Home Servers

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I watched the video from the Xserve press conference and someone referred to the existing product matrix and asked if the Xserve would have a matching consumer version.

Steve fell back onto the official position of not discussing future product releases instead of flatly denying the possibility.

So jump back to previous discussions we've had about centralized home servers that could handle various I/O functions between several machines.

Now, justify why consumers would WANT a home server. How would they administer this server? Would it be a headless unit? Would you access it via the network? If Rendezvous will be made easy-to-use would people even need a centralized server solution for Small Office Home Office (SOHO)?

I can't decide if this product would be useful unless there were some killer app to make it sell. If it could serve video to connected users PVR functions (often discussed here) then perhaps.

I just thought that Steve's reaction was interesting, not that it indicated that such a product was likely. You can't let the competition know what you're up to...or NOT up to.


[ 05-17-2002: Message edited by: drewprops ]</p>


  • Reply 1 of 21
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    It would just be the Xserve but a lower kind. It will have only two hard drives as to leave it space for a SuperDrive.

    It can boot headless and will have the same number of PCI slots nix the DB-9 port, and will also be larger. The ability to capture video will come through one of those PCI slots.

    This will be what we all thought the iPod was going to be, yet now we know more of Apple's direction.

    It will not be as uptime centric, yet it still will have amazing uptime.

    Yet, the idea that this will actually happen is nilly. Anyway he could of answer that question we would of been like ,"Maybe apple IS thinking about a home server...."
  • Reply 2 of 21
    The most likely answer is that since the CD-RW debacle, Apple is never going to rule out the possibility that something weird will suddenly come out of left field and captivate the popular demand. Consequently, Steve's not going to claim that Apple will never build home servers.

    As a practical basis, however, there's no demand for home servers.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    scott f.scott f. Posts: 276member
    [quote]Originally posted by drewprops:

    <strong>Steve fell back onto the official position of not discussing future product releases instead of flatly denying the possibility.


    I watched it too... but what I remember is that the person commented that the Xserve fell outside of the product matrix... but steve responded by saying "So does iPod, so does the eMac...". The response from Avi AFTER that was referring to the upcoming(?) JDK from Apple, saying that it fell under the "Products not yet released"... NOT anything regarding home servers...

    (unless I'm wrong...)
  • Reply 4 of 21
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    I would love a centralized 'home server' in my house. Minimal local installs on all PCs in the house, just the most frequently used applications. My preferences available on all machines...

    It would not have to be powerful at all...it would just need fast networking and fast disks.
  • Reply 5 of 21
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    Get an Xserve with NetBoot

    badda bing baby

    How much music can fit on .48 TB?
  • Reply 6 of 21
    prestonpreston Posts: 219member
    I have considered having an always-on computer to buy for some basic email, web and mp3 playing/serving. Thing is I planning on a Powermac 6100, not a dual 1Ghz. WTF would a consumer want with a headless G4?

    Chances are that if you have uses for such a product, then purchase the pro model, that's what it's there for.

    Haha the commercial could show the iPod guy in his small apartment with an 8' tall server rack with 1U in it <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

  • Reply 7 of 21
    kedakeda Posts: 722member
    I don't think the 'iServe' would be a successful product right now. Yes, it would be very cool to have a home server. But, the amount of people who would actually use this is quite low.

    A home server implies the household would own at least 2 other machines besides the server. But, to be practical, a server in a 2 computer household seems like overkill.

    We are beginning to see computers used in a growing number of homes. Despite that, I don't believe there is a large enough user base to support an iServe...yet.

    If I let my imagination wonder, I can see a product like this. It would be VERY small w/its performance geared to server duties (ie plain jane video card, big HDs). It would be the axle of the 'digital hub.' The iServe would include a built-in Airport Base Station and DSL/Cable modem. It would be designed to be worked on from another computer (ie headless) but VGA & USB would be there incase the user wanted to work directly. This machine would also interface w/HDTV and provide recording capabilities (TiVO).

    The key would have to be simplicity. You think programming a VCR is hard...try an uncooperative network. Enter 'Rendezvous.' W/instant IP recognition, this home network would be set up as soon as the server was launched. After that, all of your Mac would have access to shared Music, Files, and printers. Maybe it would have some type of mail service built in. If it could recod TV, maybe you could use it to watch Star Trek on your Mac while your girl watches Animal Planet on the TV.

    OK, so I rambled a bit...just some thoughts.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    boy_analogboy_analog Posts: 315member
    &lt;historical allusion&gt;

    I predict that the total world market for iServe would be ... 6.


  • Reply 9 of 21
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    I don't think many people need or want a home server, but Tivo is damn popular. And why not have a Tivo that can pass A/V to and from your home computer via Airport? The 'iServe' doesn't have to be, shouldn't be, the center of the home world. The computer is. But if you put the XServe in a black rectangle you could shove it on your A/V shelf.

