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Mac and Windows Server 2012

Posted on 2015-02-05
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Last Modified: 2015-02-06
Hi,

A friend as an all Mac office, and he's looking to get them all onto a network. I don't think they have any plans to introduce PC's anytime soon.

Is Windows Server 2012 a smart option when starting an office network from the ground up? Or do the Mac people do something that's different?
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Question by:Go-Bruins
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 40592451
OSX server would be a better choice for a truly all-Mac shop. Apple seems to break their LDAP and SMB interop every few subversions. Can be a nuisance.
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by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40592978
Thank you.

What model number of computer would be a good candidate to play the role of server? I know almost nothing about Mac hardware. And are they something you buy on something like Amazon.com or do you have to go into an Apple Store?
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40592989
Apple also has an online store. A mac mini is fine for a very small business, otherwise a pro model. Like iMac, plan on spending more than you would for a comparable non-Mac.
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by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40592992
If all they want to do is share files, would something like a Synology NAS box on a vanilla gigabit switch do the job?
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40592997
I suppose that depends. Different NAs vendors have different features, even between different models. How a user connects to a share, how seamless it is, how well it performs.... all are factors. Much like running a windows server, you can usually get it to work, so that is technically "doing the job" ...but if the experience is so frustrating that users complain, was it worth saving the money? Each environment is different with users of different skill levels. YMMV.
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Eoin OSullivan earned 250 total points
ID: 40593151
A Windows 2012 Server is NEVER a smart option if the entire office is running macs with OSX!!  Why add a completely different operating system?

If it is just a shared filestore for the Mac Office network then Synology NAS would be fine and are usually well compatible with OSX file sharing SMB and AFP and even NFS .. there is no centralised user management in this setup .. you create one or multiple username/password accounts on the NAS and each mac user can use the one account or you can create a unique user and password for each user to access the NAS.

However if you want more user control, I've found a MacMini running the OSX Server version which costs just $20 to upgrade standard OSX install, with a standard USB3 or RAID NAS attached gives the maximum control.

Buy a MacMini from Apple online or retail outlet ... or to save a few $$ you can get a fully warrantied refurbished unit on the online Apple Store from time to time.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40593704
Thank you, one and all.
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