Mixing Mac OS X and Windows Clients using the same FileMaker server is not a problem. Not at all.
But your idea to use Windows 7 as a production server for 30 users is not recomendable. Even when you are using Windows 7 Professionel edition the problem is: It is not a Server OS.
You should use Windows 2003 or Windows 2008 (32 bit wil definetely be best with FMS 11). Please ask, and I will elaborate on 32/64 bit on Windows.
Windows 7 Professional can be used as a server in a single machine deployment, but it is only advisable for development purposes. Not for production.
It is not FileMaker's fault, but it is due to the weaknesses of the Windows 7 platform. And don't blame Microsoft either, they never marketed Windows 7 as a server.
A cheap way to a reasonably strong server is a good Windows server or maybe a Mac mini. But you write that you will have up to 30 users connected. With some FileMaker solutions you can have 1000 connected users to a FMSA, and with other solutions you will need a very fast and vell configured server to support 200 users. So tell us a little more about your solution and how demanding it is.
Ps. FileMaker is officially warning against using Windows 7 for production systems:
Note FileMaker Server is supported on Windows 7 for single machine installations for development use.
Windows 7 is not supported for deployment use on multiple machine installations.
Quote from the FMS/FMSA manual
Thanks Carsten. Actually I had not read that in the manual so that was a heads up.
The solution is a single file (no separation) - medium level solution - but still important.
Reasons I didn't want to go Server 2008 is the hassle in admin'ing it and so on - as well the fact that this is only going to share the FM Server Adv files and not standard file sharing.
The question would become - if Win7 (a Client OS) is not recommended so therefore Mac OSX 10.7 Client is also not a Server OS... so ... is that not recommended either?
Yeah it's the hassle of admin'ing a full 2008 Server I wanted to avoid...grrr. (sound of blood boiling having to admin Server 2008)
Thank you very much for your comments.
Is a Filemaker hosting service a possibility? No adminning necessary. No blood boiling. Remote access and web access included.
PS - If you buy the Mac Mini server version for $999, that includes a server OS.
Mac OS X 10.6 or 10.7 client is based on the same Unix server platform as Mac OS X Server 10.6 & 10.7. Both with a full version of Apache (if you should need it).
I do not hessitate at all in recommending the use of a Mac OS X client or server as a FMSA or FMS FileMaker Server.
My only advise, and that would be the same for Windows: Go for a good computer with reasonably fast disk access. And not less than 4 GB of memory.
If you are going with a Mac mini you should consider having the databases on a SSD disk (the mini can be fitted with two drives), and then run the FMS backup to the system drive.
And if, at a later stage, you should want to use the mini as a small office server you can add thunderbolt raid systems.
If you can pay more I would go for a heavy duty Windows Server or a Mac Pro. But in your case it is possible that you will get fine performance from a well configured Mac mini.
Have a look at a configuration like this Mac mini (btw: this is delivered with Mac OS X Server pre installed).
- 2.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
- 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
- 750GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm + 256GB Solid State Drive
Hosting can be a very good solution. But setting up FileMaker Server 9, 10 or 11 does not include "blood boiling". It is a straight forward and very easy process, especially with a system like the one Brynley is describing. It is easy on Windows Server and very very easy on Mac OS X Client or Server.
Snap! Yes - just ordered it - but with a single SSD drive only and a 2nd external SSD for the FM backups. And 8GB RAM!
My issue with admin of Server was not FM Server - but having to buy/run/admin a full on MS Server 2008 which I find more problematic then I need. (I have a Server 2008 doing simple file serving already only because ONE single program (long story) that will not work unless it's data is stored on Server 2008 [and it's particular settings don't play nicely with FM Server].
I already have OSX Server 10.6 on another Mac anyway so that is gravy and I can cope with that.
I did consider hosting but 95% of my traffic will be LAN/WAN and I already have a good infratructure in place.
Thanks for the suggestions/comments - appreciated.