OS X Server on Pro: Pros & Cons

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Sesshi, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #1
    Either before then upgrading to - or after Leopard, I'm not sure but I am definitely going to give OS X Server a go. I probably won't put it in the production environment (in which case I'll definitely be going with the XServe) to begin with. I notice you can install OS X Server on the Pro as well as the XServe. What are the pros and cons of sticking the software on a Pro compared to the XServe? Any 'gotchas'?

    There are the obvious ones of course, I know the Pro will be quieter than the XServe and where it's probably going to be put, that'll be highly desirable. But how noisy is the XServe in real life in comparison?

    I'm looking at it from the point of view of having a machine that can be re-used as a full-fledged workstation when (or if) everything switches to a production environment - which is a definite benefit, especially if I decide to abandon the process.

    I'm not looking to extend this particular setup beyond two servers at most - the environment won't be subject to a SAN or anything like that and big-time storage won't be involved at this time. It'll just be used by me to locally play about with and a couple of my colleagues to remotely access to test out various things.

    Or in this case, is it even possible to put XServe on 'disposable' hardware such as the iMac?

    Any advice? Thanks.
     
  2. Flyinace2000 macrumors 6502a

    Flyinace2000

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    #2
    I work at a school district and at each elementary school we have three Powermac G5's runnign OSX Server. One handles DHCP and the other two handle workgroup manager among other things.
     
  3. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

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    #3
    LOL.
     
  4. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #4
    *resists temptation for pithy comment*

    Anyone else?
     
  5. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

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    #5
    I'll bite.

    OS X Server isn't much different from client. It's allowed to boot headless, for instance. But otherwise, there's not much difference between the two. You noticed that you can install OS X Server on a Mac Pro -- true. You can install it on an iMac or Mac mini, even, or an old iBook. It's not "industrial" where client is "consumer" or anything like that.
     
  6. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #6
    Excellent. No gotchas at all with sticking it on an iMac for example? I'll probably go for a Pro but it's good to have options for doing it cheaper.
     
  7. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

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    #7
    Aside from the comparatively-limited max RAM, none that I know of. It's been a while, but I think that all of the tools are merely Aqua interfaces to configure UNIX-y CLI daemons and such. And these tools are good too (imho), lest ye doubt Apple.
     
  8. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #8
    The old G4 models were the really horrible ones, they improved later on. I haven't seen an Intel-based one in person yet, but here's a review with some measurements.

    Yeah, it can even run on a mini, with a couple limitations: Server Monitor is only for Xserve hardware; failover features need Xserve or a pro Mac. But everything needed to kick the tires is there on even the wimpy boxes.
     
  9. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Wow overkill....... :D
     
  10. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #10
    I can imagine some apps like Photobooth not working....

    But I use Mac OS X Server alot, and yes, you can use it as a client machine very well too.
    Usually the same "build" Mac OS X Server as Client requires the same hardware. So, putting Mac OS X Server Tiger on a B&W G3 (with enough RAM) is no problem at all.

    Go for it. It's gr8! :cool:
     
  11. shellbryson macrumors 6502

    shellbryson

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    #11
    Isn't... uh... that total overkill? You could run a heavily loaded DHCP server on an old pentium class machine running Linux and never worry about it... cost about £150 rather than £1000!
     
  12. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #12
    Thanks for the linky. Eesh. Pro (or Mini?) it is I think. At this point in time I only need to test out whether what we're trying to do is feasible. Redundancy, SANs, uptime optimisation, etc will come in after I've decided we want to go this way and after I've got a VAR in to handle the commissioning process.

    Oh I generally don't doubt Apple's software (although I would raise issues with the 'more reliable' aspect) it's down to a lack of time for me to administer, the fact that the developers would rather write for the Mac, the other users would also like to be Mac based and a few other factors including my feeling on trying it that OS X Server is a nice piece of work which is making me not consider Windows Server for the use I have in mind. I only doubt Apple's hardware / support, which ranges from the pretty but operationally inferior to the downright laughable. In the case of the XServes if we go with it, the support will be the responsibility of a VAR - and we will also keep hot spares.
     
  13. Flyinace2000 macrumors 6502a

    Flyinace2000

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    #13
    Whoops, let me clarify. Our set ups in the Elementary schools are as follows

    2x Dual Core G5's for Workgroug Manager
    1x G4 PowerMac for DNS and DHCP (this machine runs 10.3 because apparently 10.4 has funky DNS)
     
  14. cynerjist macrumors regular

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    #14
    ...piling on.... lol :D
     
  15. cynerjist macrumors regular

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    #15
    Based on those two comments, I think you've made a great case for using the Mac Pro for this.
     
  16. timb macrumors regular

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    Jun 6, 2003
    #16
    Yea it should work fine. I run OS X Server on a old G4 PowerMac MDD here in the house. I have quite a few external drives connected to it and use it to serve files, intranet and a few other things.

    The only thing you would miss from not using an Intel Xserve is a couple of remote management features. (As I understand it, the Intel Xserves do remote reboot and console {you can reboot a hardlocked machine via IP}, you'd also have access to more information via the Server Monitor application such as fan speeds and temperatures.)
     
  17. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #17
    Yeah, so do I. I'll order a couple next week.
     
  18. toysblack macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2006
    #18
    XSERVE XEON with third party Hard drive

    Hi,

    I ordered a Xserve Xeon with 1 SAS for the boot and 2 80GB in bay 2&3 ( to het the apple drive module 0 , I was planning to upgrade with 2 500GB that I bought in my local computer store ( baracuda ES 500GB 16MB) so I replaced the 2 drives by those. and they cannot mount... the yellow light stays.
    I test them before on a mac pro, and they are working perfectly, but not in the Xserve.
    I notice that in the system profiler , they appear as SCSI (SAS) disks, not as SATA, probably because they are driven by the SAS controller.
    My question is... how to allow those disk to be online? is anybody have an idea ?
    thanks,

    Florian.
     
  19. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #19
    The most basic question is what controller are the SATA discs physically hooked up to?
     

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