Previous 1 2 3 Next 44 Replies Latest reply: Dec 21, 2012 4:11 PM by infinite vortex Go to original post
  • dubtastic Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, I have paid/downloaded (and made a bootable USB) Lion, and now I have bought/downloaded the Lion Server app.


    I have in the past booted from the Lion installer USB, erased drives and then done a clean install of the Lion OS, and from what I can gather, I wanted to do the exact same, but with a OS Lion Server (USB) as I was under the impression that doing it this way was a better way of creating a server from the ground up, rather than doing a standard OS install, and then upgrading it to a Server version? Or is this assumption wrong?

  • haykong Level 1 (115 points)

    Your assumption is right for  Pre-lion server installs. However with lion and above.... Server edition is just an app.... And not a separate OS install.

  • dubtastic Level 1 (0 points)

    Ah, OK, so that answers that question then shame really, but oh well…


    So for a Server virgin such as myself, am I best to do a clean install of Lion, run all necessary updates and then install the server ap afterwards, or should the server app be installed before the main OS updates are run?


    Also, is there anything else I need to consider before installing the Lion clean install and running the server app?


    BTW; Did you see the new MacMini Server details that got announced last night?

  • haykong Level 1 (115 points)

    I guess you can update the OS to 10.7.5 then install the


    Nope you should be fine.


    Yeah I saw the server details... I'll probably order the server next month and order it with the 2.6ghz processor for $100 more.

  • dubtastic Level 1 (0 points)

    Having got 10.7 Lion server ready to install, an opportunity at a fair-ish price has come up to get 10.6 Snow Leopard server! I know it would be a backgrade, but would it be a better option to start with, knowing that I could always upgrade it later when I feel more comfortable with the whole server thing?


    Just a thought...

  • haykong Level 1 (115 points)

    I would just stick with 10.7 server  since you mentioned you would like to sync up more with your idevices. 10.6.8 Server lacks pushing abilities for mail, contacts, and calendar.

  • infinite vortex Level 7 (21,405 points)

    Just to supplement this a little bit…


    Due to a change in a UPS we now get watt usage data and a Mac Pro 1,1 (2006) with 4 x enterprise grade drives and an ATi 5770 consumes on average 220W vs a Mac mini Server (2009) with its 2 consumer mobile drives and intergrated graphics consuming an average of about 20W.


    The Mac mini actually goes down to 6W with absolutely nothing happening on it (needed to disconnect it from the network to attain this for any length of time) and goes to around 45-50W (remember this is a dual-core unit and not a quad-core in the current units so will not use any where near the same power). The Mac Pro would probably consume considerably less with lower powered drives and definitely if it had original Nvidia 7300GT(??) graphics card.

  • Kelly Crossley Level 3 (710 points)

    I really enjoyed this discussion. I'm considering the exact same thing. I currently have a dual quad-core Mac Pro 3,1, but I'm considering replacing it with a Mac mini Server as well. May I ask what office setup you ended up going with?

  • infinite vortex Level 7 (21,405 points)

    If you're referring to me, we actually decided to go with both.


    Thanks in part to this conversation in fact our implementation is a Lion Server 10.7.5 OD master/replica pair with the Mac mini running most services and the OD Master and the Mac Pro running File Sharing and the OD replica. The Mac mini, typically consuming 20-25W is run 24/7 and the Mac Pro is run business hours only. First person in turns it on and last person out shuts it down. No external data access as everyone runs as a mobile home directory… so who cares.


    The benefit is a greater redunancy plus the added bonus of a higher security as our data is not directly accessible from the outside/Internet.


    As an all round server solution the Mac Pro is hard to beat other than its power consumption. By running both a Mac Mini and a Mac Pro we feel we get the best of both worlds while being greener than going with a Mac Pro 24/7.

  • Kelly Crossley Level 3 (710 points)

    Yes, I was. Thank you for your response. I too own a creative company and recently have the need for more portability. I was thinking about selling my Mac Pro in favor of the latest MBP, which surpsisingly has GeekBench scores about 20% higher than my 2008 MP. That'll provide me with portability and power.


    Next, I need something to store my working files on, which I can access remotely, so I was considering a Mac mini server for that. However, I was thinking about having the Mac mini setup not only as a server, but as a low use desktop station as well, which I read you advise against.


    The server will also be accessed by various Macs and PCs. My whole objective is to improve portability, improve remote access, make it easier to work on projects without having multiple copies of files, and save engery. What are your thoughts on my proposed setup? What do you reccommend? Thanks!

