Feeds

VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis

And goes to the Genius Bar for support

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

VMware runs a cluster of 50 Mac Minis and puts it to work preparing the executables and binaries that customers receive when they acquire the company's products.

We're standing on the shoulders of William Lam's Virtually Ghetto for this story, after he delved into production uses of Mac hardware in an VMware environment. He eventually tracked down Mike Lemoine, Virtzilla's senior tools and infrastructure engineer, who explained that “the only ‘real builds’ are the ones that go through this infrastructure. If it didn’t go through our machines, it doesn’t get released to the world.”

Lemoine says the Minis do the job tolerably well, but that their hard disks aren't designed for business workloads so tend to be the machines' weak point. When they break, “One of the guys in our datacenter will pull the machine and take it to the Genius Bar, where they will tell us what we already know and replace the drive.”

He adds that “Our Minis are all running ESXi off of USB sticks, so losing the drive isn’t much of a hurdle.”

Using Mac Minis in this way isn't hard. Lemoine told Lam that “the amount of information you need in order to get ESXi running on a Mac Mini would probably fit on an index card,” although there are some “gotchas … for your combination of ESXi version and Mac Mini revision.”

It looks a little odd that a $6bn concern like VMware is using consumer-grade kit for important chores like building OS X and iOS applications. After all, the company has partnerships with top server-makers, deep pockets and a customer-facing hybrid cloud that would be laughed out of business if it used Mac Minis.

Lemoine counters by asking “In what other situation can you have an entire spare server on hand for $1200?” And get that server all weekend, over the counter.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.