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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.5 - Advice on OS X Server


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cpeterson

 
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Iím considering switching my small 3-person design shop from OS X to OS X Server. Being a clear novice in networking, Iím hoping you can help me out with a little advice ...

- Can the server be a simple iMac (2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo)? Or does it need to be something beefier?
- Is the server dedicated to being the server, or can it function as a workstation as well?
- Do all machines on the network need to run Leopard Server, or just the one?

Basic Needs
- Access to project files from 3-4 different computers in office (usually html and Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign files)
- Access to project files while offsite
No permissions problems

Currently ...
- Small design shop with 3 computers connected via Airport Extreme
- Project files need to be shared by different people
- Tried a network hard drive (frequent problems, very slow)
- Tried a hard drive connected via USB to Airport (few problems, very slow)
- Currently using a hard drive connected to one Mac on the network (intermittent permissions problems, and the user of the Mac with the drive needs to be logged in for the files to be available to others)
- Currently using .mac/Back To My Mac for access to files while offsite

Thanks so much for your help!
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MacsWork

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpeterson View Post
- Can the server be a simple iMac (2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo)? Or does it need to be something beefier?
It can,...but the Mac Pro would allow for a better configuration and data redundancy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpeterson View Post
- Is the server dedicated to being the server, or can it function as a workstation as well?
DEDICATED!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpeterson View Post
- Do all machines on the network need to run Leopard Server, or just the one?
One server, the rest need to be running Tiger or Leopard client to access the Leopard server.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpeterson View Post
Currently ...
- Small design shop with 3 computers connected via Airport Extreme
I'd suggest going wired. Get a gigabit switch as well. This will greatly improve network speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpeterson View Post
- Currently using .mac/Back To My Mac for access to files while offsite
Does this not work for you?


A server will do a lot for you. More than you would most likely use it for. Permissions issues can be addressed by utilizing a few workgroup techniques. Plan on $5K to get the server and $1K to have it installed and configured, tweaked and migrate users.
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cpeterson

 
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Thanks for your input, MacsWork.

An Apple phone rep told me the server could work as a workstation, too. So in my need to add another workstation, I thought I could kill two birds with one stone. Glad to know that isn't advisable, and you suggest a wired, dedicated tower.

Re your question about .mac/back-to working for me, it does. A little slow, but does what I need it to.

You mentioned that Server might be more than I need (with which I totally agree), and said there are some workgroup techniques to resolve the permissions issues. Can you point me to somewhere I can read about them?

Thanks!
Chris
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rman

 
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Your server can act as a workstation, along as the person using it. Doesn't power off or reboot the system.

I defer with cpeterson on the dedicated server angle. I believe you should use as much of your compute cycles as you can.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!
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MacsWork

 
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The easiest method I find is not to create multiple user accounts on the "workgroup server". Instead create a generic admin user and have everyone mount their drives with those user credentials. That way the owner is always the same.
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