I am a bit green on the networking side of things but I have a small architecture practice & as we are growing, I am trying to understand the tech need we will be encountering over the next 2 months with the plan to add 3 employees (double our size) Currently we have 3 employees who all work on imacs with local files and backup to time capsule. It seems though that we will need to move to a centralized file system soon. I have used a readynas NV in the past and was pleased with its simplicity and robust performance, and that is my inclination for a new "file server" (NAS). That said, I am curious if there would be any major performance enhancements by going to the xserve for a file server or if it is a mute point if I am not hosting anything on the server. Our CAD software is hard disk heavy with constant access to a centralized "library", so performance gains would be appreciated. Thanks for your input.
Loc: Pinellas Park, Florida
I think you've already answered your question. For your "small" operation, it certainly looks like the NAS option is your most cost effective solution. Just make sure you backup the NAS on a regular schedule.
That said, I am curious if there would be any major performance enhancements by going to the xserve for a file server or if it is a mute point if I am not hosting anything on the server.
If they are working on files locally and then copying them to the server when done the xserve will be a waste for sure. A new regular mini with a FW 800 disk as a boot disk would be fast enough, to get away from the 5400 RPM laptop drives they put in them.
Is your network gigabit? If not then none of it really matters as that would be the bottleneck in situations where they are all reading/writing to the server at once.
I would agree with Reboot. Unless you expect to grow to 40 employees and you are going to run a mail system and a few of the other add ons inside the Xserve, a mini with add on hard drives is much cheaper to expand.
There is no hidden feature in the Xserve which makes things faster. As rb says, the network is the weak link, not what you use as a server.
I have an Xserve but only because I have a rack in a computer center one floor away with a gigabit network back plane in between. Even then I could get the same throughput from any new Mac with a big hard drive or three. The software tools for maintaining it are nice but can be done by simpler or 3rd party means for a few shareware bucks.
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