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Inside Apple's Leopard Server OS 133

An anonymous reader writes "Mac expert John Welch, author of the widely read OS X versus Vista comparison, delves into Apple's Leopard Server OS. He and Information week have on offer a deep dive into what's known so far about OS X Server 10.5, which will be showcased at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Welch weighs in on Leopard's iCal, Wiki, file, Quicktime, and mail services, along with Xgrid 2, Open Directory 4, and 64-bit capabilities. What does it all add up to? His assessment: Apple probably isn't aiming at 'big' enterprises; just the same, Leopard Server is shaping up to be a great SMB (small and mid-sized business) product. Welch writes: 'For about a thousand bucks on existing hardware, or for the cost of an Xserve, you get a really solid server, able to support Web services, collaboration, groupware, IM, and file services. You can run it with its own directory service, or as part of an Active Directory implementation out of the box. It provides some features that due to pricing and/or setup requirements, have traditionally been reserved for big enterprises — in particular clustering of both email and calendaring servers.'"
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Inside Apple's Leopard Server OS

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  • Linux (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kraemate ( 1065878 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @08:58AM (#18500035)
    A comparison between Leopard Server and Linux would've been better, IMHO.
    • Re:Linux (Score:5, Funny)

      by AxminsterLeuven ( 963108 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:07AM (#18500129)
      Sure, but it wouln't provide any obvious reasons for Vista-bashing. Where's the fun in that?
    • Re:Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rindeee ( 530084 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:22AM (#18500263)
      You're wrong. No offense intended. Your response is, I suspect, a common one. The reality however is that in the market Apple is targeting with this, MS is the standard. Could you build out a Linux box to do all the same stuff that Apple is doing here? Yeah, pretty much (not sure on the QuickTime streaming). That's not the point. What matters is that Apple HAS built it out. They've used OSS to do it. They wrapped it in a slick package. They've made it super easy to deploy, manage, extend, expand and use. A 'systems consultant' could walk in the door and give a small/medium business a complete solution using the Windows desktop and top notch OSS client software (Thunderbird, etc.) providing a truly complete solution for peanuts compared to what an MS back-end would set you back. Kudos to Apple!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        That same systems consultant could do the same with Apple, Linux, BSD or Windows. How are you saying "you're wrong"? A system consultant that chooses and deploys a specific system is familiar with it and it is turnkey system for him. There is no trying this and playing with getting that working etc.. That consultant has done it in the past many times and knows how to do it. If the consultant is playing around and attempting to get basic things working, you need to hire a different consultant.

        I am curio
        • by rindeee ( 530084 )
          The bottom line is, well, the bottom line. As I said, you could do this with Linux (but it will be tougher to manage for the end user over time). You can do it with Windows (obviously since the article is posing Leopoard Server as an alternative to Windows). It's a combination of ease of deployment/mgt. and cost. According to the article (see your 'curious' qustion) it wins in both areas. Of course none of us has used it, that's why we're reading an article written by someone with more insite that we h
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Golias ( 176380 )
          "They've made it super easy to deploy, manage, extend, expand and use."

          Considering that this will not be even showcased until June, how do you have any idea about that?

          Probably because OS X Server has been around a while, and has always been super easy to deploy, manage, extend, expand and use.

          The thing is, anybody who can administer Linux can also admin an OS X (non-server) box to do the exact same stuff. OS X is basically just Mach+BSD+Aqua. You don't need OS X Server to just run sendmail or apache or
        • by shmlco ( 594907 )
          To me the question is what kind of shop is it?

          Organizations with mostly Windows desktops tend to migrate towards Windows-based solutions, since the people there are already familiar with at leat part of the puzzle, and the server environment doesn't have to be relearned from the ground up. IOW, you already know how to setup IP addresses, accounts, manage drives, install updates, etc..

