XServe noob question

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by JD92, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2005
    I don't actually want an XServe or anything, but I was just curious, whats the difference between a PowerMac and an XServe?

  2. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2005
    thanx for the links

    I knew that XServe was for servers and PowerMac was a desktop, but I keep hearin about stuff like people switchin to Mac and puttin Linux on there PCs and usin them as servers, so why cant ya just use a PowerMac as a server?

  4. macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Jun 26, 2004
    I live in a giant bucket!
    You can use a Powermac as a server. Xserves are mostly for clustering and such, heavy duty work. There similar but they are entirely different animals.
  5. macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    the definition of a server is a software application that does some task for another piece of software called a client. for example, apache webserver which is installed by default on OS X and the "serves" web pages to safari,mozilla,ie, and other "clients". in other words, any piece of hardware that runs a server application can be called a "server", but it is really the software that is doing the serving. so in your example, with a Powermac, if someone were to enable personal web sharing (apache) the powermac would be a server. so my powerbook running personal web sharing, ssh, ftp, etc would become a server.

    what makes Xserve different from a standard Mac though is the fact that there is no video card. it is made to sit in a "rack" along with other servers and rack mountable devices like routers, switches, etc. to access Xserve you must use a "client" to remotely access Xserve.

    You could also, install OS X server on a PM and it would accomplish the same thing, but the Xserve is designed specifically for operation where they need more than one server in a small space.
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2005
    ahhh right, i see wot you mean now

    Thanks :)
  7. macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Actually, you can get an XServer with a video card if you want--I have one here at work.

    There are TWO conceptual differences between an XServe and a PowerMac. One is the rackmount enclosure, which makes it easier to put a bunch of them in a small space and still get to the parts--you can slide the whole thing out like a tray and get to all the guts without even removing a screw or unplugging anything from the back.

    The other difference is just as important: It's built beefier, and to be used as a server. This, for example, includes using ECC RAM, which is more expensive but will correct minor random errors (I've seen such corrections logged, in fact) to prevent crashes; having three front-mounted, hot-swappable hard drive bays so you can swap out a failed drive from a mirrored RAID array without even shutting down; having a modular design so that you can replace any failed part yourself without even taking it out of the rack (Apple even sells complete parts kits); dual Ethernet interfaces for network bridging or other such applications; an old-school PC-style serial port so you can access it from a terminal or terminal emulator; plus, at least in theory, beefier components so that it'll be happy running 24X7.

    It's got a lot of features even power users wouldn't use (though I wish the PMs had ECC RAM), but that are vital for a server.

Share This Page