Mac Mini Server with 4.5TB RAID5

eSATA RAID5 on a Mac Mini Server

Wed, 18 Nov 2009

No real big "Unboxing" review here.

Just a simple couple of shots of a brand new Mac Mini with OS X Server, and rather than keeping the two internal 500GB 2.5" drives (Hitachi HTS545050B9SA02), I swapped out the upper bay and added an eSATA cable connected to a Promise DS4600 4 bay RAID5 enclosure. Connecting it via eSATA freed up the FW800 port for other things (maybe a Drobo?) and gave a bit of a speed boost as well.

This is a development web server as well as a media server for the local network. Adding 4 x 1.5TB Seagate 7200.11 drives to the Promise box ends up with a pretty damn fast, low power file server with 4.5TB of space, and all for a very reasonable cost.

On the power consumption front, the Mac Mini normally sits at around 36-42W and the DS4600 sits at around 40-46W, so around 76-88W total. Much lower than the PowerMac G5 2.3DP it replaced (145W+ at idle), and with a lot more storage space to boot. Add to that the 70-80MB/s I get copying large files across the network and it's a damn fine setup.

I could have done this basic mod to a non OS X Server Mac Mini, but the copy of OS X Server was useful to have and bone up on. It also ended up being much faster and more versatile than any equivalent NAS boxes.

Anyways, here be the pics:

Apple have made the current range of Mac Minis much easier and nicer to make these kinds of tweaks to, compared to last years model. Thanks Apple!

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