That is the question I will set out to answer over the next month or so. My existing setup looks like this:
Large, old Compaq server running Windows2000 as a domain controller, external DNS, and Exchange server. Dell PowerEdge 1550 server running Windows2000 as an internal DNS, file server, external web server, and DHCP server. Old Dell Optiplex PC running OpenBSD 3.3 as my firewall.
What I intend to find out is if I can replace all of that gear with a single Mac Mini. I may need to add an external firewire drive depending on how much space I need. The wild card for me is the firewall. OpenBSD has been rock solid and gives me an extra sense of security. I know OS X has a firewall built in to it and I know I can drop down to the unix level to manage ipf, but it is still not OpenBSD and pf. Maybe the firewall will stick around.
I’d also like to do all of this without purchasing OS X Server. Just the OS that comes out of the box. Hook it up to the 60″ Sony as a monitor and I get to eliminate a lot of heat generating, electricity consuming hardware. And a half rack as well. My mini Data Center would get to finally become the bathroom it was always supposed to be.
I don’t know. We’ll see. I am doing my research now. The Mini isn’t everything I need it to be yet. I want 512MB RAM standard. I want bigger, faster hard drives. I need the rest of the market to catch up and come out with accessories and drive bays that look just like the Mini. Then I have to back the thing up.
I want a lot. I’m just not sure that it is there yet.
We’ll see if I end up taking this one on.