Inside Apple's new Mac mini Server

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  • Reply 81 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by demenas View Post


    It doesn't matter to the author, he of "Roughlydrafted" fame, who uses up 2/3 of every "Apple" article to attempt to tear down Microsoft any way he can.



    I'm a little disappointed to see him getting more press here at Appleinsider. (Such as the story about Microsoft and the Sidekick restore situation, where he based a whole story around guesses from an "expert" not involved in the recovery at all.



    Steve



    Where I work we run Windows Server 2003 for most of our needs, and although Mac OS X has several issues, I came to discover that Windows has even more serious issues!! For example, on Windows Server if I setup a Folder and call it "Client_Jobs" then I set its Permissions to Read-Only, but allow all its contents full control i.e. read/write/del, THEN if someone on the network mistakingly deleted the "Client_Jobs" folder, Windows will actually DELETE ALL the contents of the folder first, then it will error!!!! What is the EFFFIN use of that? This is the STUPIDEST problem on any OS I have EVER seen.

    On Mac OS X Server and other non-Windows servers, the computer will immediately return an error without deleting the contents. Furthermore, Windows Server charges for everything!! It does not include IM, a proper FTP, you'll need Exchange to do emails or calendars, license keys... but thank God it includes a decent backup solution!!
  • Reply 82 of 176
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    How much did the 6 Terabytes of storage cost?



    That alone is close to $700, so how much did it cost again?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by clexman View Post


    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.



    One of the main reasons I bought a MacBook was iTunes integration for syncing my iPhone.



    Before that I was running a Linux box and had to install XP so I could install iTunes.



    That's the main issue with Linux and iPhones.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DominoXML View Post


    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...



    I'm a developer and I'm running Linux...



  • Reply 83 of 176
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,897member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Having an extra tall device that sports a 3.5? HDD would be great, too, but I don?t see them doing it.



    You mean like a . .. I dunno . . . a cube?

  • Reply 84 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    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.



    I agree with you about SBS 2003 because it included Outlook 2003 CALs. Once that was dropped in SBS 2008, the cost equation changed significantly. In the very small businesses (VSB) I serve, SBS no longer gets any traction.



    Mac mini Server thus provides an extremely interesting, low-cost alternative that I think I can sell as long as I can mirror the two drives. I think there are two very attractive price points:
    • MMS by itself at $1,000 with pretty much everything a VSB needs.

    • MMS with a $1,000, 3TB, RAID5 NAS, total $2,000.

    I'm sure there are some issues but I have to say that MMS looks like a very interesting small business option.
  • Reply 85 of 176
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by demenas View Post


    It's not a myth that business wants roadmaps, period.



    Funny. Our IT dept. gets these "roadmaps" from HP/Compaq. We order PCs and servers with specific SKUs listing specific parts so that we'll be able to apply our standard corporate image. The reality is that the roadmaps are a joke, they are constantly changing out this component or that (laptops are esp. bad at this). So we have someone who is constantly creating one-off images to blast down to our PCs.



    So, yeah, businesses want roadmaps, but the PC manufacturers do a really crap job at following the ones they publish.
  • Reply 86 of 176
    As my family's consumption of digital media is exponentially growing I think Apple has missed the boat with this server. I don't think that they will make much of a dent in the small business market with this product. Windows was there first, is cheaper and is "good enough". What I really wanted was a Mac Mini server that would serve up all of the digital media for my family... Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos etc.



    We need a simple way to serve up all the media to our iTunes, Apple TV, iPhones and iPods. My MBP keeps getting over loaded with stuff and I keep moving media off of it manually... not so much fun. If anyone has a good way of doing this, please post.



    Thanks!
  • Reply 87 of 176
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShyGuy91284 View Post


    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.



    Which of course is fine. But your average, everyday small business person is not going to be able manage a Solaris box unless they were already UNIX geeks (and those are probably <0.0001%).



    So by not being useful to you, it actually validates that it will be useful in the market they are targeting.
  • Reply 88 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Glockpop View Post


    It is rather pointless to talk about a product without comparing it to what else exists.



    It's also rather pointless to talk about a product without being objective (at least within the context of your readership) and pointing out the shortcomings.



    eSATA is absent, even Macperformanceguide.com (http://macperformanceguide.com/Stora...-Firewire.html) acknowledges the advantages, and in a server situation you really don't want your Firewire interface to get choked (backups need to be quick and not bring down the system).



