OS X Business File Server Solution - 3x iMac + ?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Lancejc, May 9, 2014.

  1. Lancejc macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2014
    Hi All,

    I have the setup below, I would like to run thunderbolt for the 10/20gb/s.
    Currently the staff are packaging 36GB Indesign jobs over a 1gb/s link over SMB. This takes 15-20 minutes. (Terrible)

    Current setup;
    3x IMac (1GB/s)
    1x Server 2008 R2 (SMB - 4GB/s Bridged)

    Looking For
    Device that can accomplish the below;
    +RAID (Mirror 4x SSDs)
    +Network (Backups)
    +Thunderbolt (1/2)

    Drobo? WD Live? Custom Built Mac mini or PC with OSX + Raid Card??
    Can you even daisy chain 3x IMac's to a Drobo? I'm not sure??
  2. Lancejc thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2014
  3. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    Local or server editing?

    That seems very slow compared to our experience of 1000 Ethernet to a Pegasus R6 connected to a low spec mini-mac server. Do you edit the files locally, package them and then transfer them to the server or do you edit off the server.

    If the latter, then I think that might be the problem rather than your hardware and network.
  4. wuush macrumors member

    May 4, 2014
    I don't think it is possible to daisy chain devices to multiple computers/clients, after all thunderbolt is pci express.

    Before you upgrade anything you should look into which piece of hardware is the bottleneck.

    Can you provide more information, please?

    Like Imac Hardware, which Cables and the server hardware.
  5. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    I think you're stuck with GB-Ethernet.
    Unless there are TB-to 10G Ethernet adaptors or TB-to-IB (Infiniband)...

    What is your budget?
    I would recommend a real server (server-grade hardware, e.g. SuperMicro barebones etc, Xeon CPUs, ECC-RAM, Intel Enterprise SSDs) with some spare drive slots and a switch with 10G uplink ports.
    While the iMacs can't have 10G ethernet, the fileserver can be easily fitted with a 10G NIC and thus you can have multiple clients max out their connection at the same time while still not maxing out the server NIC (provided you have enough I/O bandwidth and CPU-power to actually deliver that kind of speed).

    Software-wise, I'd go with either FreeNAS or get a quote for TrueNAS.

    But again: what is you budget?
    HP sells a switch with code J9585A that looks like it's available on ebay for about 2600 USD. Maybe someone has a cheaper switch they can point to?
    (Maybe the Netgear M5300-28G?)

    TB is just external PCIe - you can't run a SAN directly on it.
  6. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
  7. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
  8. wuush macrumors member

    May 4, 2014
    Do you guys really think the 1GB Ethernet is the bottleneck which slows a 36GB to take 20min?
  9. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    Doubtful, but without real details from the OP, we'll never know.
  10. Lancejc, May 12, 2014
    Last edited: May 12, 2014

    Lancejc thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2014
    1GB Link Bottle Neck + Standard Hard Drive

    Hi guys,

    I'm certain the 1GB link is the bottle neck this in combination with the mechanical Hard Drive on the Imac's. (no ssd)

    The server we have is a Virtulized 2008 R2 Dual Processor Xeon 2.53ghz with 96GB Ram and 6 SAS Drives in RAID easily capable of pushing 500 mb/s both read and write+ The server is connected using bridged 1GB links (4of) and can handle sustained network transfer speeds 440MB/s Max.

    When the staff member works off the SMB connection to a mapped drive (which is very flakey at times) they can package the job in 15 minutes roughly. I have checked the network traffic on the windows box for that clients IP and its sustained 110mb/s.

    Here we are presented with issue number 2. SMB 1 and SMB 2 are not multi channel. Meaning they will only every use 1 NIC even if bridged over 4 NIC's. SMB 3.0 is multichannel but only comes with Server 2012.

    When the staff member tries to package on his own PC, due to the mechanical drive in place and seek times reading then writing the packaging of the job doubles to 20-30 minutes. You lose about 50% of the read/write times due to the drive requiring to seek.

    We are looking at upgrading the Imac's to SSDs which will improve responsiveness on the machine however the 1gb network bottle neck is the killer here which is why I asked about TB. TB -> 10GBe sounds interesting I would need to double check if their switch can support 10GBe GBICs.
  11. Lancejc thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2014
    Editing them off the server is acutllay faster due to the servers read/write speeds.

    The Imacs themselves only have SATA hard drives.

    Could you give me a little more information on your setup ssmed?


    This would ultimately be how I would like to setup their office however I feel this could get very expensive and we will still be left with the 1GB ethernet Imac limitation.

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