Mac Pro as a Web Server?

CaptainCowPie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
18
0
Charlottesville, VA
Hello,

I am going to purchase my first Apple (probably when Leopard comes out) after having been in the Windows world for many years. It's a little scary but also exciting.

I originally had settled on a MacBook Pro, and just recently started looking at the Mac Pros instead because of the ability to upgrade. While researching them, I remember reading that OSX had Apache built in, so I started wondering if I could feasibly use a MP as a web server for a few sites I have.

I searched on some threads and it looks like it is possible to do so. I believe I need to enable Apache, and find a way to point my domains over. Many of the threads mention some good DNS services. I also contacted Bellsouth and they said I can get a static IP address for my DSL.

Is there anything I left out that I may need? Have many people been doing this without a lot of problems? I assume all of the MP configurations will handle this easily?

I am worried about my 512 Kbps upstream speed, and slowdowns whenever I use the system for other applications that may slow it down. I have about 20 domains, but only a few have traffic and they do not receive much at this time. All of them are static pages with forms, no advanced programming or database needs.

If it is feasible, I can get rid of an old Linux web server that I lease and can justify some of the cost of the MP (at least to my wife :) ). Otherwise I am going to move them to another web host. I have already moved my higher traffic sites, so these are not as high a priority.

I would love to hear from others who have used OSX as a web server from home.

Thanks
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Jul 18, 2002
4,388
7
toronto
i used to host my band's site on my g3/266 with, what, 16 meg of RAM?

it ran fine, even though osx was almost too much for the machine. in fact, the only problem i had was my crappy DSL service would go down. a static IP will work fine. the only thing i don't know is how to host multiple sites, but i know it can done.
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,852
0
Murka
I currently use an iMac running 10.4 Server as (among other things) a test and development server (it's got the built in Apache 1.3, along side MySQL and Entropy.ch's PHP 5 distro, in addition to MAMP Pro on separate ports).

It's mainly accessed from within the house, but external access is as fast as anything (8mb down, 1mb up)- plus it helps having 16 static IPs on your DSL :cool:

Go for it - but if you're using the machine, I'd actually recommend getting the Mac Pro and a second hand PMG4 to run 10.4 Server on. It's better running these things dedicated methinks, not using them too. But whatever, it's your choice :p
 

apfhex

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2006
2,670
4
Northern California
The MP will definitely be a good machine for that, but your ISP may not allow that kind of activity, IIRC. (doesn't mean they'll notice, but if you have high volumes of traffic, they probably would)
 

kemitchell

macrumors newbie
Jul 24, 2007
6
0
Texas
id recommend getting a cheap hosting account somewhere like 1and1, rather than running a site off a desktop box. there are so many problems particular to hosting, it is usually worth the $3 a month it costs now to get a shared server account.

that being said, i run apache w/ PHP, MySQL, and all the goodies on my macbook pro for testing. it works fine... its the same UNIX platform UAMP software youll get from a webhost, and you can compile and configure everything as you like it.
 

exabytes18

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2006
287
0
Suburb of Chicago
I used to host multiple domains (3) on my computer. I have 1mbps upload and my ISP allows hosting as long as it isn't commercial. The problem I ran into was having the computer on 24/7/365. Sometimes a family member would shut it off, sometimes the power would go out, sometimes it would be hot and the fans would be roaring.

I just bought some cheap hosting from dreamhost on Friday. I recommend purchasing some hosting; there's too many potential problems and it really isn't worth it to do it yourself.
 

CaptainCowPie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
18
0
Charlottesville, VA
Thanks for all of the great replies!

I contacted Bellsouth and they said with my plan there is not a problem hosting a website with a static IP address. So as soon as I get the Mac Pro, I am going to move a few of the domains over to test them out. If they work well, I will move over the rest.

But, based on some of the comments here and a little research I did, I am going to move my main two sites to another host. There was some excellent discussions about web hosts on another forum, including Dreamhost (thanks exabytes).

I also looked at MAMP bigandy, and it looks great, but couldn't bring up the Entropy site. I will try again later. Btw, how did you ever get 16 static IPs on your DSL?

I did forget to ask one question. When you use the Mac Pro as a web server, do you also use it as a mail server with your domain?

Now I am chomping at the bit to get the Mac Pro!

Thanks again
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,610
408
Redondo Beach, California
I would love to hear from others who have used OSX as a web server from home.
Of course it will work. But using a Mac Pro for serving low volume web pages is gross overkill and not cost effective.
The Mac Pro can flood a 100BaseT Internet connection with no problem. Do you have a 100Mbit connection? Likely not. Most of us have only a normal broadband Internet connection and this connection is the bottle neck.

The other problem is the cost of power. The MP sucks up electric power big time and a web server needs to be on 24x7. Better to buy a lower power machine. Spend $350 on a used G4 based Mini on eBay or put Linux on an older notebook PC. These use very little power and space. and will have no trouble with a site that only gets a couple thousand hits a day.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,610
408
Redondo Beach, California
Cost of electric power

The problem I ran into was having the computer on 24/7/365.
What do you pay for power? Let's assume $0.12 per KWH. The MP burns almost 500 watts. So that works out to $0.06 per hour or about $40 per month give or take.

That's $480 per year just to power the MP. My G4 Mini burns less than 90 watts and cost $86 per year to run. My Mini has paid for itself twice already.

You can buy a lot of web hosting for $40/month Running a quad Xeon 24x7 is not cheap. So look up your local cost of power on your electric bill and do the math.

This has become a big issue in data centers lately. The cost of power and cooling is beginning to dominate of the the cost of the equipment.
 

CaptainCowPie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
18
0
Charlottesville, VA
What do you pay for power? Let's assume $0.12 per KWH. The MP burns almost 500 watts. So that works out to $0.06 per hour or about $40 per month give or take.
Chris,

That is a great point that I hadn't even considered! My last 3 PCs have all been laptops, and I keep mine on 24/7. At night I run my anti-virus, disk defrag and backup. Hopefully that much of that will go away with the Apple :)

I never realized that it was almost 500 watts. I don't know what my cost is exactly because it varies, but I am going to figure it out.

Thanks for the info.
 

Kelly West

macrumors newbie
Jul 22, 2007
11
0
The macpro is by far powerful enough, it's all about the speed...

Your best thing is to contact me on msn or email (service@hostblue.co.uk) and i can outsource you to some servers that are local to you.. Most probley find it's alot cheaper :)
 

Aea

macrumors 6502a
May 23, 2007
838
208
Denver, Colorado
I never realized that it was almost 500 watts.
It obviously won't burn that much energy though, there are some meters you can purchase / possible rent that will show how much power is being pulled.

Elaboration : It won't pull that much energy all the time, idle / serving pages won't draw much power at all.