What Apple needs to make some home servers!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by superspiffy, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. superspiffy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2007
    With all this talk of home servers I think Apple needs to get in the bandwagon and give this frenzied market some of its simplistic touch. I've wanted to buy a NAS for a long time because I want data storage accessible from any network but all of the NAS or home servers out there sucks. The first problem is that all of them are overpriced for what they do. The ones that are full featured are geared towards corporate and could be as much as 1k. The second problem is all of them have amazingly poor UI and clunky backup tools. The third problem is most of them look horrible. I think the second and third is where Apple can truly revolutionize. I'd love to have seamless integration, good interface, and beautiful design. Find me a NAS like that and I'll buy it.
  2. grockk macrumors 6502


    Mar 16, 2006
    What you just described is an airport extreme plus usb hard drive. They make usb hard drives in the same form factor as the extreme. though any will do. and you can hook up a hub to run multiple externals.

    I have one and all my macs and PCs see the backup drive. I even have it set up to broadcast on the net so I can connect from anywhere with my powerbook.

    pretty cool. much better than the P3 Win 2000 server I had running in my college apartment.
  3. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    I think Apple needs an Extreme mini!
    (perhaps like the Cube) or mini PowerMac

    needs :
    - real graphics card that supports 2 or 3 monitors
    - faster hard drive

    In many offices I see computers with 2 or more monitors. Mostly 2.
    present mini doesn't work.
    iMac with extra monitor would work, but looks like a patch job. Nice patch job, but still a patch job
    PowerMac will work, but it's big.

    This would also work well as a home server too.
  4. Chef Medeski macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

    Jun 14, 2005
    New York, NY
    I have to agree. It seems that way you can have all your music, photos in one location for anyone to access through itunes (just change the directory, of course there is no iphoto for windows so ur upheld there, but...). Plus easily backup. So I think thats a pretty good solution.
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    There are also several good hard drive enclosures that have a very similar design motif to the AEBS, so that you can stack them, if I'm not mistaken.
  6. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    There are multipule ways to make an Apple home network, for instance here is what I have.

    Mac Pro - work computer, plus it hold all of my iTunes libraries.
    Airport Extreme with a 1TB back up hard drive for all computers.
    Apple TV for the bed room TV.
    Mac Mini to steam iTunes and to watch Joost in the living room.
    I also have my MBP for school/work stuff or if I want to watch something in the kitchen when I am cooking. :D

    This Makes a great network, for work and for play.

    Now you don't need all that to have an apple network, but A Mac Mini, Apple TV and even an Airport Express will work.
  7. Aranince macrumors 65816

    Apr 18, 2007
    AFAIK, All you need to do is buy a Mac Mini and install Ubuntu Server on it. :) Thats what I would totally do.
  8. sblasl macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2004
    Heber Springs, AR
    I agree with the OP, I want a dedicated server made by Apple with a price point for the home user. I want it to have the iTunes server software on it so as to support the :apple:TV. It should have the same form factor as the :apple:TV, up to 1TB of storage, does not need a graphics card, should be "n" & 1000baseT.

    I'm ready to buy.
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    How would anything about that, for this particular purpose, be better than the Mac Mini without Ubuntu server? :p

    Seriously, this wouldn't do you much...you'd still probably need an external drive enclosure because you'd still have very little space (because of the 2.5" drive).

    At least if you leave it running OS X, you can set it up by your television with the remote control and have it also used for watching / listening content on the home entertainment system....
  10. superspiffy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2007
    I want a NAS that I can access from Starbucks. I was under the impression that the Airport Extreme won't work like that.

    As tempting as the Mac Mini sound, I really don't want to shell out the extra cash for a brand new computer. If I'm gonna go that route, I might as well reuse an old PC and run Ubuntu. Not the most simple and elegant of solutions.
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Ahh, I misunderstood this part initially.

    Look at this:


    About 25% into the article...

  12. superspiffy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2007
    How's the iTunes streaming on that setup?

    Also, can you stream your photos on iPhoto?
  13. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    get a ****** old pc for like $50 bucks, throw a big hard drive in it, hook it up to your network, install ubuntu server, sudo apt-get install netatalk

    plus you'll be able to run a website (lamp ftw), torrent box (yay rtorrent), etc on it.

    all done :)
  14. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    I would just buy a Drobo (www.datarobotics.com) and connect it to an AirPort Extreme Base Station via USB as an Air Disk.
  15. nick@ macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2007
    My Place
    I half agree with you and I'm considering that at the moment. But its not exactly what the OP suggested as I'm not sure the speeds achievable are right for all purposes. It would be interesting for views on how useful the USB Air Disk solution is to support stuff like video editing, photo editing etc.

    I've got a new MBP and an AEBS is in on its way to me in the mail. I'm planning on having my LaCie external attached directly to the MBP with FW800 rather than attaching it to the AEBS as a USB Air Disk. I will keep my main photo library for Aperture and video files for iMovie on the LaCie so want the connection to be as fast as possible (without spending any more money!). The downside is the LaCie then isn't a networked disk. So I guess the question is would the USB Air Disk support my needs?

    For backup I think the USB air disk is a great solution - speed doesn't matter that much. If I can get another drive through the front door without being noticed I will do that anyway.

    Best of all though would be what the OP suggested. Fast, easy and attractive. Enough to make anyone spend more money:eek:
  16. phuong macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
    that is nice but when you want to expand the storage capacity it won't be tidy.
    i can imagine those flunky chunk of cables crawling on the floor connecting to the USB hub, which connects to the AEBS via yet another cable.
    oh, i almost forgot to count in those hard-drives' power cords .

    if there were such thing as the OP suggested, all we would have to do is to simply attach the new hard-drive into the server.

    i know you would probably argue that an external enclosure that have 4 (or more) hard-drive slots would do the same job. however, what if we wanted to RAID those drives we have? a server would make that a much easier process.
  17. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    those 4-drive enclosures usually have built-in raid
  18. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Try here. Just got one for home, it was up and serving about 5min after I opened the box. Supports Bonjour and AFP, RAID 0/1/5, will serve printers over the LAN, has built-in iTunes streaming server etc. etc. Nice web-based admin utility, works fine. It's about the size of a 4-slice toaster and it even looks quite nice when the front drive door's shut. :)
  19. sananda macrumors 68020

    May 24, 2007
    superspiffy said "beautiful design"! :D
  20. motherduce macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I have a Quicksilver G4 I'm considering turning into a home server for iTunes and Movies. I would like to see Apple address the mass storage product gap - seems like they could design something really sweet to act as an iTunes server and/or backup utility - especially with Leopard and Time Machine right around the corner.
  21. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Well, it looks nicer than a beige-box PC with 4 drives in it IMHO. The eye of the beholder and all that. :)
  22. timswim78 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2006
    Baltimore, MD
    I am beta testing MS Home Server, and it is a nice product. It has so many useful features that you can not get on most NAS/APE combos.

    - Data redundancy as long as you have more than one drive.
    - Easy as pie to upgrade the storage capacity without having to worry about drive letters or RAID. Just add another drive and click the add button. WHS adds the space to the storage spool.
    - Printer server for as many printers as you want.
    - Automatic backup of Windows machines
    - It's supposed to be a good backend for Time Machine
    - Ability to open previous versions of files
    - Does not require a fast computer.

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