OS X Server: How is better than Linux/Solaris/WinServer?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by MacNoobGuy, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. MacNoobGuy macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    hi all, i've been wondering this for a number of years now and i'm just wondering how OS X Server is better than the alternatives out there? you don't get any choice with the hardware, it's expensive compared to the alternatives and sure, it's stable, but every sever OS is stable. what advantages does it have that i'm missing here?

    the market share must be less than 2% of all the Servers out there. is it only used by Apple enthusiasts?
  2. jackhdev, Apr 28, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012

    jackhdev macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    Bismarck, North Dakota
    I would say so... yes. Snow Leopard Server was actually pretty decent, but OS X Lion Server sucks. The only reason to use OS X Lion Server is because one, you know absolutely nothing about servers yet feel the need to set one up for whatever reason, or two, because you need a good way of managing iOS devices. Windows Servers can provide all of the same services in the GUI (who wants to use the command line to accomplish simple tasks?), but much better. I use Snow Leopard Server since I like Mac OS X and dislike Windows, but if I need to upgrade for whatever reason, I will be heading to Windows for their server.
  3. GeekGuys macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    Windows and Mac OSX are much the same when it comes to 'servers for idiots'.:rolleyes:

    Before i get trolled too much, I don't mean that in a negative way. I have worked on everything platform from super computers, from Cray's down to netbooks!

    Windows and MacOSX (in the same way as OS/2 in the past) took many of the decisions away from the user, so making a server/network available to non-techies in the way Novell and AIX never could.
    LINUX platforms (or generic UNIX based servers) are a continuation of the Novell type of platform. They are great at what they do, but need a good deal of knowledge to setup and configure, so are out of reach of most mortals :eek:

    MacOSX is based on a old branch of UNIX but retains many original UNIX commands and controls. The good thing about MacOSX Server is that you can use the 'idiot' method GUI front end, or you can get down and dirty in the command lines.

    Windows is much less able to do this. OSX Server is cheaper software, but hardware is expensive against a Windows box... but the actual RoI (Return on Investment) of a Mac Server is actually not far from that of a equivelent Windows server. Don't think you can compare a CostCo PC against a Mac Server. They are engineered differently. Try thinking IBM x-Series vs Mac Server and the prices don't seem too far apart!:)

    So, the answer to pretty much every technical question about 'what is better... A or B' is that there is no better, just different.

    Again, the RoI of a Windows 2008 Server vs a Mac OSX Server vs a LINUX RedHat EL Server is roughly the same for each. They each serve ('scus the pun) different purposes in life so choose the one that suits you best, or you prefer the look of, or have shares in the company, or just want to own the T-Shirt :p
  4. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012

    how much does Lion Server cost now? i remember reading it was now free as a part of the regular Lion? is this true? you could setup Lion Server on an iMac right?
  5. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    I never recall it being free. It is $50 in the Mac App Store. You can run it on your iMac.
  6. Bobby.e macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2012
    When the beta's were coming out it was all included. However in the final release they separated it.
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I plan on getting it just to learn it and play around. We have a few xserves at work, nothing huge, they're sort of a mystery and only one guy works on them.

    I guess I should say my "old" work since I left there a few days ago :D
  8. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
  9. matspekkie macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2010
    It is just an add-on to lion and will run on pretty much all machines that run lion little bit more memory hungry. the one nice thing compared to windows is that that is the only license you need for unlimited users.
  10. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    so it's cheaper than Windows?
  11. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    it doesn't seem like Apple is really trying to take Server market share, especially compared to the phone platform and desktop platform. why is this?
  12. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    It all boils down to money. Their server products just don't sell well.
  13. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    so are they worth using? or is windows/other nix based OS' that much better?
  14. parapup macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2006
    You'd be much better off with either of Windows (if you are willing to pay significant licensing fees to Microsoft for basically better GUI tools or if you are into .NET stack) or *NIX (Linux if you are a competent techie or Solaris/HPUX if you have loads of money to spend on special hardware and support.)

    For a server Mac OS X is provably inferior on technical grounds when using FOSS stack (Apache/Nginx/MySQL/PGSql etc.) - Macrumors runs Linux for a reason. That plus the uncertainty of support seals the deal in favor of anything other than OS X Server.(Community support for FOSS stack running on Linux is going to be lot better than same running on Mac OS X and you never know when Apple will drop server given their history of dumping things that don't work out well.)

