Mac Mini Servers?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Aea, May 8, 2008.

  1. Aea
    macrumors 6502a

    Aea

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #1
    Anybody here run server applications on a Mac Mini? iWeb is offering Mac Mini colocation for $50 a month, I'm considering picking one up, probably used and upgrading it to 2GB of ram (or whatever the max is).
     
  2. macrumors G3

    bigandy

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Murka
    #2
    For basic applications it's fine, but the hard drive isn't server friendly.

    What are you planning on using it for?
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    italiano40

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    NY
    #3
    my friend does run a mail server off his mac mini and i use that as my e-mail and it works great and it is up and running all the time.
     
  4. Aea
    thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aea

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #4
    We plan on using it for the first few months of a startup, pretty easy MySQL / PHP stuff. We figure it'll be pretty easy to work with, and we can use it for office tasks once we outgrow it.
     
  5. macrumors G3

    bigandy

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Murka
    #5
    It'll be fine then, unless you're running a hugely popular website like MacRumors ;)

    Which OS are you planning on using?

    My weapon of choice, used on my hosting servers is CentOS. It's been bullet proof.
     
  6. Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #6
    I run Leopard Server on a Mac Mini with 2GB of RAM. Primarily use it as a VPN gateway, but I also use the iCal server, web+blog server, and remote administration services on it.

    Runs great for my light use.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #7
    I ran Tiger server for over a year on a 500 MHz Ti laptop (512 meg) with absolutely no problem. I was running only the file sharing service and was therefore not asking too much, but I was nonetheless surprised to see that it worked so well with such limited horsepower.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #8
    I run a mac mini with Leopard Server and use it for file and print sharing. Some wiki and light web-page hosting. Runs flawless with only 1 Gig of RAM.

    Somebody on another thread pointed out that the fact that you have to restart Leopard Server for installing automatic updates was a deal-breaker. But I guess that has to do more with the software than the mini really.

    But I agree with responses above, the hard disk is the weakest link. So, unless you are doing databases or media streaming at some point, you will be fine says this observer.

    M.
     
  9. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    Running a DBMS is the one task the Mini is least suited to. The disk is small and slow and you can't stuff all that much RAM into a mini. But if you are only testing it might work OK. Would be very slow if there were any kind of real traffic
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    #10
    Mac minis work incredibly good as servers.

    A few items to note:

    - The max RAM is 3.16GB. You'd have to put in 2x2GB sticks and the mini would address up to that much.

    - Just last night Apple listed some Refurb minis on the site. They usually go real quick, but they are a good deal if you're ready to buy now.

    - The hard drives are much better performers than people think. We've ran about 600 minis for three years now and have had 10 hard drive failures. Thats a pretty good rate. I think it's that way because these minis are colocated in a data center where they are not bumped around (like a laptop), they have clean power, and the humidity and temperature are closely monitored.

    - High traffic isn't a problem. I ran a site on my personal Mac mini that had about 2 million page views per month. Jailbreakme.com currently runs from a mini in our center and takes in about 5 million per month. It all depends on what you do with the traffic gets there. :)

    Anyway, hope this helps. Feel free to send me a PM if you have any specific questions.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Location:
    Suburb of Chicago
    #11
    I'm sure stability/reliability is a major concern to people in which case it's good to know the failure rate, but I don't think that's what people are suggesting here. Mini's use laptop drives... about as far as you can get from enterprise class drives you'd actually see in a true server. With enormous seek time the hard drive would get absolutely nailed by db queries. Also, the lack of redundancy in the storage department is just asking for trouble.

    At the time of this posting, Jailbreakme.com is down.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    #12
    It does have a tendency to over heat, although rare it does happen, and apple doesn't cover it. It is not rec emended, but I do use it as a server, you must upgrade ram to at least 2gb of ram, to support the os, but it runs fine if you ask me for a temp. server.
     

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