View Full Version : Returning to Mac with a server

22nd November 2013, 08:43 AM
Hi guys,

I have been away for a while from these forums and for that matter mac's as well. I am looking at coming back and using macs as my daily work machine and running my business from a mac base server as well. I am starting to get more and more customers with Apple that I am supporting and want to be able to keep up to-date with them as I feel I am starting to lose track of them since I sold my last mac about 4 years ago.

I just bought a iPhone 5s so that I can start supporting customers better with these (especially since iOS7 came out). To be honest it has been nice to go back to a iPhone and ditch the Androids and put my beloved Nokia 925 to one side. Anyway what I need to do is build up a new environment that will allow me to work well with customers that are using Microsoft, Apple and Google products and I feel Apple is the only logical choice for this.

I work in with a few cloud services at present such as Office 365 and Xero accounting. I need to continue to use Office 365 as I have a solution I am building to show case to customers. I need to use MS Essentials server and would be looking at running this as a VM on the server. I also want to use OSX server to run my own business as well as to show case to customers so I will be using a mix of services from MS and Apple and possibly Google in the future.

I guess I am asking for feed back on what I am looking at doing what is as follows:

Mac Mini server i7 running 2x1tb hdd and 16Gb RAM. I am looking at a External HDD Raid solution to run with this for additional storage as well. I was looking at a possible USB 3 ( such as this: OWC M3QX2KIT0GB Mercury Elite Pro Qx2... in stock at OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/M3QX2KIT0GB/) ) or if needed a Thunderbolt solution (such as this:Promise Technology PR401US 4.0TB Pegasus R4 RAID... in stock at OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Promise%20Technology/PR401US/) ). I am liking the USB 3 solution mainly due to costs but I have heard of issues with OSX and USB3. Apparently drives not connecting at full speed constantly and requiring disconnection and re-connection until Full speed is detected also I have heard of issues with Thunderbolt and VM's?

I am also looking at Mac portable that I can use as my main workstation as well. I have been looking at the larger macbook Air but not sure if I will get frustrated with the performance as I want to run VM's on this as well. I will be wanting to use this as a Desktop replacement so any thoughts on the best way to dock this or make it work better at this task would be great.

I am sure some of you here have already done what I am looking at doing (perhaps not with the server side) but just wanting to get some feed back and ideas that I have not thought of. I am about to possibly spend a few grand so want to make sure it will work well before going down this path. :)

22nd November 2013, 12:29 PM
I'm curious what services on the Mac server you want to use? It may be more convenient to use a pc running server 2013 and configure raid within that as opposed to having an external raid box.

If you want to run VMs on a laptop, go for something with an ssd and 8GB minimum worth of ram.

22nd November 2013, 04:45 PM
I have decided that probably doing a mac mini as a server is not going to work to well. I will probably look at just running a HP/IBM server and run just a Windows server back end.

Thanks for the reply.

6th January 2014, 07:49 AM
I've recently changed from a custom built Windows 2013 Server with RAID, etc to a Mac Mini i7 Server and a Drobo 5D. This is working great and the power savings are good too which is one of the main reasons I did it. Loving OS X Server and starting to build some xCode apps with it too. Either way, you're going to be fine. Just my 2 cents.