What would you do with big rack of Mac Mini's?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by c2c4c, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. c2c4c macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2012
    We just purchased 11 Mac Mini's. Fully spec'd with i7 processors, 16GB ram, two 1TB drives, and each with Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapters for dual Gigabit Ethernet.


    Probably can't say much about what we do, but we run a lab environment for a financial institution.

    We have quite a large VMWare environment already, with about 500 VMs currently running, mainly on three HP DL980 G7's. All Windows/Linux. This is our first foray into Mac, partly at my urging as a new member of the team and a Mac user, and partly because of demand.

    We primarily want to offer a virtual desktop solution for browser testing, iPhone/iPad emulation, app development, etc.; but, we're also interested in exploring other interesting ideas!

    So far we've thought of installing VMWare ESXi 5 on them and using them as OSX VM hosts (supposedly now supported), and also using AquaConnect Terminal Server, which is like Citrix but for Mac.

    So, what would you do with 11 Mac Mini's?

    PS: I know it's hard, but try to think "enterprise", not only "consumer".

    PPS: If anyone knows of a way to interconnect all of these machines using thunderbolt, that would be very helpful information!
  2. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    All those TB adapters must have cost a fair bit.

    Get them all networked up and have a big LAN party!
  3. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    First question: did you tried ESXI on a Mini; does it work ? specially with the external Ethernet I'm not sure.

    With a bunch of Minis I would do some load test against my applications to see how they work under a bit stress and concurrent users.
    I can also easy imagine some simulation/consolidation/analysis of data. SOX or SOX IT testing ...
    Ok, give me the 11 little boxes; I'm sure I find use ...

    Next time really impress us and show us 11 MacPro :D
  4. c2c4c thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2012
    It's officially supported according to VMware: http://blogs.vmware.com/guestosguide/guest-os/unix-and-others/mac-osx

    This guy did it back in January, before it was officially supported: http://paraguin.com/2012/01/10/the-mac-mini-vmware-esxi-5-server-part-2-installation/

    Thanks for the ideas. All good ones.

    We considered one or two MacPro's, but the Mini's seemed like a better option. We can take one offline with much less impact (with only one MacPro if it's down, the whole environment is down). They sip power and run cool and quiet. Can't beat em.
  5. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    You sure that the mac mini is supported with esxi. On your link couldn't see anything stating mini support.

    According to the HCL then only the Xserve 3.1 and mac pro 5.1 are officially supported.
  6. c2c4c thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2012
    Not certain whether or not they officially support the Mini. VMware site says they officially support OSX 10.8. It works on Mini.

    We may end up using the aquaconnect software anyway, but it would definitely be nice to use ESXi.
  7. 53x12 macrumors 68000


    Feb 16, 2009
    What you need next is a few of these if you don't aleady have them.


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