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Pros and Cons: Use Mac Mini as network server? Or Get NAS?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: September 22, 2021 01:14PM
Here's the context:

1. I want a standalone computer to perform certain actions at specific times during the week--a bit of audio recording from the web, some Time Machine backups, and some SuperDuper backups.

2. I want a bunch of accessible storage, mostly for audio/video files that I listen to/watch on demand, and for the backups mentioned in 1, above.

3. I have an M1 Mac Mini

So I think that the easiest thing is to use the Mac Mini, and buy either an NAS, or a hard drive enclosure that I can connect by USB to the Mac Mini, like this one from Our Sponsor: [eshop.macsales.com]

I'm looking at having four drives, so a good NAS enclosure is going to cost twice as much. What are the other pros and cons of going with the Mini + enclosure (DAS) versus NAS?

Thanks!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/22/2021 01:25PM by anonymouse1.
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Re: Pros and Cons: Use Mac Mini as network server? Or Get NAS?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 22, 2021 01:58PM
A NAS is more important if you have multiple users accessing the drive. Or perhaps you have a laptop and want to access your data without plugging in.

I was going to recommend a Raspberry Pi plus enclosure as an option but I've been having trouble with TimeMachine functionality and haven't had time to figure it out.



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Re: Pros and Cons: Use Mac Mini as network server? Or Get NAS?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: September 22, 2021 03:04PM
I really like my Synology NAS for reliability. WAY more reliable than running services on my iMac. I use it as a file server, a Plex server, and a web server but it can do much much more. You would have to research your specific needs but I would NEVER use OSX as any kind of server if reliability is important.



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Re: Pros and Cons: Use Mac Mini as network server? Or Get NAS?
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: September 22, 2021 03:29PM
I use a 10.14.6 Mini as a server because that Mac is useless as a desktop computer (long story) so I'm forcing it into a Network server job.

A NAS would be better. It's OK for us as otherwise this Mini is close to useless but really a NAS is simply better.
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Re: Pros and Cons: Use Mac Mini as network server? Or Get NAS?
Posted by: Mr645
Date: September 22, 2021 07:04PM
An M1 Mini would make a great server. Look for a Thunderbolt storage device and use the optional 10 GB ethernet to connect to other machines. Even the 2018 Intel Mini would be great, same performance as a server. I use a Highpoint Tech 8 bay TB3 RAID connected to a 2018 Mini.
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