xserve replacement advice

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by overmatched, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. overmatched macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2012
    I need to replace a G5 Xserve. :( It is attached to an Xraid with 2 TB of storage via Fibre. It also has a scsi Exabyte tape carousel for Retrospect backups.
    The Xserve runs Tiger 10.4.11 server and runs built in mail for 50 clients, as well as file serving and managing these 50 clients (40 of which are macs, 10 are Windows XP)

    Of course I want a cost effective solution which maintains storage and backup.

    I appreciate ALL opinions, and thank you in advance.
  2. Waragainstsleep macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2003
    Assuming you wish to stick to Mac (and buy new) you'll need a Mac Pro simply because of the SCSI factor.
    You could use a Mac Mini with thunderbolt to fibre-channel adaptor for the Xserve RAID and keep the backup running through the G5 onto the SCSI tape deck I guess.

    Personally I'd be tempted to wait for a new Mac Pro when the next gen Xeon chips become available but there is always the chance that Apple will discontinue it altogether.
    There is also the option of thunderbolt to PCI-E and a SCSI card in there, not sure how fond Lion is of SCSI but I'd think you'd be ok with a card from ATTO that works in an Intel Xserve.
  3. will waters macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Great Britain
    Just get the mini

    I suggest you just get the mini, any future backs just use an external HDD, and get a fibre to thunderbolt link, and like what 'overmatched' said use the G5 for tape backups, alternatively:

    Completely re-do your system, get yourself a mini, with a 'thunderbolt pegasus' raid device (or lacie, depending on how much storage is needed), and a 2TB HDD for backups, or have a second mac mini where you keep the backups and use 'crash plan' and back up over tinternet

    Hope this helps

  4. Ap0ks macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    If your company is going to grow and you'll be looking to replace the replacement in a number of years time then you probably want to look at a commodity box (hp, dell, etc...) running linux or windows and hook the Xserve RAID to it for file shares, perhaps migrate the mail server over or leave it configured on a new Mac mini or Pro.

    If you aren't going to grow, or are only looking for a short-term fix, I'd go for a Mac Pro and add both a fibre card and SCSI card (looking at the Apple store it's approx. £900 for both the add-in cards).
  5. overmatched thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2012
    Thank you for these suggestions. This is helping already. For instance, I didn't know there was a Thunderbolt to Fiber adapter. Follow up question: If I went the mac mini route for mail server and to manage my users, I could drive the Xraid with a Linux/Windows box for file server and backup? or am I missing something? I have Windows boxes sitting around doing nothing.
  6. Ap0ks macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    The XRAID is just a storage device, so won't really care what OS you're using on the host side ;) The management tools are written in Java so should work fine on all operating systems.

    The only problem is making sure the OS on the host will recognise the filesystem on the XRAID (so you may need to format/recreate volumes). To keep things safe I'd backup all data on the XRAID, connect it to a new host and get it setup, then restore the data back.

    Obviously there may be more to it than that, but it's a path that can be taken should you wish to.
  7. overmatched thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2012
    Linux Instead...

    First off, thank you for the replies. I have taken a hard look at options, and I believe we are leaving the Mac server behind. A vendor showed me a NAS device (Synology Rackstation RS810) which uses the same open source architecture that Apple is using under the hood. 8 TB of RAID storage and built in mail & calendar. $2500 range. It doesn't have SCSI or the ability to run Retrospect for backups, so that will have to be relegated to a G5 I've got sitting around.
    If you'd like to pull me back from the cliff, feel free. See you in Linux land...

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