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arn
May 6, 2002, 07:18 PM
In a very non-Apple move, Jobs revealed today that they would be releasing rack-mounted servers next week.

This eWeek (http://www.eweek.com/article/0,3658,s=701&a=26409,00.asp) article provides more of the limited details available on these upcoming machines:

Excluding a glimpse at a brushed-metal faceplate resembling the Titanium PowerBook, Jobs declined to provide additional details about the "major release" of a dedicated, rack-mounted server until its unveiling May 14. Nevertheless, he did specify a few features of the new server OS that will accompany it. Besides LDAP, NetBoot and NetInstall support, the server will be able to run headless. It will also feature a server-optimized Java Virtual Machine; disk, print and mail quotas; and support for Python, Fast CGI, YCC and Ruby.

The oldest MacRack rumor (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2001/11/20011128161007.shtml) available is from November, 2001... which also provided the most details: claiming a 1U rack-mounted Mac starting at $899.

More recent rumors (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/05/20020502104725.shtml), however, lack any specifics.

Close attention will be payed to the upcoming rack-mounts as they would certainly hint at technologies soon to be available in the Pro machines. The recent emergance of a Quicksilver server motherboard on eBay (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/05/20020502203450.shtml) might hint at the future specs...

Timothy
May 6, 2002, 07:53 PM
Did SJ actually show the faceplate of the new server? Did he show enough of it to determine its size?

sjs
May 6, 2002, 08:11 PM
OK, I'm pretty much in the dark on the subject of servers, but I have to ask, Why should we care?

I'm sure there is a very tiny market of businesses doing heavy graphics work using servers. But not enough to justify a somewhat major investment by Apple. The problem is that most (99%) businesses cannot use an Apple server because of software incompatibility.

Is the rackmounted server market in the sciences? Will it be for companies or agencies running Unix? I know Apple knows who the market is, but I don't.

Choppaface
May 6, 2002, 08:21 PM
yet another OS?? are the big enough to support it? or is that why they have BeOS guys there

ooartist
May 6, 2002, 08:45 PM
The market is for companies that want a commercially supported UNIX(Linux would work but not commercially supported) but without paying the big bucks to SUN or HP or IBM. Apple can market these rack mounts as having the user friendly UI of Mac and the rock solid power of UNIX without the price of the guys above.

Example: My company just spent $50,000 on a SUN v880. Nice server don't get me wrong, very nice. If Apple does good marketing and sells servers like the v880 then they can grab alot of the market that Windows 2000(NT) grabs now from SUN.

I see this as a good move. Look for a few commercials in the next year targeting this nice little niche. As far as the investment that Apple has put into these server, ain't nothing consider that the Power Macs are already server/workstations Apple just putting them in a smaller enclosure.

ooartist

Rower_CPU
May 6, 2002, 09:15 PM
I'm in a mid-sized department at a large university.

We serve web files, streaming video, and also use it for file serving.
This new update would be great for our uses, plus it helps Apple get into new markets (enterprise).

Go Apple!

G4scott
May 6, 2002, 09:26 PM
Let me tell you how much this server could help my school district...

The McAllen Independent School District has all of their information technology based on windows hardware. The whole school district is linked to one room under our stadium (it's a big, concrete stadium with huge rooms) where the district's centralized storage and internet connection is. For all of the storage, they're running dell servers. The computers are completly independent, except next year, they're going to have this software that's like Apple's Remote Desktop. They wouldn't consider buying Macs to use with Apple's Power School, and other education solutions because their hardware won't work optimally with Macs. They don't see hooking up 12 desktop G4's each with monitors to use as file servers as a plausible option... With these servers, the school district would easily be able to hook up Macs, and manage them from a centralized location. They could still keep their mass storage, firewall, routers, and internet filtering boxes the same, but they could add a couple of Macintosh servers to each school, and have a very powerful, yet flexible (it works with windows storage boxes) network. With all of those juicy features, running a full, 300+ Macintosh network would be a breeze. This is probably why Apple is releasing servers, to get schools and business to consider using Macs. It makes it easier to use Macs for accounting and other stuff...

Anyways, enough for now...

ebound
May 6, 2002, 10:03 PM
I may still be a moron, but I doubt that red mobo was a Quicksilver, seeing as how the ports (firewire, usb, ethernet) were horizontally mounted as opposed to vertically, like on my friend's Quicksilver. Hmm...

Mr. Anderson
May 6, 2002, 10:10 PM
I'm just interested in seeing how they price out and what specs they're going to have. The servers now aren't too bad, the top of the line goes for under $5k.

soosy
May 6, 2002, 10:24 PM
It's time for Apple to target the business market! I'm in the small majority of mac users at my company and compatibility with the Wintel world is a headache for me and for the IT department. For me, further compatibility with Windows is perhaps the most important thing announced today with Jaguar. Further Exchange compatibility, real SMB browsing and serving, if implemented right these will be a godsend. Stuff like stupid .DS_Store files littered over our NT server is a headache and leaves a bad impression of Mac for those in IT.
People will naturally use at home what they use at work. If Apple can make it easy for people to start using Macs in the Wintel environment at work, then eventually those Wintel environments may transition to all Mac. Cause once you've started using a Mac, who's gonna want to go back?

jelloshotsrule
May 6, 2002, 10:57 PM
i think that the server market is promising for apple for the same reasons everyone's pointed out... basically, they could probably offer the highest end server for much much cheaper than most. that along with a very user friendly os with a stable unix core could really draw some attention and customers.

mozez
May 6, 2002, 11:26 PM
first off, that server board on ebay was a asus tech board, you can go to their site and see it, second, apple has never made anything first or cheaper than their competitiors, they rely on it being better, never cheaper. if apple is truly serious about this, they'd have to make g4 servers, at least 1ghz, for sub $1000 or no company is gonna make a serious investment. it's great they want to expand, but ibm servers use risk processing and unix is cheap as hell, same as linux, and ibm servers run it, so the question is, can they beat them, not only in performance, but price, let's say the mac out paces the ibm 2 to 1, it can't, but go with me, but i could buy 3 ibms for the price of 1 mac, then it's not really outpacing anything now is it. osx server is great and all, but still no where near as stable as pure unix, of course nobody will agree b/c this is a mac site, but at least i'm being honost. that's just my opinion, i know if they made one sub $1000, i'd be going out and buying more than just a few.

