The Mac serves many roles for many people. Whether it’s used for creativity, research, development, content consumption, or as a server, there is a Mac for the job. During Apple’s October “More in the Making,” the company highlighted several of these key roles the Mac plays, and gave a shoutout to MacStadium’s incredible Mac server farm.
But what is MacStadium really doing, and what does it actually look like to be surrounded by hundreds of Mac mini? YouTube technology entertainer Quinn Nelson of Snazzy Labs had a chance to visit their Las Vegas facility to find out more.
In his video (below), Nelson shares his conversation with the Vice President of MacStadium, Brian Stucki. In the 8-minute video, they share some impressive details about the setup, customizations, and scale that MacStadium has in place.
One of the first highlights in the video is MacStadium’s custom (and patented) server racks. Stucki explains that they were designed to fit “as many Macs per square foot as possible.”
Fan noise is another surprising (or maybe not) thing in the server rack setup. With a single Mac on your desk, you may rarely notice the whir of the computer. With hundreds of Mac mini all humming along, Nelson told me it was so loud that the two “had to shout to hear one another.”
Additionally, they discuss the in-floor air conditioning that helps to keep the machines running optimally. They also discuss MacStadium’s “cold aisle“ cooling solution for their Mac Pros, designed to accommodate the thermally temperamental hardware for customers with higher-end needs.
One of the most surprising revelations in the video is that most of their Mac hardware has no internal storage. Instead, they use custom built hardware controllers and enterprise storage solutions, connected via Thunderbolt and Fiber. This allows them to easily scale and provide redundancy. As Nelson told me, “You can tell they’ve spent a lot of time, money, and energy preparing consumer hardware for enterprise usage. It’s not ‘plug-and-play’ by any stretch.”
The entire video – and everything MacStadium is doing – is very impressive. The YouTube video was also conveniently timed, given Apple’s mention during their keynote, which Nelson assures me was a happy coincidence. After chatting with the MacStadium team over the summer, Nelson filmed the video a few weeks before the event. He then opted to hold off on releasing until after the event, in hopes of new Mac mini hardware.
If you’re interested in seeing what MacStadium is all about, check out the video or visit their website to find out more. If you’re interested in other great tech entertainment and the occasional “tips and tricks” video, be sure to check out Snazzy Labs on YouTube as well.