Newbie Mac Mini Server owner, now what?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by driphone, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. driphone macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2008
    I just got the Mac Mini Server (i7) with 2x 1 TB HDs added to our home Apple ecosystem of two Apple laptops, an iPad and two Apple TVs. A wireless NAS takes care of all back ups.

    Sooo what do I do with the "server" part of our newest addition?

  2. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
  3. Malte. macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2012
    What made you choose the 999$ server version over the basic 599$?
  4. Designed4Mac macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2013
    I Wish I Knew
    No offence but it seems like you've just wasted a few hundred $$$ if you need to come here to find out what to do with it.
  5. eyepea macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2012
    That's crap;). Waste a few hundred? You have to start somewhere.

    You just need to learn how to use it for what you want it to do. If you don't use server app then cool, you have good options as you have two 1TB HDDs. You can replace one with an SSD because you have the extra sata drive material (mount screws, ribbon etc) inside. Build a fusion drive as well.

    You could RAID Stripe the two HDDs for speed too.

    Lots of options.

    You have the Mac Mini that gives you every option in the book (albeit all those options relate to what you do with the second HD Bay :)).

    You may want to look into the Fusion Drive options (requires an SSD though) with Mac Minis now. See other posts.

    A spare 2.5" 1TB HDD is always good to have around. Never a waste.

    Just do your research on the Server App. Best to go to the right forum for that.
  6. Designed4Mac macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2013
    I Wish I Knew
  7. theluggage macrumors 68020

    Jul 29, 2011
    Bear in mind that although, once upon a time, the server version of OS X cost several hundred bucks more than regular OS X, these days its a $20 "upgrade" from the App Store and largely consists of a "wizard" app for configuring facilities that are already available in regular OS X with a bit of command-line-fu.

    For your sort of set-up the most useful thing you could do with the "server" software is to set up shared Time Machine backups and other shared folders for common files used across all of your Macs. However, it sounds as if your NAS already has that covered.

    You could set up a multi-user mail server, but, quite frankly, if you are on a domestic internet connection and can't arrange for direct delivery of email via SMTP, using gmail or iCloud makes more sense.

    Likewise, you can run a webserver - but since many domestic internet connections (a) have a fairly slow upstream connection, (b) don't have a fixed internet address or (c) have T&Cs that forbid running servers the main use of this would be for a home "intranet" and/or as a tool for web development.

    At worst, what you've effectively done is spent $180 on a second 1TB hard drive. You could almost certainly have done it more cheaply with a regular Mini and a third-party DIY kit if you didn't mind ripping open your brand new Mac, but I wouldn't loose sleep over it.
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    A 1tb hdd = 90 at amazon

    an install kit for a second drive = 40 at owc total 130.

    so he spent 180 vs 130 but kept his warranty.

    What I would do use 1 drive to clone the other once a week. gives you a faster recovery if the boot drive crashes.
  9. driphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2008
    OK guys go easy on me :) Let me refine my question a bit. This is a refurb. Mac mini at a price of $849 with exact same warranty as the original and to be honest with you not that I'd lose sleep over spending an extra $100 and not mess around with a screwdriver on a new Mac.

    The reason I bought the server version is because my MBA Ultimate with 250 GB SSD storage and my wife's MBP with the 128 SSD does run out of storage space easily. We have tons of hi res pictures (JPEG+RAW) plus home and commercial movies (getting some help from iCloud) and some music that I would like to share around the house. So my point was to create a hub for data storage that can be shared & (hopefully) upgraded as we use up the storage space. It can also double up as kids computer for school projects, simple games and etc...

    BTW, our Synology (2x1.5 TB) wireless NAS does a great job backing up both of our computers so (at least for now) there is no help needed with the Time Machine back ups.

    TIA for any helpful hints.
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    have you ever recovered with your time machine?
    hint slow tedious long down time.
    superduper clone or ccc clone recovery 5 minutes or less.
  11. driphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2008
    Fortunately not yet. So you mean I can use the Mini for back up and restore with a much higher speed?
  12. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010

    drive one on the mini = your osx

    drive two on the mini = a weekly clone of your osx.

    still use the time machine as it does automatic backups for all your gear.

    New way your minis osx hdd dies.

    boot the clone and you are up in minutes at worst a week of stuff is on the time machine.

    old way . do a network restore of osx = hours.

    then you only have osx.

    then restore from the time machine hours more since the entire drive needs to restore. here is a link for superduper free cloner
  13. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    If you didn't already know the answer to that question before you bought it, why did you buy it?

    You don't need the "server" component so you can disable that. Run iTunes and turn on home sharing. Keep all your media on your mac mini. Presto- you have an iTunes server for the rest of your house!

    Buy a blu-ray drive and rip all your blu-rays to MKV's and then convert to M4V to load into iTunes.

    That's basically what I'm using mine for.
  14. driphone thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2008
    I have a PC server at the work place that 15 other work stations connect to and exchange data back & forth so I thought of buying a Mac to carry the same function. I knew that the server had two HDs (more capacity) and a decent processor so my point was to use it as a central data storage. That's all. I can turn it into a reg. Mac and not even worry about the price difference.

    I'll try your suggestion. Thx.

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