Stackable Macs?

arn

macrumors god
Original poster
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
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This Wired article indicates a demand for rack-mountable Macs.

Researchers are increasingly hooking up ordinary PCs into clusters to make cut-price supercomputers. But to do so, the hardware must come in "rack-mountable" boxes that can be stacked floor to ceiling in specially made racks.


This reflects a number of predictions that have sprung up over the years that Apple may revamp it's server line with a rackmount design. If Apple is serious about winning over the server/biotech market it seems a natural fit...
 

Timothy

macrumors 6502
Jan 2, 2002
473
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Seattle, WA
Make all macs rack-mountable...

Why not just make all Macs rack-mountable? I mean, build the form factor to at most a 4U size and include handles. Then, perhaps desk manufacturers would start to make rack mounts for "under" the desk, which mount flush to the front, perhaps; thereby giving you access to drives, etc, but removing the unit from the "desktop."

This would please the server world (sort of, I'd still like a 1u or 2u unit), and also provide an added benefit to the desktop market. You could still stand it on end if needs be, but also fit it in standard rack spaces.

(And yes, I know you can buy mounting gear for the current quicksilvers...but they are just too large for serious server spaces).
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
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Natick, MA
Marathon offers items to convert your G3 blue and white all the way up to the latest G4 system into a rack mounted computer. See it at http://www.marathoncomputer.com/. That would allow you to stack up a rack full of G4 dp1HGz systems to your hearts delight (even if it busts your wallet).
 

mischief

macrumors 68030
Aug 1, 2001
2,920
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Santa Cruz Ca
One word:Drives.

Having a tower on it's side is bad for the drives. The spindle bearings are set to take weight through their axis, not across it. If Apple makes an "ACDC" case it would have to be a Desktop or have "switcheable" drive mounts.
 

gbojim

macrumors 6502
Jan 30, 2002
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I've purchased 2 systems from gvstore.com and had no problems with them at all. You definitely want to use SCSI drives if the drives will be mounted vertically so the bearings don't wear out.
 

Choppaface

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2002
1,187
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SFBA
a friend of mine took his G4 out of its case and put it in a normal case with no problems. so you could probably just stick the thing in a normal rack mount case and have no problem about parts hanging from an angle
 

sespinos

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2002
2
0
with OSX...

Is it just me, or does this seem to make a lot of sense considering the fact that OSX is unix based? With that in mind, it seems like the server crowd would be more than happy to buy rack-mountable macs.
 

Rower_CPU

Moderator emeritus
Oct 5, 2001
11,219
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San Diego, CA
I'm torn on this issue...
We have a G4 450 server that's such a beautiful machine I hate to see it just sit there in our server room. On the other hand, how would Apple create a rack mountable design that's elegant and looks good?
I'd hate to see Apple make monstrosities like Dell had with their servers!
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
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Natick, MA
I keep praying to the computer gods that I will be allowed to set up a Mac server at work. I would love it, since the stabilty will be through the roof (compared to the windowz servers that we have now that almost everyone uses). I know maintaining it will be a snap, with practically zero down time and security that windowz can't come close to. Getting rid of the peecee server admin would be a side benefit as well. Even though it would put more on my plate, I will gladly take it :D.

With the speed that two departments chew up server space, having a G4 server on the network would make adding storage a snap.

If/when I ever get the green lite, I will be in heaven. :D

Mac's rule, peecee's drool.
 

Rower_CPU

Moderator emeritus
Oct 5, 2001
11,219
0
San Diego, CA
AlphaTech

Mac OS X Server is a dream come true!
The Server Admin appication makes all of the general settings a breeze, and if you need to more in depth you can configue Apache to your heart's content through the command line. I've seen people at my work wrestle with setting up Win2K Server and I just shake my head and laugh.
Just like Apple says: Everything is easier on a Mac. (even server administration)
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
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Natick, MA
Rower_CPU

Great to hear...

I knew that Apple would have it right.

The ONLY version of win2k server that is close to easy is the advanced version. That one even installs the Mac services for you so that you don't need to ad them later.

I am even thinking about getting the low license count of OS X server to try at home on my next tower.
 

Rower_CPU

Moderator emeritus
Oct 5, 2001
11,219
0
San Diego, CA
AlphaTech-

Before you go out and drop $500 on OS X Server 10 client make sure you don't already have enough web serving power already.
Even the desktop version of OS X has Apache built in and you can do basic web serving with it. Just get comfy with the Terminal and make sure you have a static IP from your ISP!
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
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Natick, MA
Probably because of the cost difference between the add on parts and pulling everything out of your G4 case and putting it into one of theirs. If you need the U space savings, then going with one of their cases is the way to go. Otherwise, just go with the replacement parts and get going sooner.

I am putting together a list of everything that I would need to make a sweet Mac server for work. It should be an interesting list. I just wonder if they will ever allow us to spend the money and do it.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
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Natick, MA
Rower_CPU

I have a small network here at home now. I have the airport base station configured to give out IP addresses. I think I have it set to refresh them every 2 weeks. I would rather test it on my LAN then a WAN. Since that is going to be what a Mac server would be doing at work (accessed by about 200-300 people depending on what it needs to do, or groups will be hitting it).

I can start experimenting now, but my current tower will be gone in less then a month (three weeks now). I am waiting for Apple to release something that really grabs me before I make another tower purchase.
 

Xapplimatic

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2001
417
0
California
Rack mountable?

Now just why would a computer want to mount a rack anyways? Geez.. nah, seriously.. what about an iPod rackmount? Could be like a Palm Dock, but Racks up iPods so all the execs can go to lunch with tunes... Man I must be sniffing burned capacitor vapor again or something...
 

metsfan

macrumors newbie
Jan 7, 2002
2
0
It's about time for Apple to...

sell motherboards, and let the rest of the world to put them in anything they want.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Apple selling MBs

That will happen right after hell freezes over, or m$ releases a flawless operating system (both have the same chance of happening).
 

kansaigaijin

macrumors 6502
Jan 7, 2002
386
0
the great ether
clusters, not servers?

I thought the story was about clusters, so it would be interesting to know just what is necessary for a cluster node?
-do they all need harddrives?
-graphics, what is essential?
and then there is the question of what the machines are useful for when the project is finished? usually they get handed down to other users, what would stripped down machines be good for?

It seems to me a cluster node would only need lots of ram, gigabit ethernet and netboot,(for dedicated clusters)
But a much bigger development in the Mac world I think would be clusters of macs in offices that share processors time, your Mac would use time on other machines on your local network that are underutilized.
Servers are another matter. What is the cost of a typical intel server unit?
 

metsfan

macrumors newbie
Jan 7, 2002
2
0
only if Steven stays in power.

Steven is an innovator, but he is narrow minded.

If Apple board is happy with 5% market share, then they willl keep him.
If they have a larger dream -- like taking over the world -- then, they shuould fire him. This is the second, and perhaps last, chance to do it.

Shall we see a fresh Apple?