MacBook Air for labbing?

coffeeluvrcoffeeluvr Senior MemberNCPosts: 731Member ■■■■■□□□□□
Does anyone use a Macbook Air for labbing? I am considering getting one with an i7 and 8gb ram. I hate the fact that 8gb of ram is the max available. I am just looking for something lightweight and portable. I am tired of lugging my MacBook Pro around. I am not opposed to switching back to a Windows based laptop. Any suggestions is appreciated.
"Something feels funny, I must be thinking too hard. - Pooh"

Comments

  • VeritiesVerities Posts: 1,162Member
    I have 5 lab VMs (load balancer, 2 web servers, a database server, and a control node) setup on my Macbook Air (8 GB, 128 GB SSD, i5 @ 1.6 GHz) and it supports my labbing requirements. I only lab using CentOS minimal install so the RAM requirements for not too slow, not too fast is around 1 GB which is fine. I also make sure to not use fixed size for the HDD since a minimal install is less than 5 GB and instead have them dynamically allocated.
  • coffeeluvrcoffeeluvr Senior Member NCPosts: 731Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    @Verities...Thanks for the info. I use CentOS as well.
    "Something feels funny, I must be thinking too hard. - Pooh"
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Yeahh, I labbed using a Macbook Air for years. That's what I used for my CCNA, [half of my] Linux+, and all my AWS certs. I also used Vagrant and set up dozens of labs to try out other software and programming.

    However, you can the 2017 Macbook Pro is arguably smaller than the Macbook Air, at pretty much the same weight. It has a much, much better screen, and maxes out at 16 GB RAM. OLED touchstrip or not, if you have the money and are thinking about buying a new Macbook anyway, you should definitely look into a Pro instead of an Air.

    If you go for a Windows Machine, I personally have had the 2014 and 2016 Dell XPS models and liked them both.
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  • PocketLumberjackPocketLumberjack Posts: 162Member
    I have a pile of garbage HP Laptop from 2011 with 8gb of ram and an A6 AMD that runs Ubuntu and VM's well enough. I will be getting a system76 next, Apple isn't doing it for me anymore and I avoid windows like the plague.
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  • VeritiesVerities Posts: 1,162Member
    I have a pile of garbage HP Laptop from 2011 with 8gb of ram and an A6 AMD that runs Ubuntu and VM's well enough. I will be getting a system76 next, Apple isn't doing it for me anymore and I avoid windows like the plague.

    Canonical has done a great job getting Linux to the masses and increasing user experience for desktops, but they still have a long ways to go. Linux as a desktop OS is still not up to par with MacOS. I'm not an Apple fan boy and I actually make a living off Linux, but I give Apple credit for having taken Darwin Unix and creating an efficient desktop OS.
  • Master YodaMaster Yoda Posts: 21Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Macbook air works well. It will handle just about anything you will need, handles VMs well. Unless of course you're looking for something more price sensitive as everyone can attest Apple is a bit ridiculous on pricing, but it's a quality product.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Do you need the lab local on the machine? You could always get something cheaper and remote into a home lab. Mac Air wouldn't be my first choice for a local labbing machine anyway.
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  • coffeeluvrcoffeeluvr Senior Member NCPosts: 731Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    @networker... I do remote into my home lab, but I actually do like to have a few labs local on the machine to mess around with. I am currently using a 15" MacBook Pro, but I am just tired of lugging it around. I really like the portability of the MacBook Air. I am also looking at Sager, Gigabyte and Lenovo laptops. Decisions...decisions...
    "Something feels funny, I must be thinking too hard. - Pooh"
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,736Mod Mod
    Instead of a MacBook Air, the new MacBook 12" is ridiculously small. Smaller and lighter than the Air.
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  • coffeeluvrcoffeeluvr Senior Member NCPosts: 731Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    @JoJoCal19...DoubleNNS mentioned that as well about the new Macbook. I am going to stop by the Apple store after the gym this afternoon and check it out. I like the fact that I can get it with 16gb of ram.
    "Something feels funny, I must be thinking too hard. - Pooh"
  • VeritiesVerities Posts: 1,162Member
    coffeeluvr wrote: »
    @JoJoCal19...DoubleNNS mentioned that as well about the new Macbook. I am going to stop by the Apple store after the gym this afternoon and check it out. I like the fact that I can get it with 16gb of ram.

    What kind of lab do you intend to build? This is not directed at anyone here, but I believe the vast majority of IT people over provision resources thinking that more is better. Which means they don't actually look at minimum requirements or create baselines or actually use performance data to make decisions.
  • ande0255ande0255 Posts: 1,178Banned
    ASUS also has some nice laptops with 16gb RAM along with specs to run VM's in the event you need to, the newer ones appear to be for gaming with the high end graphics cards and dedicated resources for it, but the older models (mine is an N56J) are good for labbing but high end gaming will fry the CPU.

    Had that happen once with this model of ASUS during an awesome Titanfall game, that really ticked me off. HP was quick about replacing it though, and just used it for labbing since without a problem.
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  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    coffeeluvr wrote: »
    @JoJoCal19...DoubleNNS mentioned that as well about the new Macbook. I am going to stop by the Apple store after the gym this afternoon and check it out. I like the fact that I can get it with 16gb of ram.

    No. There are now 3 Apple Laptops for sale. There is the MacBook, the Macbook Pro, and the Macbook Air. (Confusing, I know.)


    The Macbook is the smallest of the 3 and arguably the least powerful.

    The Macbook Pro is the second smallest of the 3 and the most powerful.

    The Macbook Air is actually now the LARGEST of the 3 but is the cheapest.


    If all you want is small and light, go with the Macbook. However, for your specific use case I think you want to look at the latest Macbook Pro model.


    There are rumors that Apple will soon get rid of the Macbook Air line once they can drive the prices down on the Macbook and Macbook Pros.
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  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    The Macbook Air is actually now the LARGEST of the 3 but is the cheapest.

    Actually, the 13" MacBook Pro is slightly heavier than the 13" MacBook Air (by 20g). The 15" MacBook Pro is definitely the big daddy of them all, in terms of screen size, weight and power.

    There used to be an 11" MacBook Air, which was smaller (and lighter) than the 12" MacBook. The MacBook Air has not had a refresh in a little over 2 years, so something to keep in mind. The rumours are that the MacBook Air will be dropped entirely.

    The MacBook is due for an update, so might be worth holding off if that is the model you want.

    Personally, consider the MacBook Pro 13". It's a pity it doesn't come in a 4 core model, but that's Apple for you. Another option is to look at their refurbs: you might get an i7 MacBook Air.
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  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Posts: 2,013Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    OctalDump wrote: »
    Actually, the 13" MacBook Pro is slightly heavier than the 13" MacBook Air (by 20g).

    Yeah, I realized it was slightly heavier. But barely, to the point that I'd say they effectively weight the same. And the dimensions of the new MBP is slightly smaller than the MBA. If he's only getting a MBA for the size and weight difference and NOT because of the cheaper price, it seems like a waste -- especially when he's wondering whether the MBA has the amount of compute resources he'd need.

    I recommend the 13" MBP for his needs.
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