          So I can see how a shop that's primarily Mac-based would tend to want OS X-based servers as well, for a lot of the same reaso
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by 605dave ( 722736 )
        Absolutely you could be running QTSS Streaming Server on a Linux box. Apple open sourced the code several years ago under the name Darwin Streaming Server. It is licensed under the Apple Open Source License [apple.com], and is available from the Apple Developer Connection [apple.com].
      • Actually, the Quicktime streaming application is something that Apple has open-sourced (under the APL, but what can you do):
        Darwin streaming server: http://developer.apple.com/opensource/server/strea ming/ [apple.com]
    • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:50AM (#18500581)
      Okay here's my comparison.
      If you are going to have anything less than 20 computers, and you actually have a bussiness in which time is valuable and you don't have IT-class people with time on their hands, then Linux is insanley expensive to maintain. Get the apple even if the cost per node is higher.

      Okay now you say you have 50 to 100 nodes. most of these are behind a cluster router so don't have to be locked down. They all don't have to be running services or what they do run is identical. Well then get Linux. There's zero need to get the apple cost per node. And to boot they will probably reun just a tad faster since you can strip out all those services you don't need. At 100 nodes, having a machine run 10% faster is like 10 extra nodes, so it's worth the optimization at that level of use.

      People who claim different, must consider their time has no value, the risk to their bussniess from uncertainty about the patch level of their system has no value, or they have free access to high level sys admin.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ratboy666 ( 104074 )
        A few points.

        In a server setting, ports must be open. OS X much-vaunted security (mostly, no ports open) is now at risk.

        In a server setting, you would use a supported distribution of Linux. This includes security updates. Same as Apple.

        In serving Windows clients, SMB would be provided by SAMBA. The web administration of SAMBA is the same.

        OS X has always performed very badly in disk access (its architecture is bad for this).

        Local service can provide setup and maintainance contracts. The small shop does not a
        • So, I tried to reply to this, once it was being marked as 'insightful'... But the new /. text-formatter sucks dead bunnies through thin straws for preformatted text. So, here's a link [gornall.net] to my blog-post instead.

          - There's more to security than a firewall.
          - Linux is a fine server OS too, no disagreement there.
          - OSX has a better client than SWAT.
          - Disk performance on OSX is fine.
          - OSX doesn't need a "guru" to administer.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fyoder ( 857358 )

        IT-class people with time on their hands, then Linux is insanley expensive to maintain.

        I would have disagreed with you until I had the experience of working on a small network set up by a creative monkey based on Mandrake distros. The monkey quit and left the non-tech savy boss begging for help.

        That said, if you are set up initially by someone who knows what they're doing and get a modicum of training with regard to day to day tasks, Linux can run rock solid without much trouble. If it's well set up when you do need to call an expert for support, the expert can just get to work on your p

    • "A comparison between Leopard Server and Linux would've been better, IMHO."

      No, Linux is a kit of parts you use to build a system. Apple's market is some one who wants to open a box and pluig in a working server AND big AND here have ONE place to call for help for both hardware and software suport.

      A better comparison would be with Sun Microsystems. Sun can sell you a UNIX box that does what an Apple server does. Heck it even uses much the same Open Source software. Put Sun can send a hardware or softwar
  • Yes but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:04AM (#18500105)
    Tell me how fast it copies files...

    --Bill G.
  • by Deviant ( 1501 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @09:14AM (#18500189)
    The one thing that has really helped MS in the enterprise has been that the sell an entire solution that all works together. Windows desktops sign into Windows Active Directory run by Windows Servers. Outlook connects to Exchange running on Windows servers with Kerberos AD logins. Office and Sharepoint getting along to create and maintain intranet content.

    Apple has made huge inroads with solving the desktop issues of running Unix on the desktop. For the most part though I have seen either Linux or MS solutions on the server for file sharing and web serving and NIS/NFS and such. Even on the mac I would imagine that Entourage connecting to an Exchange server makes up a large portion of the Enterprise mail community.

    If Apple can provide a cheaper end-to-end solution from the server to the desktop with LDAP directories, email, calendering, intranet etc - all preloaded on their server hardware and ready to go - then they have a real winner. Hell the cheaper licencing costs they can offer from basing on open-source can help subsidize their higher hardware margins to make this a comparable, if not cheaper, solution compared to something MS from the likes of Dell or HP.

    If they really wanted to twist the knife in they should release some client software/drivers for Windows that make it just as easy to connect that to their servers and services as Macs to accomodate the need for having some PCs in a newly mac office.

