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MacMini Colos - Everything Has Changed Again???

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  #1  
Old 06-15-2010, 11:48 AM
Ceetoe Ceetoe is offline
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MacMini Colos - Everything Has Changed Again???


The new MacMini looks like it might be more favorable to a colo environment or those offeringe lower-end dedicated servers.

The powerbrick is now inside the case which should make "racking" less precarious and cable management easier. The server version eliminates the dvd drive and offers a second hard drive. Did the last generation of MacMini servers have a dvd drive?

But HDMI and the discrete Nvidia graphics card adds unwanted cost for datacenter uses. All in all, this is probably a nice small server for many looking to colo a few.

Are any of you using this for lightweight/general purposes? I'd be interested in hearing comments. I could see this as a way to easily use "very distant" datacenters that are not quickly accessible. If you need remote hands it would be in the form of boxing the server up in a small padded case(something like the old Pelican padded media tape cases) and Fedexing the thing over night. You maintain your depot of parts locally.

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  #2  
Old 06-15-2010, 12:02 PM
cristibighea cristibighea is offline
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Aside from the Operating System, I see no real use for these. You can get a cheaper mini 1U quad core with 2x 500GB and 8GB of RAM (or dual core, if you prefer lower power requirements) for less money.

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  #3  
Old 06-15-2010, 12:08 PM
RyanD RyanD is offline
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Originally Posted by cristibighea View Post
Aside from the Operating System, I see no real use for these. You can get a cheaper mini 1U quad core with 2x 500GB and 8GB of RAM (or dual core, if you prefer lower power requirements) for less money.

Yeah, unless you specifically need to run a mac there are options that are just as efficient and just as small. For a significantly lower cost.

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Old 06-15-2010, 12:11 PM
mkc mkc is offline
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Originally Posted by Ceetoe View Post
The new MacMini looks like it might be more favorable to a colo environment or those offeringe lower-end dedicated servers.
Cost-wise, it is more on par with mid-range dedicated servers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceetoe View Post
The powerbrick is now inside the case which should make "racking" less precarious and cable management easier. The server version eliminates the dvd drive and offers a second hard drive. Did the last generation of MacMini servers have a dvd drive?
The last generation of the servers also had the two drive setup and could be configured for RAID1. However, if a drive dies and you want to swap it out, the official line is that you need to bring it over to the Apple store to have them do the swap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceetoe View Post
But HDMI and the discrete Nvidia graphics card adds unwanted cost for datacenter uses. All in all, this is probably a nice small server for many looking to colo a few.
The cost appears to still be the same as the last gen, $999.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceetoe View Post
Are any of you using this for lightweight/general purposes? I'd be interested in hearing comments. I could see this as a way to easily use "very distant" datacenters that are not quickly accessible. If you need remote hands it would be in the form of boxing the server up in a small padded case(something like the old Pelican padded media tape cases) and Fedexing the thing over night. You maintain your depot of parts locally.
I see it as exactly the opposite. It is a pain for remote because if anything at all goes wrong it has to be sent back to you because remote hands can't help at all. With a normal server, remote hands can easily hotswap drives or replace a stick of RAM for you.

That said, we run one internally for chat, wiki, calendar and ldap server all nicely integrated. It is good for that, but would be a poor choice for a general purpose server if you were not using those features of the os.

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  #5  
Old 06-15-2010, 12:18 PM
Ceetoe Ceetoe is offline
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Originally Posted by mkc View Post
I see it as exactly the opposite. It is a pain for remote because if anything at all goes wrong it has to be sent back to you because remote hands can't help at all. With a normal server, remote hands can easily hotswap drives or replace a stick of RAM for you.
Yup, this is my point for remote hands. The extent of remote hands you need is for them to box it up and Fedex it to you. Many cases you don't know the skills of a datacenter's Tier 1 technical support and you're better off doing this yourself.

I'm guessing it is a wash for cost if you only have to maintain one depot location of parts. If you colo across multiple datacenters then you've got to stock parts at each. So pull the hardware to you or push the parts to the datacenter?

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  #6  
Old 06-15-2010, 05:37 PM
mkc mkc is offline
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Even bad remote hands can usually swap a hotswap drive bay correctly. If 2+ days of downtime to do a hard drive swap is acceptable to you, that's your call.

In the rather rare event that the problem is more complicated, shipping a normal 1U does not really cost very much more than the mini.

Add the fact that for cost difference you could buy literally buy 2 similarly spec'ed supermicro servers...

If you really want to do it, go for it... but, as everyone is pointing out to you, unless you need osx applications (which are very compelling reasons to use a mac mini server), using it as a standard server does not really make sense from a cost, performance or reliability standpoint.

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  #7  
Old 06-15-2010, 07:10 PM
Ceetoe Ceetoe is offline
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I'm just suggesting these are an interesting alternative for some to consider. Macminicolo.net seems to be doing pretty well with them. I personally am going with 8/12 core G34s right now for my own equipment if I have to colo. But without innovation from somewhere we'd still be listening to how a Pentium 4 that is 25mhz faster than last quarter's model is the answer to everything. Everything needs to move forward...

But next year or the year after whenever these offer Light Peak connectivity then I'd personally consider them for some "small" colo installs.

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Last edited by Ceetoe; 06-15-2010 at 07:15 PM.
  #8  
Old 06-16-2010, 01:19 AM
Spudstr Spudstr is offline
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Originally Posted by mkc View Post
Cost-wise, it is more on par with mid-range dedicated servers.
Not sure what you consider mid-range but in most worlds a box with one processor is considered low-end.

Mid-range is really dual procs...

While high-end boxes are 4+ procs.

It is ok to step outside of the WHT bubble once in a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkc
Add the fact that for cost difference you could buy literally buy 2 similarly spec'ed supermicro servers...
I'm not to sure where you can buy a supermicro superserver and/or a supermicro case and a supermicro motherboard... for less than 450/each complete with procs, memory and hdds.

Maybe a supermicro case with a desktop motherboard and components?

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  #9  
Old 06-16-2010, 09:29 AM
MikeTrike MikeTrike is offline
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Originally Posted by Spudstr View Post
I'm not to sure where you can buy a supermicro superserver and/or a supermicro case and a supermicro motherboard... for less than 450/each complete with procs, memory and hdds.

Maybe a supermicro case with a desktop motherboard and components?
Maybe closer to $600-$700 for a similarly equipped server grade short depth 1U supermicro.

  #10  
Old 06-16-2010, 09:57 AM
Krazy Krazy is offline
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these are damn expensive than supermicro servers. (server class components)

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