It's also important to note that a Mac Mini server isn't restricted to using the built-in Server Preferences. If more-varied features like client management and small-scale workstation deployments are needed, the more robust management tools for Snow Leopard Server are available. This allows companies to get the most value from their small investment because they can take advantage of more features as their needs change or business grows.
Small companies also represent a fairly strong market for the iPhone, iPod Touch and the soon-to-be-released iPad. Many of the collaboration tools built into Snow Leopard Server (regardless of the management tools) are designed to pair well with the iPhone platform. That makes the Mac Mini server a logical choice for businesses interested in both Mac and Windows clients -- Mac OS X Server supports both platforms as well as other Unix/Linux flavors, along with its support for Apple's mobile devices.
Not a home or media server
One thing I've been asked about the Mini server is whether it would work as an effective home server. While it can function as a household file, print and backup server, you'd be better off with Apple's Time Capsule. It's designed to be a wireless access point, a network storage and print server for both Macs and Windows, and a network-based Time Machine backup location.
I'm also asked whether it might work at home as a media server. And I give the same answer: It's possible, but it isn't the best option. Home media servers come in many forms. The simplest, from an Apple perspective, is to use the sharing features built into iTunes running on a Mac or PC in your home. You can even dedicate a low-end machine to media server duty and have an excellent -- and cheaper -- setup that other machines can access. Or you can use network-attached storage devices that are designed to act as a central repository for media that can be accessed by other computers, set-top boxes and other devices. Using a Mini server is almost certainly overkill, and while it can run iTunes and other media tools, so could a $499 Mac Mini, an iMac or a low-cost PC.
Setup and performance
Setting up a Mac Mini server is easy, even for someone who's never set up a server before. Snow Leopard Server comes preinstalled, and the Server Assistant utility is launched automatically on first start-up. The assistant automatically detects the network environment the server is connected to, asks easy-to-understand questions about the type of setup and services you want, and creates the primary administrator account in just a few minutes.