Home Server Benefits...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Day48, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Day48 macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2009
    I am curious as to the benefits of a Home Server. I ask this because Apple has the Mac Mini server and I wanted to look into it. So I could be wrong but it is my understanding that it is basically just a hub for music, photos, videos, documents, and available to access from anywhere in the world... Does this mean it is just like iCloud? Are there any other benefits besides that? Can I Just run a bunch of Monitors from it without the need for other computers? Apple TV connect to that server and pull the material off it to be put on my TV?

    Any clarification is appreciated.
  2. Ruahrc, Sep 7, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011

    Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    The mac mini server is really just a name and a little bit of software.

    The mac mini server is just a computer with specs slightly different than that of the other minis. You can use it just like any other desktop available.

    You could in theory buy the "server" software (included with the mini server), install it on a "regular" mini, and have the same functionality (excepting differences in hardware, of course).

    As far as I understand it, you can set up the mini server to serve as a hub for your local network. I think if you registered a domain name, you could also be able to access the server remotely over the web. This would enable you to set up your own "icloud" of sorts. The advantage here would be more control over the parameters of the server, but at the cost of relying on your (likely) home-based network and infrastructure (so no backup generator if the power fails, and you're tied to the bandwidth of your internet connection, etc). Still though it is an interesting prospect- something I have considered looking into, I'm most curious about setting up a VPN for secure connections while away, and a file server since mobileme's idisk is going to be shut down eventually.
  3. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    My guess is that you don't need a home server. Do some research on what Mac Server can do, and I think you'll realize that either you don't really need the features it provides or you won't even understand what they are.

    There are usually other, better solutions for home users for all of the features you list.
  4. Sdevante macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2008
    FWIW, I bought the mid-tier Mini and installed the Server software. Granted, I had no idea what I was doing and to this day, don't really use hardly any of it except for the web server, but it was only $50 and a fun learning experience.

    I have not had a chance yet to test out the VPN server, but my goal was and is also to have access to my files anywhere eventually.
  5. ABTsportsline macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2011
    In short it's more processing power and storage for a lot more money.

    It's more "cool" than necessary for 99% of Mac Mini users. If you decide it is necessary but are "ballin on a budget," you can outfit a standard mac mini with the server software (and even add a second internal drive) for less money. You can also go with an external drive RAID array on your mac mini giving you more storage than the Mac Mini Server and still pay less overall than you would to buy the mac mini server. The server is a relatively expensive solution to a problem not many consumers actually have ;)

    That said, it's still a bad-ass piece of hardware. And of course with Apple it's always about cool & latest/greatest, so that's why you have so many people buying the servers. It's not a bad piece of machinery, just more expensive and harder to justify financially to the casual user.

    I do heavy video editing for my work and I use a standard Mac Mini which works very well for my needs. While a server might have made sense, an external RAID array gives us all the storage we need, and the little intel i5 is actually robust enough with 8Gb of RAM to do all the computing I need for my editing. The quad-core processor would be nice, but our company couldn't justify the cost difference when doing our system-wide refresh into Mac Minis.
  6. richorlin macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2007
    Home server benefits - on the cheap

    If all you really want to do is access your files from anywhere, all you have to do is install the Pogoplug client software http://www.pogoplug.com/
    You don't even have to buy the Pogoplug device.

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