Will Snow Leopard server do what I think it will do?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by chrono1081, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Hi guys.

    Before I get flamed I just want to clear up a few things:

    1. Yes. I am aware that what I want to do is doable by much less expensive means.

    2. Yes. I researched on Apple's site and went through everything about the mac mini/snow leopard server.

    Ok, now on to the question:

    I was eying a Mac Mini as a server to have my 8TB raid enclosure set up to. Its main function would be as a file server but after looking at the Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server it got me wanting to learn to set up a Mac server. I've set up a bunch of Windows servers but never a mac server and I think it would be great to learn.

    What I would like to do with this thing is not only have a file server that is accessible from my network, but also remotely. I'd also like to be able to do Time machine backups from multiple machines remotely if possible. Also, the machines would be a mix of mac and windows machines (2 - 5 machines tops). Is this possible with Snow Leopard Server? Is there additional resources I should be looking at outside of Apples website?

    (Just so you know a lot of google searches I can't look at because our work proxy blocks most sites, and I live where I work so...I cant go home and look).
  2. Serif macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2008
    Sounds like you're interested in getting a mini server for the same reasons I bought one; to learn about the server technology and use it as a local file server.

    To answer your questions, yes you can provide file shares both locally and remotely and you can use time machine to back up multiple clients. Be careful though that you lock things down properly if you're allowing remote access.

    There are some reasonable books on Snow Leopard server now appearing so a quick trawl of Amazon might be useful. Also Arstechnica has recently done a review of the Mac Mini Server that acts as a good overview.
  3. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    1. Any Mac / OS X server can be setup to be accessible remotely.
    2. Remote time machine backup, even if it's possible (not sure about this), will be impracticaly slow, unless you have a very fast internet connection.
    3. You can set it up so windows can see it
    4. Yes. One of my favorite tech columnists, Daniel Eran Dilger, has a book: Snow Leopard Server
  4. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    I think the first thing you need to do is figure out how to make any server visible outside your local network. If you can't do that, then it doesn't matter if your running Snow Leopard Server or Snow Leopard Client, the host that's acting as the server won't be visible.

    You can make any Mac OS X computer act as a server. For example, it can be an HTTP server simply by turning on Web Sharing, or an FTP server simply by turning on FTP under File Sharing. You should do one (or both) of those right now, make sure they work on your lan, then figure out how to make them remotely visible. By "remotely visible" I mean visible to others on the internet, such as by a laptop using a WiFi hotspot at any random cafe or public library. Both HTTP and FTP can be handled by web browsers.

    It's unclear whether your proxy server plays a role in this or not. Maybe it does, acting as a firewall for incoming connections. Maybe it doesn't, acting only as a proxy server for outgoing connections. But a proxy server is not the same as a firewall, although each plays a role in protection. Maybe some other device (your router) also acts as a NAT device, and you have to enable port forwarding.

    I suspect that setting up a Mac as a server will be the least of the difficulties. Configuring the rest of your network will be a larger challenge.
  5. chrono1081 thread starter macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Thank you guys for all the responses :)

    I found a podcast on iTunes showing how to set everything up. Its almost like setting up a windows server concept wise (only MUCH simpler).

    I think this will be a fun project even though its complete overkill for what I need.

    I may have to put in hold though since I just discovered I have to buy the Unity game engine :( Bye bye Mac Mini budget :(
  6. purelithium macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2006
    Kingston, Canada
  7. bryan macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2002
    Spokane, WA

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