Optimal network set-up

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by jakewurst, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. jakewurst macrumors newbie

    jakewurst

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #1
    I purchased a xserve recently and I am trying to decide the best way to set up my home office network. I have the following components:

    - Xserve (G5 Dual 2.3ghz)
    - mac pro (Quad 3ghz)
    - 2 iMac (24" Dual 2.8ghz)
    - Airport Extreme (gigabit)

    The main reason for purchasing the server is because my business partner lives in another state and I often collaborate with video editors, animators, and artists who are not on-site. I want to optimize the transfer speeds both locally and remotely. I have a cable internet connection (12down 2up) with a static IP.

    1- How should I wire the local network. i.e. cable modem directly to the airport and then from the airport to all the components, or cable modem to xserve ethernet port 1 and then from port 2 to mac pro etc...

    2- Is there anything I need to know to optimize connections with off site macs? I assume that establishing a VPN is the only option but I am definitely a rookie so any suggestion, no matter how basic, will be greatly appreciated. I would like to establish a "permanent" connection with my business partner and another graphic artist.

    3- Any other suggestions/input is appreciated.
     
  2. belvdr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #2
    If it were me, I wanted to eliminate any latency at all, I would wire them all into a single switch, and forego wireless. Wireless is great for single to a few PCs, but if your work depends on a reliable connection, I'd suggest wired any day over wireless. This is assuming you'll be collaborating with one of the Mac's, and not the XServe.

    If the remote users will only be accessing the XServe, then get the XServe wired, and connect the remaining systems wirelessly. Now, if there is a wired connection available, I'd still use it since it is so much faster than your wireless, especially if you have Gigabit on all the boxes.

    Optimizing your connection may lead you more to the speed of your Internet connection more than anything. Depending on what the user is doing, and since cable services are shared, you may find that 2Mb is just not enough upload. Again, this depends on the service you purchased and what the remote users will be doing.

    If you are looking for a permanent VPN connection with your business partner (called a site-to-site VPN), I recommend setting up a IPSec VPN (don't use PPTP) with him, and you he can access your systems without even launching a VPN client. This may have to be done on the XServe using OS X Server. This would require setting up your XServe with one Ethernet connection to the Internet and one to the local network.
     
  3. jakewurst thread starter macrumors newbie

    jakewurst

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #3
    Thanks belvdr... The IPsec sounds like exactly what I am looking for.

    I should have made my LAN questions a little more clear. I do not plan on using wireless for anything but a few laptops here and there. Other than that everything will be hardwired. I bought the Airport Extreme because it has gigabit ethernet. I have ordered all new CAT6 cables to ensure fast transfer speeds. What I am wondering is if there is a faster way to wire everything... Should I run ethernet cable directly from my cable modem to the xserve, or from the cable modem to the router and then to the xserve. Also, It is the speed between my MacPro and the Xserve that I am most concerned about. They both have two gigabit ethernet ports. Should I wire them both to the router AND to each other or is this pointless? Anything else I am missing? Firewire 800 between my MacPro and Xserve??
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    Everything that you want on your local network has to be on "your" side of a router. Not much choice there.

    Don't worry so much about the speed of your local network. A conventional gigabyte network will not be the bottle neck. For example your Internet connection is roughly one thousand times slower then the network. You disk drives are three to ten times slower depending on what you measure.
     
  5. belvdr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #5
    Exactly, except networks are measured in bits, not bytes. ;)
     
  6. jakewurst thread starter macrumors newbie

    jakewurst

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    #6
    Ok, so if the gigabit ethernet connection is three to ten times faster than my hard drives... I should be able to work on files directly from the server without much of a lag right? What if I stripe two 500gb drives in my Xserve? Will I notice any lag as compared to working on my files that are on a non-striped internal drive in my macpro.

    If this is the case, how do I manage all of my files? i.e. If I am working on a file and someone else on my LAN or via VPN wants to access the file is it locked? Does anyone know if Adobe Version Cue solves this problem for CS3 assets?
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    That's the whole point of Version Cue. You run it on the server and then your users can check out and check back in versions of the files they work on. Developers doing software have done this for a long time. It's good to have access to the way a file looked months ago., know who changed it and so on. I think Version Cue actually moves files but I'm not sure they might stay on the sever but either way it's purpose is to allow multiple people to get at the same set of files and but clobber each other's work.
     
  8. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    #8
    If i were you, i'd probably do something like this:

    Cable Modem ----> X Serve ---> Gigabit Switch ----------> Multiple Mac's

    Set the X Serve to firewall + Share internet connection, not sure how to do it on OSX Server but in Linux it's usually iptables and *BDD it's IPFW or Pf

    You can then setup a IPSec VPN on the XServe.
     

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