Where are the rackmountable PowerMacs?

Discussion in 'Hardware Rumors' started by pc_convert?, Apr 15, 2002.

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Do you think Apple should produce rack-mountable PowerMacs?

  1. Yes, there is a market for them.

    31 vote(s)
    88.6%
  2. No, the current PowerMac servers are fine.

    2 vote(s)
    5.7%
  3. Now isn't the right time.

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  4. I don't know.

    1 vote(s)
    2.9%
  1. pc_convert? macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Now that OSX is getting the attention it deserves, why hasn't apple released rack-mountable PowerMac servers.

    Surely only minor changes, such as angled DIMM slots, would have to be made to the motherboard design. The modified motherboard could even be used in standard PowerMacs.

    PowerPC's are less power hungry than their Intel/AMD counter parts, so this would seem to be an obvious advantage ( are there still brown outs in California? )

    Noise isn't a major issue in rack mount systems so apple could use active cooling, possibly allowing G4's to be clocked slightly higher??

    Maybe rack-mount systems are just around the corner, but if you think its a good idea i.e. you would have use for one or know people that would then go here.

    One more thing, I just though about the clustering possibilities...
    (need a smilie that can drool ;) )
     
  2. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    Location:
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    #2
    Memory height has very little to do with the rack mounting. The main reason that they would take up the 4U or so of height is the PCI slots. You would either have sacrifice them, or put them on a low height riser, or use a 90° adapter with them. It could also take more then a little re-engineering of the motherboard to make it all work properly.

    I would much rather see Apple make improvements on the desktop line then the server line. Who wouldn't love to see 333MHz DDR memory (PC2700) inside the towers?? Or even better... 400MHz (PC3100+) :D Top it off with G5 processors (single and dual to start, and maybe even quad later), PC133 hard drive controllers (enough to support four hard drives) and I think sales would rocket.

    Give the peecee market something to be afraid of. :D
     
  3. menoinjun macrumors 6502a

    menoinjun

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  4. eirik macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA
    #4
    blade servers dammit!!!

    Rack mountable is yesterday's news and fails to exploit Apple's strengths.

    If Apple decides to make a push into the server market beyond just the small/medium business and education market segments, it should do so with a blade concept, a bold blade concept.

    I read an article about Dell, HP, Sun, and IBM blade servers. I get the impression that these makers are just repacking their old rackmounted systems in smaller packeges resembling blades rather than truly break the server rack into its components. Maybe this is a way for Apple to truly differentiate.

    Okay, I am way out of touch with the server market. So, I may be way off here.

    In case I am not 'way off', I would like to see the blades contain no hard drives at all. Evidently, the blades from the makers above do. The rack itself would be some kind of a high-speed bus where administrators could easily define connectivity among all of the CPU blades and the SCSI blades. Also, there might be RAM blades offered as well. Clearly, the 'bus rack' would have to be awfully fast.

    Well, I hope this doesn't sound absurd.

    Eirik
     
  5. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #5
    eirik, blades are even less likely to happen with Apple then rackmountable servers (delivered from Apple that way). For nothing else then the fact that the other makers are using them. Apple has often been a design trend setter, not a follower. Just looks at the original iMac, iBook, PowerBook, G3 and then G4 towers, along with the latest versions of the iMac (G4), and both laptops. Why would they go and follow the peecee makers now?? Chances of that are less then a blizzard in Miami.
     
  6. eirik macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA
    #6
    Apple blade servers

    AlphaTech, I was just on my way to pull my blade server post but discovered that it had already been responded too.

    I realized that racks often contain components from other vendors. Apple doesn't have the market strength to establish a standard in racks that others would embrace. I don't see, Cisco emploing Apples rack specs just so the few apple customers can add a router to the rack.

    That said, I would be interested in a highly modular server much like I described. As I meant to state in the earlier post, I don't think it is yet time for apple to make a major push into this market. Apple is gaining mind share with unix folk. Maybe within the next 18 months, apple may have enough momentum to make a push.

    Eirik
     
  7. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #7
    eirik, I don't see Apple ever going into modular rack mounting servers. One of the wonderful things about Apple's servers is that they are highly portable. MUCH more then any peecee server that I have ever seen. If those are not rack mounted, then they are typically 1-1/2 to 2x (if not more) larger then their desktop/tower cousins.

    There are also options for the few people that actually want to rack mount their Mac servers to make them so. They range from simple replacements of the handles and feet to entire enclosures. If you opt for the enclosure, make sure that the case either has a redundant power supply, or that you transplant the one from the G4 server into the enclosure.