Rower_CPU
May 6, 2002, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by mozez
...apple has never made anything first or cheaper than their competitiors...

Wrong on two counts...

They are first to market with their ground breaking products almost all the time. Can you say onboard firewire and gigabit ethernet? We can go on all day about all the Apple firsts...

Cheaper as it applies to hardware, no. As it applies to software, yes. All those iApps look pretty free to me. It don't get much cheaper than that.

Oh, and please supply a link when you make a claim like "it's an Asus board". It looks like it's missing a CPU socket to me...unless Asus is making PPC boards. :rolleyes:

jelloshotsrule
May 6, 2002, 11:38 PM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU
Cheaper as it applies to hardware, no. As it applies to software, yes. All those iApps look pretty free to me. It don't get much cheaper than that.

agreed on this note for sure. all those free, good quality iapps. as well as fcp (and cinema tools) for far under what you'd be able to get an equivalent video package for these days.

jaykk
May 6, 2002, 11:43 PM
IBM sometimes even throw away an entire AIX system for free, but its the support and service where IBM make killiing $$$.. its upwards $300 per hr ..In the long run, investing on Apple Hardware makes sense for a small business.. I think initial cost is higher if going for Apple, but in the long run, it will pay off

Nebrie
May 7, 2002, 12:34 AM
Actually, I found a mention of Rackmount servers even farther back in November 2001. http://www.thinksecret.com/features/thing2.html

From May 2001.

arn
May 7, 2002, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by mozez
first off, that server board on ebay was a asus tech board, you can go to their site and see it


Url? Image?

second, apple has never made anything first or cheaper than their competitiors, they rely on it being better, never cheaper. if apple is truly serious about this, they'd have to make g4 servers, at least 1ghz, for sub $1000 or no company is gonna make a serious investment.


I don't necessarily think Apple will be able to match the rumored specs. I was simply pointing out what rumors have circulated.

arn

eirik
May 7, 2002, 01:57 AM
First, I'd like to echo Arn's comment at the beginning of this thread. If the rackmount product features G4's or G5's, what does this say about the PowerMac upgrade we're all expecting in the next three months?

If its a G5, things look awfully promising for a G5 PowerMac. But even so, not an absolute given. Nevertheless, if the rack has G5's, then I'd expect the anticipated PowerMac update to come well before MWNY to cut-off the highly probably drop in PowerMac sales as we all wait for the G5. So, if the rack has G5's, I'd say we'd see PowerMac G5's no later than June unless Motorola or a phantom supplier can't deliver G5's in adequate volume to meet PowerMac demand.

If the rack features G4's, I think it would be highly unlikely that we'd see G5's in PowerMac's this spring/summer. This assumes that the G5 resembles rumored specifications, of course. Perhaps, it may be so different that it may not be useful in a rack/server???

How many CPU's do you expect on a single board? Well, if Apple is targeting rendering farms then I'd say four. However, enterprise web servers may not need four per board whereas more memory might be more important. Irrationally speaking, I'd be awfully disappointed if Apple doesn't introduce a board with at least four CPU's.

I also expect the rack to feature a much faster bus and fast DDR, perhaps more 'paths' between each CPU and main memory than we might normally find to increase effective bandwidth?

My brain is practically in bed already, I'd better cut this po...

Rower_CPU
May 7, 2002, 02:06 AM
Excellent post eirik!

I think it's going to be very interesting to see if Apple tips their hand with the server hardware before MWNY. If they deliver G5s next week, they sure as hell better intro PowerMac G5s at NY, or the crowd is gonna riot.

If they stick with G4s now, but still release the G5 at NY, the people who just bought the servers are going to be up in arms.

I think you're absolutely right that if we still have G4s in the servers next week we will still have G4s at MWNY.

3rdpath
May 7, 2002, 02:12 AM
job's preemptive announcement of the servers is so out of character. does anyone think it has anything to do with the ebay board?

my fear is that apple has pushed up the server(and pro-line) release because the specs DON'T live up to the ebay prototype. and the longer they wait to release it-the more the public regards that proto as the real deal.

hope i'm wrong but something just doesn't add up.

Rower_CPU
May 7, 2002, 02:22 AM
Originally posted by 3rdpath
job's preemptive announcement of the servers is so out of character. does anyone think it has anything to do with the ebay board?

my fear is that apple has pushed up the server(and pro-line) release because the specs DON'T live up to the ebay prototype. and the longer they wait to release it-the more the public regards that proto as the real deal.

hope i'm wrong but something just doesn't add up.

It's definitely unusual...but then again, I don't really think you can call Jobs predictable.

They have the developers there that would benefit from the knowledge that new server hardware is coming soon. It shows that Apple is committed to them on the hardware and software side of things.

But advance notice on new hardware is definitely an eye-opener. Maybe the eBay board figured into things, but I doubt a company such as Apple would really feel the need to scramble and cobble something together based on a leaked mobo that really had little substantive ties to anything Apple is doing currently.

3rdpath
May 7, 2002, 02:28 AM
Originally posted by Rower_CPU

But advance notice on new hardware is definitely an eye-opener. Maybe the eBay board figured into things, but I doubt a company such as Apple would really feel the need to scramble and cobble something together based on a leaked mobo that really had little substantive ties to anything Apple is doing currently.

i agree they wouldn't cobble but it sure seems like a scramble. only time will tell....:confused:

edenwaith
May 7, 2002, 03:41 AM
If the new servers do sport G5 chips, that will be interesting. I read somewhere today (I think it was in the most recent issue of Macworld) that G5 chips are already being used in embedded systems, and that the G4 Apollo chip might be stretched a little further to eek out the last bits of usefulness and potential out of them before going over to the G5 chip. So my guess is that G4 chips will be present for now.

So, it seems like G5 chips are already on the move, just not in Apple computers at this time.

iapple
May 7, 2002, 04:45 AM
Sounds good to me! There is no way people are going to buy servers that need monitors!! There just isn't enough room! Especially in a place like Japan, where I live... It's crowded enough already!!:eek:

Now, if we can just get the G5 in there...

peterjhill
May 7, 2002, 05:49 AM
Originally posted by sjs
OK, I'm pretty much in the dark on the subject of servers, but I have to ask, Why should we care?
<snip>
The problem is that most (99%) businesses cannot use an Apple server because of software incompatibility.
<snip>
I know Apple knows who the market is, but I don't.

