New Mac Mini Server to manage office of Windows 7 Pro Workstations?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by GodWhomIsMike, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. GodWhomIsMike macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2007
    We have an office (7 users) with fairly newer model Core i3 and i5 Workstations being managed by an old Xeon Windows 2008 Sever that is huge, power thirsty, screaming loud, and slow as a tortoise (10+ minute boot up times).

    This old server manages roaming profiles, server storage for each user, and active directory for Windows 7 Pro machines.

    Will this set up work? Issues with OS X Lion managing Windows 7 workstations?

    I am thinking this might be a cost effective server, that would significantly quiet down the office, save electric costs, free up a space, and run a lot quicker.
  2. dmblue macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2008
    are you going to install windows sever on it?

    if so, then it might not be too bad. depending on the number of workstations

    if you are going to try and use it running os x server, then in my opinion its not worth it.

    i am a mac user but a windows system administrator at work and Active Directory just makes it so simple to manage windows workstations. i wouldn't use anything else but it for windows
  3. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    If anyone at work is remotely interested in building PCs, it might be worth it to have them build a small i5-based machine using a mini-ITX motherboard and case as a foundation, then grab a Windows license and go to town. Getting support when something breaks is a bit more involved, but unless you buy one of Apple's small business support packages, you'll have downtime for repairs even with AppleCare.
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    You can't do any of that with Lion Server aside from file serving. If you're managing an office of Windows machines, it makes no sense to put a Mac server in.
  5. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    You can actually. Is it a good idea? No. If the clients are all Windows, the OP would be better off running Windows Server.

    If it was all Macs with a few Windows clients, you could get that functionality out of OS X Server.
  6. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    There's no Active Directory support. Using LDAP is a far cry from what you can do with AD.
  7. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    Where did I say I disagree? I was just correcting your mistake. You can get the functionality the OP listed with Open Directory.

    Active Directory is pretty vague. We would need to know what is specifically being done with AD. Active Directory means a lot of things to many people and most of them have nothing to do with Active Directory.
  8. gabicava83 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2010
    You can with Lion Server but I would not bother, too much work and too much effort.

    However, if it's only that number of workstations, the performance isn't going to be too much.

    Mac Mini's are very good on power and additionally, very quiet.

    Here is a thought for you, some people would disagree with this, but there isn't much of an issue in your instance. Unless you have multiple domain controllers and so on.

    1) I would buy a Mac Mini Server
    2) Install VMware Fusion
    3) I would then use VMware's physical to virtual converter, to virtualise your old server.
    4) I would power down the old server, and boot up your virtual server on the mac.
    5) Everything should work if the conversion has worked.

    I would then run some maintenance on your virtual server, turn off what you don't need and find out what is hogging the system.

    In theory, you should be up and running nicely.

    Just make sure you know do backups of your "virtual" server, just in case anything happens (just like you did with your physical server)

    You should be good to go, cheaper electricity too.

    Please note, this is NOT a commercial solution, I don't know enough about your setup or what your long term plans are, even what your existing license is but if you are just running 1 server, then you should be pretty much spot on.

    Additional note, if you are running a Windows Server license which is OEM, you are not able to transfer this license to new hardware, only on retail/openlicense* can you transfer to different hardware

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