    Now is the time to do this as companies are faced with upgrading to Vista on the desktop, a new version of Office, and soon a new server platform. Most of this means new hardware purchases anyway. They might be able to just swoop in and offer a complete solution the likes of which linux has been unable to - all bundled with and guaranteed/supported on their own hardare as well.
    • by AvitarX ( 172628 )
      Doesn't Apple offer that with ldap?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by imikem ( 767509 )
      The one thing that has really helped MS in the enterprise has been that the sell an entire solution that all works together.

      They do? It does? What planet did I wake up on today?
    • by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @10:01AM (#18500735)

      If Apple can provide a cheaper end-to-end solution from the server to the desktop with LDAP directories, email, calendering, intranet etc - all preloaded on their server hardware and ready to go
      First, no, it would take a lot more then just that to have people choose an Apple based network over SBS or other Windows setup.

      Second, Leopard pretty much is the last piece they need to provide that. it adds iCal server which is really all they were missing. With iCal server, Open Directory, Cyrus IMAP, Postfix and MySQL OS X Server could essentially do everything an SBS Premium install can do with out the 75 user limitation. However, you will need someone with some knowledge and experience to set it up. OS X doesn't have a million little wizards to get everything going with 4 mouse clicks. Initial set up should be done by someone who has an idea what they are doing.
      • by Frumious Wombat ( 845680 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @10:27AM (#18501061)
        No, but it does have a million little graphical panels, many of them with useful help or hints on the screen, which allows someone moderately familiar with unixese to set one up quickly. I'm running them as a compute cluster as well as networked desktops, which has necessitated setting up everything from LDAP and NSF (don't ask) to DNS, NetBoot, and Sun Grid Engine. Kerberos came along free for the ride with the LDAP config. Easiest Unix machine I've ever set up, and easy to maintain. The remote monitoring tools are a pleasure, where the GUI actually makes a difference. (it's nice to see at a glance that machine 7 has thrown a warning light because fan 6 is running slow). The only real problem is that ARD runs through VNC (at least it did for Version 2,which is what I'm still at), so it's deathly slow compared to either X11 or RemoteDesktop.

        In the SMB space, they really seem to have a winner. Maybe I just never took heavy enough drugs to grok Win2K3, but I could never make it work as smoothly as OS-X server does. It's not Solaris, but it'll do.
      • Wait... you think Apple servers are harder to set up than Windows? Maybe you've just used Windows servers for a long time and you know the ins and outs, but Windows installations certainly aren't sensible these days.
      • by Deviant ( 1501 )
        Actually I have found that, at least on their desktop OS, things like file sharing/web serving and such have wonderful easy seemless configuration.

        If they can, as you say, bring the simplicity of their GUIs to the more complex options needed in a server environment - if they can make it so with a few clicks out of the box it is good to go - then they will have a real winner on their hands and a real threat to Microsoft and the Linux distributions. If your defaults are such that they meet the needs of the ma
    • by fotbr ( 855184 )
      They might be able to just swoop in and offer a complete solution the likes of which linux has been unable to - all bundled with and guaranteed/supported on their own hardware as well.

      If Apple doesn't have a complete equivalent-or-better solution ready to go, right now, they've missed the boat and will have to wait to pull your "swoop in" move until the next Windows release.
    • by Gilmoure ( 18428 )
      they should release some client software/drivers for Windows that make it just as easy to connect that to their servers and services as Macs.

      They already have Windows services in OS X Server 10.4. You can set it up to look like a Windows server, with AD and such. The rest of the services (POP email, web, LDAP, etc.) are pretty agnostic. I'm not sure about the iChat IM server. Is there a Windows client that can speak to it?
      • by koehn ( 575405 ) *
        The iChat server uses XMPP (Jabber), so yes, there's a ton of Windows client support. I was wondering if the iChat server has gateways to other systems like AIM and Yahoo, but I haven't bothered to check.
        • by Gilmoure ( 18428 )
          Towards the end of the article, it mentions possible gateway support. That would rock at my work, where we've ditched the Mac MS Messenger clients in favor of the web based one. And a lot of the Mac users are whining for iChat use. If we can run a gateway to our Messenger server, sweet!
        • I was wondering if the iChat server has gateways to other systems like AIM and Yahoo

          Ultimately it doesn't matter because if it speaks Jabber, the server can communicate with a another Jabber server which does support various non-Jabber gatways(MSN, AOL, etc).

