Setting up New iMac and Home Network.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Baja-Skunkworks, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Baja-Skunkworks macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2009
    OK so our house has been set-up with a basic PC network for the past couple of years. We have a central PC in the office, a couple of wireless laptops and a wired switch in the living room for the DVR, X-Box 360 (used as a media center), PS3, etc...

    This fall i decided to take the plunge into the world of Apple. I picked up an 27" I7 iMac which will replace our central office PC. I also picked up and iTV which will replace the X-Box 360 as a media center. I have been researching various technologies for the last month or so. I think that I have been able to define my general requirements and have even made decisions on the hardware that I have/intend to purchase. I would like some feedback on this setup as this is more advanced than what I am used to and I am a total newb with Apple products.

    My requirements are defined bellow

    1. Setting up the iMac to be a fast and effecient app machine
    -running windows for previously owned engineering software
    -editing movies and photos
    -graphic design
    2. Setting up a centralized NAS media server
    3. Setting up a centralized NAS Back-Up server
    4. Maximizing media sharing throughout the home/network.

    1. I love to tinker and try to make things better. As well equiped as the I7 is I still have the urge to mod it. I picked up 4Gb additional RAM to bring it up to 8Gb. I also picked up an Intel INSSD160GB25 160GB X25-M SSD which I will replace the 1Tb HD with. This will be my boot/app drive. I Also picked up an external Firewire 800 HD case for the 1Tb drive. This will be directly connected to the iMac and be used as basically a data folder where everything is saved/dumped/pulled to and from the iMac.

    I am also planning on installing VM Fusion 3 and Windows 7. This seems logical but it doesn't seem like too many people are going this route. Is there any advantage to using bootcamp over VM Fusion or Parallels? I know that bootcamp doesn't even support windows 7. The Windows OS is mainly for my engineering/modeling software that I use daily.

    2. Like most families we have a bunch of media and it's spread out over various computers. I would like to centralize this media and setup a NAS media server. The first step to this is to replace our wireless router/switch with an N-type Gigabyte wireless router. This is the unit that I am looking at

    For the NAS media server I have purchased an HP media server unit based on the recommendations of a software buddy of mine.

    I am planning on replacing the 500Gb HD with two 1Tb WD Green drives.

    3. I have come to realize that all of our memories are digital and un-protected. I have come to the conclusion that for our home network the best method of redundancy is to have a dedicated back-up server. It's sole purpose will be to back-up HD's on the network. My logic was that it would be highly unlikely for the back-up drives and the primary drives to fail simultaneously. If one or the other were to fail I would be able to restore it from the other drive. The server that I am looking at is a 4-bay version of the media server from above.

    I will put the 500Gb drive and two additional 1Tb WD Green drives into this server. My only question I guess is how the server will handle the odd sized drives but I don't think this should be an issue (maybe with raid?).

    4. I picked up the 160Gb iTV that will be used as a media server to the Home theater. This will pull the media from the NAS media server over the gigabyte network.

    The last piece to the puzzle is a network printer. The printer I have has wireless capability. However, I am inclined to wire it to a print server to help with print speeds of high res photos. Also I won't have to keep a local computer always on to serve the printer.

    That's it in a nutshell. If you see any flaws to this set-up please speak your mind.
  2. zachsilvey macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Battle Ground
    Just to keep in mind for next time, people don't generally have the patience for long posts.

    Boot Camp is the better option is the engineering program requires 3D acceleration as virtualized 3D sucks. I am running 64-bit Windows 7 on a MacBook and 32-bit on a Mac Pro with no problems, just install the drivers off of the dvd that came with the machine. While 64-bit Windows isn't technically supported it on the iMac it works fine.

    The centralized NAS is a great idea, I do the same. The machine should handle multiple drives without an issue. If you use raid it will default to the size of the smallest drive so unless all the drives are 1 TB you might not want to use raid. If you do use raid don't use Raid 0, use Raid 1 or 5 as 0 defeats the purpose of a backup machine.

    I'm not 100% sure but I don't think that the Apple TV (not iTV) can pull content from a NAS server. I think it requires syncing with or streaming from iTunes.

    For printer sharing you could use the iMac or an Apple Airport Express/Extreme.

    Hope that helps. Make sure that you have good backups, test them from time to time.

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