DT Server with Mac mini, iMac, MBP, iPhones and iPad


currently I have an iMac where I keep 3 databases (17Gb- 40,000 items, 18,7Gb-54,000 items, 3,3Gb-7300 items) and plan to have another database with around 5Gb- 10,000 items. This is directly synced with my MBP, via DTG with 2 iPhones and 1 iPad (sync store is on the iMac and iCloud, backup at a NAS).

I am thinking of buying a Mac Mini to keep it in my office with my databases and allowing access via DTG and browser - mainly to allow access for 2 of my colleagues who do not have Apple products


  • What could be the suggested configuration for the Mac Mini? I am not really planning anything else on it
  • What should be the sync solution for the Mac mini and the iMac/Macbook? I am not sure bonjour runs on such a wide area network
  • Where should I keep my backup?
  • How many seats would I need with my server subscription?
  • Can I upgrade my current two-seat licence to a server with 2 additional computers?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated

Is that really relevant here? If someone comes here for advise in configuring their desired setup, I’m a little uncomfortable with people questioning it as if they are using it under nefarious circumstances.

That was why I added the last sentence. And yes, it does make a difference to me if the actions taken based on my suggestion would cause a problem for someone, somewhere in the world.

The reason why I ask, is (1) that not everybody understands the impact of multicast or broadcast traffic and why IGMP snooping or blocking of this type of traffic could influence their synchronization experience on a large LAN (if they don’t manage it themselves). And (2) it would be somewhat of a shame if people start suggesting all kind of options that aren’t desirable at that location for some reason, but the person asking simply isn’t aware those could pose a threat in certain environments and therefore also aren’t necessarily aware of the associated legal issues.

I’ll repeat/rephrase: if there’s no issue, then that’s fine. If there are, I would suggest to first consult with the network administrator and ask for permission or whatever is necessary before proceeding. I don’t see what would be the benefit of doing otherwise, but that’s me.

If you have concerns, there are better ways of inquiring other than directly questioning one’s integrity. If you asked me those questions…, well, let’s just move on at this point.

That’s not the point. If someone isn’t aware of a risk, they’ll underestimate the associated impact and simply not realize that what they’re doing might be against regulations.

That hasn’t got anything to do with integrity (unless perhaps they actually are aware and nevertheless use others to reach their goal, which I do not want to partake in as I’ve explained).

You don’t have to partake, that’s my point. You are not a gatekeeper here and/or an official voice of DEVONthink, and least as far as I know, and your questions to a user asking for advice that question their integrity could be taken as off-putting and unwelcoming. And asking if they own the network and are legally in a position to administer said network IS questioning their integrity. The fine DEVONthink staff monitoring these forums are up to the task of deciding if the OP’s questions are inappropriate or not.

Fine, I’ve deleted my comment and I’ll delete my user account later today.

Gentlemen, no need to open a tiny little war here. I fully understand @anon6914418’s concerns here, and also @Greg_Jones’.

For one, many companies do not allow adding personal devices to the local network for exactly the reasons that @anon6914418 laid out. Usually it’s the company’s IT dept. that evaluates whether the device is okay to be added to the network or not. From @lacomaco’s post I’m sure they didn’t want to do nefarious things but just wanted to run a tiny server on the office network. Maybe they already asked the IT people or planned to do it after evaluating the options.

And I agree with @Greg_Jones that it’s none of our business here in the first place to look into whether something is legal or not in certain environments. Looking at @anon6914418’s post I can see that it could be interpreted that way but doesn’t have to be.

Maybe we could agree that adding a new device, especially a server, to a corporate network environment requires some preparation and maybe talking to the IT people (unless you own the network), but that is something that the topic opener needs to take care of.

And now, maybe we can give them advice about how to do it?


Apologies if my question created bad feelings…

I am the sole owner of my company so there is nobody to ask permission for putting or using any device - except my IT guy… But probably I can convince him

Hope this helps to evaluate my idea


Hard to suggest a configuration here. More RAM is always good and an SSD that comfortable holds all the apps and databases you want to store there is key, of course.

For synchronizing your Mac mini and the other Macs you could use Bonjour on the local network as I expect that the Mac mini is always running. If you want to sync also from outside your network you might want to use a WebDAV service or Dropbox. Or a VPN to your company network so that you can access your Mac mini also from the outside.

Backups are a broad field and there exist many valid ideas on how to make and keep them. I personally advocate off-site backups e.g. on Amazon S3 (e.g. via Arq) but a Time Machine also wouldn’t hurt. @BLUEFROG surely has an opinion here too.

First, DEVONthink Server is not a subscription but a one-tine purchase. The license comes with two seats but you can add more seats for the Pro seats price to run it also on your iMac and MacBook. In the end you’ll need as many seats as you have computers that run DEVONthink. For the users accessing your data via the DEVONthink Server web interface you don’t need additional seats; that’s all covered by the license.

Yes, you can upgrade your current license with additional seats or to a higher edition.

There are many different views on backup strategy. The common theme is to have more than one backup, and test recovery occasionally from those backups (to make sure it’s working as expected).

I have the following for my OSX machines:

: TimeMachine directed to two (2) external disks (NAS and/or USB drive, depending on the device), running continuously. Of course for the Macbook it “catches up” when it is connected to these backup devices (via the docking station)

: Backblaze for running continuously for offsite backup. Nothing worse than having the backups destroyed by the same calamity that affected the computers.

Your mileage may vary. How you backup your decision based on your risk tolerance. Over the years, I’ve had so many disk crashes that my tolerance for backup failure now is pretty low.