    • Even on the mac I would imagine that Entourage connecting to an Exchange server makes up a large portion of the Enterprise mail community.

      Not generally. If Macs are allowed at work, it's generally in an environment that has a generic IMAP service set up (or, where I work, we're all webmail based. Really. But it does allow you to use any platform you like that has a web browser). While non-Exchasnge email isn't common, it's not common to have Macs at work either, so there you go. Entourage to Exchange

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Deviant ( 1501 )
        The University I work for uses Exchange for staff and about 1/3 of our staff use Entourage on a mac to connect to it. I use it on my PowerBook while using Outlook on my Windows Desktop and they both work fine.

        The interface is a bit different and it chokes a bit if you have tons of delegated mailboxes/calenders compared to Outlook but, for most situations, they have it to the point where it is very usable.
  • Apple vs Microsoft (Score:1, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
    Apple's infamous closed-mouthed approach to major OS releases, while great for marketing purposes, isn't always so great for the IT world.

    The thing is, they don't wanna be great in the IT world. They wanna show the Mac fans "see? we can do it" and simulatenously provide something to tie together Mac based little networks, where it's not the cheapest or more powerful option, it's the EASIEST option. "It just works" - you know, this is Apple.

    While certainly possible (and being done in some datacenters), Apple
    • The Windows guy ain't delivering.

      He's not Dilbert, he's Wally. Look at Vista... it's got a few improvements, but most of what's new in Vista is the business it's running out of its cubicle selling music and movies for the entertainment industry.

      The Mac guy, maybe he's the guy in sales with executive hair, but luckily there's a better choice for the server room.

      The employees you really want are in the Tron suit and devil costume. [imageshack.us]
      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        Windows right now is working just fine. It runs many, many, many businesses, and 90% of the desktops on the planet. What is Windows not "delivering"?
        • by fotbr ( 855184 )
          The other 10%

          Just think, if MS had ALL of the desktop market, they could use their lack of documentation to ensure that those desktops only worked with MS servers, and thereby corner the entire server market as well.

          Not that they would do anything like that.....oh, wait. Nevermind.
        • Windows is also responsible for countless man-years lost to fighting viruses abnd worms that could have been avoided (yes, really, the big flood of Windows malware coincided with the introduction of Active Desktop and the merging of Internet Explorer, Outlook, and Windows Explorer through the HTML control), and that's just one of the ways it's a classic Wally-style "high maintainance employee". I've already mentioned its "moonlighting" as an enforcer for the RIAA and MPAA, which you can explore further in Peter Gutmann's article [auckland.ac.nz].

          Businesses are used to putting up with people like this, so it's no wonder that they accept the same kind of abuse from computers.
        • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

          What is Windows not "delivering"?
          Stable, reliable, performant, cost-effective server platforms. Which is why almost no large scale business I'm aware of runs MS software for their money-making customer facing web sites.

          I'm sure some are going through the pain of doing it, but even the one I'm aware of currently that runs their custom code on Windows is moving to a non-MS solution because Windows has stopped scaling for them.
        • by Jeremi ( 14640 )
          What is Windows not "delivering"?

          A secure, stable environment. Businesses and consumers spend literally billions of man-hours every year patching and re-installing their Windows systems, trying to keep them secure and usable. Whole departments of extra technicians have to be hired just to keep on top of Windows security. This is money poured down the drain, and if Microsoft can't fix the situation, eventually people are going to go with a solution that can.

          • A friend who used to work at Microsoft who was talking to a current microsoft employee (paraphrased):
            Former to Current: "What I want is a stable, secure system that works without having to reboot for patches all the time."
            Current to Former: "Our server version is coming out later this year."

            Former to Me: "That's when I knew she just didn't get it. She didn't realize that there are benefits to the 'regular consumer' by having a secure, stable system."

            Me to Former: "You're surprised a Microsoftie doesn't get it? WTF?"
            • "Sure, but it wouln't provide any obvious reasons for Vista-bashing. Where's the fun in that?" Your being kind of redundant.
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by klubar ( 591384 )
        Have you tried getting "business class" support from apple as a medium business. Support to apple means waiting on hold to some indian guy who doesn't speak english. Then dragging your broken computer to an apple store and waiting in line behind some pierced dude who needs help with garage band, and then waiting in line behind someone's grandmother...

