Archive for September, 2011
This morning at 12:30am I shut down my last Apple X-Serve — intentionally.
In the early days of the public Internet, I exclusively used cloud servers. Cloud servers in the sense that they were virtual private servers whose location was unimportant. This was the most economical way to set up “your own server” and operate it without having to purchase hardware and colocate it somewhere in Santa Clara or San Jose. Or even L.A.
Then, in the early 2000s I bought Apple X-Serves and colocated them at a little Mac-only ISP called Maccius. I liked their premise and I liked the fact that they were hosting part of Apple’s developer network for Apple. My $3000 X-Serves were good investments, running 24/7 from 2003 until 2011 with only a reboot here and there (maybe once a year). I upgraded storage to RAID, and I boosted their RAM memories, but other than that these machines were real troopers with plenty of compute power. I saved a lot of money by owning my own boxes and just buying electricity and bandwidth from Maccius.
But by 2008 it had become cheaper (and more secure) to purchase computing as a commodity — cloud computing was coming of age. So I started launching virtual private servers again, at Slicehost and Rackspace (and eventually some at Amazon AWS). I could pay $12 a month for a tiny virtual server at Rackspace and not have to worry about some disk drive failing on me. And I could size ’em up or down as necessary.
By 2010 I was paying more for the virtual servers than for the real hardware boxes, but I was hosting far more sites in a more flexible manner. And Apple decided to exit the dedicated server business. So no hope of replacing hardware, and no more server software upgrades.
So in 2011 I shut down my X-Serves, one at a time, until I pulled the last plug (figuratively) out of the wall this morning.
And I’m entirely back in the cloud again.