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I have 5-6 users half use PC and another half uses Mac OS. They want to setup local file server, right now they use Drop Box for reason that in the past in their experience mac's corrupt file and make it inaccessible for PC users or just getting corrupted.

Now dropbox is grown to ~19GB in size and they want to explore local server option.

Is there specific server i can use to cure this issue?

I prefer NTFS file system, i would not want to have file server in FAT32 just for mac users, i'd rather install NTFS driver for Mac.

One more thing i prefer plug and play file server box rather than using full computer as server.

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closed as not constructive by Tonny, Greg Askew, Rex, Ward, mdpc Jun 16 '13 at 5:18

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
This question is off-topic by the rules of Serverfault. I have provided an answer anyway as I think it could be quite useful as a generic solution in small business environments. Especially in an environment where there is no professional full-time sysadmin available. Having said that, this question should probably be moved to SuperUser. –  Tonny Jun 10 '13 at 22:31

3 Answers 3

That's a tiny setup. Grab a synology 212j or something slightly newer, stick 2 3tb disks in it (raid one for redundancy) and you have a working nas that can be accessed from windows/mac/linux as remote filesystem and even has a cloud thingy with synology cloud, so you can share things dropbox-style.

(No, I'm not affiliated with synology, but a very happy customer of that product above)

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Raid mirroring? What if they overwrite working file with broken one it wont be put to mirror hdd? I feel mirror only useful in case of first hard drive dies or gets corrupted –  John Smith Jun 10 '13 at 20:04
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Yes, that's what raid mirroring does. If you want dropbox-like sharing, including keeping previous copies, you can use synology cloud station. This is available for all synology nas products and has clients for windows, iphone, android and mac. –  Dennis Kaarsemaker Jun 10 '13 at 20:08
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If you're concerned about user error (and you should be), you should also implement a backup product. –  mfinni Jun 10 '13 at 21:53

I am sure there is a NAS system out there for the job but if possible a full server solution works really well. The operating system isn't too hard to get setup for this kind of basic setup.

I currently run a Windows 2008R2 fileserver that handles Windows and Mac users easily. If I remember correctly even in the setup for the server there was an option to enable SMB file sharing for the Mac.

As far as access goes you will use the SMB protocol and on any Mac you should be able to go to the Go menu in Finder and Connect to Server with address smb://YourServerNameHere.

This keep your filesystem as NTFS and allow read/write access to both platforms. The only disadvantage for the Mac users is that Spotlight will not index the drive for searching so make sure you fins out what your Mac Users workflow looks like before making any decisions.

I hope something in here helps.

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This sounds like a two NAS solution.

I have setup similar situations for home-office and small-business use with up to 30 users. In fact I even do this at home for the 4 Windows machines and 3 Mac's me and my girlfriend have lying around.

First one as the server: With 2 disks in mirror or with 3 or 4 disks in a raid5.
Raid is no substitute for backup so you will need a second NAS as backup of the first.
This one just needs 1 disk (if it fails you always have the original copy on the other NAS) but is preferably located in another fire-zone in the building.
(In my personal case it is in the garage which is separate from the house.)

Go for Synology or QNap. Those are the 2 top-brands and support this right from the box.
They will run SMB for Window clients and AFP for Mac users. Macs's can do SMB but are much happier with AFP.
(And with AFP the NAS can be used for TimeMachine backups for the Mac clients too.)

Even buying 2 NAS boxes is cheaper than buying 1 Windows server with the Windows license. (And you won't get AFP with Windows. )
And you would still need a separate backup solution for the Windows box.
Setup and maintenance of a NAS is MUCH easier than a Windows server.
You don't want to babysit the Windows server every patch-Tuesday do you ?

PS: Buy 2 or 3 TB disks. It may seem overkill now but diskspace usage tends to grow exponentially and disks are cheap. 4 TB disks are still a bit pricey.

PS.PS: If you want versioning of your backups the quick and diryt approach is to don't use the default rsync backup provided by the NAS (which makes 1 on 1 copies), but run rsync from crontab on the 1st NAS with a different target folder for each day of the week (or whatever other versioning scheme you want).
There are also all sorts of more complicated backup-solutions that you can find on the internet. Many of these are also available for your NAS of choice. After all they are just Linux boxes with an easy to use interface as front-end, so just about anything Linux based can run on the NAS.

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