You can setup the second disk however you like. Some people might like it mirrored (RAID 1), others might want it for file sharing, or user data, or any number of other uses.
So the real question here is what do you want to do with it? Once you identify that it should be easy enough to determine the path you need to take
hmm, somewhat disappointed, having heard so much about mac i assumed the server would be setup and ready-to-roll straight out of the box using both disks in raid mode. as a complete newcomer to mac, i'm very limited in what i can do (stack of books before me) so the cleanest solution would be to ensure all data goes to disk #2. but is there an easy way to do this? a quick attempt brought me to users & groups, advanced options and then i chickened out when i saw userid,loginshell,uuid and aliases. can i leave all of these as they are and just change the home directory (please, please say yes )
Setting up a software RAID between the boot volume and the spare drive is probably going to cause you to take a performace hit on your Mini. Obviously software RAIDs are slower than if you have a hardware RAID controller.
Mirroring every change the boot volume makes is going to be taxing, and probably unnecessary. Just image your startup disk to an external drive every couple of days (or every day of you want). I image my Xserve boot volume about once every 7 days and user data every 24 hours.
Also you're gonna have a **** of a time swapping out one of the internal drives in your mini if the RAID fails. It's not exactly hot-swappable...
Thanks Jonathan. A problem I have now is egg on my face. The current server has hardware raid. I justified the new server on the basis of it being a "real" server designed as such from the ground up, "real" easy to use and "really" low power. The way it looks at the moment, the last bit is the only man standing. This is going to be "REAL" embarrassing! Next time I'll be sure to read the specs very very carefully. ****, maybe I should keep the old server but hide it under a table and put the mac proudly on top of the table
You're getting some mixed advice here.
First off, why should Apple assume you want the drives RAIDed?
I don't know any vendor that ships a server in that state - it's up to you to decide how you want your drives configured.
Secondly, it's not hard to configure the drives as a mirror. You have two basic paths -- easy/safe/slow or tricky/slightly risky/fast. The path you take depends on your technical skills and time constraints.
The easy/safe/slow route involves booting off other media, using Disk Utility to create a mirrored RAID (which wipes the disks) and re-installing the OS. If you haven't gone far down the OS setup route this is probably the way to go.
The tricky/slightly risky/fast route involves using the terminal to convert the existing drive into a mirrored array and adding the second drive to the mix (then waiting for the disks to sync). If you're not comfortable with Terminal.app then you should probably avoid this path, but it can be done.
my problem is i didnt do any homework before buying. Having worked windows for 30yrs i hoped the lion server would be sort of an iphone distant cousin which its not. i should have bought a laptop to play with 4 a couple of months to become familiar with the operating system. as it is, the 1st thing i had to install was mucommander to get a birds eye view of the system - finder is like a map of the london underground. then discovered when u delete a user share and add it back in again u cant give it the "nice name" -had 2 delete and recreate the user to do that. right now trying to figure out mail server, cant find any control panel that looks like my hmailserver one. on a positive note, these things will make me indispensible (i hope )