FMServer 11.0v4 is fine on Mac OS X 10.7. I suspect (but have not had an opportunity to confirm) that the current Mac Pro and Mac Mini models should allow you to install 10.7, since the hardware version pre-dates 10.8.
Anyone bought a Mac Mini or Mac Pro since the 10.8 release and tried to put 10.7 on it?
Do you really need OSX Server on your FM Server box?
Certainly there are some added features in the Server OS but AFAIK none are necessary and there is a viewpoint which says that the OS on your Server should one that is tried and trusted rather than being the latest release. I'm still on OS X 10.6 which has been rock solid so long as we've defered on most of the Java Updates.
Have you looked around for a S/H MacPro? In my opinion they have a good track record for hosting FMS and you can bump the performance easily enough, if necessary, with an SSD. PowerMax in Portland, OR always have a reasonable selection to choose from.
Thanks for the tip. I do like the idea of running a separate machine for the filemaker server so it could reside on desktop software as long as the hardware is up to scratch. I have to have new hardware, we can't take any risks with s/h hardware and reliability issues. This is a mission critical database. How do I set up new hardware with OSX 10.6 on it? I thought that wasn't possible. To further aid reliability I will only run the Filemaker server on a machine with 2xSSD's or some sort of attached RAID box for redundancy and performance. I haven't looked into that yet, does the Thunderbolt port on a Mac Mini support decent RAID boxes?
I'd also rather not replace a 4y.o. server with old hardware - isn't it about 3 years since the MacPro's refreshed hardware?
It seems that the Mac Mini server with 2 internal SSD's is better or not a great deal worse than getting the older MacPro, except for the difficulty of replacing faulty drives and repairs.
With such short notice I'm quickly weighing up the options.
The MacPro's hardware is certainly getting long in the tooth with an upgrade expected next year -- according to Tim Cook! That said, a MacPro would still be my choice as their build quality is very good. And . . . if you wanted the ultimate in performance I'd be considering the Accelsior SSD's from OWC. I've not yet seen or heard of anyone using them for an FM Server HD and, as they are a new product, you may not want to be that close to a bleeding edge, but their specs are certainly impressive.
If you have the OS X 10.6 DVD then you can easily reformat the boot drive for that OS.
Getting a pair of SSD's into a MacMini is not for the fainthearted. You can see a video of the process on the OWC web site. One drive is easy, but you almost have to take the whole Mini apart to gain access to the space for a second drive.
You can get a good RAID setup off the Thunderbolt port using the Promise Pegasus RAID as shown of Apple's Web site under Storage. If you look back in the archives you will see Taylor Sharpe waxing lyrical over the speeds he was seeing. You should probably ask him for an update on his recent experiences. I'm sure he will be forthcoming.
You do have several options!
Another question. FMS12 needed to be updated to get IWP working on OSX 10.8. Would it be safe to assume that IWP won't work on OSX10.8 for FMS11, since FMS11 has recieved no updates? Is there a bug list for FMS11 on various software versions?
Side Note: I just think that it's a bad idea. And buying 2nd hand hardware until I upgrade is also a bad Idea. Personally I'd just prefer a Windows server because it would just work and there's lots of nice redundant fast configurations out there. Here's hoping that my request for a Win server goes through.
I did test Accelsior SSDs on an FMServer recently. Copying an 8GB database:
• Recent vintage iMac: several minutes
• 4-drive RAID 0 3G OWC Mercury Extreme: 22 seconds
• 2-drive RAID 0 Accelsior SSDs: 10 seconds
My client bought the Accelsiors to upgrade his system from FMP 11 to 12. Unfortunately, the blazing speed of the Accelsiors was not enough to overcome the slowdown in the FileMaker calculation engine in FMP 12 (based on a battery of user tests), so we stayed with 11.
Additional tests on RAID configurations showed that while RAID 0 significantly improved performance on server-only tasks (e.g., backups and server side scripts), there was only a small performance boost for client tasks, so I'm going to go with a RAID 1 for redundancy rather than RAID 0 with a robust backup strategy and disaster recovery plan.