Mac Mini server will do what exactly?

vanderlay

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 26, 2008
6
0
Maybe this is a dumb question, because I have no experience with servers, but what exactly will a mac mini server with Snow Leopard Server do that any other mac will not?

Streaming music and video is already possible, but perhaps the server will be better at it?

More users can access at the same time? Other macs can access the hard drives?
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
It'll do everything OS X Server can do, and it'll do it on a conveniently small system. If you need to know what OS X Server can do, that's a very broad question.

I don't know what they're expecting people to actually do with it really, it's probably just quick and easy a response to Windows Home Server (and accompanying hardware, though the minis hardware is no where near as good - no RAID5).
 

tersono

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2005
1,999
1
UK
It'll make a superb headless small office or home server - good for email, web serving, file serving, local DNS, media, you name it. I've been waiting for just such a device - I'll be buying one very soon.

The lack of RAID5 is no great bother IMHO. I'll be running the two internal drives as RAID1 and will be attaching an external drive (either another RAID1 setup or possibly a Drobo) for more storage.
 

Hexley

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2009
822
21
It'll do everything OS X Server can do, and it'll do it on a conveniently small system. If you need to know what OS X Server can do, that's a very broad question.

I don't know what they're expecting people to actually do with it really, it's probably just quick and easy a response to Windows Home Server (and accompanying hardware, though the minis hardware is no where near as good - no RAID5).
There is a market for it as some owners have their Mac minis co-located at datacenters.
 

Wheaty

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2009
146
0
Cheshire, UK
Hmmmm.

If it could be used for distributed Audio and Data streaming for super fancy houses that would be good.

I know there are quite a few options out there, but the pint sized mini + one network hub would win hands down in space usage compared to some of the other systems out there.

I'm sure it can be done, Maybe there is a system out already for Macs?
I'm thinking of more than the plug in wireless streamer, I'm thinking controls with remotes, displays etc etc.
 

MWPULSE

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2008
706
1
London
I reckon small companies that need a central file server to store stuff on. But don't obviously have the money. Nor need for the ultra power of the xserve.

It might be used in homes as well. File server. Media storage. :)
 

vanderlay

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 26, 2008
6
0
Why not read what OS X Server's features are on the Apple site? They actually list the features why you'd want to get OS X Server in the first place!

http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/
Thank you. I can see stuff like email server and web hosting, but for the rest, it is still a bit unclear to me how this is different from the plain vanilla OSX, since all OS have multiple user accounts, calendars etc.

I'm probably most interested in its function as a home server, but unsure how this would work differently from the ususal functions like media library sharing in iTunes, networked airport harddrives, time machine etc.
 

ViViDboarder

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2008
3,447
0
USA
Thank you. I can see stuff like email server and web hosting, but for the rest, it is still a bit unclear to me how this is different from the plain vanilla OSX, since all OS have multiple user accounts, calendars etc.

I'm probably most interested in its function as a home server, but unsure how this would work differently from the usual functions like media library sharing in iTunes, networked airport harddrives, time machine etc.
Regular OSX can do basic File, Printer, and Music sharing.

OSX Server lets you HOST your OWN email, Calendar and Contacts server as well as all the other features of regular OSX. Also all of the access can be restricted based on specific user accounts and managed easier (I know you can do users as well on OSX).

Think of it like this... What Google does with Gmail, Gcal, and Google Talk and Google Contacts... You can do all on your own from your own server.

Good for someone who either needs the extra HDD space or loves tinkering or any Small Business owner who needs the added features. If you only want files, printers and Music sharing, a regular Mac Mini will do just fine.
 

moviebrain

macrumors member
Oct 13, 2008
36
0
I'm also guessing this is something App Store devs can use to drive Push notifications for iPhone.
 

lulla01

macrumors 68020
Jul 13, 2007
2,337
523
U.S
media

The only reason i would buy this is to make it a media server but i have a ps3 with a 500gb hard drive that works really well for that. IMO the mac mini is too expensive for what it does.
 

ViViDboarder

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2008
3,447
0
USA
The only reason i would buy this is to make it a media server but i have a ps3 with a 500gb hard drive that works really well for that. IMO the mac mini is too expensive for what it does.
What it does? I'm not sure what you're thinking of. It's a full computer capable of a lot.

If you're just using it for File/Media sharing... Yes. It's a waste. You can use any NAS for that and save lots of money.
 

cleric

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2008
533
0
The storage expandability and size hamstrings the hell out of this thing. I just can't see any situation where someone wouldn't just step up to a xserve or an offering from dell.
 

ViViDboarder

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2008
3,447
0
USA
The storage expandability and size hamstrings the hell out of this thing. I just can't see any situation where someone wouldn't just step up to a xserve or an offering from dell.
Cost for one... If you don't need more than 1TB then this is fine. Also, you could easily add an external drive via Firewire if needed.

