Inside Apple's new Mac mini Server

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  • Reply 121 of 176
    For an iphone owner, does a MacMini server replace the need to subscribe to MobileMe completely? What is the feature gap? If I could save $69-99/yr on MobileMe, it might influence my decision.



    Does MacMiniServer also replace the need for a TimeCapsule? Seems like it, but wasn't sure.
  • Reply 122 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lerxst View Post


    Thanks for the reply and am doing that, but I have other machines with the same problem of overflowing digital media and want to centralize it in a client server type of way... maybe it's just not in the cards... I don't want to hook anything up to the TV other than an Apple TV / Blue Ray / DVR...





    I'm not sure what your problem is to be honest. Hook up your ATV and pull the media off of your server. I have an old G5 tower for a server; swapping it out for a Mini wouldn't really change a thing. All of our 5 home computers/ ATV's have access to Itunes music and movies from a central source. piece of cake.
  • Reply 123 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post


    Same here probably, assuming I decide to stick with the Apple eco-system. I have some doubts about the longevity of iTunes video.



    I think the dilemma is a full featured Apple TV vs a fairly dumbed down device that plugs into the TV via HDMI. Apple TV is $229 and ROKU is $99. I want to be able to watch my media at any TV in the house. Some TV's I'd like to have an Apple TV as it exists today where I could have "cached" 100 G of content to not keep killing the wireless network every time I'm watching something. In fact, I'd like the genius feature to cache this content for me.. like which Disney Movies the kids are watching the most would be local to that TV, but everything would be available.



    So I guess that opens up the debate on can iTunes handle it? My guess is not. You'd need an iTunes Server product to ship with SL Server. Again, as I stated earlier, I'd want it to handle Movies, TV, Music and Photos, so it's going to need integration with iLife too. Working in iPhoto and iMovie, I'd want the last 12 months or so of media stored locally if I so choose. The work flow is I handle all the media after my wife is done taking pics/video. I handle the post processing, so then it resides on my laptop. So when she is doing any kind of post work, like ordering prints etc. She needs access to my MBP.



    Maybe I'm asking for too much, or am just too lazy to build and maintain something... but hey... you can always wish for it!
  • Reply 124 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lerxst View Post




    So I guess that opens up the debate on can iTunes handle it? My guess is not. You'd need an iTunes Server product to ship with SL Server. Again, as I stated earlier, I'd want it to handle Movies, TV, Music and Photos, so it's going to need integration with iLife too. Working in iPhoto and iMovie, I'd want the last 12 months or so of media stored locally if I so choose.



    Maybe I'm asking for too much, or am just too lazy to build and maintain something... but hey... you can always wish for it!



    Apple TV does all of that and yes it can handle it all including synching your media (music, movies and photos). just learn how to change the settings to match you needs in Itunes. Poke around in the preferences. It's very easy and getting better all of the time.
  • Reply 125 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by clexman View Post


    I agree!



    While I agree with you on the fact that once I'm here I'm already sold on the MAC platform. I believe the author of this article was simply try to build a case for Apple that a lot of us appreciate. it's a war out there, us against them. We like Apple computers however we are constantly told they are "toys" or only consumer grade products. Most people in the PC world don't believe that apple is making a comeback and can offer products for businesses.



    I think this changes EVERYTHING.



    And to the guy who wants a roadmap. This isn't a "New" product, OS X server has been around for years, XServer hardware has been around for years. People are already using it. There are case studies to reference. This product is a GREAT solution for small business and highly connected home users.



    And FYI, I'm a windows server guy who Manages a 500+ distributed software installation platform. I'm not claiming that I'm the King of knowledge here, but I know what I'm talking about.



    -LanPhantom
  • Reply 126 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post


    Apple TV does all of that and yes it can handle it all including synching your media (music, movies and photos). just learn how to change the settings to match you needs in Itunes. Poke around in the preferences. It's very easy and getting better all of the time.



    So just set up iTunes on the Mac Mini Servers as the defacto iTunes? And share libraries between other macs and have the Apple TVs pull content off of it?
  • Reply 127 of 176
    What I really like to see is what this server does for my home. I see all these terminology thrown around and I have know idea how this helps me out. I'm not saying that terminology is bad. However I do encourage AppleInsider to do a tutorial on how the average mac consumer can benefit from this system at home.



