mac pro server

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bonk, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. bonk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    #1
    I have a 2006 mac pro 1,1 with an xserve raid attached running OSX 10.4 server.

    (funny side stories: I recently had a problem with the xserve raid (bad raid controller) and when I called apple tech support, they actually said "what's that?" I bought the xserve almost 10 years ago - it has a 7TB capacity, and it cost me ***$11,000***!)

    since the xserve is becoming glitchy, and since you can buy 4TB single drives for $200 now, I'm thinking of decommissioning the RAID and instead loading up the mac pro with drives.

    my questions are:

    I see info that suggests that the drive capacity limit for 2006 mac pros is 500gb each, but I also see info that that's just old info and not true. is it actually the case that there is NOT a limit?

    will there be any issue running current drives, which are sata3 on the sata2 bus? I mean apart from speed, is there any reason the drives wont work, or that it will damage the machine in some way?

    is there any reason I should upgrade from 10.4 to something more current? all it needs to do it sit in the corner and share files - I'm not hosting a website, or doing any VPN, or running a calendar server, etc. if I DO look to upgrade, it seems I will need to upgrade to 10.6 first, and then I can upgrade to 10.9. with 10.9, it seems you can now just get the "server" bit of the OS as an add on to the regular version, so do I need the 10.6 server version, or could I do 10.6 (which I already have a disk for) and then 10.9, and then the 10.9 server add on?
     
  2. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #2
    What makes you think that your Mac Pro 1,1 is compatible with Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks? The Apple website says that Mavericks is only supported on Mac Pro 3,1 or newer models.
     
  3. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #3
    Well you look to be in a very similar scenario as me.

    I bought a 2006 1,1 to run a ZFS home server, because while my current Windows server is fine on hardware RAID (Dell PERC5i), it's limited to 2TB drives and I need some assurance before moving to big 4TB drives.

    So far I am just playing with ZFS making and destroying various configurations to get a feel for it. But I have 1.5TB drives in there right now and OSX recognizes them zero problem. 2.2TB is the big step from a hardware perspective in the computer world, but nothing I have read indicates that the onboard SATA controller is limited to 2.2TB.

    I would probably upgrade at least to 10.6.8 just so your somewhat on a modern OS. 10.7 Lion is the highest that a 1,1 or 2,1 can officially go due to 32 bit UEFI (BIOS). To go to Mountain Lion you have to have 64 bit UEFI in addition to the 64 Bit CPU's. You can treat the Mac Pro like a Hackintosh and get it to load 10.8 (and 10.9), but even thought it's the purest Hackintosh there is, it's still using a "layer" between the hardware and operating system and that can cause operating issues.

    If you plan on using it as a file server, I wouldn't be concerned with being limited to 10.6 or 10.7. It will provide some modern tools. I think iTunes 11 requires at least 10.5, maybe 10.6 if you plan on using that. If you need iMessage or FaceTime you should just look at getting a separate iMac or Mini that can run Mountain Lion.

    To buy 10.6 Snow Leopard you have to order the disc. It's $20 and it can be delivered to an Apple Store or to your residents, I believe shipping to your house is free. For 10.7 Lion, you will have to call Apple directly and get a voucher code to download it through iTunes. It's kind of weird though because it takes a couple days for it to "authorize". You will not be able to download it the day you order it. It also costs $20. When you download it, let it download and before you run the installer, copy the file to a backup harddrive or something. Because it will eventually leave your iTunes account and you will not be able to redownload it.

    Oh, 1 thing about ZFS on a 1,1 or 2,1. You will need to download MacZFS. You cannot use the other ZFS program, ZEVO because it requires a 64 kernel, which requires a 64 bit UEFI. MacZFS will run on any Mac from the last 10-15 years. But if you are planning on using it as a file server I would really look at the ZFS filesystem. It has some really really nice features that are perfect for large drive pools.

    The one thing to note about ZFS compared to some hardware RAID is that you cannot grow the RAID array directly, but you can add additional arrays to the "pool". So for instance if you start out with a pool that has 3 drives in a RAIDZ config (equivalent to RAID5), you can't expand it to 4 drives within that RAIDZ, but you can add another RAIDZ array (or mirror array) to the pool and the pool will grow seamlessly to size of the two arrays added together.
     
  4. bonk thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    #4
    I see that now - but that's fine. $20 for 10.6 server is tolerable
     
  5. bonk thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    #5
    sad trombone: apple no longer sells it. looks like it's ebay time.
     
  6. brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #6
    You might try calling them and explaining your situation to their support people and see if they will send you a disc.
     
  7. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #7

    I have not messed with ZFS on my machine, which is running 10.9 (not sure the ZFS drivers play well with 10.9 yet), but was wondering what your thoughts are on performance compared to three spindles running RAID0 for storing disposable data where performance is important (3x2TB drives)?
     
  8. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #8
    The underlying purpose of ZFS is first and foremost to provide data protection. Both at the hardware level and the software level. ZFS does offer a striped array which gets rid of hardware protection, but it will still use check summing on the actual data to give protection against something being written or read wrong. So that will still cause some overhead. I can do some testing and see what the difference between the OSX RAID0 and ZFS RAID0 from a purely bandwidth level is.

    But as I said ZFS will always at the very least offer checksum verification of all data in the pool.

    So far I benchmarked my two 1TB drives and one 1.5TB and they all read/write at about 90MB/s. I then made a RAIDZ (RAID5) of them in ZFS and then I benchmarked it and it was at about 100MB/s read/write for the pool. That's already hitting the limits of gigabit Ethernet so that's enough for me from a practicality sense. That being said, those same exact drives in a motherboard RAID5 on an Asus X58 Sabretooth and i7 920 only did about 35MB/s writes on my current windows server. So big improvement there as far as I'm concerned.

    I will try hooking them up to my Dell PERC5i (hardware RAID controller) and see what they can do in RAID5 on that.
     
  9. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2011
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    United States
    #9
    What are you running the 5i in?
     
  10. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #10
    Windows. i7-920 on a Asus X58 Sabretooth motherboard.

    I was only meaning as a benchmark for software versus hardware RAID.

    I did put the 3x1TB drives in RAID0 using OSX RAID and it hit about 240MB per second read/write on sequential files. I then made a ZFS RAID0 and it was about 150 write and 270 read. For writing it has to calculate checksums on the fly for all the data. But for reading it seemed to be pretty fast.

    I have 8x2.0Ghz cores and see about 20-30% usage across all the CPU's when doing write operations to the ZFS pool.
     
  11. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
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    #11
    I will set mine up in RAID 0 when a get a chance and see what I get. Probably will be very similar. I have been so busy with work I haven't had a chance yet. Mine is a 3.06Ghz 12-Core. An Apple OEM SSD is the primary drive (I assume its a Samsung but have not looked).

    I have a few PowerEdge 2950s that have PERCs in them and I have considered replacing them with the H710 controller so I can use larger disks.
     
  12. greenmeanie macrumors 6502a

    greenmeanie

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    Jan 22, 2005
    Location:
    AmigaWarez
    #12
    I am using 64bit CentOS on mine for a server with 2 one TB drives in a RAID 1 mirror.
    But osx LION found them no problems too.
     
  13. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #13
    Yep, primary reason I am moving away from it is due to the 2.2TB limit. Stacking up a bunch of 2TB drives just adds noise and heat.
     

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