Oldest Mini for Lion Server?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by DustinT, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. DustinT, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011

    DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #1
    So, I'm looking to setup a Mini as a iTunes and Time Machine server for the 2 MacBooks, 1 ATV2 and 2 iPhones in my place. I'll handle the storage needs through a combination of ethernet and firewire, so the internal storage doesn't need to be much of anything. Aside from upgrading the ram, what else would I need in a system like this?

    I tend to think that picking up an older Mini would be less expensive although I'm not opposed to a 2011 base model and grabbing the $50 Server upgrade from the App Store.

    I'm open to any and all suggestions, and thanks in advance for your input.
     
  2. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    #2
    If all you need it to do is act like a file server, then the oldest C2D mini would do that just fine. Upping the RAM to 4gb is cheap and might help a bit (though probably not needed). I still use G4's as file servers at work with no problem. Not much processing power is required to share out files.
     
  3. DustinT thread starter macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the information. Any idea what a fair price is for one now?
     
  4. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    Needs of a server like this are pretty minor. Doing a quick investigation, only 2009 and later models can be upgraded to 4GB and have all 4 available, however the earlier models, as long as they have Core 2 Duo processors, will at least run with 3GB. My mini with Snow Leopard Server is currently using 3GB of 4GB and is running Plex Server, Address Book Server, Calendar Server, DNS and DHCP servers, Web Server for a local Wiki, and a Windows XP virtual machine under Parallels. So I think 3GB would be more than sufficient for you and 2GB would probably actually be fine. Buying used, I wouldn't think twice about opening the box and upgrading the RAM.

    Certainly use external and not ethernet connected drives. I'd suggest FW800 for streaming but USB actually works fine for TimeMachine which is quite slow anyway.
     

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  5. DustinT thread starter macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #5
    So, anything with at least a Core 2 Duo will be fine is what I'm hearing. That fits since, I believe, Lion requires at least a C2D officially. I do agree with you, 3 or 4 gigs of ram shouldn't make much of a difference on a system like this. I won't sweat that part.

    That just leaves the question of price, what is one of these worth?
     
  6. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #6
    I'm wondering for simple file sharing if you even need to get the server version at all. You should be able to get by with just the $30 client version.
     
  7. DustinT thread starter macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #7
    In my case, I'd like to use this for Time Machine backups, so I'd require the server version.
     
  8. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    They don't seem to depreciate much, unfortunately from the buyer's side! Look at completed sales on EBAY to get a good idea. Looks like $400-$450 for the older ones.
     
  9. DustinT thread starter macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #9
    That is what I'm finding. It looks like the .edu discount on a base 2011 would be my best bet. No upgrade to Lion needed. Plus, it will have a full warranty.
     
  10. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #10
    I just got mine yesterday. Seems most of the geniuses don't know that the Mini doesn't get the BTS card. They gave me a free one after the sales guy realized his mistake. (No, I didn't know it didn't qualify either). Might be able to get it too.
     
  11. DustinT thread starter macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #11
    :)
     
  12. DustinT thread starter macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #12
    I just grabbed a 2011 Mini 2.3. Its installed in my closet already and I'm using screen sharing to remotely access it. As soon as server downloads I'll be good to go.

    Any tips for keeping my MBP's iTunes library synced with the Mini?

    TIA
     
  13. japtor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #13
    I'm not sure Server is required for that, I think you could backup to the regular client version in the past.
    Home Sharing? There's ways to manually do it but I figure you might as well look into the built in function first and see if it does what you want.
     
  14. DustinT thread starter macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #14
    Ya, Lion server is required to serve as a Time Machine host. At least, officially according to Apple.

    Thanks for the information on Home Sharing. I'm currently using it to access my media at my place and it seems to work well. What I'd like to do is have the contents of my MBP's iTunes automatically sync'd to my Mini Server, just a little different from Home Sharing.
     
  15. japtor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #15
    Can you post where they say that? All I can find is this:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1427
    This article may be out of date, but if nothing has changed...
    Note that there's nothing about requiring Server in there. One caveat might be that Lion has a new version of AFP or something, but I don't think that'll be an issue.
     

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