        Where is the 4-hour on-site support, premium software service and all the other stuff of "real business machines".

        Unless you have mostly apples, there real
        • by argent ( 18001 )
          Have you tried getting "business class" support from apple as a medium business.

          No, but I've tried getting it from Microsoft as a medium business.

          I called them with a licensing problem with NT Server, and they guided me through making some changes in the configuration over three separate calls. Half an hour after the third call the whole network was down and I couldn't back out the changes... the server wouldn't let me. I called them back, and they refused to talk to me without a service contract because I'
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by rizzo320 ( 911761 )
          Oh please. You have no understanding of how Apple Care works.

          1. I have never spoken with anyone located outside of the United States during AppleCare's normal business hours. Ever. I just had to call last week, and got someone speaking English, and during our conversation, it sound like they were located on the West Coast. I think one time I called after normal hours and was routed to Ireleand. But never to India. I don't even think they have a call center in India [businessweek.com] any longer.

          2. AppleCare [apple.com] prov
    • But he's not the kinda guy you'd normally hire in your company. You'll hire the boring and predictable guy, who delivers.

      Yeah, but you'd rather hang out with the Apple guy outside of work.

    • by larkost ( 79011 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @10:02AM (#18500755)
      I think that there is a very flawed perception in your argument. You are correct that Apple does not reveal "everything" about new products before unveiling, and with some products (especially new ones) they are absolutely secretive.

      But I think it is a common mistake in industry to think that you can do better planning based on the information from any vendor other than Apple (in the Steve Jobs Era). If you take Windows Vista vs. 10.5 as an example:

      Microsoft has been touting features of Vista for years now, but if you take a look at the list of those features, and the ones that businesses were planning on building on, you would have been completely mislead as recently as 9 months ago. WinFS (database based file system) was arguably the killer feature that everyone was planning on. And we don't know when and if that will be delivered. And if you are really one of those planners who needs to know the future, then you would know that this feature was originally on the plan for Cario, which was Windows 95.

      So Microsoft has been giving out information all along, but you can't rely on that information at all. Sure they have had a beta program going for quite some time... but we are talking about long-term planning here. The people who make those plans do not have time or inclination to play with those betas.

      Now Apple on the other hand: I was at WWDC last year, and so got to see a lot of the new API's that Apple was working on, and I got to see a lot of the demonstrations of technologies that will be in 10.5. There are a whole number of technical-level details that Apple gave out, the type of things that are very important for programmers, and systems integrators. I got a great idea of how 10.5 will fit into my employer's network (even better than 10.4).

      I didn't get to see the wiz-bang super-secret features that are still secrets, but to be honest, those aren't things I have to plan for until 9 months after 10.5 comes out anyways. The things I need to know to do my planning or programming Apple has made available to me (granted not for free), and the stuff that it would be cool to know, but I don't need to know to get my job done they still have behind the curtain.

      And the stuff I saw I know will make it into 10.5 (unless the specifically told me it was on the bubble). Apple has a great track record with that. The stuff they didn't know if they could pull off correctly was excluded from public view. In my mind that helps me make the right decisions, rather than lead me to false expectations.
      • Windows 95 was Chicago and before that Windows 4.0 to be released in '93. Cairo was the NT-based replacement for Chicago to be released in '97.
    • You're probably right, in an "Apple vs. Microsoft" world, but in environments where Microsoft isn't the knee-jerk default for everything, a combination of Apple for the desktop/workgroup management and *nix for the production side is VERY compelling, cost effective, reliable, and competitive.

      Not every move that a company makes is designed to immediately take on the biggest bully on the block. Despite not releasing beta after beta, Apple generally gets it right for what their customers want, at least in the
    • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @11:06AM (#18501561)

      While certainly possible (and being done in some datacenters), Apple based server for public facing sites is a terrible idea, though unless you have money to waste and don't care for industry-grade support, so don't confuse the one kind of servers with the other.

