PDA

View Full Version : Which Companies Use Mac Servers?




macdaddy5
Feb 1, 2013, 04:48 AM
I heard that Facebook primarily uses Mac servers. Is this the case?
What other large tech companies use primarily Mac servers?
Are there certain industries that use more Mac servers (such as entertainment)?

I am not just referring to website servers but internal servers as well.



dmax35
Feb 1, 2013, 03:08 PM
I heard that Facebook primarily uses Mac servers. Is this the case?
What other large tech companies use primarily Mac servers?
Are there certain industries that use more Mac servers (such as entertainment)?

I am not just referring to website servers but internal servers as well.

Watch this.

JftkK3N7wME

ghellquist
Feb 2, 2013, 05:26 AM
No large website in the world uses Mac servers. The current hardware is simply not made to be used in large systems. Besides, Mac OS does not bring anything special to the server world, it is in that usage only one more Unix / Linux type system.

You might find Mac servers in smaller companies as main server. Or as specialist function in a larger corporation -- example might be to simplify program distribution to a group of Mac machines.

// Gunnar

freejazz-man
Feb 5, 2013, 03:09 PM
my company uses OSX servers - not for hosting any sites but for managing our network of... macs!

that's about the only thing OSX server is good for, and even then it's not fantastic

960design
Feb 5, 2013, 03:24 PM
My company uses a Mac mini server for .local hosting of in house applications.

We use ubuntu for hosting to the world.

PS We dropped our Solaris servers last year. I'm still pretty sad about that.

SnowLeopard2008
Feb 5, 2013, 03:29 PM
My company uses a Mac mini server for .local hosting of in house applications.

We use ubuntu for hosting to the world.

PS We dropped our Solaris servers last year. I'm still pretty sad about that.

I loved Solaris and Sun. But the world has moved on. UNIX/Linux is still my choice though. Can't stand Windows.

Back on topic, I don't think companies use Macs for servers. Workstations? Sure. General computers? Sure. But not servers. That belongs to *NIX.

dmax35
Feb 5, 2013, 05:01 PM
The problem with Sun is Oracle got there grubby hands on the company and charges the crap out of people for support contracts. That's why we dumped them and went back to SGI.

garybUK
Feb 7, 2013, 03:08 AM
The problem with Sun is Oracle got there grubby hands on the company and charges the crap out of people for support contracts. That's why we dumped them and went back to SGI.

IRIX!!! Awesome OS :)

Linux is a pile of dung, it's bloated and a podge of crappy packages and is just bad (apart from say, gentoo). I don't get why Ubuntu has so much love it's absolutely horrific, I've seen better Windows Servers that are much more reliable than Ubuntu boxes.

OSX Could be great in the server world, mach microkernel + BSD networking & userland.... would be a sysadmins wet dream, unfortunately they killed of Darwin as a standalone OS, bring that back for servers!!

DJLC
Feb 8, 2013, 07:50 PM
A ton of schools, like the one I work for. Unfortunately I'm finding that a lot of core functionality is slowly being stripped away.

I'm also transitioning several medical practices I work for to Mac. One is almost completely transitioned, and won't need a server at all once it's done (cloud medical software). Another has Mac workstations virtualizing ancient medical software in XP linked to an old Server 2003 box. The third is the most complex, but will soon begin to transition. For them, we'll virtualize Windows 7 on workstations, as well as virtualize 1 or 2 Windows Servers on a Mac Pro.

The original advice I was given was that all this virtualization was way too complex and that I was pointlessly pushing for a switch. Turns out things are MUCH more reliable this way. An added bonus is that any issue with the medical SW / Windows can be cured by copying a virgin VM over. Windows is so much nicer when it has a nice stable sandbox to play in.