    If I was to get a Mac server, I would want to have it in the enclosure provided by Apple, load it up with either three or four more hard drives (use all 1/2 height form factor which will give you four on the base plate and one where a zip drive would go). I would use them off of an ATA133 RAID card, probably setting them up as stripped with parity (for data integrity). Then, if/when I needed additional space, I would get an external FireWire RAID solution (like a stack of 160GB VST full size/height drives) set up the same (in case one drive fails the RAID keeps all data. Of course, I would also get an archiving solution, which would be either FireWire or high speed SCSI (depending on which is available in a capacity to suit the needs) either 80MB/sec or 160MB/sec. All of that would take up rather little space. The external RAID system, would be roughly the same size as the tower, as would the tape system (depending on which you get). The problem with racks, is they have to be secured to the floor, get a power feed to them and then you need to have the space to place them. Oh yeah, have you priced out all the items to make a decent rack, provide it power and such??? There is a reason why only large corporations, or rich independants do this... $$$$
     
  8. ejm625 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    #8
    http://www.gvstore.com/apwor.html

    Presenting... the GVS 9000

    I ran accross this company when looking at Yellowdog linux. They make these rackmounts with the exact specs as the apple towers (although with only 1 gig of ram). I think they're cool, though much more expensive than the real thing. Probably could forget about tech support, apple may just hang up on you.

    It'd be nice to see a company develop a tower with convertable bays in it. I hate the way the Powermacs aren't expandable from the front side.
     
  9. pc_convert? thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    AlphaTech said,

    I take your point. But most 1u and 2u rackmounts don't have any expansion slots. PowerMacs already have ethernet built-in, the only design changes I think Apple would need to make are

    1) Larger total memory capacity (on a faster bus)
    2) Integrated graphics
    3) Possibly intgrated SCSI controllers

    Option 1 is bound to appear in PowerMacs soon.

    Intgrated graphics could appear, similar to integrated graphics in the iBooks and PowerBooks.

    An integrated SCSI controller wouldn't be that hard to add.

    I was definitely wrong about being able to use the same motherboard for rackmount and PowerMac.

    Not everyone needs portability, how often do you move a server? If you have lots of servers then space is an issue, being able to mount a PowerMac server in 1u compared to 4u (in its current case) is a big benefit. Not to mention the security aspects of having a server in large secure curbersome housing.

    The thing about rackmounts is they don't have to be pretty, they just have to be functional, a simple enclosure would do.

    If you check out the site I posted previously and read some of the comments, many people with lots of servers, don't just want rackmounts they need them.
     
  10. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #10
    pc_convert?, the main problem with integrating the items you describe is that it would dictate a motherboard redesign by Apple. While we might see this at some point down the line, I can't see it coming in the G4 server. Maybe a later revision of the G5 or G6.

    If enough people make the desire known to Apple, something will happen. The problem is, you have to tell them that you want/need it.
     
  11. pc_convert? thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    AlphaTech, I take your point about a motherboard redesign, but I can't see the G5 arriving before MWSF '03.

    I am *sure* that before this the current line of PowerMacs will receive a bus speed increase, so a motherboard re-design of some description will be necessary.

    As a compromise Apple could have 2 motherboards, one for standard PowerMacs in quicksilver casing. The other board could be used in both Server PowerMacs in quicksilver casing and rackmountable PowerMacs.

    I maybe wrong but I see no difference between PowerMacs and PowerMac Servers except the inclusion of bigger HD, more memory and obviously OSX Server. Do PowerMac servers even support ECC memory?

    In the PC world there is a much clearer distiniction between workstations (standard PowerMacs) and Servers, I think this is an area Apple needs to address in order to capture the intrest generated by OSX.
     
  12. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #12
    pc_convert?, again, I disagree.

    Oh, and Mac's don't utilize the ECC memory.

    I don't see Apple going the route you describe mainly because they got burned before with having too many different models. Remember all the different PowerMac systems??? 6100, 7100, 8100, 6200, etc, then the Performa line... wayyyyy too much/many.

    Another feature of the Mac servers is the redundant power supply (with indicator light on it). If one of them fails, you get an alert, and then can schedule to replace it with a new one. You get a power spike that goes past the UPS (assuming you have one on every server of course), then it only fries the one supply with the other taking over. Oh, and the two supplies are in one compact case, the size of the normal ones.