Um, Servers are a completely different market than the desktop market. As for software incompatibility, I know at my workplace 90% of the servers are either Linux or Solaris, and you know what, Mac OS X is pretty much a POSIX complient system. That means it can run Apache, Sendmail, BIND, LDAP servers.

Apple could easily start eating into the Solaris market, the key to me is a high level of support. More than Applecare, way more than Applecare. Like the option to buy onsite 4 hour 7/365 service (for a lot of money, that companies will pay for critical servers). Also cheaper next day service 5/365.

It is pretty exciting to me that we will see Apple servers soon. Why should we care? These servers will also offer services that will benefit corporate Mac clients. Mac OS X can be a great piece of software for a server, so Apple tries to get the software in to businesses from both ends.

peterjhill
May 7, 2002, 06:00 AM
Originally posted by mozez
ibm servers use risk processing

ROFL, that is hilarious. I'll have to remember that.
(I think you meant RISC)

peterjhill
May 7, 2002, 06:11 AM
Originally posted by edenwaith
If the new servers do sport G5 chips, that will be interesting. I read somewhere today (I think it was in the most recent issue of Macworld) that G5 chips are already being used in embedded systems

Cisco is rumored to be using the G5 chips in their routers and switches to replace the MIPS R5000's that they use now.

With only the iBooks running with G3's now, I think there is a good chance that we will see a G5 server. Either that or an upgradable processor. That would be the right thing to do in a server. If there are models that can take 4 processors, It would be great if they put two on a daughtercard, and had the ability to put two cards in the system. If you could buy a system with 2, then upgrade later to 4, or upgrade to a faster processor.

Yum

Macmaniac
May 7, 2002, 06:32 AM
Yet another stab at big brother. I hope they replace all those crappy NT servers in our school. We guesse correctly about servers!

eirik
May 7, 2002, 06:47 AM
Originally posted by 3rdpath
job's preemptive announcement of the servers is so out of character. does anyone think it has anything to do with the ebay board?


I believe SJ's announcement was totally premeditated and calculated.

SJ doesn't want hardware announcements at WWDC to overshadow his software announcements. Look what just a pre-announcement is doing?

At WWDC, there are a hell of a lot of reporters, zealots, and others with baited breath. Next week, without the pre-announcement, there would still be coverage. But, with the pre-announcement, there are people like us spending much time on the web speculating about the content of next week's announcement. The periodicals have geeks like us on their staff. Their geeks are reading what us geeks write and are themselves getting their geek all in rapture so that next week's announcement will command a hell of a lot more attention than the eMac's announcement; the announcement will ejaculate into the mainstream press. The education target market is far more accessible to Apple's publicity machine than Apple's new target markets for its rack mounted servers.

So, again, Apple is ramping up the PR machine. SJ is quite the PR dude. 'Hey dude, you're gettin' an Apple rack!'

If, despite my expectations, Apple's rack includes g5's, then I believe we'll hear an announcement shortly afterwards yet well ahead of MWNY of a new PowerMac. If the rack includes G4's and nothing else unusual, who knows when Apple will update its PowerMac? But anything in the rack announcement that further induces people like me to wait for the PowerMac update, would cause Apple to announce a PowerMac prior to MWNY or suffer diminished sales until MWNY.

Eirik

sjs
May 7, 2002, 07:31 AM
That was my earlier question. Thanks for several good, informative answers!

awrc
May 7, 2002, 07:37 AM
I personally reckon we're going to see G4's in these, unless they've quietly slipped G5 support into 10.1.5 without anybody noticing. Perhaps faster G4's than we've seen before, perhaps with larger L3 caches or DDR though.

As for whether they sell - when you get into the area of decent quality rackmount servers, the gap between Apple's pricing and those of the major PC manufacturers isn't that big. Yes, you can do a homebuilt 4U rackmount easily and cheaply enough, but when you get to the smaller form factors you're getting into a whole new area in terms of cooling and board layout and so forth. You're also getting into a whole new price range.

Example - Dell's entry-level 1U server, the PowerEdge 350. It's got 256MB of PC133, an 850MHz PIII, a 40GB IDE hard drive, dual NIC, a mouse, a set of rails for mounting it, no OS installed, and a decent 4hr onsite support contract. Price- $2483. This is way different from the "I can build an AthlonXP 2000+ system for $500" homebuilt market.

I can definitely see Apple being at least somewhat competitive with this sort of price range. As for resistance to the OS - UNIX is UNIX. As has already been stated, OS X can run most of the major applicatons you'd expect in, say, an ISP environment, straight out of the box. I imagine we'll also find quite a few of these boxes ending up running Linux PPC.

Finally, there's the pretty factor. A lot of the 1U servers out there are butt-ugly. This doesn't really matter, of course, rackmount servers generally aren't made to be aesthetically pleasing. However, a cabinet of servers with brushed metal fronts and little Apple logos (and maybe some subtly pulsing white LEDs) is excellent "show row" material for impressing visitors to the data center. I know at my place of work all the cool looking hardware goes in the show row, because interesting boxes and lots of blinkenlights impress potential customers - the rest of the cabinets, the ones containing the switches and the anonymous plain black rackmount boxes don't even have glass doors on them.

peterjhill
May 7, 2002, 07:40 AM
Originally posted by eirik
If, despite my expectations, Apple's rack includes g5's, then I believe we'll hear an announcement shortly afterwards yet well ahead of MWNY of a new PowerMac. If the rack includes G4's and nothing else unusual, who knows when Apple will update its PowerMac? But anything in the rack announcement that further induces people like me to wait for the PowerMac update, would cause Apple to announce a PowerMac prior to MWNY or suffer diminished sales until MWNY.

Eirik

I am psyched too by the annoucement, but have to disagree with you here. A rack mounted server is an entirely new product line for Apple. Very few people were probably planning on buying an Apple server in the next week, and those that are, few of them would be willing to pay $500-$1000 more for a rack-mounted server (good rack mount servers have lots of cool features that are not in the current server, hotswap drives for eg.)