VoR
Feb 11, 2013, 03:57 AM
Medical systems and information on the cloud?!
While it's probably fine in reality, this goes against all our information security rules and is not at all feasible :(

There's pretty much no macs (and certainly no servers) in our healthcare environment. We get a fair bit of pressure from doctors/clients that see TV adverts of doctors strolling around with iPads flicking through patient notes and viewing pictures etc, but unfortunately none of these apps integrate with our systems.

DJLC
Feb 11, 2013, 11:23 AM
The cloud-based medical SW is actually a proprietary thing anyway. That practice is a locally-owned franchise of a national company; corporate cooked that system up. I don't have to care about the security it's corporate's problem!

freejazz-man
Feb 11, 2013, 02:25 PM
it's called encryption, VoR

assembled
Feb 15, 2013, 05:58 AM
the lack of any clustering capability, hot swap power supplies, rack mounting etc etc...

I look after some creative studios where they still have x-serve's running as file servers with FC-AL arrays attached, but they are now on "life support" and just used for nearline archive storage which can always be restored from tape if they die, their main file servers are now either Windows or Linux.

I also look after small number of kerio installations on mac mini servers, but these are generally being transitioned to windows servers that have considerably better redundancy built into the server, or cloud or Exchange...

The mac as a server for anything more than OD (with more than one mac server for availability) and deploy studio is long gone. Apple lost money on the x-serve, even the Intel ones where Intel designed the boards for them...

deconstruct60
Feb 15, 2013, 10:26 AM
I heard that Facebook primarily uses Mac servers. Is this the case?
....
I am not just referring to website servers but internal servers as well.

More likely internal than external servers. Tech companies that have grown up over the last 10-12 years tend to have most of the employees on Macs (e.g, Google , Facebook, etc. ). If running a 80-90%+ Mac shop then having Windows servers doesn't really make sense. Email, calendaring, etc. is typically done on solutions that would run on Linux/Unix/OS X. Standard internet services DNS, etc. can be done without Windows/Exchange/Active Directory.

A mix of Linux and OS X servers would work. For very small companies one OS X server would work. As company grows, a mix of departmental (OS X) and core services (Linux) would work.

Very large scale data centers for huge web traffic like Facebook, Google , Microsoft don't run anybody's servers. Typically custom modules these days for new ones. At best a custom Dell , HP modules in a few cases. There will be small fraction of off-shelf-servers in secondary roles but vendors don't really play there.

deconstruct60
Feb 15, 2013, 10:37 AM
IRIX!!! Awesome OS :)

This isn't SGI from 20 years ago.


Linux is a pile of dung, it's bloated and a podge of crappy packages and is just bad (apart from say, gentoo). I don't get why Ubuntu has so much love it's absolutely horrific,

Gentoo/Ubuntu ? For servers? How about Redhat or SuSE. That is what current SGI boxes run. If just don't want to pay there is CentOS ( Redhat stripped of markings and add-ons).




OSX Could be great in the server world, mach microkernel + BSD networking & userland.... would be a sysadmins wet dream, unfortunately they killed of Darwin as a standalone OS, bring that back for servers!!

Darwin not equal OS X. The underlying core isn't very interesting once decoupled from the proprietary parts. Linux and various flavors of BSD has more active support. Darwin pragmatically just waits on the drops as they come out of Apple. At a run rate of 10's of millions per year there is no other competing user for the direction that is going to pop up. Back when Apple was in low, and shrinking, numbers alternative folks might have leverage but now; not really feasible.

Mach has upsides and downsides. There is no activity at all in very high performance drivers for Mach (e.g., Infiniband).

garybUK
Feb 16, 2013, 04:47 AM
You are thinking too small, Apples proprietary parts generally sit around core audio etc. if they supported Darwin with no fancy UI + some proprietary packages such as core data, they would have a killer server OS why is red hat, suse enterprise paid for? Because they offer non open proprietary services
Like Redhat and spice.

Ubuntu for servers look at the openstack from rack space etc.

OpenBsD, netbsd and FreeBSD are far better operating systems for heavy duty workloads than Linux.