    Of course it couldn't cost $4000, but a simpler dedicated machine could spring from this idea.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    kedakeda Posts: 722member
    The iServe I was imagining would cost around $7-800. It would not really be a computer as much as a piece of equipment (like a nice amp, receiver or DVD player). It would be really small..like a squished Cube...maybe the size of a personal pan pizza box.

    One day..but not today.
  • Reply 11 of 21
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    A Tivo that could easily pass video and digital music channel info onto your computer network, (and was marketed as such) would raise the ire of record and film like nothing since Mp3.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    cdhostagecdhostage Posts: 1,038member
    I wonder...

    I don't think there's a home market for a headless G4.

    I do think that a slightly larger chassis meant to sit in a home entertainment center would be good.

    Similar specs to XServe

    TV Tuner + all relevant ports - video in/out, coaxial, S-video

    Great sound system

    Radio tuner

    Super-SuperDrive - can play all versions of optical disks of the standard size and shape.

    Equal or greater storage capacity than XServe - I want to be able to record my TV shows on this thing. And play my CD collection at full quality. This could be a great digital entertainment center.

    Problem: Apple is costly.

    You might want to wire your house as you build it. That way, you can pump music and video from your iServe to any room. I wonder if Airport 2 can handle video bandwidth...

    Lessee - lte's get a consumer model iServe

    1.2 GHz G4

    512 MB RAM

    120 GB HD

    It can act as a Macintosh.

    It can act as a TiVo. 120 gigs = 20 DVD-quality movies. I dunno how many hours of TV.

    It's a music server. At full quality CD direct rip, that's... 189 CDs at 650 megs apiece. CAll it 200, cuz not all Cds take up the whole disc.

    Hmm. Let's say this thing is released in 2004. By then, the 1.2 GHz will be the low end G4 (hopefully), and 512 will be normal and 120 gigs will be midrange HD

    Mayube $2000? not including high-def TV to show both TV and Mactinosh desktop.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    [quote]Originally posted by Matsu:

    <strong>A Tivo that could easily pass video and digital music channel info onto your computer network, (and was marketed as such) would raise the ire of record and film like nothing since Mp3.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Actually someone cracked the Tivo code and a Tivo can now be dubbed (if you mess with it in some way). But, like the iPod or Tivo, an 'iServe' could be crippled in a way that keeps people from copying the digital films (or whatever). A workaround would always emerge, but we can't stifle innovation because Hollywood is scared.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,392member
    [quote]Originally posted by Matsu:

    <strong>A Tivo that could easily pass video and digital music channel info onto your computer network, (and was marketed as such) would raise the ire of record and film like nothing since Mp3.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Ummm you mean like the Sonicblue RePlayTV 4000 with built in Ethernet and the ability to send movies to other 4000's on your Lan or even to another 4000 in a different location.

    <a href="http://www.sonicblue.com/video/replaytv/default.asp"; target="_blank">http://www.sonicblue.com/video/replaytv/default.asp</a>;
  • Reply 15 of 21
    kedakeda Posts: 722member
    Im not sure if this device should deliver the full Mac experience. I think it should be an extension of the Mac (like the iPod) but also cross over in to realms where Macs dont go now.

    I did mention TiVO, but there is more potential for this than a glorified VCR. I think it would be an advanced media management system (video, music, mail, text...) that is really easy to use.

    This machine is meant to serve media not database or websites.
  • Reply 16 of 21
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,392member
    Home Servers will take a while. Maybe when HomePNA hits 100mb speeds it'll fly. Currently unless your house is Wired with Cat5 and you have 3 machines or more a home server doesn't seem like it would be required. My dreams of a Home Server have always been one of.

    Having the ability to put a Powerful Server in the basement. This Server runs all the Monitors in the House over a digital connection.

    The only thing that the users see is a Monitor with Firewire/USB ports for local peripherals.

    In this way the Server can be brute strength with loud fans(who cares..it's in the basement) It would hold HUGE HD's and multiple processors and function as the true heart of the system and Distribution Centre.

    Oh the possibilities.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    The "iServe" for home use already exists. It's called the iMac. It's part of Steve Jobs' digital hub theory. =)


    [ 05-17-2002: Message edited by: Justen Deal ]</p>
  • Reply 18 of 21
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    [quote]Originally posted by Justen Deal:

    <strong>The "iServe" for home use already exists. It's called the iMac. It's part of Steve Jobs' digital hub theory. =)



    I agree. With all this "always on" you really don´t need a dedicated server. You only need a network between your computers.

    "The network is the server" or even more advanced: "Airport is the server"
  • Reply 19 of 21
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    It would have one hotswappable bay, so you can move the HDs
  • Reply 20 of 21
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Yeah, I'm not expecting a server product for the home at all...just saying I'd love it. I always liked the NC concept for local networks, and if anybody's going to spearhead its entry into home-space, it's going to be Apple.
Sign In or Register to comment.