Later this year Mac Mini Vault will celebrate 3 years of offering the best ‘Mac in a data center’ experience in the industry. It all started with the idea of offering the best service with the most features, a service we would want to use ourselves. It didn’t look like much, it started with a few Mac minis on a shelf in our new data center build out. By the time we hit our 3 year anniversary we’ll have eight cabinets dedicated to nothing but hosting Mac minis. We’ll have other resources dedicated to other Mac specific services as well. We’ve been laying the ground work to not only be the best Mac mini host, but to offer the best OS X data center services period.
1) Mac Pro Colocation
We’ve been doing as much testing as we can without having our hands on the actual hardware. Once the new Mac Pro is available we’ll be able to complete our testing and begin accepting sign ups. For Mac Pro specific news keep an eye on MacProVault.com and @MacProVault on twitter. We currently colo the “tower” style of Mac Pros and we understand what makes them special. We’ll have colo plans with features that compliment the new “silo” style of Mac Pros. The service will be structured differently than how we currently colo Mac minis.
2) OS X Test Labs
Do you have a project that requires the ability re-deploy OS X at any time? We’ve been deploying custom test labs for customers as well as using similar setups internally. This works great for software testing or training lab type projects. The solution requires at least (2) Mac minis in a special network configuration that we setup. We work with the customers to create and update the deployment images for their lab. The end result is that a customer can redeploy a Mac mini to a pre-imaged state within 3 minutes. Our own demo lab has performed over 500 re-deployments in the past 6 months. We’ll be providing details of the Test Lab solutions for both Mac minis and OS X Virtual Machines in the near future. Contact us if you have any questions or for a quote.
3) Xcode Hosting
We’ve been doing a lot of testing with OS X 10.9 and specifically the Xcode Server feature. We also spoke with our customers and looked at some of the other Continuous Integration options in the market. We thought about how we could offer a service tailored to hosting an Xcode Server and still offer a great value. We’ve decided to not offer an additional service at this time just for Xcode Server Hosting, instead we’ll have additional features that customers can add to their colocation service plans. Customers can also lower their cost of entry by taking advantage of our rent2own program that splits the cost of the Mac mini hardware over 12 months without interest or setup fees. After the 12 months the hardware is paid in full and the customer owns that asset. We’ll have pricing available for customers that want to directly attach iOS devices to their machines for Xcode Server build testing.
4) Lower cost and basic options
There is a need for the high end Mac hosting like the Mac Pro solution we’ve been working on. There is also a need for basic options with attractive pricing models. We know customers that want to start small with a proof of concept project, or others that need the flexibility to grow or shrink their footprint to match usage patterns. We have a few projects that we are working on that focus on those types of capabilities.
It’s going to be a busy Q4 for 2013, and we are excited as we prepare to launch some of these projects. We never rest, and our list of accomplishments in the past 3 years proves it. Thank you to all of our customers for your business, feedback, and referrals. Stay tuned!