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New Mac Mini Server (Mid 2011) + 12TB Storage = ?

2127 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 10, 2011 12:02 PM by Creeper74 RSS
Zathrak Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 9, 2011 1:56 PM

So the goal is kind of simple...I just bought a Mac Mini Server (+ 4GB Ram upgrade to total 8GB) with Lion of course to faciliate a fairly basic concept. The Mac Mini Server will be running all the time and will be the central storage point for all data/apps/etc including serving my Apple TV (2nd Gen) via iTunes. I have 4 x 3TB drives and/or 2 x 2TB drives that I'd like to RAID 0 (or JBOD/Concatenate if necessary) to show up as 1 uber drive for storage in which the mini can access whenever. The thing is that obviously there is only so much disk space available in the mini itself, and outside of that you're looking at either USB 2.0, Firewire, or Thunderbolt as a connection interface to external media. USB 2 is fairly slow, firewire kind of ***** and has limited devices available, and Thunderbolt is retardly expensive (coming from the guy that just spent nearly $1000 on hard drives) not to mention nothing exists for that yet. There's always the option for gigabit ethernet which would work well if we were working with an NAS.




Here's the thing. Being that this is going to be one big uber drive, the first question is how to interface with it. I'm not opposed to Direct Attached Storage except the available connectors are fairly slow or not out there yet. I'm not opposed to NAS either as long as I have the *option* to hook it up locally (perhaps via USB, is that possible?). The bigger issue here is that RAID 0, JBOD, or concatenated is all quite volitile which is just a downside of my needing to have no more than 1 uber drive. So my thought was to back it up with an online service, likely with one that offers unlimited backup like Carbonite and Live Drive. The issue with Carbonite is that it doesn't support anything that isn't a local internal drive (no NAS or DAS). Live Drive's software isn't yet working properly with OS X but does support NAS on paper.




Does anyone have any thoughts any way around any of this? I'm not too sure how to word it more clearly. My latest thought prior to LiveDrive screwing me over software-wise was to grab an 8bay NAS and activate the NAS aspect of LiveDrive which would pretty much solve my problem after paying $160/yr. Again though, this no longer works as they've pretty much shat on the OS X client. I also tried running a virtual machine with Win 7 via Parallels 6 but it wasn't able to view the NAS at all. I don't exactly want to buy an identical box with identical drives either because that's well over another $1000 so something a bit more creative or practical would be nice.




Again in the end, I just need Mac Mini Server OS X Lion to have one (wishful) "internal" 12TB drive (realistically NAS or DAS) that I can have a back up of the whole 12TB over some reasonable speed interface (assuming gigabit ethernet is the way to go).

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.7), Server, 8GB RAM, QuadCore i7 2.0Ghz
  • Creeper74 Level 2 Level 2 (360 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 9, 2011 4:07 PM (in response to Zathrak)

    sounds like you need a DROBO.  If all you're doing is serving up audio and video, a USB 2.0 connection is fine.  It sounds like you're looking for two different things...local storage and an online backup service.  Or, are you talking about uploading all your content somewhere and streaming it down to your mini?  If it's #2, then that's going to be way slower than connecting a USB device.


    For online backups, I use Crashplan, which is better than Mozy and Carbonite (both of which I've used for at least a year), IMO.

  • Creeper74 Level 2 Level 2 (360 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 9, 2011 4:11 PM (in response to Zathrak)

    Another thing to mention...if that's all you're serving, that sort of thing can be handled quite easily with a desktop didn't have to spring for the Lion server.  Are you still within your two week return period?

  • Creeper74 Level 2 Level 2 (360 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 10, 2011 12:02 PM (in response to Zathrak)

    I think the server is the only one that gives you a quad and the dual drives out of the box.  you can add a second drive to any mini (check but i'm pretty sure it's going to void your warranty.


    i remember seeing a thread or two where people were doing the same thing as you, but didn't want the server components of the OS to run.  I don't think there is a way to remove them (so that you're just running a desktop version of Lion), but with a quad, i don't think you're going to see any perf issues.  have fun!


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