Virtualising snow Leopard server on a mac

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by jgbr, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. jgbr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #1
    Hello would like some advice debate on this:

    I want deploy Snow leopard server at home, for external network access, high volume of email traffic and so on. Having just learn't SLS , and being unhappy with the current Mac Mini (or that i refuse to buy a core 2 machine now i3/i5/i7 is here...and mini's take forever to update) I am having a debate on weither my 8 Core mac pro virtualising the software would be wise?

    or i give in and get a mac mini with the SLS. Having in mind the software for me, is very cheap compared to a mini.

    I use my mac pro heavily for playing games, graphics/video editing etc.
     
  2. hanslenze macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    #2
    The following calculation is done with numbers from the Netherlands. Feel free to adjust where needed.
    I see two factors other than performance: initial costs and running costs.

    A SLS license with VMware Fusion costs 580 euro and a Mac Mini Server costs 1000 euro. The difference being 420 euro.

    If you calculate the price per Watt per 365 days (your server will be running 365 days a year, right?) and take the fact that a Mac Pro consumes 145 Watt idle (source: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2836) versus a Mac Mini at 13 Watt (source: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3468). How many days does it take to get to break even? Here in the Netherlands it costs around two euro to keep a 1 Watt device on for 365 days. Meaning it will take less than two years for the Mac Mini to be cheaper. I believe a Mac Mini can last that long.

    As for the performance: It's not a matter of looking at the specs and seeing that it's old hardware. It's a matter of the box doing what you want it to do with adequate performance!

    Hope this helps.

     
  3. MiniMossMan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    #3
    Hey,

    I've been running Snow Leopard Server under VMware for testing purposes and I haven't found it particularly stable. Given the choice I would certainly opt for a Mac mini server.

    MMM
     
  4. mbestel macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    #4
    Parallels problematic

    Hi,

    I was running SLS using Parallels 4 on an iMac and the VM would regularly reboot without reason.

    Dedicated hardware is definitely the way to go for me.

    Mark
     
  5. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #5
    Dedicated hardware is the way to go, but if you have the hardware to run it in a VM, run it to try it out before you dedicate a machine for the server os.
     
  6. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #6
    Sorry that I want to bring back an old thread but I'm wondering the same thing. I want to buy a mac pro soon (at least 8core and 16gb of ram) and running a server VM would give me more justification for the machine. Since VMware fusion 3.0.2 has better support for SLS, Lets say I were to dedicate 2 cores and like 4gb of ram to the VM would I notice a difference in performance on the mac pro and the server VM vs just buying a mac mini server?
     
  7. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #7
    not really a thread revival.. As far as running SLS in a VM over running it on a Mac Pro, Use your Mac Pro for whatever you need it for, and use a Mac Mini for Server. Just my opinion. Remember that even though its in a VM and you set it for 2 cores and 4GB of ram, it doesnt go and say, ok 2 cores and 4GB of ram from what the Mac Pro has are going to be used for this specifically. Its better to run it on its own machine, because on a VM, you have the memory usage of the VM, the memory usage of the VM program and the same with CPU. I do an Ubuntu VM on my iMac (in sig) and I have it for 1 core, 512MB Ram, and its not the fastest, but my iMac takes a bit of a hit when running it. It's up to you, but I would just go with a separate machine for SLS. Also, just wondering, what exactly do you need SLS for that Linux cant do for you (just asking as I went from linux to SLS and am running back to linux with open arms - open directory nightmares)?
     
  8. reebzor macrumors 6502a

    reebzor

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #8
    I've been using Windows and Linux servers for the past 8 years (I'm 22). I just like to expand my knowledge and see what it's all about. I obtained a trial of SLS from Apple and I really liked all the integration but because it expired after like 3 months, I didn't get to do much with it. I have 3 mac clients and an iPhone here and no windows or linux clients. I want everything to be all Apple for me (except at work). I think I'm just going to get a Mac Mini server in the next couple of months and play with that for a while. I will also be using it as a media center to replace my current mini. I just hope they get a speed bump before I'm ready to buy. Thanks.
     
  9. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #9
    Meh, unless you absolutely need AFP, iChat Server and the whole Quicktime Podcasting thing, I say go with linux for a server. I've got a home business and I got a trial of it from here, and to be honest, I like it, its just a serious pain in the ass to get working without errors. Personally, I would get a trial of it before you go and buy a dedicated machine for it.
     
  10. Thessman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Location:
    GR
    #10
    I would say that you qualify for "creative logistics", and me being a Greek I think I qualify for recognizing such.;)
    What I mean is you are calculating the cost of the Mac Pro like it would always be idle, but we all know that a Mac Pro is meant to be worked at least 8 hours a day if not more. That puts your estimate off by at least 50% concerning the time it takes to break the electricity costs even.
     
  11. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #11
    No need to buy a new mac mini if it's for a home server. An old G4 Mini might be able to do the job, if you're happy with running Leopard server, not Snow Leopard. Or a previous generation intel Mini if you need teh Snow.
     
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #12
    i have SLS virtualised on my i7 iMac. it has 2 cores and 1GB RAM, and a dedicated IP address on the network. its main use is when im away from home and need to remote into my home network (mostly via VNC/afp/sftp etc). then ill remote into others from there.

    it works brilliantly! performance is really good, im not using it that much tho so yea its not exactly heavy use.

    reebzor i dont think that you would notice a decline in speed of the MP (provided that you arent using up all of your available RAM). i dont think that it would need 4GB TBH.
     

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