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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Would you buy an Apple file server?


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kaidomac

 
Member Since: Jan 18, 2006
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I was thinking a bit about Macs and networking. Why hasn't Apple come out with a home file server yet? They have an Airport for wireless, an Airport Express for wireless music, laptops and desktops, and commercial servers...why no home server?

Personally I would LOVE to have an Apple server, especially if they made server apps like "iTunes Server". It's such a pain managing music between computers, even with the new shared library stuff. If they released a music server, for example, you could store all of your music on it but still use it on any of your computers. Have you ever purchased a song on one computer (like a laptop) and then wanted to use it on a photo slideshow DVD on another computer? You have to copy the song over to be able to use it. Or have you ever lost your music due to accidental deletion, failed hard drive, etc.? The server could act as both music backup and a music server so that all of your computers have access to it.

Also, the "iTV" unit is coming out...where are you going to store your movies? The movies from iTunes are in the 1-gig range...your hard drive will start filling up pretty quickly if you're using a Mini or a laptop. Plus if you only have a Mac laptop and keep your movies on it, go out but your family at home still wants to watch a movie, they can't because the movies are on your laptop.

What about file backup? With a storage server, you can simply backup across your network. RAID is cheap and easy to implement, so you can have that added security. Hard drives are cheap now; 500 gig drives are under $200 apiece. They could also have it auto-download the latest OS X updates for quick installation on your local computers. They could even integrate a wireless/wired router into it. They could even throw in VPN so that you can play back music from another computer in your network when you're on campus or at work.

I think there are a lot of options for a dead-simple server here. What do you think?

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kaidomac

 
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Expanding upon the idea a bit further...

Apple iServe
-4 hot-swap 3.5" SATA hard drive bays
-Supports up to 1tb hard drives (up to 4 terabytes of storage)
-Supports RAID 0/1/5/JBOD
-File backup system
-iTunes Server
-Printer sharing
-VPN server
-Built in router (4 Gigabit ports & 802.11 a/b/g/n)
-Compact form factor
-500gb model (2x250gb drives) starts at $499

My friend has a TeraStation from Buffalo (available in up to 2 terabyte capacities) and it is okay, but I can see it doing a lot more:

http://www.buffalotech.com/products/...&categoryid=25

It's not like it would be impossible; I have a homebrew server OS in the works myself:

http://www.xnas.org/

It could easily be adapted to be more Mac-friendly. Version 2.0 supports RAID, VPN, hot-swap drives, file/print server, etc., all through a web-based interface kind of like the Linksys routers have. Here's a case that is already available and even comes in white or black!

http://www.psile.com/index.php?page=..._details&CID=2

So why hasn't Apple released a server?

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Sgt Beavis

 
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I speculate that they probably don't believe there is a consumer market for it. While people like you and I need and use file servers at home, most people simply rely on their internal HDD or an attached drive. Businesses have the option of using Xserve with the Xserve raid.
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kaidomac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Beavis
I speculate that they probably don't believe there is a consumer market for it. While people like you and I need and use file servers at home, most people simply rely on their internal HDD or an attached drive. Businesses have the option of using Xserve with the Xserve raid.
Yeah. I can see a lot of people buying it if they do it right though. The base model can be promoted as being able to "store 200 iTunes movies, all your music, backup your computer files, and remotely access your network at home."

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