The current G4s are pretty darn nice, I would imagine SJ lowering the price on the current Power Macs before preannouncing a G5 Power Mac. Steve needs to be able to do his, "Oh, just one more thing..." thing at MWE.

As I mentioned above, if they make it trivial to swap out your old processor for a new one, they could release the servers with G4's now and allow us to move up to G5's later.

peterjhill
May 7, 2002, 07:47 AM
Originally posted by awrc
...the ones containing the switches and the anonymous plain black rackmount boxes don't even have glass doors on them.

You just need sexier switches! Maybe it is because it is my job to take care of the network gear, though, that I see them as being sexy. ;-) Is that a GSR you got there, yum...

awrc
May 7, 2002, 08:03 AM
Oh, the sexy switches are visible enough. They live in glass-fronted cabinets with all the Total Control gear (and a cabinet full of those is the ultimate in blinkenlights). Ditto the ATM gear, the Junipers (on account of the neat blue blinkenlights), etc. It's just the dull ones we lock away :D

Unfortunately, the "pretty equipment in the show rack" rule means we have to have our Cacheflow box on display. Colorful, yes, but it's the expensive hardware equivalent of those novelty PC cases made to look like dogs, cats, etc.

I better stop now before I really start reminiscing and tell the story about the SGI Crimson and the big dog.

ear2ear
May 7, 2002, 08:04 AM
I know nothing about servers, however I do use a Mac in a recording environment where nearly everything else is rackmounted. So....

Could you use a rackmount server in the same manner as a normal Powermac?

I'd love one solely for aesthetics (sp?) and to clean up the desk area a bit more, but many others who have mobile rigs would love this. The idea of advanced cooling features (less fan noise?) is entertaining as well. What about PCI slots? I'm assuming no in a 1 rackspace unit, but maybe there are alternatives.

I'm just looking for some basic info on this.

Thanks

mmmdreg
May 7, 2002, 08:05 AM
So whats this server going to be called? a Mac Server? Because they can't replace the Powermac servers with these because they aren't powermacs...and are the old g4 powermac servers still going to hang around?

awrc
May 7, 2002, 08:06 AM
Apple PowerRac G4 :D

dongmin
May 7, 2002, 08:13 AM
As someone pointed out, servers don't necessarily use the fastest processors. Dell's low-end rack servers use PIIIs and Celerons in the low gigahertz, far cry from the 2.2 ghz P4s. I'm no techie so this is pure conjecture but it probably has something to do with heat and power issues.

So given that logic, I don't think Apple's gonna put in an untested, brand-spanking new processor that is more power-hungry and probably generates more heat.

My bet is for G4s in the 1ghz range. OR G5s in the sub-1ghz range, it that's even possible. Either way, no high-ghz G5s. The only way that's gonna happen is if they also introduced new PowerMacs with the same level of processors.

PS: there's also the possibility of 1 ghz G3s. Why not? Altivec has little use in servers.

Rocketman
May 7, 2002, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by 3rdpath
job's preemptive announcement of the servers is so out of character. does anyone think it has anything to do with the ebay board?

my fear is that apple has pushed up the server(and pro-line) release because the specs DON'T live up to the ebay prototype. and the longer they wait to release it-the more the public regards that proto as the real deal.

hope i'm wrong but something just doesn't add up.

One theory is his hand was forced by the ebay issue.

My theory is he was going to make a pre-announcement anyway since WWDC is the target market for the product. It is the rare hardware announcement at WWDC and of course they have several very, very significant software announcements at WWDC. Some of those seemingly jargon features of Jaguar will deliver HUNDREDS of applications to the Mac.

Server farms are currently stacking Powermac G4's! Any Rackmount format server, even a single CPU G4 will be a huge improvement and anything above that will be grand. G5 not yet folks, unless miracles happen.

I'ts major.

Rocketman

Rocketman
May 7, 2002, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by ear2ear
I know nothing about servers, however I do use a Mac in a recording environment where nearly everything else is rackmounted. So....

Could you use a rackmount server in the same manner as a normal Powermac?

I'd love one solely for aesthetics (sp?) and to clean up the desk area a bit more, but many others who have mobile rigs would love this. The idea of advanced cooling features (less fan noise?) is entertaining as well. What about PCI slots? I'm assuming no in a 1 rackspace unit, but maybe there are alternatives.

I'm just looking for some basic info on this.

Thanks

Yes. It's overkill, but very practical. It will have (my guess) dual 1000-baseT ethernet, dual firewire and USB but probably no analog audio. It will have a plug for a monitor but will be designed to be administered from elsewhere, typically a TiG4 over ethernet.

Rocketman

kansaigaijin
May 7, 2002, 09:02 AM
so you got a stack o' Rackmacs under your desk (or down the hall, in the basement under the stadium, or even in the walk in cooler, and run them all with that ARD thingy, and they are clustered etc, now I am thinking education was just a beta-test of the possibilities of this . . .

Silver Dragon
May 7, 2002, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by dongmin
<snip>
So given that logic, I don't think Apple's gonna put in an untested, brand-spanking new processor that is more power-hungry and probably generates more heat.
</Snip>

See, this is where Apple made a great move in going with the PPC platform. The high end P4 and Athlons suck a lot of power and get HOT. The PPC processors, although they are getting warmer, run at a fraction of the power/heat that the other boys do. This means that Apple can stick the fastest G4 in a 1U box with very little concern for heat.

If I remember right, and I may not, the G5 is supposed to be even better. Less heat, smaller, and less power. But who cares? Personally I'm hoping that Apple dumps Mot. and goes with IBM for their next chip (not sure how that would affect Altivec though). The G4 has a lot more life in it, and I think it's a great server chip (I am running a 450 G4 w/ OS X server and it's killing my fastest Wintel servers).

Just my $0.02

lordsinforge
May 7, 2002, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by Rocketman


It will have a plug for a monitor but will be designed to be administered from elsewhere, typically a TiG4 over ethernet.



Naw, it will have a plug for a moniter and it will be desigened to be admin'd from elsewhere, but not a TiG4 over ethernet, rather it will be over airport.

