Have you ever wanted to search a remote computer for some files, but don’t want to run down the stairs to check the Mac Pro in the office? Networks with an OS X Server attached to it have had that luxury for a while now if it has Spotlight Server set up. It’s always amazed me that there’s a distinction between home services and server services in today’s day and age.
We’ve already reached the point where we’re no longer surprised to find a computer in every home, but pretty soon we’ll be seeing servers in every home. It’s happening quickly, and I’d be willing to bet that a majority of our readers already have a form of server in their house already. A lot have media servers, some have web servers, others have development servers. It’s the norm.
There’s a huge movement on the internet to move things to the cloud, but a lot of people are missing the opportunity to take things to the home, locally, through utilizing cheap home servers like the Mac Mini.
Think about it for a second. Would you like to have a dropbox setup that actually takes care of some things locally, and only push certain things out to the internet? I think we have a real possibility here for some growth. OS X server isn’t super easy to manage, but if a couple of developers started making server installation packages along side cloud based applications, then we’ll be able to get these services up and running fairly quickly.
Taking a quick look on Apple’s OS X Server page highlights the need, and their own recognition of this fact. They have an iCal server, an Address Book Server, a Podcast Production Server, and a Wiki Server, just to name a few. It’s becoming quite obvious that home servers are becoming the norm. Apple Inc. might argue that these things are aimed more at small businesses, but lets be real, homes are becoming small offices. Keeping information synced between multiple computers in the home is something that needs to be addressed. Pushing information out to the internet to do this isn’t the most efficient manner to get this done. Sure, some things might need to be pushed to the cloud, but the reality is that a lot of stuff only needs to be updated a couple of times a day.
Now that I think about it, the Mac Mini is a logical choice for a lot of the problems with home networks today. Need a Media PC in a bedroom? The Mac Mini answers that bell quite easily. Need a machine to act as a syncing device between all the kids? The Mac Mini can serve that up quite easily. That’s just the easy stuff.
I’m sure there’s a whole slew of uses for a Mac Mini in a home, and I think Apple knows that. There’s rumours about that Apple’s in the market for a gaming executive, and if there was ever a device that could easily be turned into a full fledge console it’s the Mac Mini. The more I think about it the more I realize that this misunderstood device has a big future at Apple Inc.