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Thread: Mac Mini as a file server?

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Mac Mini as a file server?

    I would like to share some data between our Macs. Using a USB disk on Airport Extreme is extremely slow and makes the Airport cook.

    What about a Mac Mini with some external disks? Can I administer it from my Macs without getting any mouse, keyboard and screen attached?
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: Mac Mini as a file server?

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    I would like to share some data between our Macs. Using a USB disk on Airport Extreme is extremely slow and makes the Airport cook.

    What about a Mac Mini with some external disks? Can I administer it from my Macs without getting any mouse, keyboard and screen attached?
    The Mac Mini Server bundle is specifically designed to do exactly this. You will likely need to borrow a screen, keyboard and mouse to configure it at the start, but beyond that it will run headless and can be directly controlled by Apple Remote Desktop.

    For $999 list, the server bundle with two fast large drives and quad-core processor will be a great performer, limited mostly by the speed of your network configuration.

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Mini as a file server?

    >Apple Remote Desktop

    Is the basic version free?
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: Mac Mini as a file server?

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    >Apple Remote Desktop

    Is the basic version free?
    The basic version is built into Mac OS X the last two or three major revs and is called "Screen Sharing". Apple Remote Desktop is more full featured and is a $79 optional purchase.

    I don't think the mini Server package comes with it, but it might: that's a question to ask at an Apple Retail Store.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Mini as a file server?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I don't think the mini Server package comes with it, but it might: that's a question to ask at an Apple Retail Store.
    The Mini Server comes with the server version of OS X as well as the standard version.

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    Re: Mac Mini as a file server?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    The Mini Server comes with the server version of OS X as well as the standard version.
    Sorry for not being clear.

    I meant, I don't know whether the mini server package comes with the full Apple Remote Desktop implementation. The mini Server package is basically running Mac OS X with the Server tools suite added, so Screen Sharing is there by default.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Mini as a file server?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Sorry for not being clear.

    I meant, I don't know whether the mini server package comes with the full Apple Remote Desktop implementation. The mini Server package is basically running Mac OS X with the Server tools suite added, so Screen Sharing is there by default.
    Apple Remote Desktop is a $79 add on and only needed if you want greater admin control over sessions than just the standard screen sharing that all current OS X versions have by default & free.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Mac Mini as a file server?

    I actually just ordered one of the Mac Mini servers with 8 GB RAM (from OWC) and the 750GB 7200 + 256 SSD config to serve as a substitute for my Mac Pro until I have a place to set everything up again out West.

    I'm curious to see how it does. The Mac Pro is a couple of years old.

    I'm already enamored of the minimal power requirements for the Mini.

    jt

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Mini as a file server?

    These are great value boxes. The quad core server with 8gb is a screamer and I think excellent value at just over $1k with the 8gb configuration. OS x server has been a but watered down with lion but then again so has the price!

    I've moved my file archive off my MacPro to one of these boxes. I'll be adding a thunderbolt drive box next. It works well - I don't even bother with screen/keyboard with mine and just administer it remotely.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

  10. #10
    bcullen
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    Re: Mac Mini as a file server?

    It is actually designed to do just that. And after you have set it up, it can run seamlessly without that need of any third party extension but just your remote desktop setup to gain access through it. This is a quick solution and a good one at that.

    If you are more open to other hardware though, you can use a network attached storage to just that this as well, it will take more configuring but will work without problems as well.

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