5 Replies Latest reply on May 21, 2017 5:43 PM by fmpdude

    Comcast Business For FMS Hosting?


      Does anyone use Comcast Business with a static IP to connect via VPN to FMS running on Mac Server OS?

      With the the restricted Terms and Conditions of FMS hosting companies, their pricing, and turning over server control to a third party, they're a no-go for my company. Setting up a Mac Server is a snap. VPN is no problem. It's really the cost of that little connection to the Internet.


      If you use Comcast Business, what are your thoughts about Comcast's support?


      What are the monthly costs?


      I'm assuming you might use something like the Airport Extreme and port forwarding to the Mac Server box, but I'm interested to know how people set this up if different.


      Any other comments appreciated.



        • 1. Re: Comcast Business For FMS Hosting?

          We have dozens of hospitals using Comcast connected to a Mac Server (iMac or Mini).

          We generally don't use VPNs . . . just port forwarding to the server.  FMS15 and now several FMS16.  But some customers do.  I don't see any difference is speed or reliability.

          Comcast service (even for business) is only OK.  But the reliability is very high.

          We have many with uVerse . . . generally not as fast, very difficult to configure equipment . . . and worse customer care than Comcast.  Reliability is high.

          And many with CenturyLink.  Same comments as uVerse.

          • 2. Re: Comcast Business For FMS Hosting?

            Thanks, but really wondering how expensive Comcast Business is per month.


            And, since this would be part of my home office network, naturally I'm concerned with punching a hole in my firewall for the Mac Server and wondering about those possible security issues.


            Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: Comcast Business For FMS Hosting?

              On the security side of things, follow FileMaker's security guide from only opening ports you need to implementing SSL connections/certificate, to setting up Least Privilege accounts, to a good backup plan, etc. 


              I'm running quite a few clients on cable connections here in Texas (Spectrum, formerly Time Warner Business Class).  Here in Dallas the basic minimum business connection for these servers is 300 down / 20 up with 5 static IPs and the cost is about $320 a month including tax.  These have worked well on clients up to about 60 users for me in my experience.  Hosting locally will get the fastest performance for in-house connections compared to hosting in the cloud.  So this works well for my clients where the majority of the staff are located in one location. 


              Cable generally does a pretty good job and is quite reliable.  It will never be as reliable as hosting in a data center and never as fast either.  Also, cable works off of some legacy issues that come from being on coax including using frames in a way that was more designed for video.  Fiber has many benefits including being designed for a lot of packets and being a lot less subject to interference because light is hard to interfere with compared to an electric signal on coax.  And while it really doesn't cost more to install fiber than coax, most fiber companies charge a lot more for the better performance of fiber connections.  Also, many places have coax around already and fiber is not so common. 

              • 4. Re: Comcast Business For FMS Hosting?

                By the way, I really like using Mac Pros for servers.  I have had several clients insist on moving from a Mac Pro to some fancy Windows Server in a rack, and none of them have performed as well as the Mac Pro.  I think it has to do with how the pci-e flash storage on a Mac is so integrated with the unit.  Obviously the processors are the same (or the Windows ones are usually newer Xeons).  And lastly, the Mac's tend to attract less attack vectors and have less problems with viruses.  They are not immune, but it is less of a challenge than hardening a Windows server and keeping it up-to-date.  Of course, I'm hoping FileMaker releases their Linux version publicly someday, the one they are using in FM Cloud.


                One more benefit of Mac Pro is having two ethernet ports.  I set one for the LAN and one for the WAN.  I used to not understand the benefit of this, but using the LAN connection for local connections is so much faster this way.  If you just use one ethernet, the router ends up managing a lot more and not just handling LAN connections with dumb switch connections which are usually much faster.  At least for common office routers... I know you can buy really expensive ones that perform well.  But for common cable connections. 

                • 5. Re: Comcast Business For FMS Hosting?

                  Thanks Taylor. Great info.