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Apple previews Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server

post #1 of 30
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Apple at its annual developers conference Monday revealed that Snow Leopard Server, the next generation of Mac OS X Server, will deliver new core software technologies and services designed to better connect businesses, unleash the power of modern hardware, and lay the foundation for a new wave of innovations over the next several years.

Multicore, 64-Bit, and OpenCL

Like its Mac OS X Snow Leopard client cousin, the new version of Server will deliver support for multicore processors with “Grand Central,” a new set of built-in technologies that makes all of Mac OS X Server multicore aware and optimized for allocating tasks across Macs that ship with multiple cores and processors. Similarly, the software will also use 64-bit kernel technology to support up to a theoretical 16 terabytes of RAM -- or 500 times what is possible today -- and leverage OpenCL to allow any application to tap into the vast gigaflops of GPU computing power previously available only to graphics applications

iCal Server 2

Building on the initial release of iCal Server, Snow Leopard Server will include a new version of the open standards-based calendaring and scheduling service that will include group and shared calendars, push notifications, the ability to send email invitations to non-iCal Server users, and a browser-based application that lets users access their calendars on the web when they’re away from their Mac.

Podcast Producer 2

Likewise, the first major overhaul to the system's Podcast Producer will feature an new workflow editor that leads users through all the key steps involved in creating a successful podcast. This includes everything from selecting videos, transitions, titles, and effects to adding watermarks and overlays to specifying encoding formats and target destinations — wiki, blog, iTunes U, Podcast Library — for the finished podcast.



Additionally, support for dual-video source capture will let users record both a presenter and a presentation screen, allowing a picture-in-picture style ideal for podcasting lectures. The 2.0 release will also include a new Podcast Library, which lets users host locally stored podcasts and make them available for subscription by category via automatically generated Atom web feeds.

Collaboration & Remote Access

For business, Snow Leopard Server will offer the power of online group collaboration through the use of wikis, blogs, mailing lists, and RSS feeds. More specifically, Apple said it will further the collaboration with wiki and blog templates optimized for viewing on iPhone; content searching across multiple wikis; and attachment viewing in Quick Look. It will also introduce My Page, which gives users one convenient place to access their web applications, receive notifications, and view activity streams.



Also targeted at business will be improvements to Remote Access, such as push notifications to mobile users outside a firewall, and a proxy service that offers them secure remote access to email, address book contacts, calendars, and select internal websites.

New Address Book Server

Meanwhile, one completely new feature to the sever OS will be Apple's first open standards-based Address Book Server aimed at making it easier to share contacts across multiple computers. Based on the emerging CardDAV specification, which uses WebDAV to exchange vCards, Address Book Server will let users share personal and group contacts across multiple computers and remotely access contact information without the schema limitations and security issues associated with LDAP.

Improved Mail Server and ZFS support

Among the other features planned for Snow Leopard Server are an overhauled Mail Server engine designed to handle thousands of simultaneous connections, and read and write support for the high-performance, 128-bit ZFS file system.

Mail services will also be enhanced to include server-side email rules and vacation messages, Apple said.
post #2 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Among the other features planned for Snow Leopard Server are an overhauled Mail Server engine designed to handle thousands of simultaneous connections, and read and write support for the high-performance, 128-bit ZFS file system.

So it has support for ZFS but does that mean that the default file system is still HFS+

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post #3 of 30
"a theoretical 16 terabytes of RAM -- or 500 times what is possible today"

Hmm, that's odd. According to the leopard page:

"64-bit addressing of up to 16 exabytes of virtual memory and 4 terabytes of physical memory"

http://www.apple.com/macosx/technology/64bit.html

So assuming that's true, then Servicepack Leopard will offer FOUR times what is possible today.

