NAS for small office Mac backups

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by irishgrizzly, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #1
    What would people recommend for this? We have a small office with about 8TB of data to backup. My boss was looking a Mac Mini server – but this is just 2TB (is it expandable?). I thought this was more for hosting websites (I've no experience in these systems).
     
  2. kave macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Location:
    Sweden
    #2
    How do you want it backed up? Is it just client computers or a server?
    Would you like to have more than one target for the backup?
    Ie, are you happy with just one backup that is on location all the time, i.e. no fire or theft protection?
     
  3. irishgrizzly thread starter macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #3
    We currently have 6 machines that we manually backup to a time capsule unit on the network (for safety I also have an external drive setup with time machine). The best setup would be having one central file server that we could all work from on the network. This would solve the problem of files getting needlessly duplicated on different machines. Would be good to have a mirror of these backup disks in case one failed.

    We would manually take backups off-site every month for fire/theft.
     
  4. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #4
    If you can get hold of one, a HP N54L Microserver, or the newer G7 / G8 microservers (they are all very similar).

    Not 100% sure if this is a global offer, but in the UK it's £189 with £100 cashback often. I got one a couple of months back as a NAS and home media server. It's got 4 internal hot-swap SATA bays, with support for a couple more in a top-hidden bay.

    It's a surprisingly powerful little machine - it's even got pci ports so you can expand it beyond its single gigabit ethernet port. People have done all sorts of upgrades on the N54L and the earlier N40L as well.

    Best bang for your buck, even without the discount IMO.

    I've got mine running ESXi with a Windows Homeserver share for backing up the windows PC's around the house, and a Debian vm running for Plex and my own personal time machine backups.

    It fully supports RAID (hardware built in) and has space for an optional optical drive.

    Mines got 8GB RAM, and will regularly be streaming 3 tv shows/movies over Plex (converting on the fly), as well as taking hourly backups from 5 computers. It never seems to struggle doing any of this at the same time.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    Being windows, I'm not sure if Time Machine will work on this and I think it may lack the AFP services that help with Mac connectivity.
     
  6. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #6
    It's not Windows - its whatever you want it to be. I run VMWare ESXi (Free) which lets you run a bunch of VM's (not comparable to the relatively poor performance you get from vmware/parallels desktop - this is 'real' virtualization so is way better performance wise).

    I've got Debian setup on it for AFP and it workes fine for Time Machine. It's pretty easy to setup too (guides like this are everywhere: http://oelliston.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/debian-time-machine-server/)
     
  7. kave macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Location:
    Sweden
    #7
  8. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #8
    Mac Mini with Mountain Lion Server would be a good fit for an office of this size. You can attach external disks to the Mini for backup; I suggest using SATA docks to facilitate taking backups off-site.

    Keep in mind you don't have to buy the "Server" version of the Mini - though that's the one you want if you want mirrored internal drives. You can add the Server software to any Mac for $19.99.

    http://www.apple.com/osx/server/
     
  9. monsieurpaul macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    #9
    On what kind of files are you working? If several people work at the same time on the same file, it could be a problem to have one centralized repository, unless you're using a version control tool such as Git or SVN.

    A manual backup is (generally) a backup not done :) You should look for a automatized off-site backup. There are a lot of solutions in the "cloud". I recently discovered BitTorrent Sync which I found really cool (and free).

    IMHO, considering your question, you should take some time to think through how you want to organize your workflow and your backup process before jumping on hardware question such as Mac mini vs NAS.
     

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