Inside Apple's new Mac mini Server

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  • Reply 61 of 176
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Is the mini server license transferable to a Mac Pro?

    Will the mini boot the 64-bit kernel?

    How easy is it to access/replace the internal drives?

    Is the warranty invalidated by accessing the DIMMs or drives?

    Does the mini accommodate 12.5mm drives?
  • Reply 62 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    Is the mini server license transferable to a Mac Pro?

    Will the mini boot the 64-bit kernel?

    How easy is it to access/replace the internal drives?

    Is the warranty invalidated by accessing the DIMMs or drives?

    Does the mini accommodate 12.5mm drives?



    Yes

    Yes

    Cake

    No

    Yes
  • Reply 63 of 176
    8GB of RAM is not officially supported by Apple. Do we have any evidence it can support 8GB "unofficially"? A reference to 8GB on Mac Mini would be great. And would this 8GB be possible on the non-server one?



    And yeah 64-bit kernel support is an interesting one to find out.



    Okay Macminicolo answered the question, 8GB is supported. Impressive.

    http://www.macminicolo.net/state2009.html
  • Reply 64 of 176
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,897member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Without roadmaps, businesses are less likely to invest. If they want to support these servers and then Apple ups and cancels them because they aren?t selling enough, then they are screwed. Businesses need that accountability and other vendors offer it, in writing. Apple will never heavily crack into business with Macs and Xserve as long as they keep this consumer focused mentality. I don?t think this is a problem for Apple, it?s just a different business model.



    The company I work for has no roadmaps. We buy what we need when we need it if the money is there.
  • Reply 65 of 176
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,423member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post


    The company I work for has no roadmaps. We buy what we need when we need it if the money is there.



    Pretty much my experience from the sales side of the equation. I've never spoken about road maps because companies don't always know about what direction their IT spend is going to be in 3 years (assuming they just did another refresh)
  • Reply 66 of 176
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,755member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Time Machine's weakness in this setting is that it doesn't work with blocks of data during backup. If you have a 50MB PST file on each client computer and daily/hourly that file changes Time Machine must back up the whole 50MB rather than just the delta block changes.



    Windows Home Server does the exact same thing



    Quote:

    This is why a new filesystem is needed that deals with variable blocks so that Time Machine 2 becomes the backup solution that works over a network.



    Amen!



    I can see why MS made some of their decisions with WHS, but in the end data protection is still expensive since you have to duplicate data. VSS supports byte level snapshotting - you think they could have used that with WHS in some way to remove the duplicate copy requirement....
  • Reply 67 of 176
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,755member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    I'm a windows guy and I think SBS is a ripoff for a small business. Most are better with renting out a vm from their ISP and not buying any hardware. for backups just use amazon s3 or mozy



    Actually, SBS is a fantastic deal for small businesses. I'm not a huge fan of Microsoft, but the SBS team has hit one out of the park. In a few hours, you can have a fully functioning Windows Domain, with DNS fully configured. Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint, Intranet web site, file sharing and great remote access features. Remote Web Workspace - think of Back to My Mac but no subscription to Mobile.Me required. Hot stuff.



    I support a couple of SBS installations for non-profits I volunteer with, and SBS fills a valuable niche. It's a niche Apple is getting close to with the Mini, but the big thing lacking is the overall management - SBS automates everything. Need to join a computer to the domain? There's a wizard for that that automatically takes care of all the details. It's a well thought out package. I'm looking forward to SBS 2010, even if it will require me to upgrade to 64 bit capable hardware (have to ditch the 5 year old pentium 4's finally).
  • Reply 68 of 176
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    I wonder what roadmap the company I work for used, the PC's bought in 2002 with Win 2000 were updated to XP a couple of years ago.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post


    The company I work for has no roadmaps. We buy what we need when we need it if the money is there.



    This could work really well with a small group of users with iPhones, bringing enterprise level functionality regarding smartphone's to small business, where they will be able to manage them.



    I've got my time machine working on a USB hard drive it cost $130 for 1 terabyte, just plug in and my macbook is backed up, would it be any different on this?
  • Reply 69 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    A regular Mini is just $599 and a better bet for home media purposes—including the ability to play DVDs, unlike the server model.



    The article probably should have mentioned that Apple has given the Mac mini server the extra USB power needed to use the MacBook Air SuperDrive. An extra $99 but not a bad deal for the compact design and lack of power cord.
  • Reply 70 of 176
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post


    The article probably should have mentioned that Apple has given the Mac mini server the extra USB power needed to use the MacBook Air SuperDrive. An extra $99 but not a bad deal for the compact design and lack of power cord.



    Wasn’t it found that the external SuperDrive doesn’t need extra power from USB? That Apple is artificially limiting where it can be used?