Looks like either the Leopard team or the SPLeopard team is full of crap. Either way, with the bogus claims, can we really trust that Apple will deliver what they promise?
post #4 of 30
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


and leverage OpenCL to allow any application to tap into the vast gigaflops of GPU computing power previously available only to graphics applications

Wahoo, Xserves with 8800GTS cards pre-installed
post #5 of 30
Shame we'll have to wait for Snow to get a multi-core aware kernel. If you've got MenuMeters installed, it's quite appalling watching a CPU hog application being hopped all over coretown.
post #6 of 30
ZFS is gonna be a big but underrated addition. I can't wait.
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

"a theoretical 16 terabytes of RAM -- or 500 times what is possible today"

Hmm, that's odd. According to the leopard page:

"64-bit addressing of up to 16 exabytes of virtual memory and 4 terabytes of physical memory"

http://www.apple.com/macosx/technology/64bit.html

So assuming that's true, then Servicepack Leopard will offer FOUR times what is possible today.

Looks like either the Leopard team or the SPLeopard team is full of crap. Either way, with the bogus claims, can we really trust that Apple will deliver what they promise?

Not a lie, just a a marketing. spin While Leopard does have the potential to offer address 4TB of RAM that is still not physically possible. The most is still 32GB.

Apple marketing used the real world metric of 32GB which the new theoretical limit of 16TB to obtain that figure. There would be an issue if they didn't qualify it with "what is possibly today."
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post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

So it has support for ZFS but does that mean that the default file system is still HFS+

Perhaps, I'm thinking that it will be the default if Apple can swing it. I hope that ZFS is at least an option for the non-server version.

As Melgross pointed out to me last night, there may be some issues with getting ZFS on the next version of OS X.
http://www.techworld.com/storage/new...m?newsid=10001
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post #9 of 30
So this is essentially 'Exchange for XServe' being added here but based on open standards. This is an important update and IMHO by far the most important one of WWDC.

I would guess that essentially this is the technology behind MobileMe but made into a product for OS X Server users. Fantastic news. A Mac Mini running Snow Leopard Server stuck in a data center or even on an ADSL connection would solve many a problem for me.
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Shame we'll have to wait for Snow to get a multi-core aware kernel. If you've got MenuMeters installed, it's quite appalling watching a CPU hog application being hopped all over coretown.

Where do you see the mentioning of a multicore aware kernel in the section below? That's right, nowhere. It talks about making all of Mac OS X Server multicore aware. Mac OS X Server is more than the kernel...right?

"Like its Mac OS X Snow Leopard client cousin, the new version of Server will deliver support for multicore processors with “Grand Central,” a new set of built-in technologies that makes all of Mac OS X Server multicore aware and optimized for allocating tasks across Macs that ship with multiple cores and processors. Similarly, the software will also uses 64-bit kernel technology to support up to a theoretical 16 terabytes of RAM -- or 500 times what is possible today -- and leverage OpenCL to allow any application to tap into the vast gigaflops of GPU computing power previously available only to graphics applications"

/Mikael
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Not a lie, just a a marketing. spin While Leopard does have the potential to offer address 4TB of RAM that is still not physically possible. The most is still 32GB.

Apple marketing used the real world metric of 32GB which the new theoretical limit of 16TB to obtain that figure. There would be an issue if they didn't qualify it with "what is possibly today."

That's still a bogus comparison. They need to compare theoretical to theoretical or real world to real world. Their copy makes it sound like current OS is the reason we're limited to 32 gigs, while 4 terrabytes is theoretically possible already but we won't see anything close to that in real world use for years. It's a minor improvement and a useless one until apple ships machines that can handle that much physical memory, and yet apple is hyping it like this.
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

That's still a bogus comparison. They need to compare theoretical to theoretical or real world to real world. Their copy makes it sound like current OS is the reason we're limited to 32 gigs, while 4 terrabytes is theoretically possible already but we won't see anything close to that in real world use for years. It's a minor improvement and a useless one until apple ships machines that can handle that much physical memory, and yet apple is hyping it like this.

I agree, but it's still not a lie with that qualifier. It's just a shoddy comparison. The whole idea of even touting 16TB RAM is really pointless when you can't even get close to what Leopard can potentially address now, but that is marketing for you. At least we can look past the lipstick.
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post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by webfrasse View Post

Where do you see the mentioning of a multicore aware kernel in the section below? That's right, nowhere. It talks about making all of Mac OS X Server multicore aware. Mac OS X Server is more than the kernel...right?