    I would also guess that the G5 motherboard design is already been finalized and is beginning production. I am not sure how Apple produces them, but I would imagine that they wouldn't be too inclined to re-tool either a plant, or part of one, just to produce a small section of their motherboards.

    It would be interesting to see actual sales numbers for the current lines that Apple is producing. We could see which are the top sellers and which are not.
     
  13. peterjhill macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    I work in a university, and have worked in a High School. Both places have OS X servers. They may be nice if you have only a few servers, but even the high school now has something like 7 servers. 6 of them are Dells, and the one (that I bought) is an OSX server.

    The truth is, you need somewhere to put all these machines. The Apple servers are actually quite a pain in the ass when it comes to this. You can only fit one on a 19 inch rack shelf. Then you cant open the side door in most rack configurations.

    Dell has some beautiful rack mounted servers. They even have their own rack to go with them that is truly impressive. They have thought of everything, cable holders, so when you slide out the servers to access the insides that hold the cables and accordian out. Easy access to everything, hot swap anything that can. They even have an awesome kvd switch to go with it.

    If Apple would create a rack mounted server, they would find sufficent demand for the product. People are willing to pay more for a rack mounted server. Real Estate in the server room is at a minimum, and the truth is one OSX server takes up about a third of a rack. Meanwhile Dell is coming out with a product this summer that will allow you to put 6 servers into 3 rack units.Dell Rack Server

    OS X servers are in a great position for Web Servers. Is Steve still serious about WebObjects? If he is, people who will run it will not want to use all the space that the OSX servers take up.

    Sure you can buy kits to convert the Apple server into a rack mount machine, but real users want rails. They want to be able to pull the machine out while it is on and change out a bad powersupply.

    bring it on Apple, I am sure I will see some in my Server room if you do.
     
  14. peterjhill macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #14
    We are not asking for Apple to expand its product "blocks" any more than they are right now. Adding a new configuration to the Server "block" at http://store.apple.com for a rack mount machine would be great.

    It would not confuse ANYONE. They have iBooks that have 12" Screens and ones with 14" screens. They could have the Servers they have now, and ones that are rack mounted.

    Their best bet would be to have a team develop a server product from the ground up. Let them go steal technologies from the other groups working at Apple and put the best system together.

    They should do it right:
    Onboard video - It does not have to be gaming quality, but it should offer VGA, since many people use video switchers
    Console Port - Critical!! I want to be able to take my laptop, connect it to a serial port on the Server, and be able to get a shell prompt. You can do it on Linux, Solaris, and SGI, I want to do it on a Mac.
    1000baseT on the Motherboard - plus it should be able to do 802.1q trunking.
    10/100 Management Interface - I want to be able to have a separate network connection to manage the machine; CRITICAL!
    Lots of memory - how about 4 gigs of the fast ram it will take
    2 way multiprocessor with optional FIELD UPGRADABLE module to bring it to 4 way
    Oh yeah, put the processors on daughter cards, two per card. I don't want to have to invest 5,000 or more in a box that I can't slap a new processor in later. I should be able to use it for 3 years at least.
    Support - I want options, subcontract it out, that would be fine, I want to be able to choose from next business day or onsite in six hours, if I want to pay the premium.
    Lots of RAID support - yum disk space
    Tape backup options
    Fibre Channel support - can be a PCI card extra, some people might need it.

    Then get the Apple software weenies to start building interfaces that will allow a fairly techy person to run Sendmail for email. Lets see how well Apple software engineers can use Perl, lets see them Open Source their server software management features.

    Come on, show me the money...
    ;-)
     
  15. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #15
    peterjhill, you are talking about a TOTAL redesing of the current G4 motherboard. Not just a minor tweak, but a complete re-do.

    Critical for you, or in your mind, but to how many others???
    Console port
    10/100 Management Interface

    Already on the CURRENT systems...
    10/100/1000 Mb networking
    Airport support, you just plug the card in.
    Up to 1.5GB of RAM, isn't that enough for you??? What the hell are you doing with that thing???

    Would require a redesign of the motherboard...
    Onboard video
    4GB of RAM
    Quad processor support (what's the matter, dual GHz not enough for you??) This would require more of a redesign, and probably make you sacrifice most, if not all but one of your pci slots. You would also still need either a 2U or 3U enclosure for it, considering the fans and processor heat sinks that would be required to keep the operating temp reasonable.

    As for support... GET APPLECARE!!!! Read about it....

