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corbywan
Feb 13, 2008, 10:05 AM
I've appreciated the honest yet non-critical discussion about OSX Server on this board (so far) especially when not recommending it to those who ask. A common thread I have observed is this; when someone is getting ready to choose a server solution, be it workgroup or internet, and they haven't bought anything yet, the recommendation seems to mostly be for Linux. The reasons are typically security, stability, and its common so its well tested and documented.

So the questions in a forum that is all about OSX and XServes would be; why should someone choose OSX Server? Under what circumstances would I want it over over Linux? Workgroup server? Corporate intranet or internet server?

Someone sell me on it! Pretend I'm the pointy-haired manager in a room full of Dilberts (which is a compliment, not a dis. word.)



0racle
Feb 13, 2008, 02:35 PM
Do you have Mac Clients you want to administer? Open Directory which is only available on OS X Server.

OS X Clients need a fileserver? Yes, anything will work as OS X supports SMB, NFS and AFP, but what about those annoying resource forks. Having the server be able to deal with them as well can make many things easier (backups).

Do you have to run OS X software? OS X Server. We run Acrobat as a 'Service' here. Ghostscript was not going to cut it.

Are you familiar with managing OS X? OS X Server will seem more familiar.

Why choose X over Y is always the same answer. Do you know how to manage it? Does it run the software you need?

tersono
Feb 13, 2008, 02:42 PM
Do you have Mac Clients you want to administer? Open Directory which is only available on OS X Server.

OS X Clients need a fileserver? Yes, anything will work as OS X supports SMB, NFS and AFP, but what about those annoying resource forks. Having the server be able to deal with them as well can make many things easier (backups).

Do you have to run OS X software? OS X Server. We run Acrobat as a 'Service' here. Ghostscript was not going to cut it.

Are you familiar with managing OS X? OS X Server will seem more familiar.

Why choose X over Y is always the same answer. Do you know how to manage it? Does it run the software you need?

AMEN!

Ultimately it depends on what you need. There are occasions when even a Windows server makes sense..... ;-)

OS X server is a great OS - if you're providing services to a Mac-centric network, it's the sensible solution. If you aren't, however, then maybe you need to look at which OS will provide what you need.

ChrisA
Feb 13, 2008, 03:49 PM
I've appreciated the honest yet non-critical discussion about OSX Server on this board (so far) especially when not recommending it to those who ask.

There is no "best" OS for a server. But sometime there is a "best match". What you have to do is pick whatever it is that best fits your needs. So when people do not recommend an Apple serve it just may be they it would not be a good fit to the problem

yellow
Feb 13, 2008, 04:02 PM
I chose it because my users required a solid AFP base to deal with their legacy files.

corbywan
Feb 13, 2008, 08:12 PM
Can any of the Mac client specific function be done via Linux, like NetBoot/Install, Software Update, etc? I imagine that Podcast Producer is a specialized feature. Obviously CalDAV, wikis and blogging aren't special to OSX Server.

Is there a Windows client or version of TimeMachine that works with TimeMachine server?

milles21
Feb 13, 2008, 10:32 PM
Why choose OS X server,

I choose it over Linux because I have mac, and windows systems however even if I had all windows I would likely still choose OS X server over Linux.

If I am looking for directory services and integration across the board email, VPN, DNS,DHCP,conferencing calendar, intranet all integrated via LDAP without using 15 different packages then OSX is you choice.

I only use Linux on my web servers when I need just redundant web data holders. I generally connect everything to a NAS or SAN so OSX handles all of the enterprise communication perfectly.

I also can get both proprietary mainstream vendor applications, and opensource software for my OS X server network.

If you are looking at plain web servers, possibly MYSQL linux can fit your needs but if you want expansion and integration go with OS X server.

I currently run 4 OS X servers 2 for Open Directory and DHCP, DNS, File and print. 1 for intranet, enterprise conferencing, and database, and 1 for testing. I run linux on the perimeter network for web hosting cheap easy to clone no real integration required.

corbywan
Feb 14, 2008, 12:41 PM
Miles - great stuff. Thanks.

fuzzwud
Feb 15, 2008, 01:09 PM
Great thread. It's basically what I wanted to ask in a more article way. I have 7 macs with a Powermac G5 as a file/database server; the computers run either Panther or Tiger. I want to upgrade to Leopard and it's less costly for me to get the 10 client Leopard Server. I have some additionally questions related to yours. I'm new to "real" server stuff.

Oracle: what do you mean by running Acrobat as a "service?" do mean that it's possible to run applications on clients from the server? What is Ghostscripting? What are resource forks and what's the issue with resource forks?

tjwett
Feb 16, 2008, 03:08 AM
1,000 users
800 PC clients
200 Mac clients

300 physically racked servers (don't ask)
295 are Windows boxes
5 are XServes, and they run:

OD Master
OD Replica
Task Server, Puppet & Internal I.T. Documentation Wiki
Font Reserve Server & InDesign Server
NetBoot/NetInstall/NetRestore

probably a great example of needs and whys.

Random Chaos
Feb 17, 2008, 06:28 PM
Can't resist asking: 300 servers (I assume all internal) for 1000 people? Are you doing a lot of development work for other clients that you need servers set up like their servers are?

-------

From my experience:

OSX server is good for integration with Macs. Otherwise it's almost identical to a Linux server. Most server apps that are run are identical to the ones you're used to on a Linux box, somewhat customized by Apple, but equally customizable.

However, unless you're supporting Mac clients, there's no reason you can't do everything on a Linux box. It will just take more time to set up a Linux box. So I guess the real difference is in paying $1k for OSX Server or spending $1k of someone's salary setting stuff up, and which gives you more for the same price :).

However, for Windows, nothing quite replaces a MS server. This is due to stupid bugs in MS applications (especially MS Word) that have caused numerous issues for the company I work for when using CUPS.