"Like its Mac OS X Snow Leopard client cousin, the new version of Server will deliver support for multicore processors with Grand Central, a new set of built-in technologies that makes all of Mac OS X Server multicore aware and optimized for allocating tasks across Macs that ship with multiple cores and processors. Similarly, the software will also uses 64-bit kernel technology to support up to a theoretical 16 terabytes of RAM -- or 500 times what is possible today -- and leverage OpenCL to allow any application to tap into the vast gigaflops of GPU computing power previously available only to graphics applications"

/Mikael

I do believe the kernel is covered by "all of Mac OS X Server," don't you? The kernel is where the action is. The rest of the new system will undoubtably be an API, which could range widely in its flexibility, probably providing more complete support for POSIX threads management, and then the use of that API in places around the OS in general where it matters. But why do we need a major new release just to get a modicum of kernel intelligence about the scheduling of CPU hogs?
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

"a theoretical 16 terabytes of RAM -- or 500 times what is possible today"

Hmm, that's odd. According to the leopard page:

"64-bit addressing of up to 16 exabytes of virtual memory and 4 terabytes of physical memory"

http://www.apple.com/macosx/technology/64bit.html

So assuming that's true, then Servicepack Leopard will offer FOUR times what is possible today.

Looks like either the Leopard team or the SPLeopard team is full of crap. Either way, with the bogus claims, can we really trust that Apple will deliver what they promise?



Can you tell me what machine is available from Apple Right now that you can install with 4 TB of RAM? Look at the statement, the 16 TB of RAM IS 500 times more than the 16GB Maximum you can put into a MacPro at the moment.
post #15 of 30
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Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

...than the 16GB Maximum you can put into a MacPro at the moment.

You mean 32 GB right?
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Can you tell me what machine is available from Apple Right now that you can install with 4 TB of RAM? Look at the statement, the 16 TB of RAM IS 500 times more than the 16GB Maximum you can put into a MacPro at the moment.

Actually 32 gigs right now.

You miss my point - if they're going to brag about raising the limitations of the SOFTWARE, they should compare it to current SOFTWARE. If they shipped SL tomorrow, we'd all still be limited to 32 gigs of ram. It's a bogus comparison, apples and oranges.

The point is, they're hyping something that for the most part, we already have in 10.5. Until the hardware catches up, this isn't an improvement at all - they've improved something that was already orders of magnitude beyond what we can used, it was fixing something that isn't broken.

Do you honestly think going from 4TB to 16TB is something to get excited about?
post #17 of 30
You talk about an update to the system's Podcast Producer? I did a search on my system for the old version and can't find it. Does it exist only in Snow Leopard?
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post #18 of 30
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Originally Posted by kresh View Post

Wahoo, Xserves with 8800GTS cards pre-installed

I remember way back when Virginia Tech assembled their G5 cluster was that they were intending to tap the GPU to do some of the work. I don't know if they actually managed to do it, but an Apple-supported framework would make it much easier to develop such an app.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

You talk about an update to the system's Podcast Producer? I did a search on my system for the old version and can't find it. Does it exist only in Snow Leopard?

I don't understand that either, what is it about the program that makes it server-only? Does it tie into the server so it automatically posts what you record?

I can't piece together any kind of a case for the software as it is, it looks out of place.
post #20 of 30
Podcast Producer is in Leopard. The Podcast Capture application (Utilities folder) requires a Podcast Producer Server to even run.

I can't think of any hard reason why Podcast Producer is Server only. Like Xgrid, it has different binaries for Client-Server functions, and the Server binary is just not included in non-server Leopard.

Pcast Producer does rely on some of the authentication facilities in server and on xgrid for processing, but I'm fairly certain those could be run on another machine.

For this update, it seems to be simply adding the polish that is needed to make it really useful.

I've heard of people submitting geological data (instead of video) to Pcast Producer, because it allows them to do all sorts of workflows with the data (in Ruby or any scripting language) across an Xgrid, greatly simplifying Xgrid usage.
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

You miss my point - if they're going to brag about raising the limitations of the SOFTWARE, they should compare it to current SOFTWARE. If they shipped SL tomorrow, we'd all still be limited to 32 gigs of ram. It's a bogus comparison, apples and oranges.

