Mac Mini Server Reliability

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by linux2mac, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. linux2mac macrumors 65816

    linux2mac

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    "City of Lakes", MN
    #1
    I have a Dell Power Edge 1600SC that I run 4 virtual servers on (I have a back up server for my office, a web server, test server, and development server). My host OS is Suse Linux Enterprise 11. I use Xen to run my guest OS's. The Dell machine is old, big, and loud.

    I am considering replacing my Dell server with a Mac Mini server. SL server would be my host OS and I would use VMware Fusion to run my guest OS's. I would like to hear some feedback about the hardware reliability from those out there that are using a Mac Mini server. My Dell runs 24/7 and the only time I reboot it is when I install updates that require a reboot ( usually 2 - 3 months). Is the Mac Mini server reliable to run 24/7? Thanks.

    -Mike
     
  2. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    Since the latest Mac Mini Server is new, no one can really give you any usable data on its reliability.

    In addition, you have to consider that it is a new, slimmer design with an internal power supply. So data based on the old Mac Mini should not be used to evaluate the reliability of the new version.

    The internal power supply, while aesthetically pleasing, is a serious step back as it drastically reduces downtime, as you would have to send it to Apple, take it to Apple, or wait for the part if you have a SSA. Whereas, you can have a power supply on hand with the old model. I doubt I will be buying a new model due to the change, for my uses at least.

    With that said, I think you should evaluate your needs more closely. The Mini lacks a bevy of features that would be found in a modern PowerEdge. You would get far more power and expandability for your dollar with a T410+, which start below the Mac Mini Server with a Quad core and a much better warranty, in addition to an optional redundant power supply.

    Quite honestly, for any serious application, a Mac Mini server would be a mistake IMO. I understand it's appeal, I run a Mini with OS X Server at home, but I would be laughed at if I were to suggest a Mini is a production environment (medium business+).

    Even if you are a small business, I think the new Mini Server is a step backwards. If you were going to consider one, I would look at the old Mini Server.
     
  3. linux2mac thread starter macrumors 65816

    linux2mac

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    "City of Lakes", MN
    #3
    Calderone,

    Thanks for your thoughts. The only reason I consider a Mini in a production environment is because all of our office applications are PHP apps running on Apache and we have a low number of users. The number of users logged into the PHP application at one time is seven on 2 or 3 days out of the week. Outside those "busy" days we have 2 - 3 users logged in.

    -Mike
     
  4. calderone macrumors 68040

    calderone

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    With limited users, I would consider the Mini, but not the current one if uptime is important to you.

    The reasoning being the change to an internal power supply and inability to easily replace it if it dies. And because we don't know how well it will hold up at this point.
     
  5. linux2mac thread starter macrumors 65816

    linux2mac

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    "City of Lakes", MN
    #5
    Calderone,

    I understand your point on the internal power supply with the new mini server. I didn't think about that until this post. Thanks for your feedback.

    -Mike
     
  6. indg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    #6
    if you plan to use the 2010 mini as a server, i would highly recommend you install a third-party fan control app (fan control or smcfancontrol, etc.)

    i've found the mini can get hot fast because the fan doesn't speed up quick enough, though i've found this to be the case with pretty much every mac. so if you treat it as a server, be sure to cool it like a server. just my $.02.
     
  7. belltree macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #7
    I complete agree on the poing regarding the power supply going internal. I see this as a big step backwards in terms or reliability. Instead of having the PS external where it can freely ventilate it has been further miniaturized and crammed inside the chassis.

    With the current edition, if you ever have a power supply related issue, you have to send in your whole system for service instead of simply swapping the external PS at the shop. I'm still on the edge about whether I should get the new Mini server or the old version (if it can still be bought new) purely for this reason.
     
  8. linux2mac thread starter macrumors 65816

    linux2mac

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    "City of Lakes", MN
    #8
    2010 Mac Mini Server Feedback

    Is anyone else having concerns about the power supply going internal? I plan on running the new mini server 24/7.
     
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #9
    It'll only matter if the power supply decides to pop. You can't just swap one out and no redundancy.
     
  10. linux2mac thread starter macrumors 65816

    linux2mac

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    "City of Lakes", MN
    #10
    Thanks. I would hope Apple thought about this as I am sure I am not the only one intending to run this 24/7. I am still contemplating a pre-2010 refurbed mini server.
     

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