Apple Server Appliances?

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
What if Xserve isn't the only server in the Steve Jobs bag of tricks?

OS X makes a hell of a server OS because of its Unix heritage. There is already a large cohort of system administrators who understand the care and feeding of the beast from the command line (or, better yet given the hygiene habits of those guys, remotely via telnet). But in most offices there's no need to have one of those smelly Unix sysadmins around -- OS X Server has a suite of easy-to-use administration tools.

As we all know here, Apple recently introduced a rackmount server called Xserve starting at $2995 which comes with an unlimited-users version of OS X Server. You can already serve Mac or Windows computers with Xserve thanks to SAMBA software that makes it look just like a Windows server. It does everything Windows 2000 Server does, except charge you for each seat (oh yes, and crash). I just priced out Windows 2000 Server with 25 client access licenses and found it's $1600 just for the software, and each seat you add costs more money. Thus Xserve looks to be very competitive with Windows server machines, and even if an office is all-PC on the client side, Xserve could solve a lot of problems and save some money too.

You can also get a Microsoft Exchange drop-in replacement software package that runs on the Xserve -- Samsung picked up HP's discontinued OpenMail product and is developing it as Samsung Contact. I would hope that Apple either develops an OpenMail equivalent replacement for Exchange, or licenses the product from Samsung. With Contact included in OS X Server, the Xserve would replace _everything_ a Windows server can do.

Our little 11-person office uses a zero-maintenance, zero-downtime Cobalt Qube 3 (runs on Linux) server right now, but the next one will definitely be an Xserve.

I'll bet that over the next year there will a profusion of Unix/Linux-based server appliances that are administered by web browser and which will drop in to replace Windows NT/2000 servers.

If there is a company that can make server appliances technically superb and easy-to-use, dollars to doughnuts it's Apple Computer. Because user interface is what Apple does best. And Apple's control of OS X will give them a leg up on everyone else using plain 'ol Linux. I will watch this server-appliance space with interest.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    dstranathandstranathan Posts: 1,717member

    Tell me more!

    I already killed my old Novell server with a OS X (SAMBA) box, now if only I could kill our Exchange server on NT 4!

    Can someone clue me in on this package and perhaps discuss it?
  • Reply 2 of 2
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Good idea but why did you have bring OpenMail into this?!?! Blech with a capital B! OpenMail has to be one of the WORST systems I've ever seen. We have it where I work and ... and... well I could do a laundry list of issues but I'd be here all day.

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