    All the questions below come to mind. And I don't mean solutions with 3rd party software but are these native solutions build-in in SL server and XServe.



    Can I now centrally manage my documents, music, movies and pictures?

    Can I now centrally manage all updates os x updates?

    Can I setup user groups where I can assign a desktop and a laptop user group. So I can setup that on my desktops I want always have set of programs installed and on my laptop another set of programs. And where I can block certain files form certain users?

    Can I setup an automatic sync for my laptop to my home network folders?

    Can I have the same thing as a terminal server. Maybe in combination with a thin client?

    Can I set up chat possibilities where I chat with other computers in the network?



    What are the benefits of a home based email server? Can I then create my own email addresses?

    Can I setup a VPN server is such a way that I can have always access to my home directory over the internet?

    Oh yeah what happens to future updates. Do I need to buy all the licenses again for over $3000 euro's?



    If I can do all these things how do I set this up, starting from easy to advanced. Thanks.
  • Reply 128 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by demenas View Post


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



    Steve



    I can't tell you how many "roadmaps" I've seen and most never live up to there promises/direction. I've heard of new features and promises major fixes and or redesigns of the platform. It never came. Hell I've even been stuck in the middle of a company that has a great enterprise platform and was bought out by another company that subsequently buried the product.



    RoadMap smoadmap, they are what Tier 1 execs want to hear to they'll buy the product. Blah!



    --LanPhantom
  • Reply 129 of 176
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John.B View Post


    Exactly what I was referring to above. The mini either needs a native OS X Apple TV application or Front Row needs to get a lot more of the "it just works" functionality that the Apple TV already has. Add in an HDMI jack that will natively output 5.1 sound and the sky is the limit...



    Plus, imagine what this could do for the iTunes movie franchise.



    Steve, are you listening?



    If you look at FrontRow on SL you see that it’s still 32-bit, along with DVD Player. Apple looks to have pretty much left these to rot, like it did with Sherlock. I’d say that FrontRow was it’s "10-foot user interface” testing ground for the AppleTV.



    I think a better AppleTV is what is needed, not a overpowered, overpriced media appliance that starts at nearly 3x the cost of the current AppleTV. I think they have to do this because they don’t want these other appliances to beat them to streaming media in the living room. No one has done ti right yet, but it looks to be getting close. Even Xbox 360 has FB and Twitter coming.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newscloud View Post


    if I could save $69-99/yr on MobileMe, it might influence my decision.



    Save $30/year buy buying online. Perhaps even more on eBay. Buy them whenever, you put the code in it adds the extra year to your account. Old .Mac boxs work, too, regardless of the versioning on the box.



    Quote:

    Does MacMiniServer also replace the need for a TimeCapsule? Seems like it, but wasn't sure.



    The MMS can mimic some of the stuff TimeCapsuel does, but it does not replace it. They are very different items. For $299 you get a 1TB 7200RPM HDD with dual wireless networks and 4 port 1000BASE-T switch. The MMS is $999 gets you 2x500GB 5400RPM HDDs with a single wireless network and no Ethernet switch, after having to set it all up manually.



    Why are people thinking this replaces a router or is designed as a Home Server? Makes no sense!
  • Reply 130 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lerxst View Post


    So just set up iTunes on the Mac Mini Servers as the defacto iTunes? And share libraries between other macs and have the Apple TVs pull content off of it?



    yeah pretty much.
  • Reply 131 of 176
    Can someone who (unlike me) is actually involved in corporate IT purchasing tell me how a roadmap works? Does biz get word of what's coming up before consumers? 'Cause if so, why can't I?



    Sorry of this is a naive question: I do remember that Apple corporate sales reps in the nineties would drop hints as to what was coming down the pipe.. Bad old days, them.
  • Reply 132 of 176
    Wow, thanks for the facts, AI. Nice choices of systems to compare to the Apple product - is there anyone that didn't find this article insulting?
  • Reply 133 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    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.



    Try Touchpad from the App store. Brilliant little product that turns your iphone into a trackpad, and virtual keyboard. Love it, made my appreciate my mac mini htpc even more.
  • Reply 134 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ArthurAscii View Post


    Can someone who (unlike me) is actually involved in corporate IT purchasing tell me how a roadmap works? Does biz get word of what's coming up before consumers? 'Cause if so, why can't I?