Can't you see it, you go up and sit on the roof with your Tibook getting a tan sipping a brew and doing admin tasks on your 50 Apple PowerRac server render farm 20 floors below you in the machine room.

:)

kansaigaijin
May 7, 2002, 09:05 AM
a 1u Rackmac with a titanium frontplate and a clear polycarbonate box, on your desktop with a 19" LCD on top?

mcrain
May 7, 2002, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by Rocketman
One theory is his hand was forced by the ebay issue.

My theory is he was going to make a pre-announcement anyway since WWDC is the target market for the product. It is the rare hardware announcement at WWDC and of course they have several very, very significant software announcements at WWDC. Some of those seemingly jargon features of Jaguar will deliver HUNDREDS of applications to the Mac.

Obviously, I don't know the answer to any of the questions we are asking, but I can possibly shed a little light on the issue. Maybe help you make some more of your educated guesses...

From a legal standpoint, the ebay disclosure causes a problem for Apple. SEC rules require that in the event something that is secret becomes public information, the company representatives may not deny the existence of the information.

An example is best seen in a merger context. Hypothetically, IBM wants to merge with Microsoft. Bill Gates has a few phone calls with some high level IBM people. No one knows anything, no one asks anything. Gates can pretty much say anything but trully misleading information.

Once a deal begins to take shape, or once people find out about a potential deal, if Bill Gates is asked about a merger, if he denies it and it happens, that is considered securities fraud. The only choices available are to say "no comment" or "yes, it is happening."

Most companies respond to all inquiries with "no comment" because to do anything else makes "no comment" a "yes."

Here, if Steve Jobs did a keynote without disclosing the server, and someone asked him about it, his only legally available reply is "no comment." From a headline standpoint, "Steve Jobs refuses to comment on rumors of a rackmount server" looks far worse than "Steve Jobs announces that Apple will be releasing a rackmount server next week."

So, while I doubt the e-bay disclosure was the sole "reason," it may have been a legitimate contributing factor.

drastik
May 7, 2002, 09:54 AM
:D

Oh Man, I used to have a centris 610 andI loved that thing, I miss the old pizza box.

Maybe I can find one and Rack mount it, get a g4 upgrade from sonnet and beat the street by a week.
:D

kansaigaijin
May 7, 2002, 10:07 AM
that was the first mac I owned. 20mhz, C$2000. with monitor and 4mb ram, $350 for another 4mb!

backspinner
May 7, 2002, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by lordsinforge

Can't you see it, you go up and sit on the roof with your Tibook getting a tan sipping a brew and doing admin tasks on your 50 Apple PowerRac server render farm 20 floors below you in the machine room.
That would be quite nice, if a powerbook would reach 20 stories...

I also guess that ARD is the tool for headless server admin

iH8Quark
May 7, 2002, 10:31 AM
I smell render farm!!!!!!!! That's very good news.

heh...I'm at 69. ;) :D

peterjhill
May 7, 2002, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by dongmin
PIIIs and Celerons in the low gigahertz, far cry from the 2.2 ghz P4s. I'm no techie so this is pure conjecture but it probably has something to do with heat and power issues.

There are lots of different uses for servers, so there are different requirements for different applications.

Database servers need lots of memory, a nice processor or two or four, and large hard disks. They could make great use of altivec I would guess.

Web servers need lots of memory, but could probably get buy with more, but slower cpu's (just a guess).


Originally posted by dongmin
So given that logic, I don't think Apple's gonna put in an untested, brand-spanking new processor that is more power-hungry and probably generates more heat.
<snip>
PS: there's also the possibility of 1 ghz G3s. Why not? Altivec has little use in servers.


In the Intel world, they have XEON processors that do not go into desktops at all. There is nothing wrong with servers being beefier than the desktops.

Someone else asked if you could use the future servers as desktops, I will guess that you could, but you will pay a premium to do so. Rack-mounted servers are always alot more expensive than the a desktop with the same processor and harddrive size and ram. Usually they will have some form of SCSI, instead of ATA, they will have faster memory, not to mention all the hot swap capabilities you could add.

I am not convinced that Apple will release servers with G5s, but as I mentioned above, I hope they make it easy to swap out and upgrade the CPUs

peterjhill
May 7, 2002, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Silver Dragon


The PPC processors, although they are getting warmer, run at a fraction of the power/heat that the other boys do. This means that Apple can stick the fastest G4 in a 1U box with very little concern for heat.


Not to mention that not many people care how many fans you put into a server to keep it cool. Hey maybe Apple could use that as a marketing point. Keep your server room quiet, oh even better, have a rack of servers in a library between some racks of books, with a sign on the side of the rack that says, quiet please. That would be an awesome ad :)

mischief
May 7, 2002, 11:00 AM
That mobo had it's airport cart way out in front, like it was made to be as close to it's faceplate-embedded antenna loop as possible.

If the case works as I think it will this puts all the antennas in an uninterupted line down one side of the rack.

I think we're gonna see OS X Server gain cluster-by-Airport capability.

I also think that the distance between the processor card slot and the pass-through cuts for standoff posts is large enough for a 4 CPU card.

schalliol
May 7, 2002, 12:24 PM
As for hardware announcements, didn't Steve pre-announce the original iMac at WWDC? Then there was a full release at MacWorld (that was awesome) with the actual product sale date one month later. So, I don't know that this is that out of character.

Rower_CPU
May 7, 2002, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by mischief
That mobo had it's airport cart way out in front, like it was made to be as close to it's faceplate-embedded antenna loop as possible.

If the case works as I think it will this puts all the antennas in an uninterupted line down one side of the rack.

I think we're gonna see OS X Server gain cluster-by-Airport capability.

I also think that the distance between the processor card slot and the pass-through cuts for standoff posts is large enough for a 4 CPU card.

If that's the case, they better be moving to 802.11g for higher bandwidth...

eirik
May 7, 2002, 01:25 PM
I confess, this is a very sexy concept!!!

Now this competes with Fasternet and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. For a simple cluster: a handful of nodes and daisy-chained (as opposed to fully-meshed), Ethernet, or Firewire for that matter, rule. The wireless concept sounds like it would kick-ass in a complex cluster of not only Mac nodes but with other devices too. That way, software would drive the complex connectivity. Software could dynamically adjust the configuration to accomodate changes in workload.

