Switching from dedicated hosting, to a Mac Mini Server?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Trix10, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Trix10 macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2011
    Hello all. Currently i have 4 websites running from a dedicated hosting package i purchased through a company i know. It costs us around £400-£500 every 3 months.

    It has 3 basic not busy wordpress websites, and one IP.Board with over 14,000 members and a average/large bandwidth situation.

    We have been wondering today whether we would be better off just purchasing a mac mini server, and moving everything over to this, and running it at our house. I wanted everyones opinions on this about whether it is doable, how difficult it would be, things to watch out for all that kind of thing.

    So far the only thing that has come to mind, is having a new internet connection (business) installed to cope with the band width.

    We visited our Apple store today, and spoke to a business manager who has arranged us a meeting for later in the week, to talk to some business people about possible solutions/options etc which we hope will help us out.

    Thanks for any help/advice
  2. paulrbeers, Oct 3, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011

    paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    When it comes to website hosting, the actual server is very little of the actual cost. Bandwidth, support, power backup (i.e. generator), redundant data backup, fire suppression, etc. are what you pay for. The server itself is about 10-20% of your month fee. Do some research into bandwidth costs (i.e. T1, or better) and it will eat into most of the monthly "savings". Hosting centers buy a huge amount of bandwidth and then can share the cost amongst all of its clients. They bank on the idea that not all sites are being hit 24 hours a day. Some will be busy at night, while others busy during the day and thus they don't need as much total bandwidth at any given moment. You on the other hand, will have to pay for X amount of bandwidth all the time, even when your sites aren't as busy.

    I use this analogy for some of my clients: Leasing vs. Renting a Limo. If you have a lot of high end clients, you see a ton of money being spent on weekly rentals of limo. You might even consider Leasing and/or Buying your own. The problem with that, is that most of the cost of Renting the Limo is actually the driver! If you Lease and/or buy a limo, you now have to pay a Limo driver full time even when he isn't being used. It becomes more expensive and/or a push and you end up with more to manage (in your case you now have to worry about a server 24/7 rather than making it someone else's to deal with).

    This is just my .02 worth. The Sales person will show you how cheap it will be and how much you will save because he wants to sell you that Mac Mini Server. Problem is, there are many hidden costs you need to account for.

    EDIT: Just as FYI: I do not run a hosting company. I do; however, build and maintain websites for various companies and that is why I have had this discussion before. Small to medium sized businesses who want to bring their servers in house to try to save money.
  3. Trix10 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2011
    Thanks for the input, and it's the hidden things we are also trying to figure out now, before we go to the meeting.

    Just to clear up also, i have no intention of selling hosting to people, it's purely for our own 4 websites.
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Oh I totally get that. My point is that there are a lot of hidden services/costs to web hosting. That's why it is usually cheaper and/or a push to use dedicated hosting companies (remember your time as support is worth something too!).

    On a hardware note, yes the Mac Mini should be plenty powerful enough, but you probably would want to consider going the SSD route for your server since the database will require a lot of I/O from your hard drives.
  5. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    Just a side note, even if it was a good idea to host it yourself, a mac mini server would add unnecessary costs. A linux box would be much more cost effective (i.e. faster and cheaper).
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Dont forget you have to upgrade your platform too, with the latest security fixes. Unless you have a backup server, your users will see some downtime, too.

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