VoR
Feb 17, 2013, 07:39 AM
it's called encryption, VoR

Thanks for your valuable input, but it doesn't work like that outside of individual private practices :)



OpenBsD, netbsd and FreeBSD are far better operating systems for heavy duty workloads than Linux.

Stability, security, features, performance, support, development - Linux is a fair bit ahead in all areas.
So many big name, Internet facing services that were running bsd have been switched in recent years. Both my nas and router are running FreeBSD and nanobsd, but trying to be completely unbiased, I can't really think of anyone that should be using bsd over Linux for anything other than licensing reasons.
The only exception to this is with ZFS, a fantastic product that unfortunately has oracle's 'hands of death' looming over it, ready to snap shut at random :)

Consultant
Feb 17, 2013, 01:54 PM
So you claim that a 12,000 employee hospital is an "individual private practice"?

http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/profiles/ottawa-hospital/

Thanks for your valuable input, but it doesn't work like that outside of individual private practices :)


Stability, security, features, performance, support, development - Linux is a fair bit ahead in all areas.
So many big name, Internet facing services that were running bsd have been switched in recent years. Both my nas and router are running FreeBSD and nanobsd, but trying to be completely unbiased, I can't really think of anyone that should be using bsd over Linux for anything other than licensing reasons.
The only exception to this is with ZFS, a fantastic product that unfortunately has oracle's 'hands of death' looming over it, ready to snap shut at random :)

VoR
Feb 17, 2013, 03:16 PM
So you claim that a 12,000 employee hospital is an "individual private practice"?

http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/profiles/ottawa-hospital/

My original post simply mentioned that we can't store data in the cloud for security reasons (rightly or wrongly), my second one was a sarcy reply aimed at the guy who mentioned encryption.
It's an unfortunate truth that we can't integrate them although realistically, manageability isn't brilliant (mainly VPP) and recent horrendous bugs like with the lock screen doesn't help credibility. If we're playing the numbers game, there's roughly 1.5million employees in our healthcare organisation :) But, you don't need to bite!

Consultant
Feb 17, 2013, 04:10 PM
So you are saying your company is "larger" than Pepsi, which has 300,000+ employees. Sure.

Oh, Pepsi uses Apple products.
http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/profiles/pepsico/

FYI if someone else has physical access to your devices, I bet they can find "horrendous bugs" to access your devices.

My original post simply mentioned that we can't store data in the cloud for security reasons (rightly or wrongly), my second one was a sarcy reply aimed at the guy who mentioned encryption.
It's an unfortunate truth that we can't integrate them although realistically, manageability isn't brilliant (mainly VPP) and recent horrendous bugs like with the lock screen doesn't help credibility. If we're playing the numbers game, there's roughly 1.5million employees in our healthcare organisation :) But, you don't need to bite!

VoR
Feb 17, 2013, 05:16 PM
So you are saying your company is "larger" than Pepsi, which has 300,000+ employees. Sure.

Oh, Pepsi uses Apple products.
http://www.apple.com/ipad/business/profiles/pepsico/

FYI if someone else has physical access to your devices, I bet they can find "horrendous bugs" to access your devices.

Oh you did!!

If I've done my maths correct, 1500000 is a bigger number than 300000 - so yes it is (coke too).
Are you just clicking through the apple marketing blurbs/testimonials? Shame we're not on there, according to you we're worth 5x PepsiCos :)

Consultant
Feb 17, 2013, 07:58 PM
Oh you did!!

If I've done my maths correct, 1500000 is a bigger number than 300000 - so yes it is (coke too).
Are you just clicking through the apple marketing blurbs/testimonials? Shame we're not on there, according to you we're worth 5x PepsiCos :)

Oh so you claim a number but can't back it up with a business name.

By the way, the thread is about "Which Companies Use Mac Servers?" And your answers are not relevant.

