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Old Oct 14, 2003, 04:47 PM   #1
machan
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Who here uses an XServe? What for? Are they newbie proof?

Just curious what people are using it for and what sort of purposes.

I work at a printing company and the people who sell us our Rampage hardware are trying to cram Dell at us, even though their system supposedly works with XServes (they are just woefully undertested, apparently). So, I'm just making the rounds to learn as much as I can about how hard would it be for a newbie to setup and maintain an XServe. Thanks for any replies and info in advance!
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 04:59 PM   #2
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try looking threw support.apple.com they will probably have some good information, if nobody here does.


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Old Oct 14, 2003, 05:26 PM   #3
Les Kern
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I have several XServes, and an XServe RAID. There will never be another WIN box here. X-boxes are easier than simple to set up, have great remote tools, and most importantly they just keep running. The price point is extraordinary compared to it's PC cousins. All this data is available on the net from various independant sources. Do a Google.
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 06:16 PM   #4
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1 lonely Xserve in a 24U rack here...it's waiting for some friends.

I love it, and as my first experience with a rackmount server, it's been a blast. I set it up a while ago and haven't had to do anything to it for a while.

It just works.
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 07:46 PM   #5
5300cs
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Smile

I got an Xserve a few months back in Tokyo for a steal. It's an EXCELLENT machine, and ridiculously easy to setup. The monitoring tools are excellent. My only complaint is the noise, but I have the very first model (1Ghz G4 x1) and I don't have an enclosure for it.

I didn't really plan to buy one, I was just wandering around in a store in Tokyo and there were 4 Xserves lying around for sale. I'd never seen one before (and thought I wouldn't again) so I snapped one up. It only cost me $1000.

The newer ones are supposed to be quieter, but mine sounds like a vacuum cleaner running 24/7.

Bonus- it's got cool flashing lights on it.
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 09:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rower_CPU
1 lonely Xserve in a 24U rack here...it's waiting for some friends.

I love it, and as my first experience with a rackmount server, it's been a blast. I set it up a while ago and haven't had to do anything to it for a while.

It just works.
is that for home or for work?

If so, where do you work, Rower?
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 09:59 PM   #7
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Home would be awesome, but it's at work, on campus in the lab.

http://larcnet.sdsu.edu
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 12:16 AM   #8
5300cs
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Quote:
Originally posted by G5orbust
is that for home or for work?
Mine's at home
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 12:18 AM   #9
G5orbust
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Originally posted by Rower_CPU
Home would be awesome, but it's at work, on campus in the lab.

http://larcnet.sdsu.edu
ooo... looks pretty cool. I know a ton of people who go to SDSU and both my parents are alums.

Too bad Im not a college student, or else Id come visit you in the lab!

Are you a professor? grad student? lab technician?
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 12:30 AM   #10
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Originally posted by G5orbust
ooo... looks pretty cool. I know a ton of people who go to SDSU and both my parents are alums.

Too bad Im not a college student, or else Id come visit you in the lab!

Are you a professor? grad student? lab technician?
Lab technician and grad student.

It's a pretty good school...or at least among the biggest (2nd in CA to UCLA in enrollment, from what I hear).


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Old Oct 15, 2003, 12:55 AM   #11
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At home...wow, that'd be sweet...I'd love to be able to open my closet to show everyone a rack of XServes and just mention in passing "Oh yeah, that is my computer cluster for, you know, emailing, web surfing, word processing...stuff like that."
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 02:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Powerbook G5
"Oh yeah, that is my computer cluster for, you know, emailing, web surfing, word processing...stuff like that."
Greedy bastard.

Oh, who am I kidding... I feel the same way.

I want one (or ten)!
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 02:26 AM   #13
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Originally posted by Powerbook G5
At home...wow, that'd be sweet...I'd love to be able to open my closet to show everyone a rack of XServes and just mention in passing "Oh yeah, that is my computer cluster for, you know, emailing, web surfing, word processing...stuff like that."
hah, I would want to do that, but then my dumb PC friends would be like "yeah, its cool... but does it run counter strike?"
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 02:31 AM   #14
5300cs
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Originally posted by Powerbook G5
At home...wow, that'd be sweet...I'd love to be able to open my closet to show everyone a rack of XServes and just mention in passing "Oh yeah, that is my computer cluster for, you know, emailing, web surfing, word processing...stuff like that."
When I first got it, I didn't really pay attention to how loud it was and my wife had a fit. I, personally, don't mind the sound of a whining server around me (I could sleep in a server room) but my significant other won in the end. What I did was get an AV cabinet and prop the Xserve up in it at a 45degree angle. I then stuffed it with a lot of cushions, etc to dampen the sound. I monitor the temperature through Server Monitor (a GREAT program!)