    But for light weight usage without much of a "Production" site to deal with, OS X server is certainly OK.
  15. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    "Better" is subjective. I was a big Solaris fan for many years, and these days it's all about Linux. Having never touched a Mac server I don't have a feel for it.
  16. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    The reason OSX Server fails these days is nothing to do with Software but the fact you can't rack mount a OSX server anymore, they only do Mac Mini's and Towers, which basically excludes it from most DC's.

    The GUI's as well, leave much to be desired; often leaving out features and the weird placement of config files which are designed not to be edited in the terminal. Plus you have the over-heads of GUI's running.

    Windows is actually, a very good server platform. I've seen mail servers on 2000 Server running for years without reboot.

    I'm a BSD (OpenBSD / FreeBSD) person, it's lightweight (Linux is BLOATED!) and can pretty much do anything.
  17. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    Sorry, I can't agree that Linux is bloated. We have several RAC databases running on OEL that work just great. The fact is, you can do more with Linux than BSD, especially with specialized configurations. Like Dweez said, better is subjective.

    In my eyes, OS X Server is also losing traction as it is the same as it was back in 10.3. Just simple server services are offered. With Lion Server, you have to download additional tools if you want to configure all of the services.
  18. spacesamurai macrumors member


    Nov 27, 2011
    Osaka, Japan
    You do not have to buy a "OS X Server" for your Mac to be a server. I think you need to specify what you want from your sever, and then try to compare.

    As for me, I am a huge Linux/Mac fan, but after I found that I can run apache/ssh/php all on my Mac Mini without any additional installs, I did not need an additional server, just run everything on the Mac. Note this works on all Macs, not just the "OS X Server". All Macs are servers, they just do a lot more for the client.

    And if you do need some software not found native on Mac, I would say Macports will probably have what you are looking for.
  19. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    I've heard that you don't "technically" need to download the server app for you to enable the services. Mac OS X client has all the services already, it's just that the Server app adds a "pretty" GUI to it. Without server, you can just do it all from the command line and whatever.
  20. John Kotches macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2010
    Troy, IL (STL Area)
    I make my living with Solaris and RHEL and I just bought a Mac mini server. This was really for quad core , not for Mac server. That said, it's not horrible but not stellar either.

    For non-admin types the GUI front end makes basic stuff easier... but as with any point and click administration it doesn't replace actual knowledge.
  21. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    One good usage scenario for Mac OS X Server: if you have to serve files to Mac clients. SMB performance on Mac clients is generally not so great (alternative SMB clients like DAVE don't really help all that much), and some Mac OS X apps aren't very happy writing to network shares unless those shares are honest to goodness AFP mount points.

    I've been getting pretty deep into Windows Server 2008, and it's actually not too shabby. There are still numerous Windows UI and command-line inconsistencies, but it's a pretty powerful set of tools you can put to use if you know how. As others have said, it's expensive, and if you need real AFP file sharing capabilities you'll have to buy a third party add-in like ExtremeZ-IP which further adds to the already high cost of doing business.
  22. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    I'm sorry, but the default installs of Ubuntu / Centos / Fedora are bloated, they install way too many packages that are just not needed.

    Please tell me something *BSD can't do that linux can do?
  23. John Kotches macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2010
    Troy, IL (STL Area)
    Everything is bloated out of the box, there's no monopoly on that in the market.

    That's what custom configurations are for.
  24. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    Run an Oracle RAC cluster, any Fusion middleware, or even a standalone database for that matter. BSD has its niche, but it's just not as supported as Linux is. That doesn't mean either one is better for every situation; one has to choose the right tool for the job. That said, if I'm going to run Linux on my Oracle boxes, I'm not sure why I'd choose BSD for others, as that's just another different OS to support.

    If you're just installing the default on servers, you're wasting resources. Also, if you use the server distributions (on those available) the defaults are trimmed way down.
  25. MacNoobGuy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2012
    lol, wow i never thought macrumors would even dream of running Linux over OS X.

    how much is OS X Server again? $50? that must be the cheapest Server going around?


    do any major sites run it?


    just curious, but why are you a Mac user if you regard lightweightedness in such high regard? OS X's GUI is far more CPU/RAM intensive than Windows/Linux... or do you only use OS X as a desktop machine? how are you able to communicate to servers running *Nix? wouldn't it be easier to communicate when everything was the same platform?

Share This Page