Mac Mini Colocation and Private Cloud can offer a high quality redundant hardware with less effort for hardware management and Free OpenStack Cloud Software. As actually Apple dropped XServe, the Rack Server from Apple back in 2010, Mac Mini became the mainstream of Mac Server as Mac Pro, although the real Microcomputer, costs quite higher and takes more area per unit.
Mac Mini Colocation : Apple’s Warranty and Apple Care
As for Colocation, hardware-wise, Mac Mini is quite compatible with convention Racks for shelving – basic need was 1U Rack Server. One interested person did a wonderful job. He placed 4 Mac mini on one shelve, that translates to 4 times capacity with conventional rack, you can read about his way of experimentation :
However, now 1U racks are commercially available, commercially known as RackMac mini with two Mac Mini side by side. Mac Mini would have to draw power from the usual Power Distribution Unit (PDU), however custom Racks or simple usage of 4 – Y cable solves the issue. Mac Mini Colocation is quite cost effective, which costs around $30 per month excluding the price of Mac Mini. As the user is actually getting 3 years extended warranty with Apple Care, the hardware part is actually of least concern.
Hardware build wise Apple definitely offers the best possible finish, the issue was lack of good datacenter and the web hosts’ abnormal love towards Dell. While, renting a server does not arises any concern about the longevity of a physical server for web hosting, Colocation does arises the concern, here is where the trend of Mac Mini Colocation plays a big role to calm the high end customers.
Mac Mini Colocation and Private Cloud
Basically for normal or traditional way of web hosting, the server operating system; that is OS X Server does more than sufficient – it is basically UNIX. But for the purpose of Private Cloud, we need Ubuntu for Free Cloud Software like OpenStack which will allow to easily connect with Rackspace Private Cloud Computing environment. There are basically two ways to run Ubuntu/OpenStack – first is the way of using devStack, which is not actually for production environment.
Second is to erase the OS X and install as sole Operating System. For long run, definitely non virtualized operation of OpenStack on bare metal (Mac Mini here) will be more promising.
As the trend for opting a Private Cloud is arising, it is not astonishing that the customers will search for a Mac Mini colocation for better hardware reliability, on this point Apple definitely beats any Server Hardware manufacturer. Dell PowerEdge R210 II Rack Server costs $699 per unit, whereas Mac Mini costs $599 per unit. Professionally available mount for rack like RacMac Mini costs $169.95 per unit, that is for two Mac Mini. As the price becoming competitive, in future it is not abnormal to find Apple’s own solution directly.