VoR
Feb 18, 2013, 02:32 AM
Simple maths, simple deduction (how many health care organisations in the world, let alone the UK have 1.5 million employees?), simple reading comprehension :) Not entirely sure why I keep replying to you, but there's definitely been relevance in some of my posts - and I don't particularly care for your ignorant opinions, while I am very interested in the non-administrative use of iOS (and to a lesser extent, macs) in the healthcare industry.

freejazz-man
Feb 18, 2013, 09:33 AM
Thanks for your valuable input, but it doesn't work like that outside of individual private practices :)


I don't expect you to know everything, but as a former security analyst for a company that served a number of hospitals, that is how it works.

HIPAA and any other regulations still apply in the cloud. I'm not sure what you think the cloud is that it isn't like any other computer farm. Do you think there is any difference in storing data in the cloud over an encrypted tunnel vs. storing the data in a colo facilitiy over an encrypted tunnel when both destinations are compliant with the same regulations?

I'm not sure why you have such an attitude problem.

VoR
Feb 18, 2013, 09:57 AM
Exactly, it's collocated, patient identifiable data - and the rules are very strict (for us in particular obviously - my first post...).
Don't really have an attitude, I'm just a bit defensive when people can't read between the lines and spout assumption :)

robvas
Feb 20, 2013, 09:11 AM
No large website in the world uses Mac servers. The current hardware is simply not made to be used in large systems. Besides, Mac OS does not bring anything special to the server world, it is in that usage only one more Unix / Linux type system.

You might find Mac servers in smaller companies as main server. Or as specialist function in a larger corporation -- example might be to simplify program distribution to a group of Mac machines.

// Gunnar

Sadly this is true. Mac hardware is more expensive than PC hardware, and OS X is much less powerful as a server than Linux.

They were using thousands of Macs to make super computers a long ways back ;)

freejazz-man
Feb 21, 2013, 10:18 AM
Exactly, it's collocated, patient identifiable data - and the rules are very strict (for us in particular obviously - my first post...).
Don't really have an attitude, I'm just a bit defensive when people can't read between the lines and spout assumption :)

right, but it's you that didn't read between the lines and assumed...

MacsRgr8
Feb 21, 2013, 03:09 PM
Depends what you call a server.

I know enough companies that use a Mac mini "server" running DeployStudio to make it easy to host Mac images.

168mac
Feb 22, 2013, 09:07 PM
In my (small) business an Xserve has been running since Sep 2007 flawlessly. Yes, as apple discontinued Xserve we have a new backup strategy and an external Mac professional looks remotely after the system.

The reason why not more Xserves were sold to corporates may simply be that once IT guys get trained on windows they stick with it. I was previously in a 1500 people biz and the IT guys fought Mac with their teeth and claws. :)

freejazz-man
Feb 23, 2013, 10:04 AM
no, it's because it costs several times more than a windows or *nix equivalent

if all corporate IT was trained on windows, then you wouldn't see linux used for servers

northernmunky
Feb 24, 2013, 04:36 AM
Until a few months ago I worked for a satellite broadcaster that runs exclusively on XServes (well apart from the edit suites of course which are all MacPro's running FCP). Main server storage is an XSan, all chosen mainly for its reliability and in two years we rarely had any major issues with it.

Even the live main and backup transmission servers are all XServes running OSX Server live out to the world.

Works pretty well for us :)

unplugme71
Jun 6, 2013, 03:42 PM
Medical systems and information on the cloud?!
While it's probably fine in reality, this goes against all our information security rules and is not at all feasible :(

There's pretty much no macs (and certainly no servers) in our healthcare environment. We get a fair bit of pressure from doctors/clients that see TV adverts of doctors strolling around with iPads flicking through patient notes and viewing pictures etc, but unfortunately none of these apps integrate with our systems.

iPads are becomming more common in the medical field. A lot of hospitals actually have a third-party remote host their medical data records. Because records now must become digital, welcome to the medical cloud world.

