Having your own server has a number of benefits over mere cloud solutions and is therefore still highly valued by many business and private customers. In many cases, this does not require a classic full-size server. A mini server in the PrimeMini format can be the ideal solution. But why are PrimeMinis so ideal as servers and which configuration is right for my purpose? These questions are answered in the following blog post.
Why a mini server in the age of the cloud?
We live in the age of the cloud. Most applications and services have a cloud service, where the server and data are located in a data centre of providers such as Microsoft or Google. Cloud services are very convenient and offer other benefits such as almost seamless scalability.
In return, however, you give up control and responsibility. If you want to have full control over your hardware, software, stored data, and data security, having your own physical server is the best solution. Legal requirements can also be an argument for having your own server. For example, it is much easier for a medical practice to comply with the regulations on the legally compliant handling of specially protected patient data with its own servers than with a pure cloud solution.
Benefits of the PrimeMini as a server
But why is the PrimeMini so well suited as a mini server compared to conventional mini-PCs?
- 24/7 operation
The PrimeMinis are designed for 24/7 continuous operation. Only Intel NUC Pro boards are used. In contrast to consumer boards, which are installed in most mini-PCs in NUC format. The “PRO” boards are specially designed for industrial and embedded solutions and, therefore, for continuous operation. To ensure that the PrimeMinis can be cooled passively, we adjust the power consumption to achieve a constant performance of the PrimeMinis. This prevents abrupt temperature changes in the hardware components, which can reduce the hardware’s service life.
- Energy efficiency
With a server running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, energy efficiency has an even greater impact on running costs and carbon footprint than a PC. With Intel Core i processors, the PrimeMinis have economical CPUs that still deliver the performance needed for a server. The Prime Computer operating cost calculator can be used to calculate exactly how much electricity costs and CO2 are actually saved with a PrimeMini 5 as a mini server.
The fanless and mechanics-free design makes all PrimeMinis completely silent. Combined with the ultra-compact form factor, this allows placement directly in the office or another room where people are working at the same time. So there’s no need for a server rack or even a dedicated server room.
The PrimeMinis can be optimally configured according to the performance and storage requirements of the mini-server. CPUs in different performance classes can be selected. Up to 32 GB RAM can be configured in the PrimeMini 5, and two SSDs can be installed in the ultra-compact housing. For use as a server, specialised storage disks are available in Samsung 970 PRO SSDs. We explain here why the choice of SSD is crucial: Differences in SSDs
Since two SSDs can be installed in the PrimeMini, a RAID 1 configuration is possible. With RAID 1, the read speed can be improved. However, the most important benefit of RAID 1 is that even if one SSD fails, no data is lost and work can continue without interruption. This makes the PrimeMini suitable as a server for business-critical tasks.
Last but not least, the PrimeMini grants excellent connectivity for such a small IT device. Especially the PrimeMini 5, where additional LAN and USB ports can be configured. Another benefit for professional use is the Intel vPro features and onboard TPM.
What are specific use cases for a mini-server? Which configurations are optimal for this?
- Example SQL server
Especially for SMEs, a PrimeMini offers an optimal and lean solution for an SQL server. Here we present in detail how to put together a suitable SQL setup: Hardware setups for ERP systems Hardware setups for ERP systems
For an SME with 5 employees and consequently 5 clients, we suggest the following configurations:
- SQL server economy variant: i3 processor, 8GB RAM, 250GB EVO SSD
- SQL server performance variant: i7 processor, 2x 8GB RAM, 500GB Samsung PRO SSD
- Example mail server
If you want to run your own mail server, you need surprisingly low computing power. Good connectivity is more important. That is why a cheaper Intel i3 processor is sufficient for a mail server for over 100 users and content scanning:
- Mail server: i3 processor, 8GB RAM, 1000GB EVO SSD
- Example music server
The PrimeMinis are extremely popular as music servers. The high-quality design, the absolute silence, and the excellent compatibility with Linux-based operating systems stand out as special benefits. Primarily, PrimeMinis are used as Roon music servers. Detailed information can be found in these blog posts from us: PrimeMini as Roon Nucleus Alternative | The perfect Roon Server
The most common configuration of the PrimeMini 5 as a Roon server is:
- Roon server: i7 processor, 2x 8GB RAM, 250GB SSD for the operating system and Roon data, 1 or 2 TB second 2.5″ SSD for the music library
Which configuration do I need?
Are you interested in a PrimeMini as a mini server but don’t know exactly which configuration is best for you? Then fill out this form and one of our technical experts will send you the info for the right configuration and be happy to answer any further questions. Describe as precisely as possible what you want to use the mini server for so that we can correctly assess the hardware requirements profile.