However, while this sounds great, this has two MAJOR problems. First, reliability! This is totally unproven and no one in their right mind would place mission critical resources on such a system.

Second, bandwidth, 802.11x is completely inadequate where success requires speed. Fortunately, some customers may not need speed. Even Apple's rumored wireless 100+ Mbps wireless offering sounds lacking in comparison to Gigabit Ethernet.

The good news is that higher frequencies could be used that allow for higher bandwidth. If this RF has an appreciably low amplitude, network administrators need not be concerned about BRAIN TUMORS.

I don't know, maybe money would better be spent on a super 3D switched fabric device that dynamically facilitates communication among the nodes, each plugged in via its Gigabit Ethernet.

All of this depends upon Apple's target market!!! Sadly, none of us really knows. If anyone thinks that Apple is launching an all out invasion of the enterprise market, think again. Apple doesn't have but a small fraction of the resources to do so. No, Apple has likely cherry-picked a few segments here and there for their racks. They'll establish a beach head and then grow from there.

So, which segments?

Eirik

eric_n_dfw
May 7, 2002, 01:29 PM
All they need now is that wireless power source and they could be completely cordless!

3rdpath
May 7, 2002, 01:33 PM
i think we'll see the ibook and the server show up together-and both using the G3 chips. that is, if what i've read is correct and most server apps don't need or use altivec.

and i don't think we'll see any new technology in the servers (DDR, Rapid I/O...).

i think its gonna be a long wait until july:eek:

eirik
May 7, 2002, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by 3rdpath
i think we'll see the ibook and the server show up together-and both using the G3 chips. that is, if what i've read is correct and most server apps don't need or use altivec.

and i don't think we'll see any new technology in the servers (DDR, Rapid I/O...).

i think its gonna be a long wait until july:eek:

While the G3 power draw is very attractive, the G3 is not fully MERSI compliant. That means it does not make a good CPU for multiprocessor configurations. I don't expect Apple to introduce a rack line without multiple processors per board. Only the low-end racks would offer single CPU's.

Eirik

edenwaith
May 7, 2002, 02:06 PM
Personally I'm excited to see that Apple will actually be making rack servers. I don't think I'd get one myself, but it is good to see Apple really trying to get its foot into the door. Yes, they are selling their G4 servers, but I don't know of many people who are using them as a server. If I was going to set up my own server, I'd probably just use my own G4 Powermac, turn on the file sharing, and dig into my UNIX side to get things up and running.

One question is what type of servers will they be? Will they be built for the low end market of servers which also can be replaced by standard home computers, or is Apple shooting more for the high end, enterprise side of the market (which MS fortunately doesn't command, heh, heh). Perhaps they will have both, a low end (cheaper) and higher end. And if they can be all networked into a large computing cluster, that would be even cooler, which then could simulate a multi-processor machine.

3rdpath
May 7, 2002, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by eirik


While the G3 power draw is very attractive, the G3 is not fully MERSI compliant. That means it does not make a good CPU for multiprocessor configurations. I don't expect Apple to introduce a rack line without multiple processors per board. Only the low-end racks would offer single CPU's.

Eirik

you know much more than i do about server needs-so i bet you're right.

but i'm still skeptical we'll see any of the new DDR etc on the server. as i posted earlier, i hope i'm wrong.

one week and we'll know for sure.

blakespot
May 7, 2002, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by mozez
first off, that server board on ebay was a asus tech board, you can go to their site and see it, second, apple has never made anything first or cheaper than their competitiors, they rely on it being better, never cheaper.
No, it actually was almost certainly an Apple prototype board. Also, I know ASUS boards---it is definitely not one (nor a PC board at all). PC boardmakers don't usually put an Apple-specific power extension on their AGP slots...


blakespot

blakespot
May 7, 2002, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by Rocketman


One theory is his hand was forced by the ebay issue.


The "eBay issue" had nothing to do with Apple's actions at WWDC. Leaks are unfortuante, but never shape Apple's PR action.


blakespot

blakespot
May 7, 2002, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by mischief

I think we're gonna see OS X Server gain cluster-by-Airport capability.

What possible advantage would wireless networking give to clustered rack servers that are inches (or less) from one another?? Gigabit ethernet is built in.


blakespot

peterjhill
May 7, 2002, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by 3rdpath
i think we'll see the ibook and the server show up together-and both using the G3 chips. that is, if what i've read is correct and most server apps don't need or use altivec.

and i don't think we'll see any new technology in the servers (DDR, Rapid I/O...).

i think its gonna be a long wait until july:eek:

No way. Not going to happen. Servers do not care about CPU power requirements. Servers will use the fastest processors available. Maybe they will have a range of processors available to choose from. There is no reason why a server app could not be written to take advantage of Altivec.

Think about what Server apps Apple will be targeting?

Streaming Quicktime
WebObjects
Oracle
Render farms
A Mac version of "terminal server"
E-mail server


Just a quick list off the top of my head.

3rdpath
May 7, 2002, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by blakespot

The "eBay issue" had nothing to do with Apple's actions at WWDC. Leaks are unfortuante, but never shape Apple's PR action.


blakespot

with all due respect to a macrumors God- i disagree. i'm not saying it was the ONE reason, but PR is all about information and perception. apple has a big interest in controlling the perception of info-most importantly info they didn't intend to release( which may or may not be accurate).

PR must be dynamic to be effective and taking the item off ebay was a PR action. so yes, leaks do shape PR action.

respectfully.

eirik
May 7, 2002, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by blakespot

What possible advantage would wireless networking give to clustered rack servers that are inches (or less) from one another?? Gigabit ethernet is built in.


blakespot

I'm not bullish on wireless clustered servers myself. But imagine a wireless solution that features dozens of channels, each with over 400 Mbps of bandwidth. Let's assume for a moment that fully-meshed internetworking of each of the nodes in a system of two dozen servers is too costly, too impractical.

