Mac Rack?

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Nov 28, 2001.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001
    Mac OS claims to have info on an upcoming MaC:

    Coming to a 19" rack near you. Rumors are buzzing about a new Macintosh model, yes you heard correctly, for the rack. This new, 19", 1U chassis is set to blow ripples through co-location waves, with prices starting at $899. Compare this to other "low-end" 1U Intel based systems running Linux or Windows, at around $1299.
  2. Doraemon macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2001
    Europe (EU)
    Doubt it...

    I don't know. I rather doubt it. A couple of month ago I read an article at ThinkSecret saying something similar, that Apple is developing a rack-mount server, but I am sceptical.

    Why should Apple? I mean, Apple's server system were always (well, not quite. Network Server 500/700 were different) built for small businesses or networks. Only one time Apple released a large-scale server: Network Server 500 / 700 and both failed completely. I just don't see Apple trying it again.

    Why? I think on the Mac market there is no need for such machine and to compete with the major server manufacturers is rather risky...
  3. evildead macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2001
    WestCost, USA
    It could be..

    Aple did buy out that education software thing resently and the movemnt in the education sector to go centralzed computing is ganing momentum. An iBook on every desk, Mac rack mount server in the closit, Students could take online exams from any place in the school via air port. Its possible that Apple is moving in this direction. Mac's are also favorets for clustering. Many Universties have big Mac clusters for big number crunching. Aslo... with the popularity of large scale digital movie making growing... a Mac cluster running Maya... would really do the job. Shrek was made with Maya on a Linux cluster of 2U servers. OS X is built on UNIX. A great envionment for small, to large scale servers and clustered systems. Also... Apple has been kicked out of the IT world (in busnes). Real servers could help them to get some space in that sector. An OS X server should beable to serve up files, applications, print serve, ect. to Many pratforms. Any one know if OS X server can talk to Linx, UNIX, and Windows?
  4. Mirus macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2001
    Not necessarily

    Now that Apple has an actual server capable OS it makes sense, to a point. The $899 price is what's got me, are these going to be G3 servers? if so, what's the point? The only way Apple stands a chance at surviving in the server market is to make something better than the current lot. OS X has the potential to do this, it's an NT like (and I stress LIKE) GUI built on a *nix core. Everyone and there grandparents know that *nix makes the best server platform. The hinderances to other *nix OSes is the interface which scares most businesses away from it. "You mean I have to type stuff? I think I'd rather run a bloated UI before having to type..." So, OS X makes setup and admin much easier than say a Linux or BSD system. Though, if you have a competant admin the UI shouldn't matter, but competant admins are few and far between. Apple has a server version of OS X, what the difference is (besides price) goes beyond my comprehension. The Open Source community is drooling over OS X (Fink, GNUOSX, etc...) so you can find plenty of software out there for free. Not to mention, OS X is by far the best Java development environment available, IMHO. The only downside to using OS X in a "server farm" is the case...
  5. bogiesan macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2001
    Rack a Mac?

    Repackaged, rack mounted or hardened Macintosh computers have been around for a long time.
    The story seems to describe a server configuration aimed squarely at enterprise or acedemic users, possibly musicians or artists, but not consumers. I humbly disagree. Rackmount component systems are seen in home theatre and audiophile systems. A Racked Mac would drop into many of those component stacks quite nicely.
    Take the rack ears off the box and you've got an almost invisible computer with a large footprint, not unlike Ye Olde pizza box-ish LCs. Assuming it's got an optical drive and full Mac I/Os and it formed the base of a flat panel display, you'd have the iMac2. Sort of.

  6. Traveler macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2001
    G5 Server

    The price tag is a bit low to be a G5 server but the rack design will probably be used for those eventually... I think it was on this bulletin that I read about Cisco promising to buy g5 mac servers when they're released. Could be a move to shore up that end of the business.
  7. SPG macrumors 65816


    Jul 24, 2001
    In the shadow of the Space Needle.
    I think it was the register that mentioned Cisco's interest in the G5 chip, but not neccessarily the box it comes in.
  8. MacManiac1224 macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2001
    Mac Rak

