How much data are you wanting to store and are you after hardware RAID or will a software RAID do? And for that matter, Are there specific OS X Server services that you're after that would rule out going NAS on its own?
While there are plenty of other questions to ask it's your storage requirements that will guide you into one direction or other.
Hi, probably need about 8-10 tb and would want raid hardware. We also want to be able to centralise all of our data , partly for security reasons as we can always power down and put into safe. We would want to be able to access data remotely and take off files. I think part of the problem is the home data as my partner and I have different iTunes acc so how the heck do we resolve that one, nothing's simple anymore.
Given you're not after services outside of file sharing/media serving you may want to skip OS X server and go with simply a better NAS unit. The Synology DiskStation units might fit the bill for you.
With iTunes, if it's just the two of you then my suggestion is usually to just to activate both iTunes accounts in each other's iTunes libraries and just use iTunes Home Sharing to move stuff about. Yes it means needing up double the storage but if you manage your storage nicely the higher cost of larger drives is negated by a simpler management (each does their own). I agree it's becoming more and more difficult but there are plenty of solutions out there that should suit your individual needs. Pity Apple haven't pulled their fingers out and implemented an iLife Server that centralises our ever increasing media.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm not sold with the synology for the reason that I already have a ds211j but while its ok for backups it has its faults, it just does not seem to intergrate properly with apple gear and when backing up it can just loose connection at time.
What do you think to this idea?
I already have a Mac mini so would get osx server and connect an external drive via thunderbolt cable. I could then put files from all computers onto the drive and have it running in raid so it automatically has a backup. Am I right in thinking that I would not need time machine if running raid.
My partner likes some of the features in mac osx server like the wiki which would work really well for the business.
Oh, you never said you already had the Mac mini. Yes, that would work. If you're not happy with a Synology NAS there are plenty of others to choose from if you opt for a NAS path. Just be aware that to get to 8-10TB of storage space you're going to need quite a deal more of actual storage.
RAID mirroring is about service uptime and data integrity. It doesn't negate the need for Time Machine if in fact you wish to restore something. They complement each other rather than negate each other. I use both myself, RAID 1 for my OS and data partitions and Time Machine… plus other things which I won't get into. For 2 TB of actual storage I have 3 x 2TB drives (actual disk utilisation and data change rates allows me to have a smaller TM drive which otherwise should be a 4TB drive).