9902 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Dec 4, 2009 9:58 PM by mbean
The mini should work fine as a file server. I'm not sure about the capabilities and compatibilities of the Drobo in some of your desired operations. Hopefully someone else can chime in on that.
For headless operation, Screen Sharing can work very well as it's quite simple and will allow (with the proper configuration - easy to set up) full control of the mini remotely, with the full desktop. If you do wish to use this and want to reduce your bandwidth use on your LAN, turn the graphics down on the mini substantially. If you are comfortable with command line access, there are even more options that will offer even less LAN traffic - but not as rich an interface or ease of access.
I am looking to do the same thing, but I'm a bit concerned. According to this site, installing Leopard Server from DVD won't work directly on the new Mac Minis:
Can anyone confirm or refute this? It looks like a giant pain to install Leopard Server otherwise.
You do not need to run Leopard Server in order to perform most (if not all) of the file serving operations the original poster lists. From what I see in that thread, it's not a big problem to just do an upgrade install of Leopard Server if you really wanted to. No mini is going to come with Server installed anyway, and doing an upgrade to Server wouldn't be all that big of a deal if it were even necessary.
I am using my Mac mini exactly as you are describing. here is my setup
Mac Mini C2D 1.83Ghz
80Gb HD (internal)
1.5TB Drobo connected via FW8000 to FW400
Applications running 24/7 on mac Mini server:
MacOS X server 10.5.7
Indigo (Home Automation)
Simpli Server (Music Server)
My system is running headless (using ARD for connection) and I setup a sharepoint (on Leopard Server OS) to point to a folder on the Drobo to enable it as a Time Machine backup and all 5 systems in my house backup to the Drobo Folder that I specify.
The Mac Mini itself gets backed up to the Drobo. I also have a FTP, QTSS, Web, AppleTalk, NFS, Netboot services all running on my Mini.
The Mac mini works perfectly as a headless server... as a matter of fact, I just purchased the new 2009 Mini to replace it so that I will get FW800->FW800 to the Drobo, and 802.11n support (so that my iMac and MacBook can backup to the Drobo with a 270Mb connection vs. my hardwired 100Mb connection)
are you using the Drobo as file server storage? My Drobo – connected by a DroboShare via Ethernet to my Gigabit Network – appears to slow down my system a lot! Drobo seems to be sleeping often and it takes ages to wake up every time I save a file to it.
How well is the Drobo performing in your environment?
My setup at work is a PowerMac G5 Dual 1.8 with a 80gig HD with Leopard Server, Drobo with 4 TB drives connected via Firewire 800 and another 1.5 TB drive for Time Machine Backup of my files on the Drobo. Also the network is Gigabit with Cat6 lines.
The only thing the PowerMac is doing is File Sharing to 5 Macs (no windows sharing). The Drobo doesn't powerdown since it is always being accessed for Sharing. I think yours is slowing down because it isn't hooked up to a Server Computer directly.
I have no complaints with this setup. Also every night/weekend and month end there is a backup to the main servers of just the files that are sharing.
If you want the ability to have RAID 5 or 6, dual ethernet ports, internal support for up to eight 2.5" SATA hard disks or SSD plus very low energy usage you may want to check out the AMUG QNAP SS-839 Review: http://www.amug.org/amug-web/html/amug/reviews/articles/qnap/SS-839/
For the file sharing, iTunes service and web server functions requested in this thread, the QNAP SS-839 does a great job. The built in RAID 5/6 redundancy with support for up to eight internal disks means you don't have to strap an extra box to it and if you desire external storage there are dual eSATA ports on the SS-839 for fast backup and expansion capability. The Mac mini only has a single FW800 port.
As an energy efficient server with 8-drive bays, I think the SS-839 provides several interesting advantages over a Mac mini server.