MacMiniColo Launches $99/Month Mac Pro Colocation Service

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Popular Mac colocation service has introduced a new Mac Pro colocation service with similar services to its existing offerings.
    MacMiniColo owner Brian Stucki told MacRumors that the fan in the Mac Pro "does well getting air through the machine" and that heat dissipation will not be an issue in major data centers. However, he did note that the Pro draws significantly more power than the Mac Mini that they typically use which is the more difficult commodity to come by in a data center.

    The company is offering two pricing packages, one with a 12-month commitment at $99 per month for 2TB of data transfer, and another at $119 with 3TB of transfer and no contract.

    Unlike its Mac Mini offering, MacProColo will only colocate Mac Pro's that users already own, rather than offering its own units for sale, because of extremely limited availability. Once stock improves, the company will offer Mac Pro units for sale and faster setup.

    Yesterday, Stucki was testing a Mac Pro in his data center and noted that using a dummy HDMI adapter -- convincing the Mac Pro that it has a display attached -- has the machine running significantly faster because the Mac Pro's dual GPU's run faster when it believes a display is attached. isn't the only company planning Mac Pro colocation services; MacStadium plans to offer a similar service in the near future.

    Article Link: MacMiniColo Launches $99/Month Mac Pro Colocation Service
  2. macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    This reminds me of Adobe's Creative Cloud. With colocation, you're basically paying a monthly lease on a Mac that you don't own. I'm not clear what the advantage is, unless you're always traveling. And wouldn't you need a computer anyway to in order to connect?
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2011
  4. macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
    The dummy HDMI is an interesting concept. Can't that be hard on your machine???
  5. macduke, Jan 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014

    macrumors 601


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    It's for web servers, file servers, push notification servers, etc. Doesn't usually apply to most normal consumers. I haven't looked into it too deeply, but I've been considering a MacMiniColo to use with open source software to create my own Dropbox with huge amounts of space, along with maybe a Minecraft server and web server for my freelance site and my friend's personal sites.

    Edit to add: Here is a good list of uses posted on their blog:
  6. macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I think you buy a Mac Pro, then send it in to them and you have access to it from any other mac. You don't get to use one of their mac pros.

    Not sure why I would want this. Maybe if you were a Maya artist and needed to render on a faster machine than laptops offer?
  7. macrumors 68020


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    For a second there, I thought a small version of the Mac Pro was the new Mac Mini.

    Now that I think about it, something the size of the new Airport/TimeCapsule would make a great MacMini. Given that they can fit all the components into the current flat case, it should be possible to build around a small version of the Mac Pro's central core concept.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    business. depending on the company its cheaper for some people to lease hardware than to own it and be responsible for hardware upkeep/maintenance. its pretty normal for hosting companies to lease hardware rather than own it, especially with how fast product cycles refresh now. they'd still be paying off hardware they cant rent to customers when generations of newer stuff are out.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2007
    Inside the Machine (Green Bay, WI)
    No, with colo you own the hardware. And this has nothing to do with leasing software. (At least with Adobe's cloud you're paying them to stay up to date—like leasing a car, except you get access to the dealer's whole lot when you need it. With colocation you're just renting space and bandwidth on data center's rack.)

    TBH I love the Mac but it really makes a crappy server. The beauty of a good server is the majority of the time, you shouldn't need to touch it—and there's where Mac OS X's strength is. You want to use it.

    Mac as a general purpose internet server hasn't really made much sense with the falling cost of hardware. Remember, Apple is a hardware company and would love to sell you new hardware every year but for servers, it might be every 3 or 4.

    When I need a server that's public facing on the internet, Linux is better, cheaper, and faster. These days, dedicated servers are overpowered and expensive, especially if you need to buy the hardware upfront. If you need a lot of power, you can easily scale up via VPS and let your provider take care of the ongoing hardware upgrades. Seriously, Linode gives me 2 TB bandwidth and 1 GB RAM for $20/month. (The only thing that's not so good there is disk space. Typically internet apps don't need much by way of disk space but if you're hosting a lot of files, S3 or something similar could be a better option.)

    There's actually cloud render farms that specialize in this. You upload your Cinema 4D or Maya or 3Ds or whatever file and you rent CPU time. They'll spit out the frames you need. But unless you're rendering long scenes or huge video, there's no substitute for having your own Mac Pro or 2.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    not any harder than having a regular monitor plugged in.

    this actually isnt new at all - anybody who has ever tried to use a mac as a headless server has encountered this problem. there has to be some kind of low-level thing going on here, since xserve g5s didnt have this problem. but yeah, if you use a mac with a video card as a headless machine - big time slowdown.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2012
    Helsinki, Finland
    No, the monthly subscription doesn't even get you a machine. All it does is connect the machine that you yourself have to pay for to a high bandwidth internet connection.

    Basically your internet and elec. bills at home will be reduced...but certainly not by $99 a month!!!

