Is a Server what I am looking for?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by erandall38, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. erandall38 macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2007
    I would like to store a few thousand PDF files and few thousand excel files externally from my computer. I would like to be able to easily and quickly access these files from my computer.
    Is it possible for someone a few hundred miles away to also get access to all of these files from their home computer?

    Is what I am looking for a server? And if so, does anyone have any recommendations besides Apples offering... as it seems expensive.

    Edit: Also, while using some of the excel files on my computer, I will need them to be able to grab information from other excel files sitting on the "server" or whatever device I need.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    How much data are we looking at? You could store them in a cloud instead, e.g. Windows Live SkyDrive offers up to 25GB of free storage. That way the data could be accessed anywhere in the world with Internet connection.
  3. erandall38 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2007
    Hmm. I am not really sure how much data. The excel files are about 700 kb. The PDFs are approx 400 kb. 3,000 of each type... So I might be wrong but I think 3.3 gbs? So that should work, size wise. One thing I am really particular on is the ability for macros to still work.

    I have some excel files (File A) that I need to automatically pull data from hundreds of the excel files on the "Server" or cloud computing (File B's). File A pulls data from online, then I need it to send these numbers to File B's on the server. File B's would need to run macros based on that received data and then send the outcome back to File A where I could see it... all with out opening hundreds of File B's. The idea is to run a similar macro on hundreds of different items but seeing the results on one excel page (File A).

    Did that make sense or am I completely confusing?
  4. pctomac2011 macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2011
    Why not setup a VPN? It sounds like you only need very basic remote connectivity. A few thousand files is not really alot, and if you are the only person accessing the files, a file server is way over the top.

    Logmein - Himachi from what I hear is a pretty awesome (and cost effective) VPN client.

    If you look around there are many, "Gotomypc" by Cisco is also another alternative. I've had great luck both in personal use, and business with Logmein, so that would be my recommendation.

    (Up to 16 client connections)

    Good Luck!
  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    there's really not anything that will manipulate excel files, other than excel (or a similar program like open office). you would have to open each B file in excel, and then have it pass info back to A.

    for what your asking about, all you need is a file server. which any base OS will do, and you can set up remote file access like FTP, or set up a VPN to provide access to remote networks.
    anything you do to a remote site will depend on your connection speed, and with the number of files it sounds like you're talking about, anything but a local hard drive will be painfully slow. (if you're accessing 2GB of files, with a decent connection it could take 35-45 minutes just to download the files, much less process them).

    Sounds more like a job for a database than dealing with "hundreds of excel files"
    MySQL is free (for non-commercial), and tremendously scaleable. Its pretty fast too, as it's optimized to just pass data, instead of dealing with all the formatting that an excel file involves.
  6. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    I wonder if Google docs would allow macro's and such to work between spreadsheets. That would certainly be a lot easier once the macros are sorted out.
  7. MacForScience macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2010
    In cases like this if you have to ask then you don't need a server. I would personally go with a VPN connection and external drive or find a cloud service to store the files.

  8. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2011
    IMO, I would just use something like dropbox. It will take a little while to upload all the files to the shared folder, but at that point, it will only ever upload when changes are made.

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