Mac Mini Server for home studio

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jsm4182, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. jsm4182 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Location:
    Beacon, NY
    #1
    I was originally looking into a NAS, but after a bit in that thread(http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/nas-for-home-office.1903775/) I'm leaning more towards a Mac Mini server.

    It will be used to share and archive files within my home based business. There are two of us that live and work together. All Apple devices. We are a web development studio so will mostly be for Photoshop and Microsoft Office files. RAID for redundancy is required.

    I have a few questions:

    We need to access the server from outside the house. How easy is this to set up? Most set-ups I've seen like this use a static IP address, I can't get that from my ISP but do have a Dynamic DNS, will that work?

    Like I mentioned above, RAID(or possibly another type of data redundancy) is a requirement. I'm looking into a few options for external RAID drives: WD, OWC, G-Technology. Any recommendations on those? Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, or Firewire 800?
     
  2. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    slayerizer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Hi, there are several ways to do it.

    First, RAID is not a backup solution, it's only for high availability. Whatever you choose, you should also consider doing a time machine backup or backup your stuff in the cloud. Remember that even with a RAID enclosure, if there is a problem with it, you can loose the content of both drives. Some will say no, but this can happen and already happened to many peoples. Check the reviews for each hardware vendor and make your choice with that in mind.

    If you choose to only have one data drive (instead of RAID), if you sync to the cloud, your will have both high availability and protection.

    For the dynamic IP, yes it will work. You have to make sure the required ports are open and forwarded to your server.

    You access your files several ways.

    - If you turn on the SSH daemon in your Mac, you both can access your files from a share locally and remotely use a tool like transmit to mount a remote drive when you're outside your local network. Only port 22 is required for outside connections. You create a group, add your users to that group. Create a folder, give RW permissions to group for that folder. Configure transmit (or other) to access this folder. Other softwares can be use, but Transmit have more options like mounting a SFTP source as a network drive.

    enabling SSHD: http://bluishcoder.co.nz/articles/mac-ssh.html

    - If you enable the web server in (OSX Server app), you can enable WebDav authoring which will let you read/write to files via the web server. Port 80 or (443 if you use SSL) will be required.

    enabling WebDav link: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT202271


    - Third option would be a SMB share and open your firewall. I don't really recommend that! :)

    - Fourth option: use Onedrive for business (or dropbox), you both access a local copy with included backup.

    - Fifth option: Host yourself a dropbox alternative.

    http://sparkleshare.org/
    https://owncloud.org/install/#instructions-server
    https://www.seafile.com/en/download/ (raspberry pi server version available)


    I personally have Linux servers but that's also my day job! :)
     
  3. jsm4182 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Location:
    Beacon, NY
    #3
    This was very helpful, thank you.

    I've decided to start setting this up by getting the simplest solution running to start, then add the extra storage components we want as our business income increases. I have set up a mac mini with server.app, for now keeping all the files on the mini's internal drive plus a USB drive for time machine backups. Will eventually get a thunderbolt RAID drive for main file storage and have that backed up to yet another drive and probably an offsite drive too.

    After reading this I'm thinking WebDav is the way to go since my ISP(Optimum) says I can only open up ports 25 and 80.
     
  4. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    slayerizer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    keep in mind that you can also remap SSHD port 22 to any desired ports (ie:25). So you could actually test several solutions.

    Enjoy
     
  5. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    Usually ISPs will block 25 and 80 so you can't run servers, but don't block anything else. Are you sure you don't have this backwards? Mine doesn't block but I've remapped SSH to another port simply because robots constantly hit 22 trying to break in. If I were to run a web server (and I don't) I wouldn't have it on 80 for the same reason. Not a problem since I changed it. That and the ports for VPN are the only ones I've got open.

    Regarding dynamic IPs, you need to sign up for a dynamic DNS service. It can cost a little money but it's well worth it for ease of access. I use DYN, but there are others.
     
  6. jsm4182 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Location:
    Beacon, NY
    #6
    I did have a little misunderstanding with what ports are open. All ports except 25 and 80 are open by default, I can go into my account to open them up if I need them.

    My ISP offers Dynamic DNS but the software is very out of date, so much so it was completely unusable. The latest Mac version only lists compatibility up to Lion, even the Windows version only lists compatibility up to Vista. Since that wasn't working I went with No-IP.

    I think I have everything I need up and running. Thanks everyone for the help.
     
  7. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    slayerizer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    well since 80 is blocked, you should run the web server with a certificate on port 443. Even if it self signed, it's better than better than plain text! :) either way.. have fun..
     
  8. jsm4182 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Location:
    Beacon, NY
    #8
    I can open up port 80, it's just not open by default, I have to manually open it. I decided to go a different a way and don't need it though.
     

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