    There are other slim external drives on the market that actually have faster speeds in some areas while only using USB power, because they are tray-loading, not slot-loading. They can cost nearly half as much, too, though Apple’s product is the nicest I’ve seen.
  • Reply 71 of 176
    apple needs to create a new form factor - the mini is great but its lack of expansion negates the plusses its size offers



    simply put i'd like to be able to open up the mini easily, without a putty knife to replace a hdd. Id's also like 7200rpm drives as standard. A larger form factor would allow 3.5" drives allowing more choice.



    the mini would be great when apple adds home server features to the standard os they also need to swallow their pride and add an hdmi connector to the mini



    lastly article worded out 2 scenarios to describe the value of this bundle : either consider the money is spent on the mac mini and you get osx server free or vice versa. Well i'd like to see the same specced mini available w/o os! at this price if i went down this route for my small business i'd buy 2 machines for redundancy purposes and to penny pinch i'd choose to have 1 copy of the os.



    obviously, i could just have 2 servers running simultaneously, also it's about time apple starts offering the os on a usb stick since more of their devices are coming sans optical drive
  • Reply 72 of 176
    This article seems to me a stretch.



    Businesses who would use such software would prefer a case with more space.



    Home users think more about cost and I'm sorry, but for this task I must endorse Windows Home Server.



    Mac OS X for the desktop, Apple Extreme Base Station, etc. go for it. But Windows Home Server is the way to go for home. It just is. And Time Machine will work with it.
  • Reply 73 of 176
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frogbat View Post


    simply put i'd like to be able to open up the mini easily, without a putty knife to replace a hdd. Id's also like 7200rpm drives as standard. A larger form factor would allow 3.5" drives allowing more choice.



    I?d think having a latch on the bottom that pushes the base from the rest of the cover would be a fairly easy engineering accomplishment. Having an extra tall device that sports a 3.5? HDD would be great, too, but I don?t see them doing it.



    Quote:

    the mini would be great when apple adds home server features to the standard os they also need to swallow their pride and add an hdmi connector to the mini



    Macs are computers and Apple clearly doesn?t market the Mini as a Home Theater PC or appliance. The solution is fairly simple though, just buy a mDP-to-HDMI adapter or cable and optical audio cable. Monoprice sells them cheap.
  • Reply 74 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post




    Macs are computers and Apple clearly doesn?t market the Mini as a Home Theater PC or appliance. The solution is fairly simple though, just buy a mDP-to-HDMI adapter or cable and optical audio cable. Monoprice sells them cheap.



    fair enough - but apple have shown interest in this marketplace with the apple tv. They've managed to dominate the music industry, make inroads in the smart phone market yet the mac htpc experience is very lacking... the new 27" imac even has video in support but it's not that easy because you need to get the right adaptors again. I can imagine many instances where the imac could be the main entertainment device - add a ps3 for blue ray and gaming and it's a killer.



    My problem with the lack of hdmi is that using adaptors and multiple connectors is inelegant and it feels somewhat unmaclike - i can see the point of having one connector like mini dvi and users buying the appropriate adaptor for their needs when it comes to saving space on a laptop. However, It feels a bit silly that the easiest way to connect a mac to a big screen tv is ignored by apple - all other solutions require both audio and video being connected and at times it's hit and miss. I don't see display makers falling over themselves to include display port yet.
  • Reply 75 of 176
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frogbat View Post


    fair enough - but apple have shown interest in this marketplace with the apple tv. They've managed to dominate the music industry, make inroads in the smart phone market yet the mac htpc experience is very lacking... the new 27" imac even has video in support but it's not that easy because you need to get the right adaptors again. I can imagine many instances where the imac could be the main entertainment device - add a ps3 for blue ray and gaming and it's a killer.



    My problem with the lack of hdmi is that using adaptors and multiple connectors is inelegant and it feels somewhat unmaclike - i can see the point of having one connector like mini dvi and users buying the appropriate adaptor for their needs when it comes to saving space on a laptop. However, It feels a bit silly that the easiest way to connect a mac to a big screen tv is ignored by apple - all other solutions require both audio and video being connected and at times it's hit and miss. I don't see display makers falling over themselves to include display port yet.



    Apple made a separate device for the Home Theater, and while it is lacking it?s a lot more elegant than hooking up a computer and having you use a mouse and keyboard to navigate. Even if you invoke FrontRow, you still have to navigate the normal OS X GUI to do it. I have a feeling that Apple will be releasing a new AppleTV with new software. No one has done an internet media appliance right yet.



    The reviews from the 27? iMac show that it will not accept HDMi/DVI video signaling and there is no support for audio, so an adapter won?t work. You?ll have to buy a convertor. Belkin seems to be working on one. Will this maintain or trick the HDCP path for AACS protected media? I don?t know. It?s clear that Apple?s focus was not sing the iMac?s video input from HDMI sources.



    Dell was the first major vendor to adopt DP, even before Apple did, but Apple usually gets credit for such things as they go all in, unlike other vendors which regulate it to their more expensive offerings. Every new Asus I?ve seen since the Win7 release has also had DP. Others are also following suit. It?s free, unlike HDMI, while offering higher bandwidth and being future-forward. There is really no reason not to accept it.



    What is unknown at this point is if the DisplayPort 1.2 standard, which should be finished before the end of the year and supports mDP, will be adopted by the other vendors, but I can assure you that DP in some form is the PC connection of the future. Hopefully Apple also adds support for audio in DP so that an extra cable isn?t required.
  • Reply 76 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Apple will be releasing a new AppleTV with new software. No one has done an internet media appliance right yet.



    fully agree! there's lots of potential for apple to improve things all around.





