Nerval's Lobster writes: "In 2005, the first business to offer colocated Mac Minis inside a data center made its debut, provoking criticism on Slashdot of everything from how the Mini was cooled to the underlying business model. But nowadays, more than half a dozen facilities are either hosting their own Mac Minis for rent, or offering colocation services for individual consumers and businesses. While some vendors declined to give out reliability information, those who did claimed a surprisingly small number of failures. “If Dell makes a small little machine, you don’t know that they’ll be making that, in that form factor, six months down the road, or what they’re going to do, or how they’re going to refresh it,” Jon Schwenn, a network engineer for CyberLynk Networks (which owns Macminivault) said in an interview. “We’ve had three model years of Minis that have stayed externally, physically identical.” Customers are using Minis for all sorts of things: providing Mail, iCal, and the Websites for small businesses; databases, like Filemaker or Daylite; as a VPN server for those who want an IP address in the United States; build servers for Xcode; and general personal servers for Plex media streaming and other fun projects. Some are even using it for Windows."