    This service is for people who either a. don't like money, or b. are too stupid to set up a headless server at home.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ

    i think in this case the OP is generalizing "colo" with "renting a server"

    colo: you pay for the server and maintenance and the DC handles everything else
    renting a server: you pay a monthly fee and they handle everything (and own the hardware)

    what macminicolo is doing right now: colo
    what they're gonna do when availability improves: rent the servers out
  13. macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2012
    Helsinki, Finland
    This is not hardware leasing, read it properly.


    Wrong, they won't rent the servers out. You will pay up front and in full, the same as you would to Apple. Check out their website.
  14. macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2010
    you have no idea what youre talking about. this is for small businesses running remote servers/services for critical events that want the reliability of a hosted data center. you dont run a notification server out of your living room...
  15. macrumors member

    Gene Steinberg

    Apr 24, 2007
    This sounds like an interesting setup, except for the fact that 2TB and 3TB bandwidth are paltry for a high-end server configuration. Maybe 20TB or 30TB.

  16. macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2014
    So if I use a dummy hdmi plug with my thunderbolt monitor my computer will run faster?
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 3, 2012
    i still dont get the service. Surely a web host will offer everything you might need. I run a drop box type service off mine along with many other things and i'm struggling to see how the mac pro is a remote system. i mean it's just hardware but not designed to do server workloads.

    Is this a sort of processor farm type thing or am i totally missing the point. $99 a month is what you'd pay a year for a good quality host. that kinda cost would get you a dedicated bit of rack kit designed for purpose and much more.
  18. macrumors regular

    May 8, 2012
    I can't imagine anyone sane buying this overpriced service. Traditional datacenters are much cheaper and don't charge you $10 per month just for remote restart.
  19. macrumors 68000

    Apr 12, 2002
    A lease is completely tax deductible, whereas softwAre sand hardware purchases have to be depreciated over 5 years.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    MacMiniColo makes sense, for me

    I appreciate money, and I'm not too stupid to setup a headless server at home... In fact, I worked for Sun Microsystems for 16 years, was the Product Manager for our first Multiprocessor system, taught Unix, System Administration, and am an award-winning, bestselling app developer. I tried the headless server at home approach, but there are issues.

    I've tried RoadRunner Business Class and my own Mac mini server, but RRBC went down frequently and they never seemed to care. I also had to have reliable power, and that was an issue a couple of times, even with a UPS. To not have to worry about my internet and power and just have my Mac server work is great. I can even reboot it from my iPhone/iPad.

    Why do businesses need a Mac Mini server as opposed to Linux? Well, in my case, there are specific features of Mac OS and third party software that only run on Mac OS, and are required for my server. Plus the Mac mini is a 'known' quantity... if I need to replace it, I can do so without worrying if Dell/etc. still make the system/components in some random PC box. In fact, MacMiniColo has spares on hand if needed.

    I've been using MacMiniColo for years and they're great. They are reliable, professional and affordable.

    The MacPro version of their colocation service is about twice the cost, not counting the hardware (I supplied my own Mac mini, but they offer them for sale... when the Pro is more plentiful, they will as well.) so I'm not sure I'll upgrade but if the demands on my server increase, it's nice to know that's an option.

    If some people can't see the value, that's on them.
  21. RMo
    macrumors 65816

    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    No. There is nothing special about HDMI; the computer just needs to either have a display attached or think it does, and the dummy HDMI adapter is simply one way of doing the latter. If you're actually using your computer with a display, this obviously doesn't matter. (You don't normally in a data center.)
  22. macrumors 603


    Soon we will see rows of horizontal MacPros and stacked. They will be interconnected by TB2.

    In addition to MacPro colo rental, we will see grids and clusters.

    The pictures will be shiny.

  23. macrumors 65816

    Mar 16, 2006
    Sarasota, Florida
    I've used headless G4 towers in the past and now Mac a Mac mini remotely controlled with Apple Desktop Remote and have never experienced what you describe. I read this article as meaning this is a new phenomenon related purely to the new Mac Pro's GPU architecture.
  24. macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    Around 4 months ago I stopped using my 2010 MacPro and it's 30'' cinema screen for editing FCP and After Efx. My Electric bill has dropped £34 per month (£102) for the quarter. I now only use the MacBook Pro late 2013 for working on and its saving a fortune! I plug in a 27'' LED screen which takes almost no power to run.

    The MacBook pro is faster, more stable and a joy to use. The power saving wasn't on the radar at all as it didn't bother me, but seeing the actual results it's now something I'm paying more attention too.
  25. macrumors 68020

    May 20, 2011
    No, this service is for people who:

    Don't have fire suppressant service at home. Sprinkler heads and fire extinguishers don't count. Most data centers stop fire by making the area very cold preventing the fire from breathing instead of spraying water which damages equipment or gas which prevents employees from having oxygen to breath.

    Have multiple backbones for Internet connectivity. This allows the servers to have redundancy for Internet connectivity. You may have heard of N+1 or N+2. This also includes redundancy for power and cooling.

    Have 24/7 support staff and security. Are you always home? Is your home secured from physical access? Do you have an IT guy that is on-call or on-site to fix your problems right away?

    $99 is actually cheap for what you get.

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