It has a niche.
 

reebzor

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2008
870
1
Philadelphia, PA
I'm probably most interested in its function as a home server, but unsure how this would work differently from the ususal functions like media library sharing in iTunes, networked airport harddrives, time machine etc.
Not to sound like a jerk but, If you are this unsure of what exactly a server does, you probably do not need one.
 

dyn

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2009
2,708
383
.nl
The storage expandability and size hamstrings the hell out of this thing. I just can't see any situation where someone wouldn't just step up to a xserve or an offering from dell.
The Xserve is big, noisy and of course the price is far beyond the Mac mini Server. Same goes for the Dell offerings. There are a lot of companies (small ones, even big ones) that have servers in the same room as where people work because they can't put the server elsewhere for whatever reason (they don't have a bigger office, no serverroom, etc.). In that case people will go mad with a noisy server (and boy do those fans in Dells and Xserves get loud, I doubt Dutch law even permits the use of such servers in the same room as where people work due to the noise level). The Mac mini virtually makes no noise at all and that makes it very very usable in the aforementioned situations.

The Mac mini Server is a great device for small companies, workgroups, taskforces (or whatever strange name managers come up with) that need a workgroup server but don't like the cost, noise and size of the average server. Mostly those people will have enough disk space with just 500 GB (you'll only get 1 TB when configuring it as raid0 which is the most stupid thing to do on a server; you should configure it as raid1 so when 1 disk fails you'll still be able to do some work). When they need more they can resort to DAS, NAS or even SAN. In that case one can split functionality; have something else do the filesharing stuff and use the mini for things like mail, chat, calendar, wiki, etc.
 

MTI

macrumors 65816
Feb 17, 2009
1,106
6
Scottsdale, AZ
The Xserve is big, noisy and of course the price is far beyond the Mac mini Server.
And the reason is that there are multiple circulation fans (including those in the hot swap power supplies) in a 1U sized rack mount chassis cooling multiple CPUs that are expected to run 24/7/365 over their useful life.

The only real change to the Mini for this "server" edition is the replacement of the optical drive with another 500GB HD. Even for a small office, 1TB (or 500GB mirrored) is fairly minimal, so additional external storage devices and adding an optical drive are likely to be "must haves." So, for $1K, you get server software and a smallish server-wanna be.
 

Tilpots

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2006
4,191
71
Carolina Beach, NC
Could this Mini Server be used as a "personal cloud?" Like, could you use your iPhone or laptop to dial in remotely and retrieve any file or media you wanted anytime, anywhere?

And if so, how well could it work as such? I understand the limitations of the connected network, but could it play back movie/music files or keep a shared database or document updated in real time?
 

michael.lauden

macrumors 68020
Dec 25, 2008
2,325
1
Could this Mini Server be used as a "personal cloud?" Like, could you use your iPhone or laptop to dial in remotely and retrieve any file or media you wanted anytime, anywhere?

And if so, how well could it work as such? I understand the limitations of the connected network, but could it play back movie/music files or keep a shared database or document updated in real time?
.......

it's a server, just because it's a Mac mini it doesn't gain or lose anything a normal server can do.
 

aligator

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2009
1
0
florida
Server based iPhoto & iTunes

Can I use the mini server to consolidate our families ITunes and IPhoto libraries so that we can all access them in one place?
 

sukanas

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2007
684
0
sorry to hijack but ive tried googling and searching but its hard to find an answer

is a server like a computer that anyone else can connect to?
 

ViViDboarder

macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2008
3,447
0
USA
Can I use the mini server to consolidate our families ITunes and IPhoto libraries so that we can all access them in one place?
sorry to hijack but ive tried googling and searching but its hard to find an answer

is a server like a computer that anyone else can connect to?
Could this Mini Server be used as a "personal cloud?" Like, could you use your iPhone or laptop to dial in remotely and retrieve any file or media you wanted anytime, anywhere?

And if so, how well could it work as such? I understand the limitations of the connected network, but could it play back movie/music files or keep a shared database or document updated in real time?
Ok... You all need to get a better understanding of what a server is. There is no magic involved, it's really just a computer. Apple is just marketing this particular computer as a server and providing it a Server OS.

ANYTHING you can do on the Mini Server you can do on ANY computer.

Filesharing (Remote over the internet or locally) can be done VERY easily with just any normal computer without special server software. If you want to know how start a thread about it. This includes Media streaming as well. Again, VERY easy without special software.

The Server OS that comes with the Mini Server lets you HOST your own chat, email, calendar, contact server. Those are pretty much the only benefits to it that will matter to most people. If you're not sure what that means, then you really don't need it.

Most of you will be fine just getting a Mac Mini and then buying a 2TB Firewire drive.