Originally posted by cpatubo:
Don't be harsh on the networking n00b
I am trying to accomplish the following:
- network 5 macs on site
- share a broadband connection
This is easy... go buy a Linksys hardware router that supports
DHCP. You can even get one with 8 ports avoiding need for
a switch until you grow more.
[*] remotely log in from macs at home
The best way to do this is VPN. First, select a router above that
supports VPN. Then you'll need some VPN software on both
ends. I have no experience (yet) configuring a VPN service.
[*] host a FileMaker Pro database to share
Ideally, you get a separate dedicated Mac to do this.
Ideally you get FileMaker Server to do this... though with
only 5, you can get away with just using FMPro. But FMS
is preferable. You can also get away with not using a
dedicated machine, but its not advisable.
What would be the best solution for this situation? I don't think we need to go as far as OS X server, but I dunno...
None of the above, as stated, call for OS X Server. Do you want network login? Network administration of the Macs? Netboot? Such things make OS X Server attractive.
There are also 2 other macs we have in the same complex, but not in the main offices' immediate vicinity, that we would also like to access the files on the server, eventually...
Once you have VPN setup for home access, that would also facilitate this, assuming that other pair of Macs is on the internet. If not, then you either need to get them on the internet or you need to get them on your local network with your other Macs. Getting them on the internet is of course easy... just need a second router and a second modem and broadband connection.
We have a spare 266 iMac to use as a file server, would this work alright?
For file serving, either OS X files or FileMaker, the speed of the processor is not too important. The speed of the disks and IO busses is. Whether this machine is adequate will depend HEAVILY on your actual load patterns. But having a dedicated machine is worth a lot. I'd start with it and wait until performance becomes an issue before considering alternatives.