Lion Server or Shared Drive & Remote Access

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Omne666, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Omne666 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi all...

    I'm involved in supporting an old friend who runs a SOHO, and has recently made the switch to Macs.

    She currently has a HP Smart Media Server acting as a central depository for files to avoid the issues of local storage of files. But we keep having issues where permissions from the HP to the chief Mac (hers) break down and whilst she can copy files to and from it, she cant open them from it at the shared point level. A folder deep and no issues exist.

    Anyway, in true form, after a month on the Macs, she's thinking of dumping the HP box altogether. One reason for the HP box also was for remote access to the files there as she travels a lot.

    Now I did suggest that a Mac Mini running Lion Server would be a suitable replacement, but as I look & think more into it, I questioning the need for a server at all.

    Perhaps a nice thunderbolt Raid storage system, shared from her Mac, with either a VNC setup or Back to My Mac setup would be more appropriate?
    With only 3 iMacs, 2 Airs, and 3 legacy PCs(used only for email & web - no content creation), I thinking more and more that a server is overkill for such a small network.

    SO, what I'm asking is for opinions re Server VS Shared Raid system, and the difficulty in setting up remote access for her during her trips.

    Problems I see are:
    No onsite technical assistance (I'm managing the system remotely using LogMeIn)
    Dynamic Ip address
    My experience with VNC is nil, hers even less!!

    For those of you in the know...your help would be appreciated!
  2. bmcgonag macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2007
    I"mnot as familiar with what LogMeIn offers now, but TeamViewer is also a cross platform solution and allows you to setup remote access to your system seamlessly ( no router / port forwarding required ), and also allows you to perform file transfers from system to system in a FTP style sid-byside setup.

    VPN is available on Windows (haven't checked Mac lately) but you could also use Hamachi by LogMeInf for a VPN to keep both systems on a Virtual Private Network and then she can log into the system remotely to access files as well.

    There are quite a few solutions, it's just a matter of what will be easiest for her and you. I suggest checking out Drobo, and then use TeamViewer to connect remotely (it's kind of an all in one package).
  3. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    Honestly, a Mac Mini (base, not the server) would be perfect for her. Then, I'd connect the storage array to the Mini and share it from there. That should eliminate your permissions problems if the Mini is sharing the files.

    Lion server has all the remote management tools you'll need and is still easy enough to get started with easily. Is it a bit overkill? Well, maybe... but considering the $650 cost for the hardware plus Lion Server I think its a great deal.

    If you haven't managed a server before, its a good one to get started with, imho.

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