Servers

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Paulnulty, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Paulnulty, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011

    Paulnulty macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #1
    Hi All,
    I've just started a small design agency and have 3 iMacs. I need to purchase some kind of server / file storage & sharing device.

    I also need something that can host emails etc .

    I'm a bit flummoxed as some people have recommended the mac mini seerver but I'm worried it won't be powerful enough or reliable enough.

    Others have suggested a Microsoft small business server.

    We have quite large emails that get sent / rec'd and will need to be stored. We typically work on creative suit and autocad. Our file sizes range from a couple of mb to 200mb.

    I want to expand at some point so might end up with 6 people using the network.
    Cost is an issue as I only have around £3000 to spend.

    Finally I want everything to be wired, not wireless.

    Any thoughts on the best way to approach this would be gratefully received!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    For emails why not use gmail, or use a service that hosts emails. If you have a webhost for your website then you should be able to use their servers to handle your email needs. Check your TOS.

    As for file server check out qnap or synology NAS units, you cannot go wrong with either one.
     
  3. edenwaith macrumors 6502a

    edenwaith

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2001
    #3
    At a former job, we had a small office of only 4 people that had their own Xserve to handle administration, storing files, etc. It was probably overkill for what they needed. A Mac mini server probably would have worked much better, and not looked quite out of place just sitting on a table (they didn't have a rack for their sole server).

    From what you've mentioned, I'm wondering if a new Mac mini server might be ideal for your situation. Since you are using Adobe Creative Suite, that might work out well if you want to use any of the server-based software that comes with the suite (Version Cue, or whatever it might be called these days).
     
  4. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #4
    I recommend the Mac Mini server if you need the server to run OS X for some reason. If you don't need the server to run any particular OS, you might consider a "high end" NAS like Drobo or Synology. These devices are known to offer robust RAID configurations and while expensive are considered very robust. I don't think the MS solution offers anything except possibly exchange email and with the constant care and feeding windows needs I don't recommend it.
     
  5. Paulnulty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #5
    Thanks guys, some useful tips.
    I was actually thinking about getting a mac mini server and the Pegasus raid drive that the apple store lists.

    I guess I'd also need some sort of backup device? And also a switch?
    Would the mac mini processor be fast enough for use in a graphics based office?

    I did look at a Drobo but by the time you add the costs of disks in they are out of my price range at the moment.

    I certainly don't need hot desking so I'm actually not sure if I really do need a server...

    Re email' I'd ideally like t be able to store it off locally to a central email server as our mail boxes get very full very quickly.

    Is there a mac version of exchange?
    Thanks
     
  6. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #6
    The Synology NAS's work well with both Macs & PCs plus have an optional email server plugin (recommend 256M of RAM).
    Easy to setup & admin plus no per seat charges.
     
  7. Paulnulty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #7
    Thanks guys.
    So does that mean you recommend I don't need a server?

    When I look at the NAS drives I can't really understand why I would need a server at all???

    Confused...
     
  8. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #8
    Depends on what you want to do. OS X Server:
    http://www.apple.com/macosx/server/
     
  9. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #9
    Put quite simply: No, you don't. A Server is overkill for what you want to do in terms of complexity. Get a NAS and then you have a RAID-Array you can all use for Digital Archiving/a Massive File Dump. And then I would probably purchase Business Email from another Provider or just use Synology's eMail Server plugin in your situation - easy enough to configure, and that would provide you with a very nice solution, without some of the hassles of a full server configuration.

    (If you are going to go the Server route though, i would weigh up between Microsoft SBS and Lion Server very carefully - personally, having used most Server OSes (Microsoft SBS, Microsoft Server 03 and 08 Standard, and OS X Server from Tiger Server up to name just a few), if its just Mail and a File Dump your looking for, I would use OS X Server (simpler than SBS, but only just))
     
  10. macman312 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia --> Cincinnati,OH
    #10
    Macpro

    I'm a bit flummoxed as some people have recommended the mac mini seerver but I'm worried it won't be powerful enough or reliable enough.

    *MacPro server (new x-serve basically)*


    Others have suggested a Microsoft small business server.

    *This may be annoying if you use mac to have a microsoft server*



    I want to expand at some point so might end up with 6 people using the network.
    Cost is an issue as I only have around £3000 to spend.

    You could upgrade the Macpro server quite a bit (eg I went to store.apple.com/uk, I upgraded the HDD to 5TB (which probably isn't necessary for you) so you could stick with the included 1TB HDD and upgrade later and in the mean time upgrade to the 3.2 Ghz processor and 12GB of ram). Cost £2,897.00 incl. VAT?
    what do you think?


    Finally I want everything to be wired, not wireless.

    Well assuming that your business is wired, then you can plug the mac pro in and you'll be good to go with a bit of set-up and configuring (I don't know much about how servers connect to computers, but I think apple makes some fairly good software for it, sorry)

    Any thoughts on the best way to approach this would be gratefully received![/QUOTE]
     

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