Among the new and updated products Apple announced yesterday, the Mac mini server was particularly interesting.

It features:

  • 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • Two 500GB hard drives
  • NVidia GeForce 9400M graphics
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 802.11a/b/g wireless
  • Snow Leopard Server

And all this in a box just 6½ inches square and 2 inches thick, weighing less than 3 lbs!

The biggest surprise to me is that the price is $1099. Snow Leopard Server itself is $549!

Although the host I have now is easily the best I’ve ever had, there’s a great appeal to being able to do it all myself. I’d set up the web and mail servers myself. I’d particularly like to configure the anti-spam options for myself, and perhaps even add extra measures. Also, I’d be able to use the address and calendar servers, as well as the wiki. I’d also have five times the disk space and at least that much more bandwidth.

The disadvantage would be a lack of redundancy. I’d have one server with one connection. It’s true that I could also screw things up myself, but this isn’t such a big deal as the last Time Machine back-up is always ready for a quick restore.

It certainly wouldn’t be a money-saver. Hosting costs me some $130 a year. While I could save this money if I did it myself, I’d have to get a static IP from my ISP which would cost me $48 a year. Then, of course, I’d have to buy the Mac mini itself. If I were determined to do this, it would be purely to learn, and to have fun doing it.

Given the cost, I’m not determined to do it. At least not now. And should I win the lottery, I’ll do it, but slightly differently. Given lots of money, the plan might involve a Mac Pro.

I could do this right now if I went with Linux, but I shy away from the idea. I’d need to learn a lot before I set up shop. I know Linux is plenty secure, but if the admin doesn’t know what they’re doing, they could easily make it less secure. I don’t want someone to be able to get at my data, and I certainly don’t want to host an open relay.

I’m not ordering a Mac mini server, but it’s a nice thought.