    I think it is a great idea for Apple to enter the server market with a low end workstation. Most likely if it comes out now, it will probaly have like 700-800mhz G3's in them, or maybe 500 G4's, but then again, who knows? I think it would be a great becasue it would really make Apple an all around player in the PC sector. Me personally, I would like to see some nice Apple workstations connected to a large scale Apple server. I think it would also be a good idea to rerelease a large scale Apple Server. It didn't pay for Apple before becasue Mac OS's only really worked with Mac's, but know they work with everything, so technically speaking, A large Mac server could work with Pc's in a large company. It is something to think about. Apple is not really to developed in the Server market, I think it would be key for Apple to eneter the server market.
    Remember this could happen becasue Apple is trying to become an all-around computer company, and an all-around computer company needs good servers.
  9. evildead macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2001
    WestCost, USA
    Re: Not necessarily

    the price is.. a bit silly.. I mean.... I spend $30k on each Sun server I buy for work. Then again.. they handle a bit more than your average 2U server... even so.... a good 2U Linux server is like 2k.
  10. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    is there the need to warrant production

    i am in networking and this field has not grown like we thought it would...where are those wired houses of the future which should have already littered the american landscape...and i live smack in the middle (or near) this technology in northern california

    business alone will never warrant enough need for apple to put out that type of server (remember most business in america are still small proprietorships and partnerships...and micro corporations)

    now, if this were compaq or dell, then i could see the expenditure making a difference but we are talking about apple, with a still 5 percent of the market

    anyway, i would love to see an ultra-thin rackmount mac because i have been lusting after a compaq 1U server ever since i first saw it, there no need for oversize desptop tower/servers anymore...except the rackmount stuff still costs a pretty penny

    i would like one day to have an invisible computer that i could mount inside the wall with the sheetrock and just boot it up by saying "computer on" and save files by saying "save to disk" and finishing by saying "defrag,, scan for viruses, and shutdown"

    and the only hardware i would see would be a 20" inch flatmount screen mounted in the wall of the apartment/house

    that way, i could get my work done while i cooked, shaved, or was on the potty (one of those aquatic models, of course)
  11. ThlayliTheFierce macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    drool...a computer with an actually intuitive and intelligent user input interface. If you think about it, the keyboard is about the worst interface imagineable. It's actually designed to slow you down! The mouse is better, but still not up to that. Some day Jef, some day.
  12. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Cant be

    Look at Mac Servers now, running around 2100 dollars average. My dads buisness uses only one Power Mac G4 at 450 MHz, and it is working fine. For apple to make a move with a new server for 899 would be awesome, but I doubt it. People are thinking this new "server" would be able to stream a lot of information and video, and hold a lot of users. For 899, no way. We bought ours for 2500, and it doesn't sound as great as the 899 model. I wont believe it until I see it...
  13. #13
  14. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000

    i have heard of marathon and their G3 and G4 tower rackmounts which are cool

    ...but a user intsallable imac 1U, that's the coolest thing i have seen in a long time!

    i need to save space...that is why my home computers are laptops, but i have to admit, rackmount computers just look so cool and modern and an old revision A-D imac could serve as a server for some limited home and small business users

    now all they need is a 1U rackmount that will fit the later imacs and then i think they would have all the bases covered

    the only apple computer of late that i would not want to rack is the cube, and of course i wouldn't rack the laptops...though i have seen tray sliding mechanisms which hold pc laptops which go into a rack for pc network admins
  15. oldMac macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2001
    rack attack

    As much as I'd like to see Apple enter the server space for both LAN serving (file, print, LDAP, etc) and Net-generation serving (email, web/app, db, etc), the fact is that they're not ready right now.

    Okay, so they could probably do the LAN serving with OS X server (though I've not heard great reviews) and sell a lot of boxes to print shops. However, they're definitely not ready on the software side for Net serving.

    The price point makes zero sense unless they plan on shipping large numbers of these things. Who exactly would they sell these to?

    Nobody buys single-processor 1U servers, anyway. Slim servers are all about maximizing CPU power / rack space.

    Apple's servers tend to be heavy on the disk and a 1U server just isn't going to provide much space for that. At best, you'd be shoe-horning 4 drives in there.

    In summation, it just doesn't sound very believeable.
  16. Brent Turbo Guest

    Don't hold your breath.

    This is just another over-hopeful rumor. The confusion comes from Cisco's recent remarks about using G5 chips in their enterprise hardware. They already use a version of the 7500 in their routers.

    Think about the price, and then think about Apple. Got it yet? Apple wouldn't charge less for a server with OS X Server installed than for OS X Server itself. It's like "You can buy OS X Server for $999, or buy OS X Server and a whole computer for 100 bucks less." I don't think so.
  17. Foocha macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2001
    I've bought single processor 1U boxes in the past. They can make great low-end Web servers and they are cheap to co-locate. We've always used Linux boxes in the past - the security aspects of an OS X box exposed to the Internet could be a worry, and I'm not sure that there is any benefit in using OS X as a server if you're going to co-locate and administor remotely - what's the point of OS X without it's fancy front end?
  18. bogiesan macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2001
    Rack My iMac

    Sorry to drag this out, it's all silly conjecture until January, assuming Apple will announce new computers at MacWorld.

    I didn't know Marathon offered that iMac produc, thanks for the tip. A cool and fairly decent iMac packaging option except for the cost.