  • infinite vortex Level 7 (21,405 points)

    As with all great ambiguous and useless responses, my answer is "depends"!


    OK, it really comes down to what's important and running a creative based company I would guess you have a high dependency of high availability and high volume data storage. That alone makes a Mac mini only solution deficient. A Mac mini will always need its drives changed to either SSD, which are small and expensive, else enterprise HDD which are still limited to 1TB. As an example, going with a 2 x Seagate Constellation.2 2.5" 1TB drive configuration will add $400 or so to the base price of the Mac mini. That $400 into your Mac Pro can buy a boatload more 2x Seagate Contellation ES.3 storage. You can compare Western Digital or other manufacturers but the numbers run more or less the same.


    Our sticking point always came down to storage where a Mac mini could never do it alone and once you added a high volume, 4 drive (to match a Mac Pro) solution, we always found the Mac Pro to be the more economical (both financial and ecological) solution especially seeing as we already had it.


    Your milage will vary based on how much data and how you wish to use your data. Consider it without considering the implentation. Once you know what you want to do, finding the right solution that suits is relatively easy.


    When it comes to portability, we're finding network home directories with mobile home sync from our Mac Pro the way to go. As we've stipulated a home directory size of 160GB, everyone fits into a 256GB SSD, purchaseable in ANY Apple offering today. None of our project run to any massive size and if required, external storage is available via software encrypted 64GB to 256GB USB3 thumb drives (we're finding the Kingston HyperX 3.0 to work well). Why not an online solution? Rather simple really. If it's "that big" our Internet connections can't support it so why bother trying?! Most times one person is handling things so if the current version is "out" then generally, who cares. If it's taken out we just change the folder label colour to red (we use that for "don't change" or at a minimum ask questions).


    Remote access is limted to mail, calendars, contacts and messages (Jabber) and stuff that's, well, easily managed by a standalone Mac mini. Which includes our Netboot, NetInstall and NetRestore images. Both our servers run the same Open Directory, DNS and DHCP setup.


    The trick with any good, efficient and economical solution is to fight the battles you can win and to pick the battle that will make the most difference.

  • Kelly Crossley Level 3 (710 points)

    You make some very good points.


    So, are you using the Mac Pro as a dedicated server running Mac OS X Server? If so, how many Macs/PCs are connecting to it? Also, what kind of a backup solution are you running? I currently have a ReadyNAS NV+ as a raided backup drive.


    Also, assuming you're running Mac OS X Server, when PCs log into the server are they simply logging into the Mac OS X environment?

  • infinite vortex Level 7 (21,405 points)

    Yes, as I said earlier I really like the Mac Pro as a server. With 4 drive bays we RAID 1 one pair for a small startup parition and the rest as a data. Drive 3 is for Time Machine and the 4th drive a dedicated Time Machine for the Mac mini Server (the mini has a pathethic data usage, system and all, so the 300GB drive for TM is more than sufficient). None of us backup as the server does it for us with RAID 1 and TM. Off-site backups simply require an external that size matches our RAID which is updates once in a while. And with the change in workflow to be server based rather than client system based we have seriously reduced our costs while raising our options.


    We have no reason to go NAS or other storage for the time being. It's just an added complication for us. If space ever becomes an issue we'll be whip out out drives 3 & 4, set up 2x 3TB or 4TB drives in as a RAID and transition to them. I don't see that happening unless there's a drive failure.


    There are no PCs although any time we've connected a PC to the network and services they've never exhibited any issues. That said it's only ever been service usage rather than directory and/or home account environments so if you're going down that road I really can't help you. I know there are those that have problems SMB-wise but I'm not totally clear on how or why… I don't doubt there are issues of some sort though, I've just not run into them.


    Ultimately our Mac Pro sits there doing nothing but moving data about and having 2 ethernet ports it enables the option of 802.3ad link aggregation giving a 2-gigbit bandwith even though we don't use it.

  • Kelly Crossley Level 3 (710 points)

    Sweet. So you keep your apps on your client Macs or do you run them from your server?


    One of the benefits I was told with having Mac OS X Server on a tower is lower powered Macs can take advnatage of the processing and graphics power of the Mac Pro, but I've never actually seen that in use.

  • infinite vortex Level 7 (21,405 points)

    We could adopt a NetBoot environment I suppose but I always seem to feel that's horribly wasteful when you have systems with SSD/HDD and you need your network bandwidth for something that's actually useful.


    And no, not unless you're running "apps" on the server which we don't. The only real benefit of the 2 Xeons in our Mac Pro server is the heating in winter.

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