etc) I use VLC.

    There is really not much to it. Just hook it up to your TV and start playing around.
     
  9. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #9
    Yes, but I'm trying to organize all my computers as well as set up a Media Center.

    For storage, work, back up, media, server etc.
     
  10. AndyfromTucson macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    #10
    Other people said how to use Mobile Me to set up your Mac Pro as a file server you could access from anywhere. I was just covering the home theater PC aspect.

    If I was in your shoes I would just take it one step at a time and see how it goes. Best case you are happy with the way everything works and the project is done. Worst case you go out and buy a new server (though there really shouldn't be any need for that).
     
  11. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #11
    Thanks, I appreciate the help. I was thinking step by step is a good idea too.

    Actually I'm going to start with the media end, getting movies, tv episodes, video, photo's to my big screen, then I'll build around that.
     

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