Should I make a fusion drive in my new mac mini server? and more ??

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by pukrnukr, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. pukrnukr macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2010
    I just received my Late 2012 Mac Mini Server 2.3 i7. It is going to replace my late 2008 15" macbook pro. I have a 512GB SSD in the macbook pro currently and want to replace one of the HD in the mini with it. I already turned on the new mac mini and hooked up my new display, bluetooth keyboard, and magic mouse to it. I also already updated it to OS X 10.10.1 because that's what I'm already running on my macbook pro and I like it! My Macbook Pro currently has a crucial m4 512 GB SSD and a 1 TB drive with a owc data doubler kit. The HDs are set up separately and I organize the data on it myself.

    1. My first question is when I put the SSD into the mac mini should I let it become a fusion drive? Or set it up the same way as I have it in my macbook pro? I read that Disk utility will try and set up a new SSD as a fusion drive automatically in the mac minis. Not sure if thats true or not. I was reading some older posts on it. Are there any benefits to the fusion set up other than ease of use with only 1 "virtual" drive? Will OS X enable trim on the SSD in fusion mode? Since my SSD is somewhat full 400/512gb, and a couple years old will I benefit from organizing it myself and not writing everything to it like fusion does?

    2. My second big question I think is dependent upon my answer to question 1. If I don't do a fusion drive; I know I can't take the SSD out of my macbook, stick it into the mac mini, and expect it to work. So should I use migration assistant and move the data I want onto the new mac mini HD. Quick format the SSD (I know I'm not suppose to do a full format on a SSD). Then clone the HD in the mac mini onto the SSD. Then install the SSD. Or is there a better way of doing this? I've read a few different ways, but most of the articles are from 2012-2013. Not sure what has changed with Yosemite.

    Or would it be possible/easier to take my time machine back up and use that to restore to the new mac mini with just a fresh OS X installed on the SSD. I wasn't looking to do it this way because they're a lot of movies and extra stuff on my internal 1tb drive in my macbook I don't want on the new mac mini that are backed up to time machine. I guess I could just go through the HD and delete the stuff I don't want and then back up to time machine again. Not really sure how time machine works in this case because I haven't had to use it for a restore yet.

    I'm really only looking to keep my iTunes library (83GB) organized how it is now. Along with my wife's and my iPhone and iPad backups. As for my photo library, I plan on starting that fresh and re-import all my photos from iPhoto and LR3 into a fresh install of LR5 on the mac mini. And just use LR5 going forward. I have a few other apps like pixelmatr, 1password, f.lux, etc. It would be nice to keep all they're data and setting which I thought would be easiest by using migration assistant.
    To the people with the mac mini servers and the SSDs installed. Let me know how you did it and what direction you went with the fusion drive. Hope this isn't too confusing. Thanks in advance to any who gives me some advice!!


    Forgot to add. Does it matter which HD I replace with the SSD? I've read conflicting answers on this too.
  2. Agent47 macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2014
    1. I suggest not using a Fusion drive for a server, or anything that matters really. If one drive fails (mechanical or electrical) or cannot be accessed for any reason, you lose it all. I suggest placing the OS and apps on the SSD and then the data on the HDD, with proper backups. That way you have some degree of protection for your data. Lots of opinions out there, but I like keeping my options open. You're already accustomed to managing your data across drives.

    2. Why not? SATA SSD from the 2008 MBP running 10.10 should boot a 2012 Mac Mini just fine. On initial boot it should load the extensions for the different hardware but otherwise should not have any issues.

    As for which drive slot to install the SSD, I am not sure.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    That works well for a system that is used interactively. Most most work it ever does is launch an app. But it this system is some kind of media server or then you likely want your data on the faster drive
  4. pukrnukr thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2010
    I didn't end up doing a fusion drive. I was wondering about this and it's good to know. I'm definitely glad I didn't go that route.

    I didn't know I could do this. It's good to know for future use though. I ended up doing a fresh install of OS X and apps on my ssd. The SSD needed it anyways, as it was about 80% full. I only really needed a quarter of the data actually on it to remain on the SSD. I plan on using the mac mini server for a year or two as my main computer. Then actually use it as a server when I get a newer machine. Hopefully a retina macbook pro when my budget can take it!

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