    Speaking of choking, 5400rpm drives? Why? 7200rpm drives are much faster in real workd scenarios (I was pretty surprised at how much faster my MacBook became when I upgraded the HDD). People are overstating the important of the CPU on a server as well. Unless you're running large databases, it's really not going to make a difference if it's a 2.5ghz or 2.0ghz CPU, meaning the money spent there could have been spent providing faster storage or better external interfaces.



    All of my media is sitting on a 1TB external drive, that now only has about 120GBs free. Within a few months it will be full, so I am in the process of migrating all my media to a Windows tower (running Win7) which will have 6TBs of storage allowing a 3 fold increase in space with backup. There isn't a viable Mac solution without spending thousands of dollars, or have 6 or so external drives each needing their own power supply.



    I think the product is interesting, and can see why Apple is pushing it, but to suggest it's perfect and show how great it is by comparing it to other mediocre products (and ignore other stronger products) is somewhat dishonest, not to mention it doesn't really address home server needs.
  • Reply 89 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    What this is really competing against is an HP MediaSmart Server LX195 or EX-490 that comes bundled with Windows Home Server for a total cost of $500. Like the mini it's 64-bit and comes with a server OS and is fully compatible with MacOS X. Unlike the mini it also supports eSATA for fast external drive attachment and has more internal expansion bays as well as selling in multiple configurations to suit your needs.



    It's basically a stop-gap measure on Apple's part that seems a little over-priced and under-engineered for its task compared to HP's offering. Yes, it's got a faster processor than the HP but in all other respects it seems to underperform it.



    Obviously you are totally uninformed as to the capabilities of Windows Home Server vs. Snow Leopard Server. Windows Home Server does 2 thiungs... backup and media serving. Not much more. No mail server, DNS server, LDAP server, web server, etc., et., etc. In short, if you put a Windows Home Server into a business environment, your friends in IT would laugh hysterically and call you either an idiot or cheap.



    The article fairly compares Snow Leopard Server (SLS) to Windows Small Business Server (SBS). Neither SLS nor SBS is intended to serve as a media server, and they do far more than backus and media services. To claim that SLS (which includes the hardware) is comparable to Windows Home Server is absolutely ridiculous. Sounds more like Windows-Bigot-Apple-Bashing than a true technology assessment.



    And can you really say a dual core 2.53 gHz 64-bit processor can be outperformed by a 2.0 gHz single core Celeron? Duh.
  • Reply 90 of 176
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    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.





    Yeah they should have called it Apple iPhone Server.



    Sort of like back in the 90's if you wanted to sound intelligent, you always added the phrase .com to the end of every sentence.
  • Reply 91 of 176
    OMG... after reading some of these posts, it's pretty obvious that many come from people who will stop at nothing to simply bash Apple.



    No ZFS+? Because Sun wouldn't grant App;e a license to open source it. Simple. Do you NEED ZFS+ in a server? Not really. The standard journalling file system is safe and reliable.



    RAID-5? Buy an XServe! This is a SMALL BUSINESS server, not something a Fortune 500 company will run its data center on.



    I'm surprised that someone didn't mention the fact that the Mac Mini Server doesn't have an interface for a Liebert computer room power conditoner and UPS! That is just as ridiculous as some of the other "Mac Mini Server doesn't have XYZ".
  • Reply 92 of 176
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post


    AppleInsider also "predicted" that the Mac mini was being discontinued in 2007.



    Not bragging about that one?



  • Reply 93 of 176
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,742member
    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.



    Still trying to find out if the MBA SuperDrive will work for the "regular" (Early 2009) mini. Does anyone know? Does anyone have both that could test it out?
  • Reply 94 of 176
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    For example, on Windows Server if I setup a Folder and call it "Client_Jobs" then I set its Permissions to Read-Only, but allow all its contents full control i.e. read/write/del, THEN if someone on the network mistakingly deleted the "Client_Jobs" folder, Windows will actually DELETE ALL the contents of the folder first, then it will error!!!! What is the EFFFIN use of that? This is the STUPIDEST problem on any OS I have EVER seen.



    There are a lot of differences between permissions on Windows verses UNIX. UNIX is more secure by default, but since files are owned by the owner of the enclosing directory, other users could not write to the directory anyway in the configuration you describe.



    The real issue in my mind is why you let average office workers have any modify privileges at all. The only way to make sure people don't do stupid things like delete important folders is to control everything with an application or an app that provides access through a browser. Allowing non IT people to overwrite/delete important files completely unrestricted over the network is just asking for trouble.
  • Reply 95 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    This all sounds great however, how much of it really works? For example, Leopard's Time Machine Server fails to reconnect the server drive after a client's computer goes into sleep mode. Much of OSX Server sounds really good on paper but performs lousy in real life.



