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Mac Thread, Mac mini Server - what do we need to get? in Technical; From my reading of the many very helpful threads on Edugeek on 'The Magic Triangle' and to get our Artroom ...
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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Mac mini Server - what do we need to get?

    From my reading of the many very helpful threads on Edugeek on 'The Magic Triangle' and to get our Artroom Macs happier with our windows 2008 domain I'm thinking thst we probably need a Mac Mini Server. Looking around I see that it's just the basic Mac Mini Server that comes out of the box - no monitor, mouse nor keyboard - is that right or am I (as I often am) right up the wrong gumtree! If I'm right presumably you remote access - or what? Be gentle with me folks it's only a question!!

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    You need a mouse, keyboard and monitor to configure it but after then, yes, just remote in. Any usb keyboard and mouse will do but juat be aware macs have different keys to windows keyboards.

    You will need a displayport to vga adaptor.

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    speckytecky (2nd March 2012)

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    The adaptor to VGA should come in the box. Make sure you don't just buy a Mac Mini - the Mac Mini Server has two internal HDDs for RAID (software only) and comes with OS X Server installed. I just set up VNC on it and remote in when needed.

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    speckytecky (3rd March 2012)

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    Or do buy a Mac Mini and OS X Server, or just VM it

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Not sure there's any way to get RAID running on a normal Mac Mini, you'd have to burst it open - I don't like my servers running on just one disk personally (though you still have to set up RAID yourself on the server model). VM it is a good point though - newest version of ESXi will do it, but the EULA requires the host to be Apple branded.

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    speckytecky (3rd March 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    Not sure there's any way to get RAID running on a normal Mac Mini
    It's very easy to add a second HDD or SSD to the latest non-server Mac mini. All you need is a £25 cable (P/N: 922-9560) and about 10-15 minutes to open the Mac up and fit the new drive.

    As an example, to convert the 2.3GHz Mac mini into a server, you would have to spend an additional £164.98 (£29.16 for Lion Server, £27.49 for 8GB DDR3 RAM, £83.33 for a 500GB 7,200rpm HDD and £25.00 for the bottom HDD flex cable). Obviously you don't save a lot of money compared to buying the server model in the first place, and you only get a dual-core processor instead of a quad-core, but it's definitely possible.

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    speckytecky (3rd March 2012)

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    Just to throw this out there. You are aware that the server version of OS X can go on any hardware. I currently have Lion server installed on a White Intel iMac. It's slooooooooooow but still works. You don't need hardware with the word "server" attached to the end to use the Server OS.

    Just thought I would mention it

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    speckytecky (5th March 2012)

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    captaincharisma's Avatar
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    You can install the server using remote setup assistant via Server admin tools on another mac.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    Just to throw this out there. You are aware that the server version of OS X can go on any hardware. I currently have Lion server installed on a White Intel iMac. It's slooooooooooow but still works. You don't need hardware with the word "server" attached to the end to use the Server OS.

    Just thought I would mention it
    Indeed - but again, I'd want RAID and that's surely even harder on an iMac than a Mini. Perfect for an old Mac Pro or something though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    I'd want RAID and that's surely even harder on an iMac than a Mini.
    RAID on an iMac is easy...

    www.anandtech.com/show/4489/promise-pegasus-r6-mac-thunderbolt-review/2
    www.anandtech.com/show/5032/lacie-little-big-disk-2tb-review-more-affordable-thunderbolt-storage

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    Only if you have a new Mac with thunderbolt. The best interface an old white iMac is likely to have is going to be Firewire 800.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_ View Post
    Only if you have a new Mac with thunderbolt. The best interface an old white iMac is likely to have is going to be Firewire 800.
    The machine I used is just an example of what you can stick OS X Server on. You would perhaps compare better specced machines.

    Don't forget. You can also extend the AD schema too. There isn't a requirement to have an OS X machine.

    Also with RAID in a magic triangle system. Would this be just for disaster recovery? In a primary School it could be a little bit overkill. If you have an image of your server once built, you could potentially restore the entire partition in less than 10 minutes. The only data an OS X Server holds is the managed preferences data which can be backed up and restored in minutes. I just back up the OD data and the WGM settings. There are no user accounts to speak of and no passwords to restore since they are all in the AD. The only issue would be access to their home dirs.

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Not for disaster recovery no - to ensure uptime if you get a disk failure. As you say, not necessarily much data to restore, but would be a right pain to rebuild the OS etc due to a failed disk.



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