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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 4, 2006

I currently run and IT environment based on OSX server for a network running 25-30 users. Our storage is connected via Thunderbolt 1 to a Promise Pegasus. Our Master and Replica servers are both 2011 Mac Mini's. This system has been great for the last 10 yrs.

We are moving and joining our group which will involve approx 75 users. I was thinking of replacing our Mac Mini's with Mac Pro's running 64 GB Ram. Our data use would increase from 7.5tb to 15/20tb. I would also need to purchase and new Pegasus, so i would probably go for the R8 48TB to allow for expansion.

My view is, in 4-6yrs time most cloud solutions will be cost effective to store 30tb so i'm reluctant at this point to pump lots of money into expensive SAN.

Although moving to SAN is very appealing, it might be a bit too enterprise for us right now.

In your experience, do you believe that the Mac Server platform is suitable for the above stated users and the below requirements.

File Sharing

I can't foresee Thunderbolt 2 being a bottle neck and i would probably also allow for a 10gb/s network adaptor to give us the additional head room on the network for 1gb/s clients.

File types would be Indesign, Photoshop, Word, Excel. (No intense video files)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



macrumors newbie
Mar 19, 2014
Smiths, Bermuda
A dedicated SMB or enterprise NAS is the way to go as it can do all those things for you. Something like QNAP or Sinology is very user friendly these days, but skip the consumer level stuff.

I really wouldn't put much faith in OS X Server going forward, it's appears to be pet project at this point. Plus, you'll get better support, which is hard to come by on OS X Server.


macrumors newbie
Mar 19, 2014
Smiths, Bermuda
Surely a NAS will bottleneck when 50 concurrent users hit it?

Your thinking of a SOHO NAS, instead looks a SMB or Enterprise NAS. They are very powerful, have lots of memory, processor powers, SSD caching, and support 10gb network connections or at a minimum link aggregation on multiple 1gb connections. Yes, it might not be for everyone depending on your uses but for a multi client file server they've been great!


macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2005
North Carolina
I'll say the setup you propose would probably work pretty well, but you're still stuck dealing with OS X Server which is a giant variable all the time in my experience.

An SMB or Enterprise NAS would probably be easier to implement and support, plus would likely be more reliable. If you're concerned with authentication throw in a cheap Windows Server and run AD. Most NAS options can use AD for auth.

Geeky Chimp

macrumors regular
Jun 3, 2015
We've been using OSX Server for a while and found it a lot easier than Windows was, which we've supported for many years. We run several systems and some are hundreds of users which we haven't had any major issues with. We've got a fair number of mid spec Mac minis with WD MyBook Duos and WD MyBook Thunderbolt Duos. The OWC Thunderbays look good too and we are planning to get one of these for one of our servers; that may be worth a look for you. We've got some base spec Mac minis running OSX server with other workloads too. Hope that helps. We've become all Apple and don't want to look back.
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