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Thread: Help me understand the Mac Mini and my options from here.

  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 23, 2018
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    Question Help me understand the Mac Mini and my options from here.
    Hey all - I need some noob help.

    I am trying to help my boss procure a new solution for our company FTP site and I just need layman's terms help understanding it, because I truly don't.

    Currently we have our FTP site hosted through a Mac Mini. It is only used for the server and we just virtually access the desktop, it's not hooked up to a monitor or anything. To keep archives of our client's files they send us, we have , I believe, 4 different physical hard drives that are all sitting next to the Mac Mini, and each has a redundant backup. I think two of them have a 3rd redundant backup. The system works well and we are never screwed if something goes down or fails, thanks to the redundancy, but we are looking for a more elegant and clean solution. We also use Carbon Copy Cloner to make daily backups of all these drives so we can restore them through Time Machine if anything catastrophic happens. That's pretty much all the Mac Mini does other than sit and collect dust.

    We use a Mac-friendly program called Rumpus to control the FTP transfers to and from our website. We really really don't want to get away from using this program because the support is excellent. I confirmed by contacting the main guy at Rumpus that any Mac machine running 10.6 or higher can support Rumpus in its newest update. We currently are all the way back at OS Mavericks on the Mac Mini. I think 10.8.

    Basically with all that in mind, because (I think?) the Mac Mini is not being made anymore, what can I look into to get a more streamlined solution for our hosting? I really don't understand a lot about servers and FTPs. I have a rudimentary knowledge of it, enough to asses some problems if things go wrong, but cleaning up our little Mac and going with something else may make things much easier.

    - Does Apple make something else specifically designed to be used in this way? i.e. not really used like a computer, just a... thing that hosts and stores stuff.
    - Can you just stack devices like this a la a server rack or in a cage somewhere and get multiple Apple devices like this, instead of our system which has all sorts of messy HDs lying around everywhere?

    Just kind of looking for a Mac Servers for Dummies rundown.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
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    Keller, Texas
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    Unfortunately, the Mac Mini is best suited for that. There are some rumblings that Apple may update the Mac Mini from the last version (late 2014) but it may only be rumor. You didn't mention how much you're willing to spend but you might want to take a look at some used Mac Pros. You do have to be careful there because of the many variable options for memory, graphics and hard drives.

    You might also want to think about deploying Linux for your server. An inexpensive put together PC can make an excellent server running Linux. Do some research on that.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Apr 23, 2018
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    I don't know our budget off the top of my head. We are running 2009 Mac Pros for our main machines but are upgrading those to iMacs in the next few months; would it be absolutely crazy, or completely doable, you think, to use one of the 09 Mac Pros to host our server? Not that I think it's too smart to use a 10-year old machine for that, but I am completely out of my element in understanding this.

    Basically what I think you mean, chscag, is you can use a stripped down/basic Mac Pro just as a computer that doesn't really do anything but store our server backups and host our FTP. Is there any particular model you would recommend?

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Basically what I think you mean, chscag, is you can use a stripped down/basic Mac Pro just as a computer that doesn't really do anything but store our server backups and host our FTP. Is there any particular model you would recommend?
    I guess you could use one of those 2009 models as long as it was in good working condition - power supply, memory, etc. Otherwise I recommend looking for at least a 2010 model that's in good condition. Think about this.... since you have more than one 2009 Mac Pro on hand, you've got a source for spare parts if you should decide to use one of them for a server.

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