Mac Pro for Small Office - Data Server

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by island, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. island macrumors 6502

    island

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    #1
    I am thinking of changing from a HP Media Vault (1TB) to a Mac Pro running OS X Server with 4 - 1TB Drives. I can get the drives and software cheap but the Mac Pro seems to be around the 2K range.

    The main question would be is the Mac Pro the best bet since I can have everything neat and internal or should I go with a Mac Mini with 4 External Drives (Firewire) with 5 AC adapters including the Mac?
     
  2. SalukiWildcat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    #2
    What will you be doing with this server? Will you be hosting large or small files? Will there be a lot of transfer, or limited transfer?

    Answers to these questions should help lead you in the right direction.
     
  3. island thread starter macrumors 6502

    island

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Location:
    CT
    #3
    Light transfer, but big sized files from 700MB up to 8GB maybe a few times a day. 2 people at the most accessing it. Either way I want OS X Server software running on the equipment, it's just the hardware setup that I wonder about.
     
  4. SalukiWildcat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    #4
    Honestly, your performance will take a HUGE hit if you run files that large from external drives. Your transfer times will be much, much higher if you use the mini with externals.

    i would definitely recommend the Mac Pro, but you can more than likely cut down to the dual 2.0 processor configuration. I'd bump the ram up to 2 gigs also.

    Hope I've been of some help!
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    Why?
    A Firewire 400 external can push 30+ MBs sustained. With 2 users, and not a huge amount of transactional overhead, it should be more than competitive.
    Finder Duplicate testing on a 1.42 GHz G4 Mini shows a Firewire 400 external drive beating the internal 5400 RPM Mini drive options, and equalling or beating a 7200 RPM internal drive.

    What you lose on Firewire 400 you gain from the higher throughput of the larger platter, 7200 RPM drive. The 2.5" platter drives, even the 7200's can't beat geometry -- shorter track lengths = less throughput, and the 2.5" drive will go to the innermost, slowest tracks much sooner than a larger capacity 3.5 external.

    The newest perpendicular recording hard drives will do even better. The SATA vs IDE internal change on the intel Minis won't help much, if at all, because its still bound by the drive performance.

    Using an external for the data also helps in dividing System/Scratch and the Data onto different spindles.
     
  6. Applenewb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    #6
    Regardless of what anyone says, you should go out and buy 4 1TB firewire drives, hook them up to a computer and serve some files over your network just as a test. Chances are anything that is going to slow down a mini+4 TB drives is going to already be limited by your 100mbit network.

    As long as you don't need to stream video or process any of that data the cheapo setup should be fine.
     
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #7
    A Mac Pro would be overkill for that. Even a G4 Mini would be able to handle that just hook up as many drives as you want and stick Mac OS X Server on it. The best thing you should do is make sure the network is running off 1000base-T ethernet.
     

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