“With the Apple Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server (US$999, list), the sort of flawless design and ease of use we expect from Apple comes to a space that usually offers neither: the server market. Apple’s home/SMB server is strong on looks and drop-dead simplicity (for a server, anyhow) and, as you’d expect, less so on tricky functionality such as integration with Windows Active Directory,” Samara Lynn reports for PC Magazine. “The resulting machine isn’t for heavy-processing workloads, such as a database or e-commerce server with a lot of daily transactions. It’s best employed as a Web server and e-mail server or for daily business processes (such as file and printer sharing). If that suits your home or SMB, this elegant little server is a great choice for a small network or workgroup that is all Apple-based or mixed with Windows 7 or XP machines. I’m impressed; I’m also impressed with OS X Leopard Server.”
“Apple gets a lot of criticism for its prices, but that doesn’t apply here. For a starting price of $999, you get the Mac mini and unlimited client licenses; Windows SBS costs $1,089 (for Standard edition), and doesn’t include client licenses (connecting five additional devices or users to the server requires that you cough up an additional $385),” Lynn reports. “The unlimited client licenses bundled with the Mac mini server are a great value for small businesses. If you are not going the OEM/reseller route, and choose to install SBS on a bare bones server, then you have to factor in hardware costs. A typical SMB server like the Asus Server TS500-E6/P4 ($699.00 direct, ) which is sold bare bones, runs $713 bucks—an additional cost. That’s nearly $2,200 to get set up for five licenses, versus the Mac mini’s $1K, for unlimited licenses. That’s a great deal from Apple.”
Apple Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server is “one of the most aesthetically beautiful business servers we’ve ever seen, this tiny, peppy machine makes for a quiet desktop server that’s perfect for light-duty home and SMB server tasks,” Lynn reports.
Read the full review here.