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Mac mini server RAIS

Resources 4/18/14 | Comments 4/15/14 | Test Results 4/14/14 | Reviews 4/8/14

Since Apple stopped selling the Xserve on January 31, 2011, Server rooms are faced with a devil's bargain: the powerful Mac Pro server config has great performance and the Mac mini server has great economy and both make nice servers. But neither was designed as a rack-mountable modular system with available parts kits.

A possible solution is the R.A.I.S. suggested on

Take one Mac mini server configure as you like and enable its boot drive as a RAID member.
Boot the other Mac mini server into Target Disk Mode.
Connect them with a FW-800 cable (or ThunderBolt cable if the equipment supports it).
Add the TDM mini to the mirror that the boot drive is in.

Now if Mac mini #1 has blown a logic board, power supply, or drive you simply disconnect the FireWire cable and start up mini #2 without Target Disc Mode.

Voila! Redundancy! Costs less than an Xserve spare parts kit, too!


This web page provides some resources for getting your RAIS together.

Power - Software/Monitoring - Network - Co-location - Target Disk Mode - Hardware Mods - Video- Racks - Expansion Docks

Click here to add your own resource.



  • SoftRAID 4 - Offers email notifications and faster rebuilds than Apple Disk Utility
  • Squashed Software RAID Monitor - Email notifications for Apple Disk Utility RAID mirrors
  • Mac HelpMate - Mac HelpMate Also Has Over 200 Maintenance Tools and Proactive Alerts
  • Watchman Monitoring - Mac focused plugins detect potential issues, report details and configuration information to reduce troubleshooting tim
  • iStat Server - iStat Server for Mac transmits your computer or server’s vital statistics to iStat for iOS.
  • CopperEgg Web Server Monitoring - CopperEgg website monitoring allows you to see system uptime, health and response time instantly.
  • Simon: Flexible Server Montoring - It checks servers for changes or failures, and notifies you via e-mail, sound, speech, Twitter, or other means



  • Mac Mini Vault - Data center with cabinets that fit over 140 minis. Milwaukee and Phoenix.
  • Green Mini host - Hosting provider that takes only Mac mini's, based in The Netherlands
  • Mac Mini Colo - Hosted in Las Vegas at Switch (touted as "America's safest data center").
  • MacStadium - Lots of tutorials on this site in /blog/category/howto.
  • Macminicolos - Hosted by Colocation America in Los Angeles.

Target Disk Mode


Hardware Mods




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Power - Software/Monitoring - Network - Co-location - Target Disk Mode - Hardware Mods - Video- Racks - Expansion Docks

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Reviews of equipment from around the web.

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Warning: No warrantee of the RAIS concept or its fitness for use is express or implied. Apple, Mac mini, and Mac OS X Server are trademarks of Apple, Inc. All other 3rd party hardware and software are trademarks of their respective owners.

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