Mac Mini as file server?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Celeron, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2004
    Here's an easy question for everyone. Right now I'm running a Shuttle XPC system with an Athlon 1800+ with 512 megs of ram as a file server. It holds things such as drivers for my pc, my itunes library, photos, documents, and a few other misc. things that I don't want to bother keeping on my main PC. This computer is on 24/7, the internal temp is around 125F, and the CPU runs at 100% CPU all the time while Folding@Home. This server also run DNS for me because RoadRunner's DNS server is often too sluggish for my liking.

    My question is this. Can a Mac Mini handle the same situation? It would be on 24/7 and the CPU pegged at 100%. I'd like it to handle file sharing as well, and possibly a copy of bind to do DNS duties.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2004
    Land flowing with Milk and Honey
    While a mini might be able to stand up to this 24/7 operation I probably would not count on it.

    1. If the mini's CPU burns up your out a whole mini.
    2. If the Athlon XP 1800 burns up your out about 50 bucks to replace the CPU
    3. No consumer computer is really designed to run 100% utilization 24/7
    While you may have had good results so far with doing it, If you were attempting this on a much larger scale you would start to see a large percentage of failures.

    The industry standard for Tier 1 manufactures of Consumer computers is around 99% uptime ( referred to as two 9s) that equates to the system crashing for some reason or another and being offline 3.5 days a year. Whereas Servers are typically built to withstand uptime of 99.9%
    And Very high end equipment is built to have uptime of 99.99 or 99.999.
    Systems in the 5 9's range typically have redundant everything from memory to power supplies to controller cards to sometimes even CPU's.
    These systems cost serious bank.

    a good example of failures showing up at a large scale.
    We have 1835 Xserves. These systems run 100% Utilization 24/7
    We have about 1 hardware crash every 2 to 3 weeks.
    Hardware problems have been faulty memory, motherboards, power supplies, and have burned up 9 CPU's so far.
  3. Celeron thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2004
    That is what concerns me, I don't think the Mini would be stable over the long haul. Maybe it would and my limited experience with Mac hardware is leading my astray.

    As far as my current server goes, its been happily grinding away just about everyday for the last year or more. It did get taken down for an OS reinstall and some memory upgrades, but other than that its been up pretty much the entire time. Keep in mind that although the cpu is at 100% all the time, the hard drive, and the rest of the components pretty much, sit idle 95% of the day.

    I see no reason why a consumer grade machine can't run reliably for an extended period of time doing light computing work, such as Folding@Home.
  4. kg9ov macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2005
    In front of a computer...
    I don't know about other peoples experience with the mini, but I bought mine the day they were released in the retail stores. It has been on 24/7 ever since. Folding@Home has been installed and running 24/7 since Feb. 12th. I have it sitting on its side on the desk (runs cooler to the touch like this rather than horizontal). I don't know the actual temp., I haven't bothered to even try and find out.

    Obviously the 2.5" HD will not have the performance of a standard desktop type drive, but it should be fine for light file serving at home. Also, I wouldn't see any reason why Bind would be an issue.

    As for reliability, for the price of a server class system that is designed for "more 9s", you could afford to find out just how much smoke Apple managed to compress into that little box... :D

  5. SFVCyclone macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2005
    Pasadena, Ca
    just try it and report back to us what happens. or maybe you may want to let it rest aka not fold on the week ends.

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