Mini Server - Typical LAN Setup?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dark knight, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. dark knight macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2008
    sorry to be a complete noob with network questions but if anyone has the time. thanks in advance for your help.

    i have tried trawling the net for this info but have not found much that makes a lot of sense.

    i would like to move my current office network setup to a slightly more (semi)pro approach. instead of just linking four macs together at the Broadband router and using very simple file sharing etc.

    if i start with a mac mini server. i have found that people generally warn you away from using the broadband router as a hub/switch. would it be sensible to connect the mini to a dedicated hub/switch/router and have all the clients/modem/NAS etc connected to that?

    is it really as simple, in hardware terms, as that? is anyone able to suggest a hub/switch/router that might be suitable for the job of about 4 clients. also would network attached peripherals (printers) be best attached to the server and everyone access them through it?

    lastly, this is not a really data/processing intensive office, just documents flying about. whilst the mac mini server seems like a great deal for the software included, it does strike me that the hardware is a little over kill and that a simple mac mini would do the job (regrettably without OSX server), any thoughts?
  2. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    It would indeed be advisable. The cheap routers provided by your host are generally complete crap.
    I recommend buying a dedicated gigabit switch as you said and connect the router as well as the server and client computers to it.

    It is that simple. I can't recommend a switch for that size, my network is linked by a 24 port D-Link gigabit switch, very reliable and throughput is excellent, a little too much for your needs though. You're saying that you've got 4 clients plus the server, which would make a minimum requirement of 6 ports.
    What I recommend is not to buy a switch that will be too small in a few month, I'd suggest a 16 port hub for your needs.
    Printers (if equipped with a network port) have to be connected directly to the switch, the same applies for network storage (NAS).

    Hardware wise a Mac Mini Server does not provide any advantages over the standard mini, besides the second hard drive, which can be used in a RAID1 setup to maintain the availability of the system in case of a hard drive failure. Doesn't seem essential from my point of view for your needs, but I might be wrong, your choice.
    From a storage point of view, the second hard drive is useless anyway.
  3. dark knight thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2008
    Thanks for the advice!
    For a fairly lowly network such as this, would the OSX Server tools be unnecessary or would they prove their worth even in this sort of application? Is standard snow leopard up the the job or would i find myself trying to find work-around's to make it work as a server for email/files/contacts/ical.

    thanks, again.
  4. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Just get a 8-Port Gigabit-Switch (Pick one), plug in your computers and one cable from the router, and you're done.

    Make sure your Ethernet cables are Cat.5e or higher, as those are needed for Gigabit ethernet. It's printed on the cable:

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