Mac Mini server with external RAID storage - a good file server solution?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by teme, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. teme macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2004
    I work in a small video production company, and we should get a new file server. We are thinking about Mac Mini Server with external RAID storage with Thunderbolt. However, we have received mixed comments about performance of that.

    Is Mac Mini Server with external RAID storage capable of handling HD video editing (FCPX & Motion) directly on the server storage, without copying files to local storage? There would be maybe 2-3 users working at the same time with their own projects, each having a computer with wlan or wired connection. Our work is not very effect heavy.
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You would do better to buy a high-end NAS system. You would want at least TWO gigabyte Ethernet port on the back your NAS box. Also you'd want the NAS to have the performance to "flood" both ports at the same time. The Mini can't do that. It's going to be slower than other solutions in it's price class.

    The Thunderbolt connected RAID is wasted on the Mini because the Mini can't transfer Thunderbolt-like speed across the network.

    You can get around this by placing an SSD inside each workstation then copying the files to the SSD. No network solution will approach the speed of a directly connected SSD.

    I think maybe the best NAS might be Synology

    I would go with freeNAS but it requires quite a lot more knowledge and technical background to set up and maintain

    An important feature you need if you have more than one user is "link aggregation" This allows the server to use two or four gigabyte ports as if they were just one port an get 4GB/second bandwidths. The network switch then breaks up this bandwidth and sends it to work stations. You need a switch that knows about this.

    One other this you shoe care about in a BIG way is BACKUP. How will you backup a RAID or NAS system? The better system have this figured out for you and offer things like "replication" then allow you to keep a "clone" of your data in some far away place. You are going have to make some kind of a plan for backup

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