      I will admit that Apple doesn't have the Enterprise level support that Microsoft has. However, in every company I worked for, that Enterprise support did nothing for us. Whenever we actually had an issue (servers randomly crashing, web servers that don't respond to HTTP requests), our admins eventually found the solutions themselves online after days of frustrating tech calls to MS. They were there when we called them, but they were of little help to us.

      But he's not the kinda guy you'd normally hire in your company. You'll hire the boring and predictable guy, who delivers.

      Which one is the guy that is always 2 years late and when he finally delivers, the product does not live up to the original promises? As far as I know most companies (MS included) have marketing departments that oversell/overpromise. Dilbert is funny because that situation is more true that naught.

      Most IT departments are conservative. They have to be. That's why Vista is not likely to be adopted by large companies until at least SP1. I would think that these departments would prefer the Mac if a Mac fits their needs. For most IT departments, it is about the right tool for the job. Need an Exchange server? Don't get a Mac. Need a file and print server? Windows, Linux, or Mac depending on your environment. With a Mac, they get a server (based on Unix) that fits into their environment fairly well with a minimum amount of support required and reasonable licensing.

    • It's interesting to note that ALL Apple computers ship with a functioning enabled TP Module. Microsoft has complied with the TCGs recommendations with respect to TPM. You'll find that Apple has no controls, no oversight and no statement as to the use of the TPM installed in their machines. This is one place where Microsoft has actually been better.

      ANY vendor can be more stable by locking its hardware platform and focussing all of its dev dollars into ensuring that its OS operates REALLY WELL on that platf

      • by kchrist ( 938224 )
        yawn [osxbook.com]
      • Apple's record on "Trusted Computing" and all other aspects of DRM is this:

        When we first went to talk to these record companies -- you know, it was a while ago. It took us 18 months. And at first we said: None of this technology that you're talking about's gonna work. We have Ph.D.'s here, that know the stuff cold, and we don't believe it's possible to protect digital content.

        Of course. What's new is this amazingly efficient distribution system for stolen property called the Internet -- and no one's gonna

  • That to Apple, SMB is SOHO and the home family structure.

    Yeah, enterprise gets the big ticket win, with the follow on support and infrastructure pricing.

    However, take a family, each one gets their own laptop (2 kids) and maybe the parents share one laptop or desktop. OK, now throw in the TV and phones, it may be an easy sell for a server in the house for media and file serving.

    So now do the math, how many laptops and ipods are out there in the "family" environment? Like I said, it is isn't a big, single

  • The article states that Leopard is for small to medium size businesses. Okay. Apple, where is the small to medium size business hardware? Unless you're doing heavy duty image editing you do NOT need an xserve for a server in the small business environment. It is total overkill and a waste of money. Get a mac mini you say? Umm, no. There is no redundancy in the disks and the disk IO is slow. Where is the headless "Mac" tower that allows for SATA and SATA RAID? You've got mini's, iMac's, Mac Pros, so how abou
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      And what's wrong with an XServe in the SMB space? RAID'd disks, or use the XServe RAID (or any other disk cabinet) externally, redundant power, space and power efficient design. If you need something to live with the office, then a MacPro, comparable in price to a PC of the same class, does the same job at the cost of more physical space. I've run academic sites that would qualify as small business computing (15 to 50 users, central storage and print, independent desktops running common environment), and
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by kellererik ( 307956 )

        real businesses buy real hardware with real service contracts, because their data is worth more than the marginal cost of the cheapest machine they can find at NewEgg.

        You are absolutely right, in a perfect world, that is. A friend of mine constantly fights with his customers for this very reason. They buy cheap hardware and expect him to make it work, he could simply refuse to do so, but he has to eat, you know. The latest case had even me wondering, though. A medium-sized business wasn't willing to pay for

      • by rhavenn ( 97211 )
        Okay. Well, at least get rid of the dual-proc and allow for a single processor.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by inKubus ( 199753 )
        I work in a company where the infrastructure is primarily Win but the CEO is a Mac user since 1984. So there is always a push for interoperability at the least. MSFT apps do not play well with non-windows machines. Even web-based apps which should work on any web browser are crippled because of some Active X control or other crap. I'm talking about the newest versions of all MS products also, including SQL 2005, Reporting Services 2005, Dynamics CRM and GP, Sharepoint 2007, etc.

