1 Reply Latest reply: Feb 7, 2013 7:46 AM by Grant Bennet-Alder
McKinley45 Level 1 (0 points)

How do I convert old 2008 Intel mac pro to a server?  I have a 2008 Mac Pro running Mountain Lion.  I have since replaced it with an iMac, and would like to use it as a server for my small business for backup and potential growth to more computers.  Do I need Mountain Lion Server software?  What is involved in "cleaning" or not, the hard drive(s) (one principal hard drive, others currently used for storage.  I have some software that would run best off a server, so believe I need something more than hooking it up to the network and storing files on it.

Mac Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,679 points)

    Mac OS X Server software is a bunch of added software to a "regular" install of Mac OS X, matched to the version of Mac OS X installed. Remote Administration (optional) requires the SAME version of Mac OS X running on a different computer.


    The server software changes internal priorities all around so that Server functions are favored over Applications executed by a User sitting at a local display. It also adds additional Server software so that you can optionally run Mail, Web, Calendars and Address Book, Wikis, and many more. X-Grid controller software is included so that you can set up an X-Grid cluster for parallel background jobs if you wish.


    SSH is available for remote background Terminal jobs.


    If all you need is Mac File Sharing, the complexity may not be worth it, as Mac OS X itself can share files with 10 users.


    I support Mac OS X Server for use in schools, where ALL User files are stored on the Server and Users sign on to any computer in any cluster and there files are immediately available. That option is of of decreasing importance in Business, as Users have more dedicated Workstations or portables that they want to carry away from the work site. But centralized backups can be helpful.


    Server is generally not a compute problem, it is an I/O problem. Maximum speed on the drives is important, and having a lean-and-mean Boot drive with Users files moved off to data drives will speed things up.


    In School environments where all files are on the Server, re-wiring to Gigabit Ethernet is very important to provide "near Hard Drive" speeds. Your Router does NOT need Gigabit speed, only your Ethernet Switches. Depending on WiFi alone is generally not fast enough.