Web Hosting on a Mac Mini

The new Mac mini is out (Late-2012 model), and I’m going to give Macminicolo a try. I’m moving from the dedicated server I’ve been on for the last two years:

  • quad-core 2.83 GHz (Intel Q9550)
  • 8 GB DDR2-800
  • dual 500 GB 7200RPM SATA drives with a hardware mirror (RAID 1)
  • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

to the faster Mac mini:

  • quad-core 2.3 GHz (Intel Core i7-3615QM)
  • 16 GB DDR3-1600
  • 128 GB SSD
  • 1 TB SATA
  • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

I’m moving because it’s less expensive and faster. Due to having to buy the Mini, my break-even point is in 12 months, but after that I’m saving money.

Compared to Amazon EC2, after two years I will have paid roughly the same as a Medium instance (2 CPU, 4GB RAM) with the 1/year reservation discount. The Mac Mini is much faster, but then, Amazon offers a lot more (paid) services and options.

The downside is that there’s no redundancy built into the Mac mini, and I become responsible for hardware failures. There’s a year of warranty built into the Mini, but after that there’s a chance I’ll be buying a new one, and my predicted savings will be pushed back a year. In case of a hardware failure, I’ll temporarily move to Amazon EC2. Being instantly available is worth the extra cost in that case.