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Served me well, the Mac Mini story

I've been nothing short of impressed by the little Apple Mac Mini that I've used to host my websites over the past two years. In that time, it's been 100% reliable and apart from the occasional software update, has not needed a restart. The Mac Mini, Barney, has been co-located at a hosting company in Brighton called Freedom255, who do an awesome job ensuring optimal uptime for all their servers.

Barney's spec is reasonably modest, a 1.42GHz G4 processor, 1Gb memory and an 80Gb hard disk. It ran Mac OS X Server 10.4, running Apache 1.3, MySQL databases and SMTP mail services. It ran numerous websites, from the local Scout troop, Orion Online, some pupil blog sites and my own blog site, Jonathan's Blog.

Over time, as the number of web visitors mounted, the Mac Mini had reached its operating capacity and processor occupancy regularly reached 100%, falling to around 70 or 80% in quieter moments. It wasn't until Barney was upgraded to a dual processor G5 Xserve and looking at the webserver stats pages, that it became obvious that the Mac Mini wasn't meeting the demand placed upon it. I had anticipated that the standard 2.5" laptop hard disk would be the first to fail. Laptop hard disks, although built to be robust, aren't built to the same specification as hard disks in servers. No such problems arose.

I'm nothing short of impressed by what the Mac Mini has achieved and it's now clear why the popularity of placing these machines in colocation facilities has grown. They make excellent personal servers, which are very capable of serving 150,000 pages per day.

Apple Mac Mini computers installed in a rack mounted colocation facility.

Now in retirement, the Mac Mini enjoys a quieter life as a development machine, probably still having fond memories of its earlier life as a proper workhorse server. 

If you're looking for a server host company, or colocation facility, I'd strongly recommend Freedom255.


I'd love to hear more additional details on this setup. I'm considering buying a 2nd mini and possibly a 3rd and may be interested in doing this at home.

There are a bunch of companies who provide specialized hosting just for the mac mini platform. Apple recently launched a "mac mini server".

Thanks for the post. I'm always interesting to hear about someone who has had success with the Mac Mini!

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