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nonstopmw

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Hello,

Now that Apple has releases the new Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server, I am considering switching our Windows machine to it.

Has any of you already tried this setup and can share some experiences on how good it works, how many users the machine can survive?

Thanks,
Mario
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marook

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Should be a nice setup.

I know Stalker did a 'proof-of-concept' install with an ISP in europe that hosted 1 million accounts on the first Intel Mac mini on CommuniGate Pro...

So I guess the new one with mirrored HD's should be a great setup... also with Kerio!

Regards,

Jakob Peterhänsel
Consultant - Humac A/S

Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC)
AppleSeed/CQF member since 1998
Kerio Messaging Partner
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sonofcolin

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We have used Mac minis to run KMS since 2004. I'm surprised it has taken so long for Apple to acknowledge and support the mini as a server. The original minis (G4) are still running without issue.
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nonstopmw

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Can you give me a rough estimate how many mailboxes I can run on a single mac mini?

As far as I understand there is no way to cluster KMS, so I would have to put all users on a single box?
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marook

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As I just mentions, another server has hosted 1 million (1.000.000) mailboxes on one former Mac mini... so I guess you can have a lot on Kerio as well!

Regards,

Jakob Peterhänsel
Consultant - Humac A/S

Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC)
AppleSeed/CQF member since 1998
Kerio Messaging Partner
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sonofcolin

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As others will tell you, disk speed is the bottleneck for KMS performance. The 2.5" drives in a mini server are not really suitable for high I/O performance! You'll need an external disk system to improve in this area.

How many users are you planning to have? What resources will they use (KOC/Webmail/ActiveSync/Calendar/all)? Will the server be on a LAN or in a data center? What are your expectations in terms of performance?
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nonstopmw

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In fact we do not have many mailboxes, I am just very unsure as to how much is needed to run the system - right now our server is way to big and does not help in estimating Wink

We have 60 mailboxes and approx 40 of them are online via Exchange/KOC all day. The connection is via LAN, with only random connects from external via VPN - but those probably do not expect great speeds anyway.

Probably the biggest issue will be big mailboxes as we have some users with several gigabytes in their mailbox. As for storage I was planning to add a Promise SmartStor DS4600.

Now that I am typing this I think the setup isn't very big at all and should work on a Mini Smile
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sonofcolin

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IMHO you'll have no problem with the mini and your setup. External FW800 disk will be a minimum to add to this. Will be interested to know what you think if you do go this route.
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gbrown100

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I have a dual core 1.8ghz mac mini on 10.5. This runs a 10 user Kerio install and a Linux webserver VM (running 3 websites, a remote control package and a helpdesk system). All of this it runs flawlessly. I did upgrade to 2GB of ram and a 320gb 7200rpm disk though...
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pcunix

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nonstopmw wrote on Mon, 26 October 2009 10:18


We have 60 mailboxes and approx 40 of them are online via Exchange/KOC all day. The connection is via LAN, with only random connects from external via VPN - but those probably do not expect great speeds anyway.

...

Now that I am typing this I think the setup isn't very big at all and should work on a Mini Smile



Absolutely. I have a 400+ user customer that was running on some fairly beefy hardware. I happened to be on-site on a Friday afternoon a few years back when that server literally started smoking. The IT Director was with me and was frantic - no "suitable" machine was available.

But - he did have an old HP "pizza box" that had been retired from someone's desk and hadn't yet gone to recycling. I suggested we throw Linux on it for the weekend and he could get something better early in the following week. We did that.

HE RAN THAT STUPID LITTLE BOX FOR SIX MONTHS! Why? Because the performance was fine and it was better to put a new server in the next years budget - as no one was complaining, he just let it keep on running.

I have great confidence that the Mini will be loafing with your load unless your user base is extremely unusual.

Tony Lawrence
Kerio Preferred Partner and Reseller
Certified for Connect, Control
http://aplawrence.com
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j.a.duke

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nonstopmw wrote on Mon, 26 October 2009 10:18
In fact we do not have many mailboxes, I am just very unsure as to how much is needed to run the system - right now our server is way to big and does not help in estimating Wink

We have 60 mailboxes and approx 40 of them are online via Exchange/KOC all day. The connection is via LAN, with only random connects from external via VPN - but those probably do not expect great speeds anyway.

Probably the biggest issue will be big mailboxes as we have some users with several gigabytes in their mailbox. As for storage I was planning to add a Promise SmartStor DS4600.

Now that I am typing this I think the setup isn't very big at all and should work on a Mini Smile



I was running about the same number of accounts as you on a G4/867 with a pair of mirrored drives for the mailstore. Ran fine until the machine died Smile .

The Intel Mini would knock the socks off that G4, so I don't think you'll have too many problems.

The only reservation I have is with the Promise DS6400-I did some research on it and the reviews haven't been favorable-generally bad overall performance.

Personally, I'd look at a something like an Other World Computing Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 for your storage. I've had a 2TB unit running 24x7 for about 6 months without problems.

Cheers,
Jon
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srobson

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j.a.duke wrote on Mon, 26 October 2009 12:15

I was running about the same number of accounts as you on a G4/867 with a pair of mirrored drives for the mailstore. Ran fine until the machine died Smile .

The Intel Mini would knock the socks off that G4, so I don't think you'll have too many problems.

The only reservation I have is with the Promise DS6400-I did some research on it and the reviews haven't been favorable-generally bad overall performance.

Personally, I'd look at a something like an Other World Computing Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 for your storage. I've had a 2TB unit running 24x7 for about 6 months without problems.



Thanks for sharing your experience with the Qx2. I have been strongly considering this unit, or one of OWC's similar rackmount form factor units, for use as a mail store RAID in conjunction with a Mac mini for quite some time now.

Are you running this RAID with Kerio? Do you have any impressions of the performance of the RAID over Firewire 800 versus your internal mirrored drives in your G4? I'm currently running our own KMS server on a Dual 1.42GHz MDD tower with two mirrored internal 640GB drives attached to a SATA PCI card. I'm hoping to get a little more performance out of my mail store even with the Firewire 800 bottleneck.
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nonstopmw

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Thanks for the remark about the Promise SmartStor - unfortunately OWC does not have any resellers in Europe, but it looks like the basis of the OWC offer is a MacPower Hydra case: http://www.macpower.com.tw/products/hddmulti/hydra/hydra_sup erslcm

So far I found only positive comments about it, so this combined with some WD server disks should provide sufficient performance.

Right now I am running some stress tests on a G4 mac with only 512MB ram and this already looks very promising so far (30 simultaneous imap users, 15 incoming mails per second)
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marook

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Hi,

Look at CalDigit's smaller solutions if you need more than the 2x500G Server Grade disks that the Mac mini Server comes with.

Regards,

Jakob Peterhänsel
Consultant - Humac A/S

Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC)
AppleSeed/CQF member since 1998
Kerio Messaging Partner
ErhanK

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Hi guys

Great advice and tips on deploying Kerio on the new Mac Mini server. We are looking to replace our Windows XP Box running Kerio, which has served us reliably for the last 5 years. Bit worried the box is starting to make noises, time for the upgrade!!

The question I have is whether my licence for a Windows install of Kerio will work if I decommissioned our XP box and ran Kerio on the Mac Mini server. I would also like to use it for secure file transfer programs to replace our FTP server which runs on the same box. Can anyone answer this licensing issue ?
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