The servers are running a tightly integrated WebObjects solution that fully levers load balancing. In this scenario, the loadbalancing manager detects unacceptable latency due to one of the databases incurring too much workload. So, it splits this database in half and assigns another server to this second half for processing (this might require the system to move an application off of an existing server to make room for the database). Now, overall system performance would suffer if this second database server were internetworked such that all of its inbound and outbound traffic had to go through yet another server due to the connectivity constraint that I mentioned (fully-meshed connectivity impractical). So, the load-balancer reassigns the wireless channels so that the second database server it optimally placed in the topology.

What is really cool about this is that a network administrator wouldn't have to disconnect and reconnect Gigabit Ethernet cables to load-balance and optimize the topology of all of the nodes. It would be totally dynamic. Now maybe a simple Ethernet swtich board (if one exists) would be cheaper and nearly as effective (this board would be similar to boards that people employ to use a single keyboard/monitor to support multiple desktop computers). So, at the least one wouldn't have to deal with flipping switches on such a board. At the most, one wouldn't have to search, connect, and verify Ethernet cable connections.

So, if a wireless solution were this robust, then it would be attractive. The entire topology of the cluster would be completely soft-switched (software based) without any mechanical actions.

That said, I doubt we'll see a wireless solution that robust anytime soon.

Eirik

eirik
May 7, 2002, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by peterjhill


No way. Not going to happen. Servers do not care about CPU power requirements. Servers will use the fastest processors available. Maybe they will have a range of processors available to choose from. There is no reason why a server app could not be written to take advantage of Altivec.

Think about what Server apps Apple will be targeting?

Streaming Quicktime
WebObjects
Oracle
Render farms
A Mac version of "terminal server"
E-mail server


Just a quick list off the top of my head.


Peterjhill's statement, quoted above, is often true. However, for high density cluster solutions or just high density racked server solutions, power requirements become a huge factor.

This is the driver behind the latest craze in server markets whereby blade configurations are being offered.

IBM, with its relatively low-power Power4 CPU's use a fraction of the power of an x86 CPU, recently started offering a blade configuration that is turning a lot of heads in high-end enterprise applications.

When the density of CPU's gets to some thresholds, enterprises find that they have to upgrade their power systems (power grid from utility, UPS's, internal wiring, and other power infrastructure) as well as upgrade their climate control. This costs tens of thousands of dollars or even hundreds of thousands, depending upon the density. x86 CPU's run too hot for blade configurations or at least they cannot be as densely packed. This means higher volume of rackspace. That too is limited and expensive, real estate costs for example.

So, power is a major driver in server sales when the density is high. But as P... says, most server needs are not this high, so power is not a critical factor.

Eirik

mischief
May 7, 2002, 03:33 PM
I'm aware that 802.11 isn't wide enough for main server load. I was suggesting using it for managing the cluster not the main I/O. It would be coolest of course to use as many interconnects as the OS can handle. Say the main load goes out by Gigabit, most intra-cluster traffic goes by FW or FW2, and Airport does the admin. How much total bandwidth is that?:D :eek:

schalliol
May 7, 2002, 03:33 PM
Also, keep in mind that even the G4 runs with less power and heat than x86 systems.

I would be suprised if Apple uses something other than a G4 (or perhaps G5). Even the ANS/700 units used the standard processors.

peterjhill
May 7, 2002, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by eirik

<snip>
But imagine a wireless solution that features dozens of channels, each with over 400 Mbps of bandwidth.
<snip>


Umm...
1. All wireless implementations that I know about are the equivalent to hubs
2. Current 802.11 that Airport uses has 3 effective channels, sure you can set the channel to 11 different values, but the channels overlap frequencies, thus "dozens of channels" is moot. The bandwidth that the FCC is setting aside for this unrestricted use is too small for 400 mbits/sec. Your scenario would require something like a gigahertz of EMF bandwidth

If 100 mbits/sec switched is not fast enough, you could always get gigabit ethernet switches to connect all the servers together.

In a fantasy world would wireless clusters make sense, but in a real world, it would be silly and ineffective.

OTOH someone told me that they heard about servers that had a wired and wireless NIC, and if the wired NIC went down, you could still access the device with the wireless NIC. That is kind of cool, as long as your using SSH or SSH tunnelling to secure your connection.

mcrain
May 7, 2002, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by blakespot

The "eBay issue" had nothing to do with Apple's actions at WWDC. Leaks are unfortuante, but never shape Apple's PR action.

blakespot

Sorry Blakespot, but leaks of confidential information in a publicly held company DO shape PR action. If a PR department says anything that can be construed as denying the content of the leak, the company will be sued for securities fraud in the event the investor relies upon the PR department's statement, buys or sells stock, and then suffers financial loss. The 34 Act (I think) of the SEC is pretty clear on that point.

peterjhill
May 7, 2002, 04:04 PM
Originally posted by eirik

This is the driver behind the latest craze in server markets whereby blade configurations are being offered.
Eirik

My impression of the "blade servers" is that it allowed you to put more servers into less space. For example, instead of just one server per RU, you can put 6 dell servers into 3 RUs (http://www.dell.com/us/en/esg/topics/esg_pedge_rackmain_servers_1_pedge_1655mc.htm) . This would be handy for web servers of dns servers where you want to use round-robin dns to make multiple servers appear as one.

When it comes to reducing the power requirements of a server, the CPU is only a small part of the equation.
The top of the line G4 uses only 30 watts, the one they put in the new Powerbook uses something like 19 watts.
a nice scsi harddrive (http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/discsales/enterprise/tech/0,1084,242,00.html) uses 10 watts just idling (or 13 watts here (http://www.storage.ibm.com/hdd/ultra/36lzxdata.htm) )
Then you add the memory requirements for the ram, the fans...

A 2 Gig P4 uses 43.7 watts (http://processorfinder.intel.com/scripts/details.asp?sSpec=SL62Q&ProcFam=483&PkgType=5369&SysBusSpd=5095&CorSpd=5320)
A 1 gig P3 runs at 29 watts (http://processorfinder.intel.com/scripts/details.asp?sSpec=SL5FQ&ProcFam=25&PkgType=4540&SysBusSpd=5093&CorSpd=4984)

So if Dell can stick 6 servers into 3 RU's using P3s, Apple can put the same number using the most powerful G4 that Motorola has listed.

percolate
May 7, 2002, 04:36 PM
Originally posted by peterjhill


No way. Not going to happen. Servers do not care about CPU power requirements. Servers will use the fastest processors available. Maybe they will have a range of processors available to choose from. There is no reason why a server app could not be written to take advantage of Altivec.