----------

In my (small) business an Xserve has been running since Sep 2007 flawlessly. Yes, as apple discontinued Xserve we have a new backup strategy and an external Mac professional looks remotely after the system.

The reason why not more Xserves were sold to corporates may simply be that once IT guys get trained on windows they stick with it. I was previously in a 1500 people biz and the IT guys fought Mac with their teeth and claws. :)

it's not entirely about cost or training. It's about scaling. Xserve couldn't scale like a unix or win box could.

This is why Apple went a different route in their data centers and dropped xserve.

WissMAN
Jun 7, 2013, 12:29 AM
I would agree with some here if the mac was a popular for the enterprise infrastructure; I don't think Apple would of killed the rackmounted one.

John Kotches
Jun 9, 2013, 09:30 PM
I would be remiss if I didn't point out that Cloud solutions can be fully private which would easily work for HIPAA compliance.

Titanium81
Jun 10, 2013, 09:45 PM
The New Mac Pro would make an AWESOME server!!!! 12 Cores of processing power!!!!

Jedi Master
Jun 11, 2013, 02:34 AM
The big sever world is turning to Blade severs, check it out.

Seems to be a market Apple choose to not continue, wisely I might add.

mwhities
Jun 11, 2013, 08:43 AM
I work for a church on the side that runs a Mac mini server. Serves as a FileShare, VPN, and several others services. They are currently 90% Apple. Still slowly replacing the PCs with Apple systems.

mjcharlton71
Jun 11, 2013, 04:13 PM
Exactly, it's collocated, patient identifiable data - and the rules are very strict (for us in particular obviously - my first post...).
Don't really have an attitude, I'm just a bit defensive when people can't read between the lines and spout assumption :)

I also work for a part of this organisation.... we've got 30+ iPad 3 sitting boxed up, as they're an absolute nightmare to get working with the "standard" clinical apps (I use the word standard extremely loosely). They're great for the mail system this organisation provides for its 1.5 million employees, but that's about it.

Our Mac Pro server, bought to manage these iPads, is boxed up and in storage. I'd have it at home, but the wife might notice and as it's had PID on there, the disks now need shredding, so that's not exactly a barrel of fun.

Our great Mac/iPad experiment was a failure.... I blame the "standard" clinical apps that work well only on XP, somewhat better on 7 and badly on 8.

Other than that, they look great on the desks of directors!

VoR
Jun 11, 2013, 05:00 PM
Our great Mac/iPad experiment was a failure.... I blame the "standard" clinical apps that work well only on XP, somewhat better on 7 and badly on 8.

You're lucky yours are all boxed up, we had another 150 or so delivered last week and they're going out as yet another doomed to fail mobile working project. I keep trying to stop purchases, it's not a huge amount of fun being the provider of a 10" email reader.
Did you play with VPP and the giant mess that is? How did you handle iOS account creation?
You're right of course, the national apps ridiculous dependencies prevent any foreseeable access to the spine, and the vast majority of clinical applications are arguably, worse... I could rant for pages and pages, pointing fingers at apple, the government and the trusts - but I'm tired, I've consistently spent the last 7 years doing this 9-5.

Supa_Fly
Jun 12, 2013, 02:04 AM
You're lucky yours are all boxed up, we had another 150 or so delivered last week and they're going out as yet another doomed to fail mobile working project. I keep trying to stop purchases, it's not a huge amount of fun being the provider of a 10" email reader.
Did you play with VPP and the giant mess that is? How did you handle iOS account creation?
You're right of course, the national apps ridiculous dependencies prevent any foreseeable access to the spine, and the vast majority of clinical applications are arguably, worse... I could rant for pages and pages, pointing fingers at apple, the government and the trusts - but I'm tired, I've consistently spent the last 7 years doing this 9-5.

I'm very curious which medical apps are not compatible or what their based off of as an OS/system/infrastructure? (sorry I've never worked in medical field).
I recall RIM and Adobe tried to highlight Flash or Air to access content from major hardware that was QNX based but I don't know jack so it "looked pretty".

