Mac Mini as a DIY Dedicated Web Server
March 16, 2005
If you’ve been suffering from having a dedicated server taste and a virtual hosting budget, you might want to check out this great little series of articles from Nerd Vittles.
Essentially, over the course of about a dozen or so posts, they take you through all of the steps involved in setting up a Mac Mini to run a web server, mail server, dns, statistics, database, etc.—pretty much everything you’d want on a dedicated server. Everything is explained in detail, and if you can follow directions, you can turn your own Mini into a pretty full-featured hosting environment.
Here is the first article: ISP-In-A-Box: The $500 Mac mini
“Over a year ago, we undertook a similar project on the Windows XP platform. The difference in performance, security, and ease of deployment on the Mac platform is the difference in night and day so youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in for a treat! For those unable to afford the move to a hosting provider at this time, you can use a Mac mini as your host for the time being. Functionally, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nothing a hosting provider would give you that canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be replicated for free on the Mac mini. Other than bandwidth and slightly better performance, the Mac mini will provide an almost identical hosting environment to what youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be using with a commercial hosting provider.”
Having run the technical side of a web hosting company for the past 8 or 9 years, I’ll be the first one to tell you that it’s not all beer and skittles – there’s nothing like staying up all night babysitting a server under attack to etch the glamour right off the idea.
That being said, if you’re jonesing to have your own server on the cheap, this series of articles is a extremely good place to start.