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Scott McAllister
Scott McAllister

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Building My Own Application Server: Post 1

Remember when blogs first came out and most of them were written records of journeys folks encountered? Some embarked on adventurous travels, some were (and still are) a platform for sports fans to shout into the void, while others documented their progress in a particular project. This is more of the latter. I have a late 2014 Mac mini that has been cold on my desk for several months. We initially kept it arround just in case we needed something. But, I think it's safe to say that the just in case time period has adequately passed.

Now my son and I want to turn this old Mac into a web server. We realize it would most definitely be easier to deploy our code onto one of the many application service providers (aka "clouds"), but what's the fun in that? While I'm a web application developer by trade, and my son has built his own web projects, neither of us have ever built and ran a production server before, so we're going to give it a shot.

These posts are going to be a journal of our progress, our missteps, and our learnings.

Progress Update

I reformatted harddrive on the Mac mini (Late 2014). It's running a 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 processor with 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 memory. The machine contains a 2 TB Fusion Drive. My initial hypothesis is that the Fusion Drive is going to hurt our performance. But, hopefully, since we stripped the machine of all non-essential files and applications, we won't notice any degraded speeds.

Outside of the Mac mini the only other hardware of note is the KVM Switch I ordered so we can easily switch between the server and our family machine, which will share the same monitor, mouse, keyboard.

Next Steps

We don't have a master plan for how we're going to run and deploy things. I know I want to learn more about running containers and container orchestration, but that's probably further down the road. The next steps we're going to focus on is getting runtimes and other utilities installed so we can run our applications.

Please feel free to offer advice, encouragement, or constructive feedback in the comments.

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