I work for a church on the side that runs a Mac mini server. Serves as a FileShare, VPN, and several others services. They are currently 90% Apple. Still slowly replacing the PCs with Apple systems.

I'm still trying to grasp what a Church needs a Mac (let alone a PC) in order to spread and preach the word of god? Haven't the last few centuries produced enough bibles in physical print to go around about 5x per person in any major city? And FileShare, VPN, what on earth does a Priest or the clergy need these things for??

notjustjay
Jun 12, 2013, 09:59 AM
I'm still trying to grasp what a Church needs a Mac (let alone a PC) in order to spread and preach the word of god? Haven't the last few centuries produced enough bibles in physical print to go around about 5x per person in any major city? And FileShare, VPN, what on earth does a Priest or the clergy need these things for??

In case this is not facetious (and for the benefit of those who have not stepped into a church recently), many churches rival small (or even large) companies in terms of their IT requirements. Churches have staff, whether paid or not -- pastors, secretaries, musicians, children's workers -- and they typically have computers and printers, and file shares. Many churches run their own websites ranging from as simple as a digital brochure to a site that can live-stream their services or stream recorded sermons from cameras in the sanctuary.

The sanctuary itself will require computers to run the lights (DMX controllers usually), the projected slides, LCD monitors mounted in the hallways outside, nursery rooms, etc. Larger churches may have even more LCD monitors driving stage or even back-stage displays.

Typical church networking use cases:
- pastor prepares sermon slides on his computer, sends them to sanctuary computer for display
- pastor wants to show the latest viral YouTube video during service
- worship leader prepares slide sets, calls up recorded audio, lyrics, etc. for rehearsals, sends final slide set to sanctuary computer for display
- AV tech records audio or video of service and posts it on website
- website frequently updated with blog, photos, announcements, etc.
- looping "announcements" slide show is prepared and shown on multiple displays around the building
- internal VOIP based PBX system for inter-office communication
- storage of private records -- counselling data, financials
- wifi access for staff (and sometimes congregation)

All of this can be done with PCs of course, it is just personal preference.

My church bought an iMac in order to run a software package called ProPresenter which allows real-time random-access playback of slides, video, photos, etc. Although there is now a Windows version so there would be less of a push today to go Mac.

mwhities
Jun 12, 2013, 10:08 AM
In case this is not facetious (and for the benefit of those who have not stepped into a church recently), many churches rival small (or even large) companies in terms of their IT requirements. Churches have staff, whether paid or not -- pastors, secretaries, musicians, children's workers -- and they typically have computers and printers, and file shares. Many churches run their own websites ranging from as simple as a digital brochure to a site that can live-stream their services or stream recorded sermons from cameras in the sanctuary.

The sanctuary itself will require computers to run the lights (DMX controllers usually), the projected slides, LCD monitors mounted in the hallways outside, nursery rooms, etc. Larger churches may have even more LCD monitors driving stage or even back-stage displays.

Typical church networking use cases:
- pastor prepares sermon slides on his computer, sends them to sanctuary computer for display
- pastor wants to show the latest viral YouTube video during service
- worship leader prepares slide sets, calls up recorded audio, lyrics, etc. for rehearsals, sends final slide set to sanctuary computer for display
- AV tech records audio or video of service and posts it on website
- website frequently updated with blog, photos, announcements, etc.
- looping "announcements" slide show is prepared and shown on multiple displays around the building
- internal VOIP based PBX system for inter-office communication
- storage of private records -- counselling data, financials
- wifi access for staff (and sometimes congregation)

All of this can be done with PCs of course, it is just personal preference.

My church bought an iMac in order to run a software package called ProPresenter which allows real-time random-access playback of slides, video, photos, etc. Although there is now a Windows version so there would be less of a push today to go Mac.

I see you are from Canada but, have you been to this church before? I really can't add much more other than the HR (two people) usually work from home and VPN seemed to be the "better" solution rather than LogMeIn and etc.