    RAID options, we already have external RAID options. Don't you bother looking for these??? There are BOTH FireWire AND SCSI RAID options that work on the Mac.

    Same thing with tape backup systems. I HAVE connected a DLT drive that holds 15 tapes at a time to a Blue and White G3 and used Retrospect to backup to it. More and more tape systems are coming out all the time.

    Fiber channel blows... You WILL have issues, unless your ENTIRE system is fiber. If you decide to use ANY SCSI devises in the server array (attached to that cpu) you are going to have issues. Mainly with loosing resource forks when you archive.

    Keep drawing on that pipe, maybe when you come out of the haze, you will realize how long it would be before Apple does that to a server.

    Oh yeah, and do you know how long it would take Apple to redesign the motherboard??? Never mind the testing to make sure it won't crap out at a critical time.

    A more practical solution would be to take the current G4 server, put it into a 4U rack mount enclosure. Then get rack mounted RAID arrays to connect to it. You could go either SCSI OR Firewire for that, adding cards as you need to. Get a tape system to archive the RAID (whatever size is needed) from whoever you happen to prefer.

    Getting all that you want from Apple is going to jack the price up, which you would probably piss and moan about... They give you all the 'critical' features that you think you need, and then you can't afford the server (or the company you work for denies you the funds).
     
  16. wrylachlan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    #16
    Another Idea

    I posted this on another forum but didn't get much response. What do y'all think?

    Netbooting cluster
    Here's a whacky idea:
    So we know that Apple is targetting high end video and CGI people. Most of these industries do their intensive computing in render-farms full of non-descript unix variant boxes. For them computing power per dollar in a small form factor is the most important thing.

    My idea is this: use net-boot to make many of the cost factors in render-boxes unneccessary. With a rackmounted mac hard-coded in the bios to automatically net-boot you wouldn't need a graphics card, or even a pci bus. For that matter you wouldn't really need a hard drive or keyboard or mouse or any other ports of any kind. Just the motherboard with RAM and an on-board gigabit ethernet chip.

    These would be cheap to make, dirt cheap, and would provide serious muscle for rendering. Hook them up to a server from which they would net-boot that had a ton of Hard Drive space and voila, an expandable cheap rendering solution leveraging net-boot, a Mac only technology.

    And taking it a step further, Beowulf clusters are screaming for a technology like this. Current beowulf clusters use computers that each have a hard drive, PCI, etc, all things that are totally unneccessary for a beowulf cluster. If this "Thin Mac" had maybe three gigabit ethernet connections it could make a blisteringly fast and cheap beowulf cluster and every University in the world would be buying these things.

    My $0.02

    In response to people on this thread talking about the size of the servers, granted this idea would require at least one tower to house the hard drive space, but every server after that first one would be tiny.
     
  17. peterjhill macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #17
    you must live in your own world, where if something is not important to you, it must not be important to anyone. Do you have any experience in the market that uses rack mounted servers?

    Yes I want Apple to completely redesign their server (didn't I explictly say that?) They can keep the current design for the low end server market. There is still a market for their current design. If they want to expand into Universities and Corporations, then they will need rack mounted servers.

    As for some of your other comments, like Airport, what good will that do in a market that wants a rackmounted server? That market will use dedicated access points. Also 802.11 is INSECURE! I would not manage a server over a wireless network. With a gig ethernet port, wireless would be plain silly.

    Console ports, critical. Most IT professionals use laptops, or have laptops. It would be trivial to add to the machine, and the benefits would be great. (do you know what a console port is?)

    Separate management interfaces allow for greater security. You can use access lists on routers to control who can access the management interface. Apple would also have to allow the managers to bind the management interface to one network interface, alternatively, the managers could block access to the tcp ports that the management interface uses on the router that the gig interface is connected.

    Quad processors, why not? Say I am Pixar and I want to have a rendering farm for my next movie. I will want lots of power. AlphaTech, you are thinking way to small.

    AppleCare, know about it, I've read about, have you? I just checked out the web site, there are no guarentees for next business day service, let alone same day onsite service. Here is a little story... We have a Cisco Access Server, a 2U box that has a bunch of t-1s coming in and supports over 100 dialup users. We had a problem with one at 3 am on a saturday night, called up Cisco, and had a replacement delievered at 6 am, three hours later. We pay alot of money for that support, but it is worth it.

    I want the same thing from Apple. I don't think that they should do it themselves, use the current support structure they have, but offer premium support for customers who need it. People who need servers want them up as much as possible.

    My original OSX server had some harddrive problems that took Apple three weeks to fix (I had AppleCare), that won't cut it in the real world.

    Hey, these may be pipe dreams, but I won't be surprised when Apple continues to be a niche player in the server market, which is sad since many Linux/*nix users are growing to love Mac OSX. Sure it is the largest player in the consumer *nix market, but it won't compete in the server market if Apple won't play.
     
  18. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #18
    Re: Another Idea

    Is it just me, or does anyone else see giant holes in that logic???

    How are you going to show what you are doing on the screen??? With no video card, your screen won't show much (black actually). How are you going to control anything without a keyboard and mouse??? telekinetics?? telemechanics??? get real. Better get ready to shell out gobs of $$ on the network storage devices, since you don't have a drive on your desk.

    How about a processor, since you are calling for "Just the motherboard with RAM and an on-board gigabit ethernet chip"?????? No ports of any kind??? get real.

    Put down the ganja and get some air...
     
  19. peterjhill macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #19
    Re: Re: Another Idea

    Umm... have you heard of ssh? or even cooler ssh port forwarding? I am not saying that I agree with the original poster, but I do see their point. It is a market with few customers, although each customer may buy 100-500 "thin" machines.

    For beowulf clusters or render farms, processing power is where it is at. They do not need huge harddrives, just good network access and lots of memory (oh yeah, and a processor ;-)

    AlphaTech, what are your qualifications here? You are good at flaming people, but I am sorry, your flames are nothing but hot air.
     
  20. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
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    Natick, MA
    #20
    If people want to go with an OS X server, they will. If not, then they won't. It's that simple. If it doesn't have what you want, go and get something that does. That is part of the market system, company A has something that person/company X wants, so person/company X purchases company A's product. If not, then go look at company B.

    I don't even pretend to tell Apple what to do for servers, or desktops, or even laptops for that matter. I put in realistic wishes (speed bumps or improvements in the tech already in place) and wait and see what comes out. Unless you call/mail/email Apple with your desires, they won't know that there is any wish for it. Instead of slamming people in here, or putting up ridiculous postings/wishes, contact the maker and see if anything happens. Who knows, they might even have something along those lines in the works, but UNLESS YOU ASK, YOU WILL HAVE TO WAIT TO FIND OUT.

    end of rant :p
     
  21. wrylachlan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    #21
    In Response To Alpha-Tech

    Is it just me, or does anyone else see giant holes in that logic???

    How are you going to show what you are doing on the screen??? With no video card, your screen won't show much (black actually).
    B]Render farms don't use monitors for each server, in fact most servers don't. They are accessed remotely via ethernet through a computer that does have a monitor[/B]

    How are you going to control anything without a keyboard and mouse??? telekinetics?? telemechanics??? get real.
    see above reply, controlled via ethernet by another computer

    Better get ready to shell out gobs of $$ on the network storage devices, since you don't have a drive on your desk.
    The render farms and universities and government sites a device like this would target already use network storage almost exclusively.

    How about a processor, since you are calling for "Just the motherboard with RAM and an on-board gigabit ethernet chip"??????
    You got me there. I did not specifically state that there would be a processor. I thought that was obvious, but evidently not

    No ports of any kind??? get real.
    See above, any input and output to the server would be done over ethernet. When was the last time a technician had to go into a server room with two hundred servers, find the server he wanted and hook up his digital camera to it so that it could serve the pictures to the web? Never. He does that from the workstation on his desk and transfers them via ethernet to the server.

    Put down the ganja and get some air.
    Ah yes, informed discussion of ideas. Lovely
     
  22. wrylachlan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    #22
    one more thing

    And one more thing about my 'Thin Mac' idea. Unlike a rackmountable full server, the Thin Mac would canibalize 0% of current tower sales. They represent a market that apple is not directly in, but that fits in nicely with their Unix/Video strategy going forward. In fact it would create tower sales since the "Thin Macs" require a Mac tower to boot and access them, whereas current render farms and beowulf clusters use high end linux or other unix variant boxes to access the serveres.
     
