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lodewijk

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Hey guys,

i'm troubled and in need of some advice for new server hardware...

The server will host Kerio, AFP file services, and Rumpus FTP server.
The Kerio store is about 50GB in total and most users have over 3.5GB and a few 6GB. (yes we need to tackle user quota's asap, but thats another story)

currently this is running on an 1.8GHz macmini with 1 internal little drive....and....not very suprisingly....it is slow....very very slow....

So I was going to solve this by getting a Mac Pro Server with an internal raid card and set the 4 drives up in raid 10 or 0+1 whatever that card is happy with.

but just before we settled on getting this baby, it turns out to be one year old, and up for a refresh "soon". I can't wait for soon, I need to get something now.

Although I would preferably not buy a MacMini again afraid of the slowness we are now enduring every single day. Maybe the brand new MacMini Server in combination with the thunderbolt raid from Promise would do the job well considering Kerio is all disk I/O

What to do?
Get the current 1 year old Mac Pro Server with internal raid, and cry when the new model gets released 2 days after we buy the thing.

Or get the brand new Mac Mini Server with the thunderbolt raid storage from Promise?

Any thoughts?
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j.a.duke

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lodewijk wrote on Wed, 03 August 2011 16:35
Although I would preferably not buy a MacMini again afraid of the slowness we are now enduring every single day. Maybe the brand new MacMini Server in combination with the thunderbolt raid from Promise would do the job well considering Kerio is all disk I/O

What to do?
Get the current 1 year old Mac Pro Server with internal raid, and cry when the new model gets released 2 days after we buy the thing.

Or get the brand new Mac Mini Server with the thunderbolt raid storage from Promise?

Any thoughts?


I've got a Promise Pegasus ThunderBolt RAID in hand, just waiting for my Mini server to ship.

I should be able to give you some disk number next week-I don't think I'll have the server this week (shows Monday delivery).

How many accounts are you hosting on the current server?

Another option is to add some external eSATA storage to the MacPro for your lower priority services (AFP & FTP).

I'm currently hosting 45 accounts on a first-gen Intel xServe. My data is on a pair of 750 GB Seagate ES (or ES.2) drives, mirrored with SoftRAID. Plenty fast for everyone. I've got about 300 gigs of email on that array, so I've got people with a lot bigger accounts than you do.

So, using the MacPro with a mirror of sizeable drives (1-3 TB, whatever is about double your current mail store size) should work OK.

But the Mini and TB RAID are for our disaster recovery system, not daily production, but I do need to know how it will respond under pressure.

Cheers,
Jon

I'll pull some numbers off that server as well

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tonyswu

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We recently did a Kerio install for a client using Mac Mini, and it worked out pretty well. My setup was using two Mac Minis, mounted side by side, one as primary, the other as secondary. Two OWC 1U rack mountable RAID, one as store and archive, one as backup. For a total of 3U, you get redundancy on both server side and data storage side. I think it beats having just 1 Mac Pro.
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GlennK

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As far as the Mac Pro, there are a lot more options. Internal, external, the sky is the limit. I wouldn't wait simply for the Thunderbolt aspect of it and Kerio doesn't even need all the processing power a Mac Pro has. A mini has a lot less processing power. Look towards your needs. Considering you want to use it for AFP and FTP, if you've got any respectable number of users (50 or up) I would go for the Mac Pro--either now or the new release--whichever. If you need it now, get it before your server dies.
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thomase

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How did you connect THE OWC to THE Mini?
Specification Software installed?
Direct via USB / FireWire?
Or via IP Network?
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tonyswu

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Through FireWire 800. Mac Minis are both running Lion server.
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thomase

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Hi tonyswu,
thanks a lot.
Best, Thomas
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tonyswu

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lodewijk

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It's for 10-15 users only i'm afraid Smile

I like OWC stuff, but it's not practical form the Netherlands as shipping times and warranty things can take some time from here.

J.C. Duke have you been able to test your Thunderbolt raid yet? No new mac pro's out yet and since it's for less then 20 peeps we might do it on a mini
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koffie

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The Macmini will do fine with 10-15 users, hell...it will do it with two fingers up it's nose!
And why would you need the Promise set? for the AFP-service storage? or were you just thinking that to increase performance?
check how much the AFP-service is used because when that is being used off course the disk I/O will be slower for Kerio during that time. But if it is being used once in a while then nobody should notice anything. We have a bunch of Mac Mini's running Kerio (and a bunch of Xserve) and they are great little machines.

Fellow dutchman jeeeej!
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j.a.duke

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lodewijk wrote on Tue, 16 August 2011 08:03
J.A. Duke have you been able to test your Thunderbolt raid yet? No new mac pro's out yet and since it's for less then 20 peeps we might do it on a mini



I've tested the Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt with just some disk testing tools-the throughput is over twice the fastest eSATA RAID I have connected to my fastest xServe.

The Pegasus is ~500 MB/sec on a Mac Mini; the DATOptic RAID 5 on an xServe via a FirmTek eSATA card was ~200 MB/sec.

I'm thinking I'm going to move my production machines to this combo eventually once I get some run-time on the Pegasus to see how it holds up on my disaster recovery system.

Cheers,
Jon
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aj08

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The main problem I have with Mac Mini's as servers is that I've now had three of them that had hard drive failures. I moved each of those to external boot volumes but something about the 2.5" drives they use has been very unreliable in my experience.

I can't remember the exact numbers on Pegasus Thunderbolt RAIDs I've deployed but I do remember being blown away by how fast they were.

One nice thing about the price of the Mini's is that you can get a second for redundancy should the primary have a hardware issue and have it up and going in no time.
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GlennK

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I agree: stock Mac Mini drives are questionable. Good part is that you can swap out the whole mini easily. You could also put a better drive in from the get-go.

As far as Thunderbolt I haven't seen a need for anything faster than eSATA with Connect but I suppose faster is better.
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GlennK

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Anther idea...put in an enterprise Seagate Constellation 2.5 inch drive in your mini. That would make it a reliable machine. Personally I would prefer a MacPro but if rackspace is an issue this would be a nice solution.
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My IT Indy

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We've got a customer with a 150GB mailstore sitting on a Pegasus R4 with no issues. We just moved them to that from the internal drives in a mini due to the speed issues we were seeing.

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My IT Indy
Kerio Certified Reseller and Hosted Provider
http://www.myitindy.com
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