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The Long-Awaited 2018 Mac mini is Here!

2018 Mac mini

After four years, Apple decided it was finally the Mac mini’s turn for a much-needed refresh. And what a refresh it was. Apple didn’t just update the new Mac mini; the refresh turned the desktop computer into one of the most powerful Macs on the market. It’s able to run a 6-core processor, is configurable up to 64GB of RAM and offers 2TB of SSD storage. A quick review of the Geekbench Mac Benchmark Chart shows the new Mac mini has the power to stand up against – and sometimes exceed – Apple’s Pro level systems. The benchmark shows the new Mac mini as the second most powerful single-core Mac system and the sixth most powerful multi-core system available.

As you can expect, the MacStadium team is thrilled about the new Mac mini – especially given the shout-out we got from Apple during the keynote! However, we also know the importance of providing the security, support, reliability and performance that our customers expect from MacStadium. With those needs in mind, we have been hard at work for the past few weeks making sure that this new mini meets the same high expectations we have for all of our Mac infrastructure.

Thank you for your patience during this time. We know you have questions about the status of the new mini, so we’re assembled the quick FAQ below. Keep an eye on our website and blog in the coming weeks for even more news and details.

When will the 2018 Mac mini be available at MacStadium?
We will have the new Mac minis available for online ordering on January 7, 2019. Subscribers to our Mac mini mailing list have already been contacted about pre-orders. 

Why were the minis not immediately available after Apple’s launch?
The new Mac mini has twice the power and heat output as the previous mini, 10x network capabilities, and new port layouts. As a result, our previous, custom-designed racks and power distribution units did not offer optimal performance, reliability, or serviceability. In response, our experienced Mac engineering team has designed new racks with the explicit purpose of optimizing performance, reliability, and serviceability of the new minis. These new racks - populated with 2018 minis - will launch January 7, 2019.

Which data centers will have the 2018 Mac mini?
Our initial launch will be in Las Vegas and Atlanta. Additional data centers will roll-out through Q1 2019.

Which models of Mac minis will be available and at what prices?
MacStadium is offering three different “flavors” of the 2018 Mac mini:

·     4-core i3 3.6GHz, 16G RAM, 512GB SSD, 1G Ethernet - $150 per month
·     6-core i7 3.2GHz, 32G RAM, 512GB SSD, 1G Ethernet - $200 per month
·     6-core i7 3.2GHz, 64G RAM, 1TB SSD, 10G Ethernet - $350 per month

If you need a large number of minis with different specs than the options listed above, please contact a sales engineer.

Why have I seen cheaper Mac minis elsewhere?
We build our team, facilities and infrastructure to service the biggest companies in the world. We’re committed to the highest security and performance in the industry. We want you to expect the same from us. These high standards of service are offered to all of our customers, big or small. Mac infrastructure with MacStadium brings peak performance and protection, and our standard on both of these fronts is head and shoulders above other Mac hosting providers.

Some details that you may find interesting:

·     MacStadium deploys in top-tier data centers with significant investment in performance, reliability, security, and scalability.
·     Our ISO 27001, SOC 1 & 2 - Type 1 & 2 security certifications demonstrate our commitment to security.
·     Our Tier III and IV data centers support at least 99.99% uptime along with A/B power to each Mac for additional redundancy.
·     MacStadium network architecture ensures 160 Gbps internal bandwidth and 4x redundancy for maximum speed and uptime.
·     Our custom racks provide maximum performance via optimal thermal and power handling plus network connectivity.
·     Our custom racks also ensure serviceability and allow us to add external adapters, hard drives, graphics dongles, etc.
·     We provide 24/7 customer support and remote-hands in all of our data centers.
·     MacStadium employs Mac experts to help you scale. Mac infrastructure is all we do, so every one of our employees knows the ins and outs of Macintosh.

What upgrades will be available on the Mac minis?
The 2018 Mac minis will include HDMI adapters to ensure top-notch GPU performance, optional external Thunderbolt 3 storage of up to 2TB (400MB/s), and optional external USB 3.0 storage up to 4TB. Due to T2 chip limitations, MacStadium cannot perform aftermarket updates to the internals of the Mac minis (RAM, CPU, storage, etc.). Hence, we are only offering a few standard models and cannot modify individual Macs once they are deployed (only change them out for different models). 

What operating systems can I load on the 2018 mini?
macOS 10.14 (Mojave) comes loaded by default, and minis will support new macOS versions as they are released for the foreseeable future. You can also load Windows using BootCamp, and other OSs (older versions of macOS, Linux, etc.) can be run via virtualization using Parallels, Fusion, or Anka.

Can I load ESXi on the 2018 Mac mini?
Yes, however there are a few limitations at present. The following components don’t have ESXi drivers:

·     Internal SSD (as conducted by the T2 chip)
·     Thunderbolt 3 I/O ports
·     10G Ethernet Adapter (1G only)

We are currently working with Apple and VMware to accelerate ESXi support on the 2018 Mac mini. We are hopeful that the new mini will be fully supported in 2019, but we don’t have concrete details yet.

Can I deploy these 2018 Mac minis in a cloud configuration?
Yes! Veertu’s Anka virtualization engine can be used with these new minis today. Performance is incredible, and on-boarding is a snap. Learn more about our Anka clouds here, or contact a sales engineer for more information.

Can I attach SAN storage to the mini?
Yes, you can mount a dedicated storage volume in a shared FlashBlade SAN via NFS running over the 10G copper ethernet. (Note that this service is only available in our Atlanta data center at present.)

Can I put my mini(s)behind a firewall?
Yes! Ask your sales engineer for details about how we can deploy your environment behind a firewall.

How do I get started with a cloud on a 2018 Mac mini, then?
If you are interested in a Mac cloud that includes the new mini (or any of our existing minis, Mac Pros or iMac Pros), chat with a sales engineer who can provide more information and a price quote.

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