        Apple could kill MSFT with
    • I just ran their configuration script and I think you're right. It's coming up with a figure that is easily twice the price I paid for a dual Xeon Intel-based server with redundant power and cooling, 10 SCA HD bays, multichannel RAID, and 4GB of ECC.

      In a small business environment I need heavy duty features, but on a small scale. A single beefed up server can handle most of the workload, and scalability isn't really a concern. The xserve products look really, really nice, but to me appear to be overkill
    • Get a mac mini you say? Umm, no. There is no redundancy in the disks and the disk IO is slow.

      For small business, a mac mini with firewire external disks would handle most of your disk speed problems. It's not SATA, but it's not bad, and the performance boost over the internal (notebook) drive is quite noticeable.

      My home desktop is a mini with a firewire drive. I boot and run off the external drive, and only use the internal for backup storage and crash recovery.
  • ZFS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by boxless ( 35756 ) on Tuesday March 27, 2007 @10:12AM (#18500877)
    If they get ZFS working, as is the rumour, and it's not buggy, then I think they may have a killer feature on their hands.

    Even Microsoft shops might be inclined to test this out for a NAS box. One of the big reasons why people by netapp boxes is for the snapshot and snapmirror capabilities. With ZFS, OSX would have very similar capabilities for a lot less $$.
  • I'd guess that John C. Welsh has never laid his hands on, installed, or tried to configure OS X 10.5 server. I installed the developers' preview edition of Leopard server, and, well, someone's got a lot of writing to do.

    In particular, I tried to set up the iCal server and test it with various clients. There's essentially no documentation, and what exists is less than helpful. It appears not to work well with the iCal application that ships with Tiger. I had a little better luck with Mozilla calendaring clie
    • It appears not to work well with the iCal application that ships with Tiger.

      Stands to reason that they'll release an updated, iCal Server-friendly version of iCal via Software Update for Tiger and maybe even Panther once Leopard Server ships. Even for Apple I think it would be a bit much for them to require Leopard clients for all this stuff to work-- if the idea is for Leopard Server to take a bite out of Windows Small Business Server's market share, they'll need to make it fairly painless to migrate. And
    • ...because documentation is available on Apple's developer site and a simple Google search would have gotten you decent instructions on how to get even the earliest versions working under Tiger.

      Also, developers know that the shipping version of iCal uses a different file format than the version in Leopard.

      I'm guessing that rather than being a legit developer, you got your hands on an illicit copy of the (now ancient and obsolete) Leopard preview from last August's developers conference. Otherwise, you'd kno
  • Without full support for exchange, this is a wanna-be server. The exchange, outlook integration is still way better than the ical approach. With exchange shared adressess books, shared calendars and really good email integration works. The apple server "sort of" supports imap and pop... and a couple of poor open-source web integration alternatives.

    Exchange alone is a good enough reason to go with Windows servers (and yes, I know some people have difficulty setting up exchange.)
    • by raddan ( 519638 )
      But not only that-- Apple has to be able to integrate seamlessly with an existing Exchange installation if they want to make a dent in the server room. The only company that would use Apple's idea of a "groupware" server is a company that doesn't already have its data locked away in Exchange, i.e., a new company.

      We have Xserves in our server room. They're not bad-- they get the work done, sharing out 7 TB of data. But they're there for one reason: support for HFS metadata. If it weren't for that one
    • by drrck ( 959788 )
      I don't know about you but all the large companies I've worked in/with use Lotus Notes, not Exchange. Different people have different needs. Lotus Notes is arguably more flexible than Exchange and iCal. Does that mean it won't work for people?
  • SMB was a linux to windows networking protocol... it has NOTHING to do with Apple, duh!
  • ... as soon as Leopard comes out they'll lose all their customers:

    From the article, it says that Apple's introducing an iCal Server, based on interoperability standards from the CalConnect Consortium [calconnect.org]. From that website, it shows that Google also joined the consortium a couple weeks ago. Leopard's iCal will, no doubt, be a much more groupware-capable client all on its own -- it's not hard to conclude that before long things will be working together quite nicely without the need for third-party syncing tools.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas