Rackmount Servers: May 14th

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by arn, May 6, 2002.

  1. arn
    macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    #1
    In a very non-Apple move, Jobs revealed today that they would be releasing rack-mounted servers next week.

    This eWeek 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 available is from November, 2001... which also provided the most details: claiming a 1U rack-mounted Mac starting at $899.

    More recent rumors, 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 might hint at the future specs...
     
  2. macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Faceplate?

    Did SJ actually show the faceplate of the new server? Did he show enough of it to determine its size?
     
  3. sjs
    macrumors 6502

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    #3
    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.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

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    #4
    yet another OS?? are the big enough to support it? or is that why they have BeOS guys there
     
  5. macrumors member

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    Spring Hill, TN
    #5
    The Market ...

    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
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #6
    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!
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    G4scott

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #7
    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...
     
  8. macrumors member

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    EGV, IL
    #8
    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...
     
  9. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    #10
    Time to target business.

    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?
     
  11. macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #11
    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.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    #12
    you're kidding right?

    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.
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #13
    Re: you're kidding right?

    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:
     
  14. macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #14
    Re: Re: you're kidding right?

    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.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

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    CA
    #15
    ofcourse, u cant beat IBM's price

    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
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    #16
  17. arn
    thread starter macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

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    #17
    Re: you're kidding right?

    Url? Image?

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

    arn
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA
    #18
    Pro Line & Rackmount Servers

    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...
     
  19. Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #20
    i wonder

    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.
     
  21. Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    #21
    Re: i wonder

    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.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #22
    Re: Re: i wonder

    i agree they wouldn't cobble but it sure seems like a scramble. only time will tell....:confused:
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2001
    #23
    G5 vs. G4 chips

    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.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2001
    #24
    rackmount...

    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...
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

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    #25
    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.
     

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