OS X Server vs. Windows Server

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by cmwade77, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. cmwade77 macrumors 65816

    Nov 18, 2008
    O.k., I am trying to research out what our best bet for our next server would be, we currently only use our server as a file server. The problem that we keep running into is that we keep filling up the drive that we use for shared storage rapidly (We upgraded from a 500 GB drive to a 1 TB drive about 4 months ago and we already are down to about 200 GB Free). I noticed that the OS X servers have a device that you can buy with them that would help solve this problem in that you can plug one in and then it will be the hard drive, when that one starts getting full you plug another into it and it makes it appear to be one even larger hard drive. (At least that's how it reads on Apple's website) and I have not been able to find a similar system for Windows (although there may be one).

    So what I want to know is given that 90% of our systems are Windows systems will OS X Server be a good fit for us.

    We also have about 30 users.

    What are the downfalls of OS X Server?
    What is the upside of OS X Server? (aside from it's OS X and crashes less)

    I have also noticed that OS X Server appears to have an Apple version of Exchange built in, how well does it work? And how well does it work with Outlook?

    Anything else that we should know when comparing them? Doing price comparisons the hardware for both come out to be about the same price for the same specs, but the Mac comes out cheaper on the software end as it offers unlimited licenses.
  2. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2008
    No. If the majority of your users are on Windows, then you'd probably be better off with a Windows server. If the majority of users were on Macs I'd suggest OS X server.

    Upside: Cost. And ease of setting up certain features.
    Downside : Some things which ought to be simple sometimes are not. Some aspects of Mac OS X server are very "rough" - not very mature or polished at all.

    Oh and as for the "crashes less" thing. If your server, regardless of OS, crashes enough for it to be an issue then *you* have done something wrong. This idea that Windows crashes all the time should not be a factor in your decision because this is a non issue for modern server OSes on properly set up server hardware. What should be a factor in your decision is affordability (You say OS X server works out cheaper?), Supportability (mixed environments are never fantastic, but I suggest the server should match the majority of the clients... and to get the best out of any server you need to be familiar with it) and reliability (buy windows or linux server hardware from "crazy joe's place of recycled computer bits" as opposed to a major supplier on a similar tier to Apple and you can expect problems)

    lol. No. If you really want exchange get exchange, you'll not be happy with anything else. But do you really want exchange? It's a lot of expense and effort for 30 people (and I say that as an Exchange advocate who's supported it for years, worked on it with MS, etc). There are a few OS "exchange clones" out there but they have an "uncanny valley" feeling where they get close enough to confuse you big time when they do stumble (much like open office actually).

    Apple's mail server will work well with outlook, but the calendar and address book integration, and all this can do for you, will be missing because outlook frankly doesn't play nice with others and imo sucks as anything other than a front end for Exchange.

    Have you considered hosted email? You can even get hosted exchange if you want the benefits of that without much of the cost or any of the hassle, and you should also consider gmail, etc.

    My advice:
    Don't think about "comparing", think about solving the problems you have.
    Don't make a decision either way based on what you like as your desktop OS.
    Whatever the upfront cost of either solution right now, it will cost more to try and do things on the cheap now and put them right later.
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
  4. Frosties macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    If it's only storage you need then do a google search for RAID storage. I would think you can just add a raid card to the server that you have now and add storage to that.

    If you are 90% windows then don't even THINK about OSX Server. Just more headache.
  5. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2008
    Forgot to address this in my first reply. You can do this sort of thing on any server operating system, though some make it easier than others (as do the expansion devices).

    It worries me that you're implying you only have one hard disk with data stored on it at any given time - is this disk RAIDed or anything like that? Please for the love of (your favoured deity) tell me it's at least backed up on a daily basis.

    What you need to do, and this is irregardless of which hardware and software you use for a server, is plan your storage requirements and then manage them on an ongoing basis.
  6. pdjudd macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    I agree with that statement. Any server environment required a large amount of thought as to what your needs and requirements are so that you can adequately serve your users’s needs. And to echo your post, I would not rely upon one disk for a storage solution. Its not a good idea.

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