By November 4, 2009 0 Comments Read More →

New Server

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My old HP Server

My old HP Server

A few weeks ago, Apple announced the Mac Mini Server.  Prior to that, many people had used the Mac Mini for servers for several reasons: it is small, silent, cheap(ish) and uses little power.  The Mini Server is a great deal, since it ships with 2 500 GB  hard drives, 4 GiB RAM and a decent processor (Core 2 2.53 GHz, I believe).  In addition to that, it ships with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server Unlimited Clients, which covers 50% of the price of the Mini.  That alone makes it interesting.

Until now, I have used a HP Proliant DL-something for server.  It is intended as workgroup server or server for smaller companies, and as such, I have had very few problems with it.  Being a real server, however, also comes with some problems.  The worse problem is that it is fairly noisy.  By fairly, I mean a lot.  And by a lot I mean that it has 12 or 14 fans, all with a diameter of 1″ or so that run constantly.  Another, lesser problem is that it uses a fair amount of electricity.  So much, in fact, that my power-consumption is more than an average family of four living in their own house – and I’m one person living in a flat…

My shiny new Mac Mini Server

My shiny new Mac Mini Server

So this is a great possibility to test out something new, and off we go.  First, I order the machine and then I play the waiting game.  Monday came the day, and the TNT site said “Out for delivery”.  Alas, in the evening, it reached the exception state, which means you’re not going to see it for a while.  The problem was, it turned out, they were not able to realise that “Aabogade 34” is the same as “Åbogade 34” (å is a danish letter that replaces an older version of two as, the latter of which is better for dealing with foreigners).  I called TNT and got a nice lady, who redirected the packet.  Fast forward to Wednesday, where I finally received my Mac Mini.  I got it home and started setting it up.

Remote installation of Mac OS X Server

Remote installation of Mac OS X Server

The default configuration of the Mac Mini Server has the operating system and user files on one hard drive and uses the other hard drive for backup.  This is all fine if you hate your data.  Otherwise, this setup is a bit crude, and I wanted to mirror the two hard drives using RAID 1.  So I started by reinstalling OS X.  The Mac Mini Server ships without an optical drive, to make room for that extra hard drive, so you have to jump thru one simple loop in order to get it up and running.  Luckily, it is very to install from a remote machine using the program “Remote Install Mac OS X”, which ships with every Mac.  Just pop in the disk in the machine with the optical drive and follow the instructions presented by the program and you are started.  This is much easier than the fun of setting up a TFTP server, building an installation image and all the fun I had to go thru to set up the HP some years ago.

Remote administration of the server

Remote administration of the server

After installing the server, it asked which kinds of services, I wanted and did a bit of work while I had a rolled seasoned meat sandwich, prepared dinner, and emptied my dishwasher.  After having set up jy server, I started getting to know my new server.  At first, I used remote desktop to connect to it, but then discovered the pretty neat server administration tools, which allows me to set up everything, and as soon as I discovered that, I shut it down and moved it to it’s new position in the hallway.

So, here it is, in it’s new home (below).  It’s got a friend, a Time Capsule for backups and for wireless network in my bed, as well as a couple of NAS that used to hold a lot of data (2.3 TB), but that was then and now they only hold 2.3 TB, among this heaps of backups.  I’ve connected the machine to one of the old D monitors from Olivetti – do the company even exist anymore? – and the network (the switch seen below my old server at the top of this post).  It is fully operational, but has no real responsibilities (except it’s handling my address book, calendars, and mail) yet, but I plan on moving over the old services (DNS, DHCP, web, primarily) over the next few days.

The new server along with old friends

The new server along with old friends

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