Mini Server or Win2008 server for small business?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Jmx, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Jmx, Oct 28, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011

    Jmx macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2006

    At work we have an old Win 2003 server which we need to replace, it serves about 20-30 client computers which today mostly are old windows computers (3 macs today) that i hope will change to more macs when needed to be replaced in near future.
    We have switched to Google Apps for Business so we don't need any Exchange server any more.
    Basically we only need a file server with some control over who can do what to the folders.

    I'm thinking a Mac mini Server (mirrored discs for OS X for safety) with a Thunderbolt storage solution and another storage solution for backup of everything.

    I've compared prices for buying a PC server, Win 2008 server license, 30 client licenses to the mac solution and found that the mac solution will be way cheaper and probably much easier to manage.

    Do you guys see any disadvantages going this way since we still have mostly win clients in our network?
    Does the mac server need some antivirus software since we still have more win clients?
    What are your experiences connecting XP and Win7 clients to an OS X server?
    We can still set permissions for each user on folders right?
    And the win user can mount the thunderbolt folders right?

    Thanks for taking the time to read and answer :eek:
  2. Mattie Num Nums macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Mar 5, 2009
    I would get a *nix Server instead. Hosting mostly Windows clients on OSX isn't always the best thing.
  3. Jmx thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Is it a problem having windows clients connecting to OS X server?
    I just want the OS X easy life experience since i hope and believe we will replace more win clients with new macs in the future.
  4. matspekkie macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2010
    a third option

    Hmm if you are not really going to use anything of the server options why not go for a good nas like synology or qnap. Osx lion server cannot function as an primary domain controller or bdc anymore anyway. From a performance point of view i think you can get better speeds with the better nas units in raid config than a mac mini and it can serve both smb as well as afp protocol and it will be cheaper in overall cost and easier to setup. mac mini would make more sense for mac only and iOS devices managing or an occasional windows machine the latter being limited. With the nas you can still add a mac mini in the mix later on in case you would decide to make use of more functions.

  5. rwwest7 macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2011
    Get a mini with 8 G of RAM, use Fusion to VM a trial 2008 server. Best of both worlds and the trial 2008 server can permanently run on the mini if you like it. OS X Server is not a business class OS, IMO.

    Mac solutions are NOT easier to manage once you learn both.
  6. Mattie Num Nums macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Mar 5, 2009
    Using Fusion to host a VM that is going to be serving is not the best way to do this. Fusion will not run as a process so you will have a constantly logged in user and it also does not offer high availability etc. Parallels has a Mac Mini Server product that would work best. If you are going to do all that jazz though just through Ubuntu Server on it and install Netatalk for the Macs and enable Samba. Or as mentioned above just get a NAS.
  7. rwwest7 macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2011
    My bad, the Windows version does run as a service. I guess Fusion is much less of a product than Workstation.
  8. Jmx thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2006
    It seems that Lion server is heavily downgraded compared to Snow Leopard server :mad:
    For my situation at work i only have two options PC/Win2008 or the Mini/Lion Server/Thunderbolt.
    I actually thought that Lion Server was at least up to the task of being more than just a OS X environment server :mad:
    The mini server looked like the perfect small business server if it had been able to handle both os x and win clients.

    Well.. i guess it's back to windows server again then. :mad:

    Thanks for your input!
  9. Jmx thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2006
  10. rwwest7 macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2011
  11. Jmx thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2006

    @hakuryuu Thanks for the tip, i didn't know about the Synology Disk Stations.

    We got a Synology DS 1511+ with 3 Gb ram and 5x2 TB disks and so far it's been running perfectly.
    It's fast, quiet, powerful and very easy to use and has a lot of smart features.
    We will set up another one as mirror in another building as a backup to the main unit.
    It's by far the best and fastest NAS i've ever used and i'm extremely pleased with it.
  12. mainstay macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2011
    Just reading this thread and got to this comment... We have 6 Buffalo Terastations in production environments and at first I was completely enthralled with this low cost NAS. But when 4 of the 6 devices crashed on us (mostly due to really awful firmware, not hardware) and the Buffalo support team has been less than helpful I can't help but STRONGLY recommend a "don't buy" warning.

    I have since switched to QNAP units and although I am still experimenting with them have found them to be a cut above.
  13. mikefla macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    Can these units be used as a replacement for a Windows 2003 Small Business Server (domain controller) in a small business environment? Basically all the server is doing is file sharing and functioning as a domain controller. These units looks great and the interface/capabilities look awesome. I would love to get rid of an old win2003 server and get one of these in place instead to take over the server's job. What am I missing that these units can't do compared with a win 2003 server? The only functions I really need are file sharing/active directory like functionality. Thanks.



    Buffalo continues to have issues across the board with their products due to poor/lack of continuous firmware updates. I have decided to stop purchasing their products until they get their act together. I have purchased many of their Wireless routers but they are very lacking with updating the better DD-WRT firmware for them.

Share This Page