Cheers.

notjustjay
Jun 12, 2013, 10:20 AM
I see you are from Canada but, have you been to this church before? I really can't add much more other than the HR (two people) usually work from home and VPN seemed to be the "better" solution rather than LogMeIn and etc.

Cheers.

Nope, I have no idea what church you might be referring to but I described what I've seen from my own church and those in my area (Ottawa) that I have visited or worked with.

I have seen some very impressive uses of technology in modern churches. It's hard to believe it was only a few years ago that I was still printing up transparencies to move up and down by hand on an overhead projector :p

mwhities
Jun 12, 2013, 10:22 AM
Nope, I have no idea what church you might be referring to but I described what I've seen from my own church and those in Ottawa, Canada that I have visited or worked with.

I have seen some very impressive uses of technology in modern churches. It's hard to believe it was only a few years ago that I was still printing up transparencies to move up and down by hand on an overhead projector :p

I know.. but, you almost described it to a T.

I was honestly shocked at the amount of technology they use. MacPros for audio/video and iMacs for all users and a few Mac minis.

Supa_Fly
Jun 12, 2013, 10:27 AM
In case this is not facetious (and for the benefit of those who have not stepped into a church recently), many churches rival small (or even large) companies in terms of their IT requirements. Churches have staff, whether paid or not -- pastors, secretaries, musicians, children's workers -- and they typically have computers and printers, and file shares. Many churches run their own websites ranging from as simple as a digital brochure to a site that can live-stream their services or stream recorded sermons from cameras in the sanctuary.

The sanctuary itself will require computers to run the lights (DMX controllers usually), the projected slides, LCD monitors mounted in the hallways outside, nursery rooms, etc. Larger churches may have even more LCD monitors driving stage or even back-stage displays.

Typical church networking use cases:
- pastor prepares sermon slides on his computer, sends them to sanctuary computer for display
- pastor wants to show the latest viral YouTube video during service
- worship leader prepares slide sets, calls up recorded audio, lyrics, etc. for rehearsals, sends final slide set to sanctuary computer for display
- AV tech records audio or video of service and posts it on website
- website frequently updated with blog, photos, announcements, etc.
- looping "announcements" slide show is prepared and shown on multiple displays around the building
- internal VOIP based PBX system for inter-office communication
- storage of private records -- counselling data, financials
- wifi access for staff (and sometimes congregation)

All of this can be done with PCs of course, it is just personal preference.

My church bought an iMac in order to run a software package called ProPresenter which allows real-time random-access playback of slides, video, photos, etc. Although there is now a Windows version so there would be less of a push today to go Mac.


:O Woah!!

I'm still kinda shocked to be honest!

Where does the church get all the funds for this equipment and employees to run I.T. equipment ?? (surely not everything is donated and I doubt people are giving more donated money in the collection trays (damn now I'm wondering if that shows my age in this regard, lol, um but seriously does it?)

notjustjay
Jun 12, 2013, 10:33 AM
I was honestly shocked at the amount of technology they use. MacPros for audio/video and iMacs for all users and a few Mac minis.

It's funny because almost every organization has almost the same needs, even the ones that sound most unlikely to embrace technology.

I volunteer with a kids' summer camp. You know, out in the middle of nowhere, with bunk beds in cabins with no electricity, outhouses, an abundance of mosquitos. You would not think that servers and Macs would have a real purpose there, but they do. Our camp database is cloud-based and the site -- despite having no cell phone service -- has a pretty good ADSL connection. We have WiFi in the office being distributed by a long-range backhaul access point and client bridges, to three separate other buildings, each 300-500 feet away.

In our main gathering area we have a projector for displaying slides and song lyrics, driven by my Mac laptop (running the same software, ProPresenter, we use at my church). In addition to the usual camp activities like archery and canoeing, we also offer digital photography (BYOC), movie making, and newspaper activities which are all driven by staff who bring their Mac laptops for editing. Printing is done wirelessly to one of two network printers.

