Can I get away with running Server 12 on Windows 7? The documentation seems to discourage this. Currently, there are 7 users and it would be very rare to see more than two or three clients active at one time.
If it is FileMaker only, without web sharing of any kind, you should be able survive, but in general it is not a good idea.
While Mac OS X client is basicly running on a server class OS, Windows 7 is not made to be used as a server.
I would consider using Windows Server 8 for the FileMaker Server.
Choose the proper operating system: While FileMaker Server will run on client versions of Microsoft Windows, such as Windows 7, it Is recommended that the use of client versions of Microsoft Windows be reserved for offline development, testing, and/or demonstration purposes. It is recommended that you install FileMaker Server using the Microsoft Windows 2003 or 2008 Server platform.
Although the advice you're received is correct, as with most hardware it comes down to scale of use and available budget. Both Filemaker Server and Server Advanced are listed within FileMaker's Tech Specs as compatible with Windows 7 Professional 32 bit and 64 bit, and we have many small workgroups operating perfectly happy using a Win 7 PC to host the databases.
If the budget is there, opt for Windows Server products, if not and the overhead is unlikely to be too heavy, then there is no reason not to use a Windows 7 box running good quality internals.
As mentioned in the recent Filemaker webinar, don't run towards new operating systems too quickly and use well established versions.
I have a client that ran FM Server 8 on an XP machine for 5 years with no downtime and no issues, with 6 users.
Well, well ... running XP for 5 years without down-time. With or without FileMaker. Well done
But leaving the jokes behind: Use Windows 2003 Server, Windows 2008 Server or Mac OX 10.6 or higher (client or server) or later, and you will get a reliable and stable environment.
If you are not willing to pay for a Windows 2003/2008 server you can buy Mac OS X 10.8 Server OS for less tha 50 USD. And you can buy an entire Server System (Mac mini 8 GB RAM and two disks, with Quad Core Intel Core i7 processor) for apx. 1,099.- and probably even a little bit cheaper.
I might consider the Mac mini as an option. (I have a 27" iMac at home so I am familiar with OS X) I assume that there are no issues with using the Mac as a server and having Windows clients.
Maybe I've convienently forgotten any down time
But really it was just set it and forget it, and other than system updates it was on 24/7. That same client is now all Mac and is running FM12 Server on a Mac Mini Server with Lion. No problems with that either.
No issues for me with a mixed environment. I connect to the Mac Mini as a Remote Host using both Mac and Windows. Works fine. Also had a lone Windows 7 machine in the same office as the Mini and it worked fine as well.
Absolutely no issues with using either Mac OS X (Unix) or Windows Server 2003/2008. And no problem with any choice of server in a mixed envrionment.
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