Think about what Server apps Apple will be targeting?

Streaming Quicktime
WebObjects
Oracle
Render farms
A Mac version of "terminal server"
E-mail server


Just a quick list off the top of my head.

If you'll notice, the only comments Jobs' made about added features and such all were directed more towards the traditional file and application serving markets - improved "server" JVM, Python, Fast CGI, TCL, Ruby, disk, print and mail quotas, et al. IANAE on this but I don't think these really serve much purpose to render farm nodes, although the JVM may help controllers. Normal app and file servers will see little to no gain using G4s instead of G3s currently and most likely won't ever because vectorization doesn't fit most of the algorithms needed in most server apps. You're typically not just adding or multiplying arrays of ints or floats, you're looping through threads, connections, doing queries, serving files or trying to load balance operations.

Also, many people using servers do care about power requirements and heat just as they care about space. The less of any of them, the less problems and costs they'll have. It becomes more pronounced the larger the number of servers needed. I think they'll be releasing 1 GHz Sahara G3s, and possibly G4s at the same time or a little later on. Hopefully if the server OS costs significant money, they'll offer a G4 version with the standard OS X then, too. If you just need computation nodes paying a couple hundred extra for server software would really stick in your craw.

eirik
May 7, 2002, 06:41 PM
Originally posted by percolate


....
I think they'll be releasing 1 GHz Sahara G3s, and possibly G4s at the same time or a little later on.
...



Is the Sarhara MERSI compliant? If not, I don't see it going into the rack. If yes, it would be very much worthwhile for highly dense servers.

Eirik

gjohns01
May 7, 2002, 07:04 PM
Originally posted by peterjhill


No way. Not going to happen. Servers do not care about CPU power requirements. Servers will use the fastest processors available. Maybe they will have a range of processors available to choose from. There is no reason why a server app could not be written to take advantage of Altivec.

Think about what Server apps Apple will be targeting?

Streaming Quicktime
WebObjects
Oracle
Render farms
A Mac version of "terminal server"
E-mail server


Just a quick list off the top of my head.

I agree with everything except the power and Oracle part. That arse Ellison hasn't ported it to OS X. Don't think he plans to. Sybase may be coming. Maybe IBM will be kind enough to port DB2. I don't think Apple will hit the high-end. Look for more of a mid-range "workgroup" server. Going high-end will put them into competition with the big boys and I don't think they are prepared to spend the kind of money those guys do on support etc.

MacAztec
May 7, 2002, 07:30 PM
Its about time Apple did this. I hope they have the Mobo that we saw on ebay...that would be awesome!

eirik
May 7, 2002, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by gjohns01


I agree with everything except the power and Oracle part. That arse Ellison hasn't ported it to OS X. Don't think he plans to. Sybase may be coming. Maybe IBM will be kind enough to port DB2. I don't think Apple will hit the high-end. Look for more of a mid-range "workgroup" server. Going high-end will put them into competition with the big boys and I don't think they are prepared to spend the kind of money those guys do on support etc.

I thought Oracle already announced that they're moving their client software to MacOS X? Are you referring to only their server apps?

Eirik

gjohns01
May 7, 2002, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by eirik


I thought Oracle already announced that they're moving their client software to MacOS X? Are you referring to only their server apps?

Eirik

Yeah the server apps. Their client apps are all Java.

peterjhill
May 8, 2002, 05:46 AM
Originally posted by gjohns01


Yeah the server apps. Their client apps are all Java.

Hurm, I was trying to see if Oracle Server was supported, but their website makes it hard to find out what platforms they support (at least for me). There is always mySQL and Filemaker. Of course Apple would push filemaker, but all the dbAdmins I work with use mySQL.

blakespot
May 8, 2002, 06:17 AM
Originally posted by gjohns01


I agree with everything except the power and Oracle part. That arse Ellison hasn't ported it to OS X. Don't think he plans to. Sybase may be coming. Maybe IBM will be kind enough to port DB2. I don't think Apple will hit the high-end. Look for more of a mid-range "workgroup" server. Going high-end will put them into competition with the big boys and I don't think they are prepared to spend the kind of money those guys do on support etc.
On the day job, we have been running three Cobalt Raq4 Linux racks (ColdFusion, Perl + MySQL) and have just moved to two Sun mid-level Solaris racks for webserving (ColdFusion), one quad-CPU Sun rack DB server (Oracle), and one low-end Sun rack for development (ColdFusion). I am an Apple not, obviously, and would be able to push Apple's racks for future purchases, but not unless ColdFusion and Oracle become available. I think many are in a similar boat (maybe not with CF and Oracle specifically, but with particular apps in general).

As for my specific case, CF has just been moved to a Server Side Java implementation, so a "port" to OS X should be quite simple and, I imagine, forthcoming. Oracle is another matter. Apple _really_ needs Oracle if it's going to get after the rack server market. I don't think it would be impossible to see a port come--but I'm not sure how likely it is. Fingers crossed.



blakespot

blakespot
May 8, 2002, 06:18 AM
Originally posted by MacAztec
Its about time Apple did this. I hope they have the Mobo that we saw on ebay...that would be awesome!
Rumor has it that it's a 1U rack (super slim). If so, then that is not the board that will be in it.


blakespot

kansaigaijin
May 9, 2002, 09:38 AM
is Larry Ellison still on Apple's board?

schalliol
May 9, 2002, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by kansaigaijin
is Larry Ellison still on Apple's board?
Yes he is, but he us up for re-election. Ellison attended less than 75% of the meetings, so I wonder if that will be a factor. Additionally, Steve's up for re-election:

A Election of Directors PLEASE REFER TO THE REVERSE SIDE FOR
INTERNET VOTING INSTRUCTIONS.
1. The Board of Directors recommends a vote FOR the
listed nominees.

For Withhold For Withhold

01--William V. o o 04--Steven P. Jobs o o
Campbell

02--Millard S. o o 05--Arthur D. Levinson o o
Drexler

03--Lawrence J. o o 06--Jerome B. York o o
Ellison