We are actively looking into other great things we can do such as installing our own PBX for building-to-building phones, webcams to monitor the property, a file store, etc.

Again there's no real reason to stick only to Apple for all this stuff but over the course of many years it seems our staff have individually discovered that Macs work better for them than PCs. More and more Mac laptops are showing up.

notjustjay
Jun 12, 2013, 10:46 AM
Where does the church get all the funds for this equipment and employees to run I.T. equipment ?? (surely not everything is donated and I doubt people are giving more donated money in the collection trays (damn now I'm wondering if that shows my age in this regard, lol, um … but seriously does it?)

I can't speak for all churches but I do believe the vast majority of a typical church's funding comes from the offering plate.

The salaried employees (pastors, secretary, youth worker, typically) don't make a whole lot of money, and in smaller churches, one person takes on multiple roles. The IT guys are often volunteers.

Churches with larger congregations will have more money coming in from donations, but they have more tech requirements too. As an example, a small church might only have one musician on Sunday morning to play a piano or guitar, but a church that has thousands of people in the audience may want additional vocalists, accompanists, etc. They will need more microphones and a louder sound system to accompany the bigger room.

A small church might do with hymnals in the pews ("now let's all turn to hymn #301") but at some point it is more cost effective to spend that money on a projector.

Larger groups can have bigger choirs, and at Easter or Christmas they can produce bigger productions. This means more microphones, more lighting, etc. And so it goes.

I think it can definitely become over-the-top (especially in affluent areas) but your typical church does count its pennies and spends on IT infrastructure only as a means to keep things going in an efficient manner. Especially with volunteers, it is often better to spend extra on a good tech solution that is easy to use, than ask volunteers to try to deal with old or inefficient methods, or to "just hire a guy to do it".

foidulus
Jun 12, 2013, 08:59 PM
The company I work for used to be an (almost) all mac shop...then Apple killed the XServe. We are now transitioning to Linux, the XServes that remain are used to basically manage the networked macs via open directory and to support the legacy app that was originally developed for Irix.

Although I realize reviving the XServe will never happen, I really wish Apple would port some of their mac/ios management tools to an operating system that CAN be loaded on a rack-mounted server(Solaris would fit in well, Apple uses Solaris for icloud and you can run Solaris on any x86-machine). I think this would be a win-win for Apple, non-pros who just want a mac mini/pro to run their office network can use the full Apple-provided stack to do so, but enterprise customers who want to run a large # of macs and ios devices can run Solaris and get bullet-proof hardware and software as well as good integration with the Mac world.

Technically speaking porting those services shouldn't be too complex either. They are already built off of open source standards(and in some cases software), so most of the hard work is already done. Apple just has to port the GUI and non-standard parts to Solaris

BayouTiger
Jun 13, 2013, 06:54 AM
My small company uses a couple Mac servers. One runs our dedicated database. The other runs Kerio Connect for our e-mail. In reality these are running on just Mac minis. The one that I bought to use as a server doesn't run the server software at all as I found that the File sharing permissions with Win7 clients was just a disaster, so I run a Win8 Essentials server in a Fusion VM to handle the Windows clients. Works OK, but I still want to figure out why the permissions in the shares just will not propagate properly. It's been very frustrating, but I am very happy with the hardware and not having what sounded like a couple of vacuum cleaners running in my closet as was the case with the Windows servers I had.

notjustjay
Jun 13, 2013, 09:24 AM
There are also a bunch of companies offering Mac Mini colocation/server hosting. Just Google "Mac Mini colo" and you'll see a number of hits.

unlinked
Jun 13, 2013, 04:45 PM
Oh so you claim a number but can't back it up with a business name.



Someone in the UK claiming to work for a health care organisation with 1.5 million employees. No idea what that could be but it sounds like enough people to provide some sort of national health service.