    Assuming my old drawer-loading iMac was $1,200 to $1,600, I get a racked iMac for about $1,600 to $2,000 and I will still need to buy a new monitor. There's another $150 to $2,000. Total cost to me: $1,700 to $3,600, more likely in the $2,000 range with a 15" flat panel.

    A racked iMac-ish CPU from Apple for $900 to $1,200 and a monitor for $150 to $2,000 brings the factory-racked iMac2 total to. umm, $1,100 to $3,200, more likely about $1,600 with a 15" flat panel.


    MacDaddy wrote:
    Why wait?
    Take your old iMac. Go to, get an iRack for $399, and be done with it.
  19. Mirus macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2001

    jefhatfield wrote:

    i am in networking and this field has not grown like we thought it would...where are those wired houses of the future which should have already littered the american landscape...and i live smack in the middle (or near) this technology in northern california

    True, I guess there really aren't that many "geeks" in the "real" world... I, on the other hand, networked my current townhouse and am in process of building a new house which I will be wiring up myself. With the advent of wireless I'm not going "all out" with cat-5. I'm planning whole house cable-rg6, pair of cat 5 to each room, in-wall/ceiling speakers, intercom system, PBX, central vac, etc... Most people aren't up to my caliber of geekiness so this isn't very common, but it is around. I currently have 2 Windows PCs, Sun Netra, IBM RS/6000, 4 Linux boxes, a PB/G4, SCSI RAID tower, Color LaserJet, Lexmark Laser, Cable modem, firewall/wireless router and soon a GameCube all networked in my house. My, in process, house will be X-10 controlled, including the heat/AC, aquarium and outside sprinkler system. A couple rack mounted G4s would fit in nicely for a small render farm. Yes, I am a geek, and I'm learnin' my wife the fine art of geekdom as well. :)
  20. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000

    that is what should have been everywhere by now and the idea of the wired home might go the way of other good ideas like webvan and napster

    when the electrical wires are being put into a structure, cat 5 should also go in without question in every house, apt, and building in the world (that could afford the slightly extra cost in bulk cat 5 in spools, which is reasonable)

    instead, wiring and cabling techs have to carry makita saws...but at least they get paid very well tearing into walls and insulation

    i am waiting for the wearable computer thing and believers say by next christmas, this will be a in japan right now with 14 year old girls who lead that trend
  21. tbrice macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2001
    not too geeky

    Personally, I think that this 1U rack mount enclosure fits in perfectly with the "Digital Hub" idea that Apple is apparently pursuing. It would be foolish (for reasons noted by other posters) to market it as a full blown enterprise level server, even if it did have OSX server installed. Market for the home, I say. I've been looking into rack mount options recently to act as a dedicated MP3 server to hook directly to my stereo using USB Audio (see A 1U enclosure would be perfect considering 15" LCDs are fairly cheap now (a studio display would be nice, but a bit expensive.) To keep my total expenditure low I have almost decided on a PC running a custom configured Linux installation. Problems are that 1U enclosures are $$$ (approx $299 and up) and the size of a 1U is prohibative (the one available slot would have to be video, so I would need on board LAN, on board firewire, or some other combo which would be hard or impossible to find.)

    After getting discouraged I've decided to get a PC laptop with built in firewire (like a used Sony.) Now that I see that possibility of a mac rack I'm going to wait. The $899 price is on the high end for a stereo component, but better than any other alternative for what I want to do. I hope they make it like the cube only in a 1U box. Makes sense to me.
  22. jasonvaughan macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2001
    Re: Rackmount Macs

    I have used Macs for years but eventually moved from Macs, for most of our servers, to Cobalt Raqs. These are 1U, cheap ($1500) and they don't crash...ever! (Well once in eighteen months).

    There reliability is mainly due to the premtive multitasking and protected memory. OS X has this and so similar reliability should be possible. The only problem is that at $400 per month per U, hosting G4 macs is expensive.

    We thought about using Marathon to Rack mount a G3 Blue / White. However they have a minimum of 4U and cost $600 +$150 to ship to UK. We bought a bog standard PC 2U case from a supplier in UK for $300, with power supply etc. It took 2 hours and a little common sense to produce a 2U MacG4 server. However, I would only use old machines as warranties go out the window with the Rack mount.

    We also did a Rev A (Tray mount) iMac. This is much harder because you have to make a power supply bridge. It does work and we have it hosting Filemaker server.

    If Apple brought out a 1U server (or even 2U), I do think it would be a hit. Especially if it had redundant hot swap power supply / raid 5 (yes you can get Raid 5 with 4 drives in 1U). Most web sites are served using Apache. Apple now uses this so why not enter this market properly?

    Jason Vaughan

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