Server question

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ArKShield, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. ArKShield macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2011
    This might need to be posted in another section, not quite sure though since it covers a couple of them :-/

    Anyways I have tried search and multiple sites online but nothing exact answering or in the area of what I am wanting to do.

    To start of I have maybe 4-5 terabytes of movies a majority of them in mkv (hence the size) but slowly making them into an Apple TV format. I also have a Tom of photographs 300 gbs and slowly growing. I am currently deciding between Lightroom and aperture on which I want to control and edit with.

    In my household we have a MBA,pro retina, two iPads, two iPhone 5s, 2 apple tvs, and a windows pc. I plan to eventually add an iMac at a later time.

    I would like to have a central hub to store all the media, movies and music as well as a place where all our documents can be saved and easily accessed from any computer in the house or out and about.

    I would like to use the Apple TV to access the movies on the drive using home sharing or some other easy nice clean and simple way. I would also like to be able to have the main location if the pictures being used from Lightroom or aperture on the server so that it can be accessed and edited from either the iMac or retina. ( I understand that the programs can only be used 1at a time because it will corrupt the file structure but that is not a big deal only 1 will be open at a time.

    I would also like to backup all of my computers to the server as well.

    My confusion comes with to either get a Mac mini with server loaded up and attaching a bunch of USB 3.0 had drives or making a server and loading up windows home server 2011. I am not wanting to spend 2000/1000 bux on a simple raid enclosure that's why I choose USB 3.0 for the mini.

    I am just concerned with the mini and externals sucking down energy and the windows home server not working well with the macs. I have read of issues with iTunes 11 not being easily installed and used in windows 2011 server.

    Out anyone has any advice or knowledge in the matter that would be great!

  2. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    What you want is called a NAS (Network Attached Storage). They contain 1 or more drives and are usually attached somewhere on the user's network (they work faster if connected by LAN) - often to a Router, but also to a switch or a TC. Popular brands for OSX users include Synology and Drobo. Lots of forum posts on this subject.

    I have 3 NAS units that I have added to over the years and now they have 6TB of video, 350GB of music and 1TB of other stuff. Backup is real important so I have 2 in use and 1 as a backup. All 3 feature RAID so I am protected against single drive failures (only 1 in the last 2 years).

    They can also be used as targets for Time Machine backups, but there can be problems with using a NAS, so I use CCC instead.
  3. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I do pretty much exactly as you are suggesting, with a 3 1/2 year old Mac mini recently upgraded from Snow Leopard Server to Mountain Lion +

    It has 9TB of disk drives, connected via Firewire and USB 2.0 (a new system would use USB 3 of course!). The system idles at 40 watts and of course runs 24/7. Services it runs: file sharing, TimeMachine backups for 4 systems, Calendar server, Contacts server, Plex Media Server, Plex Connect (for Apple TV access), DYN_DNS updater, DNS/DHCP/OpenDirectory/VPN servers, and a Windows virtual machine to run Quicken. About the only thing I don't do with it is run a web/wiki server or mail.

    In the household are two iMacs, two MacBooks, two minis as entertainment servers, an Apple TV, an iPad and two iPod Touches, plus access for visitors. I did have a Windows computer connected, but it's now retired.

    The server itself is backed up automatically nightly for the core services using SuperDuper! and the media drives are backed up occasionally using bare drives in a "toaster". I also use CrashPlan for extra backup protection. All drives with sensitive information are encrypted.

    Need I say that it has been working very well, indeed!


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