I wanted to get 3 of them (at a $1000 a pop, how can you go wrong?) but again my wife almost killed me.

Althought it IS really cool having one at home, most pc people are like "uhh, what does it do?" and I don't know enough Mac people to be able to show it off. And try explaining what a rack-mount server is to a non-computer person.

Rower_CPU > Guilty as charged
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 08:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by G5orbust
hah, I would want to do that, but then my dumb PC friends would be like "yeah, its cool... but does it run counter strike?"
then you tell them - of course it does. Just let me fire up my other operating system in virtual pc and awa y we go.

hmmmm:
12x2x1.33Ghz = 31.92Ghz
31.92Ghz / 4 = 7.98Ghz

This would run VPC + Win2K + CS at aproximately ****-FAST SPEEDS
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 07:25 PM   #16
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then you tell them - of course it does. Just let me fire up my other operating system in virtual pc and awa y we go.

hmmmm:
12x2x1.33Ghz = 31.92Ghz
31.92Ghz / 4 = 7.98Ghz

This would run VPC + Win2K + CS at aproximately ****-FAST SPEEDS
stupid PC people... seriously, they think theyre so cool sometimes because they have games. But, look at the mac selection now. We really arent lagging behind anything, excep for some older games like Half Life that no one ever got around to porting.

People say PCs are faster than macs, but the average PC user doesnt use the top of the line, 3.x GHz Intel Pentium... nor do most have anything close to the top of the line vid card. Id like to see some of my friend's PCs that are "tricked out" and are "better than any stinking G5 any day" beat out my friend's dualie with 1 GB of RAM and a radeon 9800 pro.

Most mac users dont run top of the line, either, but with what we pay for our equipment, no current macs "suck". I mean, come on! Our lowest end laptop has dedicated graphics! 999$US ad you get more graphics juice than 75% of the windows laptops out there...


Anyways, sorry to thread hijack for a bit. Back on topic.

The Xserve, tob answer your question, if definitely not newbie proof. While all macs have a certain "idiot proofing" built into the OS and hardware, you should have a moderate to expert knowledge of Apple hardware before you jump to buy an xserve. But, on the other hand, as long as you have some kind of knowledge as to how to use a mac proficiently, you could probably run it without any problems.

[Side note] My test is that if someone can show me how to enable root user on a mac, then they are knowledgable enough to use one well. But, of course, thats just me. [/side note]

Bottom line: An xserve is just like any other mac, just it is server oriented instead of desktop/laptop oriented.

Suggestion: If you can do it, buy a G5. A dualie 2 costs just as much as a single xserve and will give you much more of a boost as far as power goes (1.33GHz G4 x1 and 2.0GHz G5x2....think about it).
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 08:12 PM   #17
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we have one at work and it is our file, web, filemaker, and mail server. just sits there and cranks away.

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Old Oct 15, 2003, 09:04 PM   #18
5300cs
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Originally posted by G5orbust
...Suggestion: If you can do it, buy a G5. A dualie 2 costs just as much as a single xserve and will give you much more of a boost as far as power goes (1.33GHz G4 x1 and 2.0GHz G5x2....think about it).
Yeah, I know, huh? Come on Apple, put the G5 in the Xserves already!!

Still, even with the G4, it's just dead sexy. Seems a shame to put away in a room somewhere.

If anyone sees an Xserve RAID going cheap, let me know. I'd love to add to my collection
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 09:13 PM   #19
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5300cs - You should be able to replace the fan in the Xserve with a quieter model from parts you can find from computer stores in most major cities in Japan. I saw a couple of models there that even included built in temperature sensitive controls that help reduce noise further. However, if the power supply is the major culprit an upgrade could be expensive.

Maybe somebody will decide it's still worth their time to port some older games over. Actually, Counterstrike and Half Life could be ported together since they share a great deal of code. I'd love to play all kinds of old games on my Mac. Especially once I get a G5 cluster up and running... Nah. Probably better to just invite friends over and use them for network gaming.

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Old Oct 16, 2003, 01:43 AM   #20
5300cs
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Thanks for the tip. I haven't even opened it yet (as in take it apart) but I was told by a friend (a linux/BSD geek) that in a server, the blowers usually make the most amount of noise. At all the stores I've been to here, the sales people get all nervous when I ask them anything about Xserves- and they usually know nothing about them.

If you know some stores in particular that have mods, etc. please let me know- Thanks!!
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Old Oct 16, 2003, 12:01 PM   #21
machan
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Thanks for all the replies everyone.

I'm also wondering how nice Xserves play with Windows2000 and Windows XP Professional....those are the other 2 operating systems we need to use with our Rampage setup for imaging film.

And in relation, is there any benefit to use OS X Server vs. normal OS X for simple file sharing in a small office situation (less than 10 users)? I wouldn't think so, but I'm just curious.

Thanks!
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