I think you are missing the point. Sorry to be blunt. I'm not a programmer I will confess, but I do get it.

It has nothing to do with current limitations or software so why compare it to current limitations? It has NOTHING to do with it. It has to do with setting up OS X to be ready for future "potential" code and technologies. Leopard has a maximum theoretical limit as well as road blocks preventing faster processing. Snow Leopard will have a much higher limit and be much faster. That's all they are saying. Will that make any difference now or in the near future? No. It's a "let's pause, clean up this code and get this think ready for the next big thing. We are looking at 10, 20, 30, 40 ,50 years down the road." Get it?

So yea, Leopard has a theoretical limit that hasn't yet been achieved. So what? Why would raising that limit even higher be a bad thing? It's called "Let's plan for the future today so we don't get into trouble tomorrow."

Since you used the term "Servicepack Leopard" I will assume that you are a Windows guy. That would explain why you are so puzzled.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

Shame we'll have to wait for Snow to get a multi-core aware kernel. If you've got MenuMeters installed, it's quite appalling watching a CPU hog application being hopped all over coretown.

Hey, it evens out the heat.
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

It has nothing to do with current limitations or software so why compare it to current limitations? It has NOTHING to do with it. It has to do with setting up OS X to be ready for future "potential" code and technologies. Leopard has a maximum theoretical limit as well as road blocks preventing faster processing. Snow Leopard will have a much higher limit and be much faster. That's all they are saying. Will that make any difference now or in the near future? No. It's a "let's pause, clean up this code and get this think ready for the next big thing. We are looking at 10, 20, 30, 40 ,50 years down the road." Get it?

I get it, but you don't seem to.

Snow Leopard does NOT have a much higher limit for ram. It has a limit four times higher than 10.5.

Of course they are looking at being ready for years or decades down the road. But since Leopard already supports 4 terabytes of ram, they are ALREADY ready for years down the road.

The 10.6 theoretical limit is 500 times today's practical limit. But the 10.5 theoretical limit is already 125 times today's practical limit. They're making it sound like 10.6 is a 500x improvement over 10.5 when it's really a 4x improvement. In other words, they're making it sound like a huge theoretical ram limit is something new in 10.6, but we already have it in 10.5.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

Wahoo, Xserves with 8800GTS cards pre-installed

Well on my overclocked PC I have two 8500GT 256mb SLI'ed. Great for games. Would be even better, for CUDA/ OpenCL stuff .. If I had that easily on my PC... Do not underestimate teh nVidia! Just a 8600GT 265MB whips ass.

But yeah... now how we get nVidia in Xserve ????? Maybe 8600 M GTs built in??? Eh?? Nah but I think for serious performance CPU+GPU+RAM on Snow Leopard *Server*, Mac Pro's the only way to fly...
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

They're making it sound like 10.6 is a 500x improvement over 10.5 when it's really a 4x improvement. In other words, they're making it sound like a huge theoretical ram limit is something new in 10.6, but we already have it in 10.5.

After the lawyers, we should get rid of marketers.
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post #26 of 30
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Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

After the lawyers, we should get rid of marketers.

I hate my accountants the most.
post #27 of 30
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Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I remember way back when Virginia Tech assembled their G5 cluster was that they were intending to tap the GPU to do some of the work. I don't know if they actually managed to do it, but an Apple-supported framework would make it much easier to develop such an app.

I think also nVidia's plans involve a all-round GPU that will handle CPU-like tasks, GPU tasks, and also Physics tasks. Juicy, tantalising stuff going into the next several years.
post #28 of 30
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Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

After the lawyers, we should get rid of marketers.

I say we go after the righteously intolerant first, regardless of profession.
post #29 of 30
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Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

I say we go after the righteously intolerant first, regardless of profession.

Based on my posts I guess I should start planning for my trip across the river Styx.
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post #30 of 30
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Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

I say we go after the righteously intolerant first, regardless of profession.

That wouldn't include Jobs, would it?

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