  23. Pants macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2001
    #23
    aplha, you really have come out witha load of guff in the guise of second rate flames today.. :rolleyes:

    The initial post was about rackmountable macs, not servers or osX server. Just because, in your world, rack mounts and servers are synonymous doesnt mean they are to everyone. osX is a godsend to academic and scientific users, however, the main thing holding it back is lack of hardware, or more specifically, if we want a 32 box cluster, we have to justify the real-estate. This, in turn,adds to the price. Secondly, no, we dont need 32 gf4mxs, and we sure as hell dont want to pay for them.

    heres an idea, rather than telling people to 'stop smoking crack', howsabout you stop talking out of it? ;)
     
  24. peterjhill macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #24
    Wireless:
    http://www.apple.com/airport/

    This is based on a shared key. There is work on more secure wireless standards, but as someone who works somewhere where we have over 2million sq feet of wireless coverage, it is hard to trust a key of any size, when 5000 people have a copy of the key.

    Console Ports:
    The IBM server does have one, it is called a "Serial Port" Under linux, solaris, and sgi, you connect up your laptop with a serial cable to the serial port with the right settings and you can get access to a shell, which is helpful when you are in a hurry, and the network has crapped out. The ENTIRE idea of a console port is to have access to a machine when the network connection is down! hello!

    Server Functions:
    Guess what, some places have more than one server. Some places have a print server, for all their printers, then they have file servers, for network file storage, then they have web servers for, guess what, serving web pages. Apple has the ability to run mySQL, sendmail, apache, and bind, everything a large network needs for server apps. The Operating System, OSX, is ready to go. It may turn out that more sites use Darwin on x86 than OS X server on ppc, because they will be able put the muscle in the right amount of space.

    People who run beowulf clusters or render farms don't run print servers on the same boxes!!!

    Every windows machine in my department has onsite next day service. Honestly, they need it, I have had the techs come 5 times for the Dell laptop that I inherited. I call Dell, they contract with unisys, or some other company, the tech is here the next day with the parts in hand, and they fix the problem. It might cost $900 per year for a server, but the majority of companies out there (maybe not yours) would gladly pay that much, so that their equipment has the maximum uptime. Apple can figure out how much to charge for onsite, NBD service so that they would be able to pay the local service techs (with which they would have a contract with) to insure that they could get a tech somewhere withing 24 hours. That is how business works

    If Apple wants to compete in the server market they will need to do more than they are now. Right now their product pretty much exists for schools that want to do net boot or for people who will buy them just because they are Macs (which is why I bought one). I want to support Apple, I see the OS nearing production server quaility, but not the hardware, sorry.
     
  25. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #25
    Actually Pants, the initial post that created all of this stated "why hasn't apple released rack-mountable PowerMac servers."

    I guess you missed that from the first line of pc_convert?'s post.

    Also, you CAN rack mount a G4 system (as well as many other older Mac's) if you invest in the hardware to do so. There are already several options available to do this, from simply new feet/handles to entire enclosures. They use about 4U on a rack.

    As for thin-Mac's.... Maybe (HUGE maybe) some companies will see that as a viable solution. I severely doubt that any company with a modern infrastructor (100Mb networking to client systems) would take away the desktop systems people have been using them and replace them with thinnet clients. It MIGHT be ok for word processing and data entry, but not any hard-core usage. Get enough people on that network and you will bog it down. It would be even worse then just accessing a server for file sharing, since your applications will also reside on the server. Sending the input through the network line is also going to tax the network. The only real way to get around that would to get everyone up to Gigabit networking. Price out converting a site from 10/100 Mb to 1000 Mb networking... It won't be cheap.

    People are too used to having their own workstation on their desk with the freedom to do what they want to it. Even simple things wouldn't be easy any longer, like installing your own screen saver. Imagine how much flack you would catch if you attempted that and you brought down the server... Also, when your server goes down that everything resides on, what are you going to do?? You won't be able to do any work, since all of your files and applications are on the server. Unless you are independant of the power grid, you are vulnerable to outages.

    I bet there is a good reason why Apple isn't involved in the 'thin Mac' idea...

    As for the gf4mx card that you say is inside the G4 servers... it's not.. they are using the Radeon 7500 (check the site). You can also BTO the G4 tower (non-server) to the same card, OR you could simply yank it and sell the thing. IF you can get a cluster to work without some kind of video card, I would like to see it.

    You could also get KVM boxes and tie it into all the systems that you have, and use just one monitor, keyboard and mouse. THAT way, you can check on each system, for when one goes down, or needs some maintenance/work done on it.

    Opinions are like a$$holes, everyone has one, but you don't have to like anyone else's. I have simply been pointing out what I see as flaws in the plan.

    IF you can get it to work as you want, then market the idea to Apple. Maybe you will get lucky and they will either consider it, or impliment it. Then again, they could laugh you out of the building. Unless you ask, you will never know.
     

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