Thank you for buying via links and ads on this site,
which earn me advertising fees or commissions.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Other World Computing...
B&H Photo...
Amazon
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Upgrade the memory of your 2020 iMac up to 128GB
877-865-7002
Today’s Deal Zone Items... Handpicked deals...
$1199 $779
SAVE $420

$250 $200
SAVE $50

$1699 $1299
SAVE $400

$1499 $1149
SAVE $350

$200 $140
SAVE $60

$89 $69
SAVE $20

$120 $35
SAVE $85

$178 $148
SAVE $30

$3498 $2998
SAVE $500

$3699 $1299
SAVE $2400

$1000 $700
SAVE $300

$3899 $1499
SAVE $2400

$748 $648
SAVE $100

$2999 $1999
SAVE $1000

$1699 $999
SAVE $700

$1698 $1398
SAVE $300

$4499 $4499
SAVE $click

$1399 $1049
SAVE $350

$1149 $799
SAVE $350

$1399 $1049
SAVE $350

$1498 $1198
SAVE $300

$2797 $2597
SAVE $200

$280 $250
SAVE $30

$799 $499
SAVE $300

$699 $699
SAVE $click

$1699 $1299
SAVE $400

$8399 $7599
SAVE $800

$899 $799
SAVE $100

$1699 $1299
SAVE $400

How to use a Mac Pro as a Robust File Server

Last updated 2011-01-14 - Send Feedback
Related: ethernet, hard drive, how-to, Mac Pro, RAID, SSD, storage

If you’re a solo operation, or a small business, a networked file server is a great way to share files among multiple computers and/or server and/or a centralized backup. What you should aim for is a highly reliable machine, along with highly reliable storage.

The CPU speed of a file server is a non-issue; network speed is a limiting factor, so long as fast hard drives are used. In environments where there is heavy network use, you can even use both ethernet ports on the Mac Pro, splitting the load among two subnets, so you have 2 X 1Gb of bandwidth to users accessing the server.

No display needed

No display is needed for the server once it’s configured; you can connect to it from any computer using Apple Remote Desktop (turn on Remote Management on the server, and buy the Apple Remote Desktop software).

Stick the Mac Pro in a closet or anywhere you like that has suitable ventilation, plug it into ethernet on your network, and you’re good. Wireless can work too, but it’s slow by comparison to ethernet.

Fast and cost effective way to backup!

Configuring the Mac Pro as a server

Here’s a great way to go for a file server: get the $1799 Mac Pro 2.66GHz, stuff in an SSD for a boot drive, add 4 hard drives, then make two mirrored pairs of hard drives (or single SSDs or hard drives). By the way, a solid state drive (SSD) is an outstanding place to locate a central database or mail server, etc, because an SSD has no seek time or latency, and can handle huge numbers of small I/O requests very efficiently.

Assuming you have 3TB drives, you would then have 3 volumes on that machine, all of which can be made available over the network to users (yourself or your group):

  • A shared folder on the SSD boot volume Boot;
  • 3TB mirrored volume Data1;
  • 3TB mirrored volume Data2.

You don’t have to use four drives, you don’t have to use mirroring, and you can add as much external storage in addition to whatever you have internally.

But for fault tolerance in a workgroup, I strongly advise using a mirroring approach, preferably with SoftRAID 4.0, which has better monitoring features than Apple’s Disk Utility. You can also use RAID-5, but that requires an added expense of the Apple RAID card, or an external device like the OWC QX2.

Which Camera System 📷 is Best?
Which Lenses to Choose?🌈


Avoid costly mistakes and get the ideal system for your needs: diglloyd photographic consulting.

Enabling file sharing

One click, and you’re good. You do not need to run Mac OS X Server. For multiple users, you can create accounts in the Users control panel of System Preferences, and then allow access to the shared areas as you see fit.

Turn on File Sharing — instant server
OWC Envoy Pro EX SSD
Blazingly fast Thunderbolt 3 SSD!

Up to 4TB capacity, USB-C compatible.

USB-C model also available


Great for travel or for desktop!
OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD

Blazing fast, up to 16TB.

YEE HAH!



√ No more slow and noisy hard drives!
OWC Accelsior 4M2 PCIe SSD
6000 MB/sec!
Mac or PC.


Ideal for Lightroom, Photoshop, video.
Capacity up to 16TB!
OWC Envoy Express

World’s first Thunderbolt 3 M.2 NVME SSD enclosure.

Super fast, bus-powered, 3.3 oz, DIY easy, rugged and compact!


See also OWC Express 4M2
√ No more slow and noisy hard drives!

Save the tax, we pay you back, instantly!
View all handpicked deals...

LG UM7370PUA 70" Class HDR 4K UHD Smart LED TV
$1199 $779
SAVE $420

diglloyd.com | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY
Contact | About Lloyd Chambers | Consulting | Photo Tours
Mailing Lists | RSS Feeds | Twitter
Copyright © 2020 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.
Display info: __RETINA_INFO_STATUS__