2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 4, 2015 9:56 AM by taylorsharpe

    Mac Thunderbolt Sharing

    taylorsharpe

      I have a small group of developers and we utilize two servers, one which is a Mac Mini and one which is a new Mac Pro that just replaced an old Mac Pro. 

       

      Because FileMaker no longer plays well with other services, we have put Email, Web (except WebDev), and file sharing on the Mac Mini and all of the FileMaker development is on its own Mac Pro. 

       

      Since the Mac Mini did file sharing, we had the a Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID attached to it.  We also did Time Machine backups to it of the OS. 

       

      The New Mac Pro only came with 512 Gig on it and I wanted to hook the Pegasus to it instead of the Mac Mini.  But I also wanted to have the Mac Mini do file sharing on it.  The Pegasus is a Thunderbolt serial connection, but it is not a Network Attached storage designed for multiple computers to be connected at once. 

       

      I knew that Thunderbolt provided some type of connectivity, but had never tried it.  But it actually works pretty well.  What you do is connect the two computers via file sharing over the Thunderbolt.  Each gets a self assigned IP and its like connecting over ethernet, and really fast. Then I connect the Pegasus RAID by Thunderbolt to the Mac Pro and both computers can now see it.  Better yet, the Mac Mini that does File Sharing, sees the Pegasus through the Mac Pro and file shares to users.  This is important because my Open Directory users are all on the Mac Mini. 

       

      Obvious issues would be if both computers try to use the same file and I'm sure that could result in corruption or something.  So when I want the Mac Pro to see shared files, I have it share through the ethernet network to the Mac Mini that then shares the Pegasus files.  But for the files I only need the Mac Pro to use, I directly use those files in the finder (e.g., extra FileMaker folder locations, Time Machine, etc.). 

       

      I love the Thunderbolt technology and its speed, as well as the Pegasus RAID.  I guess ideally I would get a Pegasus RAID for both computers, but we really only need the space of one and this works well for sharing.  

       

      I guess it raises the question if FileMaker would see a Thunderbolt shared storage in the way it sees other serial connected devices.  That would be useful since FileMaker does not see network attached storage. I would try it out except the Mac Mini only has one Thunderbolt connector so it can't connect to the Mac Pro and the Thunderbolt at the same time.  But it would be fun to try if I had a second Mac Pro.  Maybe someone else knows if this will work. 

       

      I'm new to Thunderbolt sharing and how well FileMaker works with it.  I know it works well normally connected directly to a computer, but learning about Thunderbolt sharing. 

       

      None of my FileMaker databases are on the Pegasus.  They're all on the Mac Pro internal storage. 

        • 1. Re: Mac Thunderbolt Sharing
          wimdecorte

          Taylor Sharpe wrote:

           

          since FileMaker does not see network attached storage.

           

          On purpose.  As mentioned in best practice sessions at many devcons, NAS storage for live files and backups is an absolute no-no.  Fast and robust Disk i/o is one of the absolute critical components of a good deployment.  NAS uses a network connection which is both slower and more vulnerable than internal disk i/o.

           

          Your Thunderbolt setup comes awfully close to being classified as a NAS and I would not deploy on it, even if FMS could see the folders.

          • 2. Re: Mac Thunderbolt Sharing
            taylorsharpe

            I agree with you about the NAS warning Wim, except that I am not hosting live FileMaker files over Thunderbolt networking.  Or if I do, it will be through direct Thunderbolt connection just like SATA, and not through the Thunderbolt sharing (remember, the Pegasus is directly attached to the Mac Pro).  So I am not using FileMaker as a NAS like you suggest, but I am using the Mac Mini to access non-FileMaker folders and share them to the developers.  The nice thing is the Mac Mini has my Open Directory and makes controlling access much easier.  And after all, we're not supposed to even be file sharing on the Mac Pro with FileMaker server on it.  But I sure am liking the speed which files connect.  Its clearly snappier than over gigabit ethernet.