Mac mini for office fileserver options?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by fastasleep, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. fastasleep macrumors 6502

    fastasleep

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #1
    I'm trying to figure out the best solution to downsize an office. I am decommissioning their 2009 Xserve and Promise VTrak RAID and other rack stuff. All data is getting moved to a couple Thunderbolt Drobos (one live server, one offsite backup to sync monthly). I was going to replace the Xserve with a mini, as their needs are much lighter now (just a few people, generally very light file access, and remote/VPN access from outside the office. Number of users is 4 or 5 max for now.

    - Do I try to track down a 2012 mini with quad core and dual drives for mirrored RAID for the boot drive? Or is the 2014 better in any way for this purpose? Server would be headless (VNC only) so GPU doesn't matter. Not sure if extra cores even get utilized for file sharing.

    - I suppose with the 2014 you get the PCIe SSD for a boot drive and you can install another drive on the SATA port for a backup boot drive if the PCIe drive fails?

    - Am I wrong in assuming a mini (either model) plus Thunderbolt Drobo is going to be more than enough power for a small office?

    - Do I even need to install Server.app for just file sharing? Mail/calendars/contacts etc is Google Apps. Web is external. Do I need Server for anything related to file sharing that I can't just do in Finder and System Prefs > Sharing? Oh, and VPN?

    I think that's it? Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated! Thanks.
     
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #2
    File sharing no need unless you want more access control. You need server for VPN and TimeMachine. $30 no big deal. You may want to check reports of mac server VPN Quirks.

    If you are not transcoding or media serving, just about any mini model since 2010 or so will do. Its probably the ethernet interface thats going to be the bottleneck.
     
  3. fastasleep thread starter macrumors 6502

    fastasleep

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #3
    Thanks for the info. Ordered the 2014 mini with ssd and extra RAM just in case it gets repurposed at some point. :)

    I understand there's some weird stuff with the OS X VPN and were previously going to rollout Tunnelblick to use with a Linux server we never quite launched. :) Not sure if that's an option with OS X Server but I will dig around for the correct solution here I guess if Apple's solution isn't ideal.

    Prior to that they just had AFP pushed out to the WAN, which probably isn't the best idea but could do for a temporary solution if need be.
     

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