Setting up a server

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by stuuke, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. stuuke macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #1
    I came across a service that allows you to set up a mac mini server.

    http://www.macminicolo.net/

    I'm a photographer and currently pay to host 3 different websites. For me the positives would be having storage off-site for important files, ability to set-up FTP downloads for customers and hosting of multiple websites. There are probably some other benefits but I don't have much experience with servers.

    Has anyone set up their own server or used a service like this? Are there any negaitves or other positives I might have overlooked? Any opinions would be appreciated.
     
  2. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #2
    The biggest positive is that you have *complete* control over the system and its configuration.

    For simple applications, though, a good hosting account will be cheaper, more reliable, and just as adequate.
     
  3. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #3
    It depends a bit on what kind of hosting deals are available to you and what kind of bandwidth you have.

    I host stuff myself because the sites I host are large (300-600MB) and hosting them externally would cost me a fortune. Doing it myself works out a lot cheaper ($20:$300/month). It also means I can set the sites up as not just public resources but build admin back-end stuff on to provide private(-ish) access to high res files and so on that are handy to have available externally but wouldn't be worth it if i was paying per MB for space on someone else's server.

    Setting up is pretty easy - at a basic level, you just turn on Web Sharing, that's it. Then you'll need a static IP address for your internet connection and to instruct whoever looks after your domain name to redirect it to that IP. (You can use dynamic IPs but that's slightly more complicated)

    If you just want to do web hosting but not email, make sure they only switch the "A records" (for web requests) not the "MX records" (for mail requests) for your domain.

    Put the web site in /Library/Webserver/Documents

    You'll probably need to do some configuration on the Apache /etc/httpd/httpd.conf file (it's very well commented with explanations of what to change to do what). The Apache site has loads of help on this.

    Otherwise, for more complex requirements, you can install Apache 2, MySQL and PHP, all freely available and relatively easy to configure (with a bit of research).

    The main concern i'd have for you would be running it off a Mini, just because it uses a notebook drive, which is not really designed for the constant, continuous use that a server demands.
     
  4. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    The Library.
    #4
    You can actually just download xammp or MAMP if you script in php or Locomotive if you're a RAILS person. those are all nice GUI based http server-databbase server-scripting module pieces of software which are n00b friendly. the only reason that I'm currently not hosting any sites n my own machine is that i have dsl. all websites over 10 mb's should really be on T1 or T3.
     
  5. stuuke thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #5
    So is that macmini company not really adequate for hosting sites?

    How much do T1 lines usually run?
     
  6. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #6
    The Mac Mini is in most cases more than adequate to run sites in terms of serving files, and reasonable for processing (database queries, PHP etc). It's just that the hard drives they ship with are not built for server work and so the likelihood of it failing is higher than if you used a desktop hard drive or a server drive. They're also a bit slower. Not the end of the world tho, so long as you have a backup in place. Or you could get an external drive and boot off that.

    As to bandwidth / line speed - more is always better, but again, it needn't end the project if you can't get T1

    I'm running mine off a G3 400 on a 1MB up/down line. Response times are not always as quick as they might be, but it does the job.

    I'm sure I read somewhere that unless you were serving a million pages a day (just pure page serving mind - no processing beyond that) that a Quadra 700 would do just fine.
     
  7. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    The Library.
    #7
    Just download MAMP, forward routewr port 8888, turn on domain masking, and you're good to go!:)
     

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