Mac based sever solution

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by goroboto, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. goroboto macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ok my boss wants to buy a server for the office and he's pricing out our options and everything was going great until our web coder suggested that we get a PC server for about 4 grand less then the mac based options....

    Am I just being to loyal in getting pissed and thinking we're just going to have problems down the road that we wouldn't have w/ a mac based solution?? I've used Mac servers a bunch of times and can do basic maintenance - don't have a lot of PC server experience... but neither does anyone else here.

    Are there any other solutions? Get a G5 and set up some sort of drive system for raid? We'll need to keep it around 4k for my boss to consider. Apple quoted us 7k for something like that. Help!! I don't want a PC here!!
  2. markfc macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    Prestatyn, Wales, UK
    What other clients and servers are you using?
  3. goroboto thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
    Nothing yet - this will be our 1st - mainly for our design firms storage - no web hosting or anything.
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    How much storage? 2 TB? 4TB? 10TB?
  5. goroboto thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
    2 TB should be more than enough! But a secure 2 TB is the key here - something that backs itself up just incase a drive should fail.
  6. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    windows servers are quite good at being basic file storage units at a very competitive price.

    I don't think you will be able to make any reasonable ROI argument that a Mac server in your situation is worth the extra money. Especially since no one (it sounds) is a real expert on managing either type of network or server environment.
  7. motomac macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Sounds like you need a 2.0Ghz C2D mac mini over in the corner connected to a RAID external 2TB drive.

    Your best bet (and as cheap as the 4K PC setup you were quoted) pick up the OWC Mercury Rack Pro 2TB RAID with double redundancy for $2199.99 World Computing/MR1FWU2R2.0T/ It has 4 internal drives all RAID protected so if one goes out, you loose nothing. Plus it has a full 2 year warranty also. Then go pickup a new C2D 20" 2.0 or 2.4Ghz imac ($1100-$1400) and set both up in the corner. Connect the iMac to your LAN network, and connect the OWC Raid setup to the mac with a FW800 cable. Install the included backup network backup software, and call it a day! Your total would be no more than $3599 for the entire setup! No need to buy the Xserve from Apple, which i assume is what Apple said that you needed to have. The Xserve is really useful for 3D studios and other multi-terabite installations where the power of the MacPro is needed to run not only backups, but file service, email hosting, web hosting, remote aurthuring, etc.

    Since you said you don't need anything but a backup tool, get the above setup and you and your boss will be very happy. ( I know you'll be happy cause you'll have another mac running things!)
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    BS! Comparable wintel box of a similar quality actually cost more.
  9. bah-bah'd macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2006
    Um... what is this for?

    Your question really can't be answered unless you give more background. Above someone assumes that you are going to run backup software on every client ('users') computers to backup local files to a network source. Someone asked what the client computers are, i.e. does everyone in your office use a Mac? or some PCs some Macs?

    The big question, what will this server be hosting? Completed project files, seldom accessed? Works in progress, shared by teams of users, modified & updated constantly/daily? Individual user folders, profile backups, or even image backups of their machines?

    If simply buying a new iMac and adding a FW800 external RAID enclosure to a new system was a valid solution, why not just add that to a computer rarely in use around the office... Although, several people trying to read/write video content simultaneously to that setup would probably not be fun for anyone.

    There are NAS devices that simply add storage to your network. Maybe one of these is what you need?
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Xserve will perform at close to 100% performance at everything even when near the performance limit. However seems like your company isn't in the market for that performance.

    What you want for data protection is a RAID 5 or maybe RAID 6.
    An example is: RocketRAID 3320 SATA RAID 6 Controller.

    A good way is to get Refurb Mac Pro: $1,899, add the RAID card. (You can do it even with PowerMac G5) Get an inexpensive case but good power supply, and run your harddrives on the external case from the RAID card. 750gb drives are about $150 each now.

    $1899 + tax (mac pro)
    $150 x 4 or 5 (750 SATA II)
    $150 to $450 (SATA Raid 5 or Raid 6 card)
    $150 (case + cables)
    No virus and no stealth windows update which results in forced reboot and loss of data = priceless
  11. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Actually enterprise 750gb SATA II drives with 5 year warranty might cost a little more than $150.

    And if you do RAID, you need to get drives from different manufacturing batch.
  12. goroboto thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
    What we have and need

    We have all macs (one pc just to verify websites) People will be responsible for adding their work to the storage device (so no automated backup from these stations) and ideally multiple people could work from it at once (Files will be constantly accessed). This won't be used for hosting.

    It sounds like Consultant's last solution here might fit here - does everyone agree?
  13. iBecks macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    From my experience, one of the main things overlooked is the network infrastucture itself, especially with file servers that are being constantly used.

    How do these computers connect to the network, wired or wireless?

    Are you using a router or a switch, is it gigabit?

    If wired, is the cabling of sufficient quality?
  14. Yoursh macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    If your mainly looking at a storage solution, yeah the setup mentioned will be more than enough. A MacPro + RAID card would do the job fine. Heck, my G4 xserve does the same thing very well.(though my RAID setup is a little simpler-no RAID card) The only thing I would suggest is to upgrade to the server version of OSX. It gives you a lot of flexability in setting up sharepoints and file sharing preferances.
  15. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Sounds to me like a NAS would do the job for thousands less.
  16. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Yes, of comparable quality. My point is that for what he was describing, they don't NEED a box as robust as the Xserve.
  17. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Yes, this is my point.

    Consultant's idea of using an older box to just host a ton of storage could work as well and would seem to fulfill the needs described without needing Xserve
  18. goroboto thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
    We're wired here - and that's probably a really good point - I'm sure the network infrastructure is a bit outdated.

    akm3 - NAS looks like a pretty decent option as well. Any ideas on some that stand out? Quality wise?
  19. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    For myself I've got a PowerMac Dual G4 with 3 TB of internal storage with one SATA card (potentially close to 6TB internal if I upgrade to 1TB drives and many more TB if I have more SATA cards) and many external firewire drives. Gigabit wired ethernet is really inexpensive to set up. For wireless I have Airport Extreme Gigabit version with N.

    Get a computer, it's much more flexible than a NAS box. You can also run a web server, sftp server, etc.
  20. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    This is all true as well. And I should point out even though I work in IT, I am NOT a network / storage specialist and am just throwing out opinions (As we are prone to do on internet forums :)

    It sounds like individuals like Consultant have Actual Real World Experience(tm) in this stuff and thus the original poster would be wise to listen to them instead of me :)
  21. goroboto thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ok these are all great - now at least I know there are some solutions that can compete w/ those PCs! Thanks all for the help!

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