    Quote:

    The reviews from the 27” iMac show that it will not accept HDMi/DVI video signaling and there is no support for audio, so an adapter won’t work. You’ll have to buy a convertor. Belkin seems to be working on one. Will this maintain or trick the HDCP path for AACS protected media? I don’t know. It’s clear that Apple’s focus was not sing the iMac’s video input from HDMI sources.




    thnx for the info - seems like a very odd port to have then - maybe some by product of their chosen gfx card and they chose to include it to see if someone can figure out a purpose for it? all i can think of is for using an imac as a display for a macbook...





    Quote:



    What is unknown at this point is if the DisplayPort 1.2 standard, which should be finished before the end of the year and supports mDP, will be adopted by the other vendors, but I can assure you that DP in some form is the PC connection of the future. Hopefully Apple also adds support for audio in DP so that an extra cable isn’t required.



    granted display port is interesting and will be more widespread but at the mo, hdmi rules the roost in the living room. Obviously not a necessity on a server product but it would be nice...
  • Reply 77 of 176
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    I think you're right on target with what you want and the only thing preventing it from happening is we don't have the filesystem that can manage the small block data. If you're a "glass half full" guy you will take the announcement that Sun's ZFS filesystem is no longer a candidate for Apple as "well Apple must have something better that they will go with.



    The need to manage drive arrays and that to do incremental backups are quite different. Yep, Apple may have something better, than ZFS, to improve their Time Machine (questionable, see below). Better should mean better suitable for the task of performing smart backups.



    Incremental backups will kill Time Machine in its actual state right this second. It is completely built on the elegant base of file hard links. The necessity to track blocks will instantly transform Time Machine in ugly traditional backup system. Unless Apple have invented smart file-level pools, which may contain blocks and be referenced by hard links. They might have been inspired by ZFS here...



    As for the rest, "gimme the roadmap" is obvious bullshit.

    Is there any demand, being that strong, for small group servers? Not sure.

    Will small group prefer linux boxes? Quite certain about that.

    iPhone integration may be an excellent strategy, but it all depends on two above points....
  • Reply 78 of 176
    clexmanclexman Posts: 209member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by demenas View Post


    I guess you haven't read the author or his "Roughlydrafted" site much. Any Apple article spends more time bashing Microsoft than in really discussing the points at hand. Notice how any Linux variant wasn't even considered. His articles just read as veiled excuses to attack Microsoft.



    We're told how Microsoft SBS is limited and costs a lot more, and then lists of SNow Leopard Server features are rattled off with no discussion or analysis of how they rate versus the Microsoft alternatives.



    Steve



    I'm with you. I read this site daily, but it loses credibility when it posts articles like this. Comparing anything with an Atom processor to a Core 2 Duo is apples and oranges.



    As a storage or media server this is a not the way to go. For about $700 I have a Dell Poweredge server running Windows Home Server with over 6TB of storage.
  • Reply 79 of 176
    I got the impression that some people in this forum tend to judge about software they never touched.



    Of course it's possible to use the MMS as a Time Machine Server.



    Just start Server Assistant go to Server Preferences, Time Machine and click "choose volume for client backups." Now you can chose the volume and use it like a Time Capsule Volume, but at least 3 times faster when connected by Gbit ethernet. I recommend an additional FW Drive for that, because I prefer to use also Time Machine for the server data.



    As long You use the services that can be set up by server-assistant (AFP-, FTP, SMB- , Printer-, Scanner- sharing, VPN, Web, iChat, E-Mail etc. it's pretty easy to setup.



    Unfortunately You will have to install iTunes and setup iTunes sharing in the client program to get an iTunes server. I really hoped for an integrated 64 Bit service here.



    So far a pretty god home or small business server. Even beginners will be fine until they avoid the much more complex "second choice".



    If you need more You'll have to setup DNS and Open Directory first by Server-Admin and Workgroup manager.

    And before doing this You should really have a closer look into the documentation or buy a suitable book.



    Without a 100% solid setup of OD and DNS you'll get such a lot oft nasty errors that You'll hate SSL. But believe me it's not really a big thing to do it when You know how to setup it properly.



    When this is done you can use enterprise features like cluster and grid services, Portable Home Directories (Comparable to Win Server-Related Profiles), SSO, Quicktime Streaming, Secure Mobile Access, Firewall, MySQL and much more.

    Doing this You should know a lot about network topology, backup strategies and security.



    I'm a developer and I'm running Linux, OSX, Win as Server-OS in my office and at my customers. Every Product has it's pros and cons, but if I have the choice I prefer a UNIX based Server-OS.



    The MMS might not be everybody's darling, but it's a great choice for a couple of tasks while only taking 25W in average and running nearby unhearable here in my office.



    Just my 2 cents.



    P.S.: Sorry for my improvable english.
  • Reply 80 of 176
    No ZFS + No (affordable) PCIe-speed expansion for RAID-5 = dead to me.

    If they had those two things I'd be quite willing to take the plunge, but I guess i'll continue sticking with Solaris.
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