#Howto …repurpose old Apple gear

Apple How to...?

Home Server

There are four of us in my family and as I have followed the long (and expensive!) road to Apple Mecca, my wife and kids have benefitted, inheriting the hardware that is no longer “front line” in my professional life.

All this is great until you have collected so much over the years that this same kit comes back to the home “IT department” again!

As a hobbyist I enjoy finding ways to repurpose this hardware and get some of my kicks from researching how and what can be done. Here’s my journey so far…

Set up

I have made the first steps towards a server based home network. A great deal of my paperless workflow relies on data storage and I will post about this separately. Hence the top shelf MacMini holds runs OS X server. However the speed of this older machine was letting us down at times and as a result I rebuilt it to use the speed of the thunderbolt attached drive and moved the operating system to the external drive.

The Server is ethernet connected to Apple’s latest Time capsule and AirPort Extreme which broadcasts our secure wireless network around the house.

In turn the AirPort Extreme is directly connected to a Gigabit switch, allowing the daisy chaining of some older Apple Time Machines and a Drobo 5N for bulk archive storage.

I used an inexpensive racking unit as a way to place all this kit in close proximity but allow air movement for cooling and plenty of opportunity for cable management.









Adjacent to this hub is my personal set up which can be reviewed here.

Gear list

  • MacMini running OS X server
  • Apple 3TB Time capsule and AirPort Extreme
  • Apple 2TB Time capsule
  • Apple 1TB capsule
  • Drobo 5N – NAS
  • WD 2TB thunderbolt drive
  • D-Link switch