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View Full Version : Help: Require Reasons for choosing OS X


Enigma
May 20, 2004, 06:36 AM
First of all, thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me. This is my first post in MacRumors, so I apologise that it's a request for help, and sorry if this is the wrong forum for it.

I am doing a PhD at the moment here in the UK, and I have just got a research contract from a large utility company here in the UK to develop a system for storing a large quantity of data. I can't go in to details of the system or company exactly for confidentiality reasons, but it will involve the instantiation of potentially hundreds of thousands of Java objects and access to these objects for interrogation/modification concurrently from multiple users. It will run as a WebApp, using Apache, Tomcat etc. I know roughly how it's going to be done, so that's not the problem.

As part of this reasearch contract, I've got an IT budget of close to 3k, which with the Apple HE discount is enough for a nice Dual G5 desktop, OSX Server (10-client version for development), about 2 GB of RAM and a nice 20" LCD to go along with it all. The problem is, my academic supervisor isn't the most clued up when it comes to IT purchases, and is very sceptical of anything other than Windows based PCs (generally Dells).

I need some arguments to help convince him that a Powermac is justified, because I can see him arguing that I should get a Dell desktop with a 15" LCD, maybe he'll push to 1Gb of RAM, and then spend the rest on some awful Dell laptop for me, and 5 base model Dells for other people in our research group. I'm planning to buy one of the new 15" Powerbooks in the next month or two for myself, so I've no interest in a laptop from the department as well.

My current arguments are:

1. This will be an internet-facing web server, and OSX and Apache are more secure than a Windows IIS (or even Apache) based machine
2. OSX has Java support built in, and Java runs better on a Unix machine than Windows machine (heavy and light threads I believe?)
3. With OSX Server the software is from Apple and so does not rely on me installing and configuring Apache, Tomcat, MySQL (as it would with a Windows machine) [this is because my boss is wary of any software without a support contract]
4. Our University MS site license covers Office for the Mac, so that, along with Apple Software Updates provides as much support as there is on Windows machines
5. Much of our department's software development takes place on Macs so once I leave people will fight for it, rather than it sitting going unused [which I suspect he'll argue]
6. The Mac is capable of inter-operating with our existing department NT Domain for file/print sharing
7. The software could be deployed on an XServe upon completion, which can have up to 16GB of RAM, and would provide a black box system a company could cheaply install in a server rack.
8. I wouldn't have to worry about every stupid Windows virus that appears on the net
9. OSX is based on Unix, so availability of Unix shell tools, and access to a lot of Open Source software
10. Although desktop is a more expensive machine, no need to purchase any expensive software (like Windows Server 2003), so lower overall cost of ownership.
11. Worst case scenario, anything I develop on the Mac could easily be moved over to Apache/Tomcat on Windows if the company don't want to use OSX

I should point out I don't own a Mac at the moment, I'm just saving up for a powerbook so I can convert myself over, I'm just sick of Windows.

If anyone else can provide me with some great arguments to use I'd be very grateful.

Cheers

Alan

varmit
May 20, 2004, 11:24 AM
Netcraft can back you up with this with their quote that OS X was the least cracked into for your #1.

1. Xserve RAID - Storage, and its from Apple and will work flawlessly with an Apple server. And they can be managed better from a Mac Server than a Dell. http://www.apple.com/xserve/raid/ Send your superior there.

2. Lower TCO since you wont need to fix it, or check on it as offen as a regular PC server.

3. The Apache web server, the JBoss application server, Tomcat, Apache Axis, and MySQL 4 are built-in.

And the Xserves are so easy to work with, and give not problems.

gbojim
May 20, 2004, 12:51 PM
Looks like you have a pretty decent list. Here are a couple of other things to think about:

Point 3 - Maybe consider going with a database such as Openbase instead of MySQL. It is inexpensive, works well and the support is excellent. Also, consider developing your project using WebObjects. That will give you a fully supported environment.

Point 7 - If you are looking to deploy this at various companies at some time, look into those target company policies re web based apps. I don't know about this in UK, but in North America, many companies will not deploy a web app running under a Windows OS because of security concerns.

Sparky's
May 21, 2004, 09:58 PM
After having been to many Apple seminars and speaking to "tech" reps and engineers from Apple, I have found them to be most helpful and willing to answer questions. My personal experience would support this to the fact that when my business was finally migrating to OS X a local Apple representative made herself available to me and was instrumental in helping us perform this upgrade with out loosing production time at all. My bottom line suggestion would be to contact apple directly or seek a local representative in your area and plead your case. ;)

Enigma
May 24, 2004, 08:38 AM
After having been to many Apple seminars and speaking to "tech" reps and engineers from Apple, I have found them to be most helpful and willing to answer questions. My personal experience would support this to the fact that when my business was finally migrating to OS X a local Apple representative made herself available to me and was instrumental in helping us perform this upgrade with out loosing production time at all. My bottom line suggestion would be to contact apple directly or seek a local representative in your area and plead your case. ;)

That's quite interesting, I had considered speaking to Apple directly, there's scope for some minor publicity for Apple since they will be mentioned in journal papers that detail the system, and there is the potential for the project to expand into a serious piece of commercial software. Then again, it's not exactly Virginia Tech :) I guess there'd be no harm in an email to them.

Thanks to everyone that's replied, I think I'm going to have a bit of challenge to try and convince our IT people and the man in charge of the purse strings to move away from Window, but I can try.

Thanks again

Alan