    Ron Paul sounds good on paper.
  • Reply 96 of 176
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by demenas View Post


    It's not a myth that business wants roadmaps, period.



    Steve



    It is a myth that they are important or even useful. About the only thing they do is make the IT management team feel useful. It is more of a hang over from the days of the mainframe when the costs demanded budgetting. Now a days businesses spend more money every year keeping their laser printers running than they do on computing hardware. You don't see your CIO asking for toner or paper roadmaps do you?



    In any event I think business is wiseing up in this regard. They are beginning to realize that road maps mean no innovation. Companies like Apple couldn't possibly out something like iPhone on a road map and expect the cushion of surprise to hold them over until they grab market share.



    That is iPhone but here we are talking about the Mini server. While maybe not universallly attractive to business it is a refactoring of what a server should be. Like wise it would have been silly for Apple to have put it on a roadmap, while under development, as it would prompt parallel development from the competition.



    Apples big problem isn't about how it develops and launches a product, it is about how it drops a product. In this case we are talking about XRaid which was not handled well at all. They would have been better off simply taking a lost on the current model XRaid and keeping customers happy. At least until they had something better to offer even if third party.









    Dave
  • Reply 97 of 176
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    There are a lot of differences between permissions on Windows verses UNIX. UNIX is more secure by default, but since files are owned by the owner of the enclosing directory, other users could not write to the directory anyway in the configuration you describe.



    The real issue in my mind is why you let average office workers have any modify privileges at all. The only way to make sure people don't do stupid things like delete important folders is to control everything with an application or an app that provides access through a browser. Allowing non IT people to overwrite/delete important files completely unrestricted over the network is just asking for trouble.



    Oh.



    My.



    God.




    You can't be serious, can you? You don't want "average office workers" to be able to delete files and folders? And this data is probably stored on a SAN in a datacenter? Exactly how much did you want to spend on infrastructure costs so that every file and folder can be kept online in perpetuity?



    Oh, yeah, let's web-ify the infrastructure, like SharePoint, and put the files in a database where they are eight times more expensive to store (infrastructure, licensing, maintenance, administration, etc.) than on a file server. Great call, if you happen to sell database licenses or manufacture SANs...



    Oh, you want the files to be available across the internet from a database? Get out your checkbook, the one with two signature lines (one for your CFO)...



    We should *celebrate* users who take the time to clean up the file systems they use, not penalize them for it!
  • Reply 98 of 176
    Wow. An actual AI thread that is informative. And, it hasn't got hijacked (yet)!



    Fingers crossed....
  • Reply 99 of 176
    I think the mac mini server offers a better overall value even if its hardware and energy efficiency alone is considered against competing lines. As a longtime Apple enthusiast I would much rather buy an Apple product and am willing to pay a small premium for it.



    I run a small retail business that uses a small and simple DOS program to run certain operations - inventory, service orders, customer lists etc. It is solid, and I do not want to upgrade to a windows version. Not more than 5 or 6 computers are run on the network, and I currently use Novell. The overall data and program size is under 1gb. Can I configure the mac mini server to run the DOS program, network to client PC's running XP pro and 98se and print? I think this can be done by running Parallels and XP PRO or Windows 2000 server on a mac mini. I would really appreciate the input of the many experts and techies that frequent this site.



    If I can make this work it would also show that the mac mini can replace other windows servers, and businesses will have another rock solid hardware and support option at their disposal.



    I think this will be an interesting and fun project. On a side note I am currently trying to install Windows XP pro on my old G5 imac using Qemu to work on my business network just for fun. It is almost done installing in its current 30th hour.



    Thank you all very much in advance.



    Dan
  • Reply 100 of 176
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


    [B]You can't be serious, can you? You don't want "average office workers" to be able to delete files and folders? And this data is probably stored on a SAN in a datacenter? Exactly how much did you want to spend on infrastructure costs so that every file and folder can be kept online in perpetuity?



    Average may be the wrong word to use but that is what shared and public folders are for. Trying to get 20 people to clean up after themselves in an important folder is just not going to happen especially when they are CLUELESS! And no I don't sell SAN or database I program applications so it is a natural solution for me.



    BTW our org happens to be ISO 9001 certified so I have to protect everything anyway.
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