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Man builds custom server out of 160 Mac minis

Do-it-yourselfers and computer enthusiasts, have you ever found yourself wondering what a stack of 160 Mac minis would look like? Even if your answer is “no,” it might be worth your while to check out this custom-built server made by someone who goes by the name of “Steve.” Needing an alternative to the now-defunct Apple Xserve – a server rack built by the same company who makes your iPhones and iPads – Steve decided to design a rack that can house hundreds of the company’s teensy computer boxes. He even documented his work on his blog for us to see. 

According to Hackaday, Steve worked on the project from the ground up, even collaborating with a vendor to create a special shelf that can hold four Mac minis side-by-side in a square layout. These shelves were then stacked on top of each other to create a tower of computers. With the number of computers in the server, the potential to become a mess of tangled wires is very likely, so instead of plugging each mini to an outlet, Steve used cables that can connect all four Mac minis per shelf to a single power source.

Cooling was another problem Steve had to tackle. With 160 Mac minis, the likelihood of the custom server overheating was high, so Steve designed a cooling system made out of four car radiator fans built onto the structure’s door. Each mini was also fitted with a plastic panel to make sure the heat it gives off doesn’t affect its neighboring computer. Aside from the custom server’s details, the blog didn’t mention what it was actually used for, although Steve did say that it was used in a “production environment,” and that the minis “run great.” While the project was obviously a success, Steve believes that he can go even bigger. Based on the most recent post on the blog, it seems he has plans to outdo himself in the future by building a server with 240 Mac minis. Good luck, Steve!

(Image via Steve’s Blog)