Apple Caching Server question

Pete Mundy pete at
Mon Jan 16 23:20:53 UTC 2017

> On 14/01/2017, at 6:25 am, Blake Hudson <blake at> wrote:
> lane.powers at wrote on 1/13/2017 7:43 AM:
>> I saw the apple caching server mentioned on an earlier thread. Is this appropriate/functional/scaleable enough to implement as an ISP? It is an intriguing idea. From the docs I could find, I couldn't tell if it was only geared towards home / small business or if it could scale up to handle ISP level traffic.
>> thanks,
>> Lane
> I have no experience with the Apple caching service specifically, but I have used Apple products (including some of their server software) for decades. Apple used to make mac mini models exclusively for server use. Their low power draw and relatively high density makes them an interesting choice for those that don't mind using "desktop grade" hardware for a project. There are some folks that even make rack-mount solutions for the Mac mini and Mac pro (search for RackMac). That said, my experience with several mac minis is that you will have at least one fault that will put them out of production (dead PSU, faulty HDD, dead mainboard) in a 2-3 year period when ran 24/7.
> With Unix OS, a gigabit ethernet port, SSD, and i5 or i7, I would expect a mac mini to be as fast or faster than most other network appliances one might purchase. If one wanted something beefier, a mac pro would probably offer some expandability (on board dual 1gbps NICs + six 20Gbps thunderbolt 2 ports).
> I would see why one might be curious, especially if this could cache the IOS updates used for all those tablets and other iDevices folks purchase from Apple.

Those dual Mac Mini 1U rack-mount cases are great! Two of the quad-core 'server' versions of the Minis gave quite a bit of punch for only 1RU @ 300mm deep.

I have a couple of these types of builds deployed for VoIP services in different DCs, both with auto failover from one Mini to the other. But in the 6 years they've been operation we've never had any failure requiring use of the failover machines :)

Re the Apple Caching Server - I don't believe that will work at the ISP level. My understanding is that the clients requesting their updates are redirected (by Apple's own servers) to the caching server only if the caching server and the requesting client both appear (from Apple's perspective) to originate from behind the same (NAT'd) public IP address.


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