    Sorry of this is a naive question: I do remember that Apple corporate sales reps in the nineties would drop hints as to what was coming down the pipe.. Bad old days, them.



    Corporations buy in blocks, you and I do not. They buy support contracts to get patches to OS X that will never become public. They need a custom kernel, they pay for it.



    We did it at NeXT and Apple.
  • Reply 135 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Superbass View Post


    Wow, thanks for the facts, AI. Nice choices of systems to compare to the Apple product - is there anyone that didn't find this article insulting?



    Agreed.
  • Reply 136 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    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)



    When I worked for IBM in the 1970s, roadmaps were all the rage...



    We helped our customers develop long term (10 year) plans for OSes, Database/Data Communication systems: CICS, DL/I, IMS, MVS, SNA (anybody remember any of these... probably not!).



    There was this little thing called an Apple ][ that ran a $79 program called VisiCalc-- it just sucked all the air out of the room.



    The point-- we live in an era of disruptive technology and today's roadmap is obsolete before it can be committed to paper.



    Call it a planning mechanism or a placebo (whatever)... just don't commit your business' survival to a roadmap... bridges are known to wash out and the YellowBrick Road has an Interstate Bypass!



    *
  • Reply 137 of 176
    Kind of pointless to compare the Mac mini server to Windows Home Server. WHS is more or less competing with dedicated NAS units which run embedded Linux, such as the Netgear ReadyNAS and Synology DiskStation. While those HP MediaSmart boxes look pretty nice, I don't see much that they do that a four-bay ReadyNAS couldn't do.



    It's a pretty crowded market. The margins can't be that high. No wonder Apple is not going directly after it, but trying to take their own approach with the AEBS/Time Capsule which might work better in some situations.



    And yeah, I would not say the Mac mini server is a true like-for-like replacement for TC, either. TC does have a gigabit ethernet switch and wireless router built-in. Mac OS X Server can do routing and firewall and all of that stuff, though that really requires dual ethernet ports to work. Thankfully the USB/Ethernet adapter for the MBA is supposed to work for this purpose on the Mac mini.



    No, the Mac mini Server is not going to take over data centers everywhere (except for MacMiniColo!). Nor is it aimed at the home user by any stretch of the imagination. I think it'll be a nice solution for a small office of 10-30 users if their file sharing needs are relatively simple, and if they need to run some of the extra services that Mac OS X Server provides. It would make a good secondary service if you just want to host, say, FileMaker or Retrospect Server on a central server for your network (not that you need full-blown Mac OS X Server to run either of those example apps). If you don't need to run native Mac OS X apps server-side, then perhaps a good multi-drive NAS would do you better.



    I'm running Kerio Mail Server at one of my client sites on a MDD G4 with internal mirrored SATA drives holding the data store. A Mac mini would destroy the MDD from a raw CPU performance standpoint; I just need to determine whether an external RAID 5 box running over Firewire 800 will provide me with enough disk throughput compared to internal SATA, even on the older system. If only the Mac mini had eSATA, it would be nigh close to perfect.
  • Reply 138 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I know people like to say that, and power-wise it?s more than adequate, but the OS and GUI are not designed for being connected to a Home Theater. If you can?t control the entire experience from turning it on fresh out of the box, to setting it up, to using every aspect of it with a remote then it?s not a good fit for the average person who just wants a simple, easy-to-use appliance in their living room.



    Technically savvy people will certainly be able to switch between a keyboard/mouse and remote easily and won?t mind (actually enjoy) scouring the internet for ways to automate and code the device to make it more ?AppleTV-like?, but that is not the average person, especially Apple?s consumers who are looking for a ?just works? solution.



    La Tableta will fill this void!
  • Reply 139 of 176
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,742member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Superbass View Post


    Wow, thanks for the facts, AI. Nice choices of systems to compare to the Apple product - is there anyone that didn't find this article insulting?



    To be expected from any of the articles written by Daniel Eran Dilger, Apple spin-meister extraordinaire. If the slant of this article offended your delicate sensibilities then by-all-means don't go to his website.
  • Reply 140 of 176
    In many IT shops these days, it cost more to put out cheap servers than a one big server that can virtualize many many servers.



    I don't see Apple get into the virtualization business at all. The virtualization solution is exploding in the IT world, who cares about these small servers.



    Even for ISPs, they are selling virtual server hosting and making a killing.



    Windows & Linux solutions make up the entire virtualization world.
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