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.