Is this a good computer, storage, network set up?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by entatlrg, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. entatlrg macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #1
    Using the following equipment -
    - Mac Pro with OSX and Win7
    - MacBook Pro with OSX and Win7
    - Time Capsule 1TB with attached 1TB drive.

    I want to organize and simplify my computer set up.

    My plan is:
    Mac Pro - when using it I'm going to save/store all my active and working files to the Time Capsule.

    MacBook Pro - I'm also going to save/store all my files to the Time Capsule.

    Therefore whether I'm on the Mac Pro or MacBook Pro I'm accessing and saving my files to the Time Capsule, no worries about sync or confusion ... I'm working from the same files. Good idea, right?

    The 1TB hard drive attached to the Time Capsule will have a copy of the TC files in case it fails.

    Then for added security I'm going to subscribe to an online storage service, maybe SugarSync for critical files.

    For all photo's, video's, reference files I have them saved on Hard Drives that I can easily plug in when needed.

    Question: How easy is it to set up the Time Capsule so I can access the hard drive from anywhere there's an internet connection.

    Is this a good setup? Suggestions welcomed :)
     
  2. zachsilvey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Battle Ground
    #2
    Some issues you might run into when working with files on a network drive is obviously speed. Text docs won't be an issue but photos, video, audio or other large files will be unusable.

    If you use an online backup service I would recommend JungleDisk because it is super cheap and reliable.

    I don't think back-to-my-mac allows you to access time capsules over the internet so I don't think you can do that. Your best bet would be dropbox or an FTP server set up on the Mac Pro.
     
  3. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #3
    You're right, some files are slow.

    Maybe a better idea is to work from both the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro hard drives and keep them in sync with sugar sync, then also back up to the Time Capsule and online storage service.

    Would that work better? I want to have a good simple, easy to use yet reliable system.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    Depends on your storage requirement, you can probably just install a 2tb drive in your mac pro for time machine.
     
  5. Velin macrumors 65816

    Velin

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Hearst Castle
    #5
    Don't do it. We tried this exact setup on a temporary basis until our OSX Server installation was in place. It sucked horribly.

    Why? Because the Time Capsule drive "spins down" when not actively being used. I did research on it, and the Time Capsule drive is designed to spin down to prolong drive life and longevity.

    The problem: you will have abysmal access times to your networked files. When we did this, we had spinning color wheels every time we tried to access files on the Time Capsule -- and we have a 100% gigabit network. After troubleshooting, our conclusion was, each time we accessed files on the Time Capsule, we had to wait for the drive to "spin up" so we could access data. After just one day of this we were sick of it. We immediately bought some 10,000 rpm drives, stuck them in a Pro, and used those as our temporary server. Worked great until our OSX Server was up and running (which we run off a Mac Pro btw, we didn't think we needed the power of an XServe just yet).

    You'd be much better off using your fastest drive on the Mac Pro as your data storage drive, and using the Capsule strictly as a backup.



    Also, online storage: be choosy. Make sure your online storage site has lightning-fast upload and backup times, or you will come to hate it. We tried Mozy, it was so goddamn slow we abandoned it after a month (though our backups are huge, terabytes of info). Now we simply use large portable hard drives and FireWire, and rotate them regularly, for offsite backups, together with a Time Capsule for daily/hourly backups. Works great.
     
  6. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #6
    How do you guys have you computers set up, networked, sync'd?
     
  7. Velin macrumors 65816

    Velin

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Location:
    Hearst Castle
    #7
    In our office all the computers are networked via gigabit ethernet cable to a CAT 6 central panel. The CAT 6 panel is connected to a huge internet pipe and a hardware firewall, and it also is connected to a Mac Pro running OSX Server.

    We use the administrator function on OS X Server to set up admins and users, granting and denying access to the data files on our OS X Server.

    It's pretty basic -- but very effective. Setup was a snap. As soon as we plugged in our Mac Pro with OS X Server, all the other Macs "found" the server on the network, people typed in their user names and passwords, and boom, it worked pretty flawlessly. There was more to it than that of course, but that's basically it.

    No computers are "synced."

    We could do so much more with OS X Server, including internal blogs, calendaring, email and web hosting, all kinds of stuff. Why don't we? Because our organization already has several websites, online mail, and online calendaring (which are pretty cheap yet reliable).

    One cool thing we do have is, our accountant is able to access Quickbooks, on OS X Server, using VMWare, and can even remote in. I don't know how that was set up, but it works flawlessly.

    OS X Server is really great, there's so much you can do with it. I think we use only 10% of the features.
     
  8. zachsilvey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Battle Ground
    #8
    This is almost exactly what we do in our office, except we use a drobo pro and time machine sharing through Snow Leopard Server. But this is way overkill for this situation. If you want to keep files synced to all your computers as well as in the cloud I would recommend at least trying dropbox. A dropbox folder acts as a regular old folder on your drive but automatically gets synced to all other computer on your dropbox account. Also because it is just a regular old folder TimeMachine as well as other, including online, services will back it up just like any other directory.

    Here is what I do for my personal network:

    1. External/Internal drives or TimeCapsule for incremental back-ups every 15 min.

    2. DropBox to keep important documents synced instantaneously as well as another backup in the cloud.

    3. Online service like Jungle Disk or Carbonite to do daily or weekly back-ups.
     
  9. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #9
    Thanks, the info helped a lot. Plus, when using Drop Box or Sugar Sync it makes access to your files easy from any computer which is what I was looking for.

    A combo of central storage and sync seems to be the best bet.
     
  10. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #10
    Great, so what I'm going to do now is dedicate a 1TB drive in my Mac Pro to be the central storage location for my Mac Pro files, my MBP files and also my MBA files.

    That accomplishes my goal of working off 'one' hard drive regardless of what computer I'm using. Then if I was traveling with the MBP for example I'd add/sync those files to my central hard drive when I got home.

    Does that sound like a practical set up?

    For back up I'll back up that drive to the Time Capsule and also an online service. I'm going to look into Jungle Drive as suggested.

    I'm determined to use something like sugar sync / drop box too. But I'm not sure it's necessary when working from one hard drive.

    Is it a common practice when using more than one computer to work from one central hard drive?
     
  11. zachsilvey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Battle Ground
    #11
    It is common in many production environments, the only difference being the "drive" is usually a raid array hosted by a NAS or SAS server. I don't see why this would be a problem for you as long as you are seeing acceptable speed from the MB.
     
  12. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #12
    Would the Mini Server be a good solution for my needs?
     
  13. zachsilvey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Battle Ground
    #13
    You could see benefits from it but it is totally unnecessary.
     
  14. entatlrg thread starter macrumors 68040

    entatlrg

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    #14
    Adding a 2TB USB drive to my Time Capsule is the best route to go then?

    Is there a preferred way to format it so it's accessible from both OSX and windows?
     

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