Using Mac Pro as a multi-user enterprise computer

booyahbooyah

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 11, 2011
128
9
Here's an idea for Apple.

Remember "mini-computers"? Those expensive Windows-based computers where up to 16 individuals could connect to a single computer (each with her own screen), and to the users it seemed like they were connecting to their own individual desktop towers...

Well, if Apple decided to allow something like that with the Mac Pro, it would sell like gangbusters in the enterprise market (IMHO). It'll be cheap Mac hardware (on a per user basis), and easier to maintain.

Thoughts?
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,361
401
127.0.0.1
Here's an idea for Apple.

Remember "mini-computers"? Those expensive Windows-based computers where up to 16 individuals could connect to a single computer (each with her own screen), and to the users it seemed like they were connecting to their own individual desktop towers...

Well, if Apple decided to allow something like that with the Mac Pro, it would sell like gangbusters in the enterprise market (IMHO). It'll be cheap Mac hardware (on a per user basis), and easier to maintain.

Thoughts?
Mac OS X is not a multi-user operating system.

What you are wanting is a software feature so this would be better in the Mac OS X operating system forum and not the Mac Pro hardware forum.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
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Sagittarius A*
I would imagine setting up server 2012 using EFI boot similar to how windows 8 is setup (see windows forum) the classic Mac Pro will be quite capable of running Windows VM's on it natively, though the more modern cpu designs than the current xeon's in the 5,1 outperform them by a lot.

The new black can should be capable but with only one or two max internal storage devices so I think using rack mount windows servers will be more price competitive per VM seat..
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,361
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127.0.0.1
I would imagine setting up server 2012 using EFI boot similar to how windows 8 is setup (see windows forum) the classic Mac Pro will be quite capable of running Windows VM's on it natively, though the more modern cpu designs than the current xeon's in the 5,1 outperform them by a lot.

The new black can should be capable but with only one or two max internal storage devices so I think using rack mount windows servers will be more price competitive per VM seat..
Did you read the OP because that is not what he said he wanted?
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
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Sagittarius A*
Did you read the OP because that is not what he said he wanted?
I assumed it was VM related as thin client/terminal services stuff which used to be used way back in the day which I believe they are referring to has effectively been replaced by running VM's on a server.
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2013
1,517
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Oregon, USA
I wrote apple on the idea after the n MP announcement. Something like an appletv with connections for video and keyboard would make a thin client type front end pretty effective. It would just need high speed connectivity to pull everything together.

They key advantage wouldn't be cost (although 6 clients on 12 cores would be competitive). But rather allocation. Most users don't tax their whole system all of the time. So the 2 or 3 that are would each get most of 4-6 cores + GPU capacity at a given time. And the guy working late would get the whole enchilada.
 

chris.k

macrumors member
May 22, 2013
91
1
YSSY
You can do this with any mac today.

Remote VNC allows multiple users to each log in to a central Mac and each user gets his own virtual screen.

It's been a feature since Lion.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,145
1,166
Mac OS X is not a multi-user operating system.

What you are wanting is a software feature so this would be better in the Mac OS X operating system forum and not the Mac Pro hardware forum.
It is. Multiple users can be logged in simultaneously with remote desktop.

That isn't an answer to the OP's question, but it does support multiple users at once. At a very basic level, there is also multiple users via SSH as well. That's been there since 10.0. If you look in activity monitor, you can see what user owns each process, and they won't all be you even if you're the only one logged in.
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,361
401
127.0.0.1
It is. Multiple users can be logged in simultaneously with remote desktop.

That isn't an answer to the OP's question, but it does support multiple users at once. At a very basic level, there is also multiple users via SSH as well. That's been there since 10.0. If you look in activity monitor, you can see what user owns each process, and they won't all be you even if you're the only one logged in.
OS X can do what you said but that is not considered a multi-user operating system. You might want to research what a true multi-user operating system is prior to replying next time. Examples of multi-user operating system include VMS, UNIX, and mainframe operating systems which include MVS system. While Mac OS X is certified UNIX, Apple has not incorporated true multi-user ability into Mac OS X.

A multi-user operating system works by allowing people to log into and use the resources of the computer/server from several different KVM stations that are connected directly to the computer/server.
 
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goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,145
1,166
OS X can do what you said but that is not considered a multi-user operating system. You might want to research what a true multi-user operating system is prior to replying next time. Examples of multi-user operating system include VMS, UNIX, and mainframe operating systems which include MVS system. While Mac OS X is certified UNIX, Apple has not incorporated true multi-user ability into Mac OS X.
They have. I'm not sure what is missing here, but Mac OS X totally supports multiple simultaneous logged in users.

A multi-user operating system works by allowing people to log into and use the resources of the computer/server from several different KVM stations that are connected directly to the computer/server.
What you're talking about is terminal access. Mac OS X supports terminal access. You can slave terminals to Mac OS X.

In fact, here is a tutorial on setting up exactly the old school protocols you describe, allowing multiple users to work off the same Mac, if you so care to:
http://pdw.weinstein.org/2007/06/apple-hacking-for-fun-and-profit.html

I'm not sure why you would in this day and age, but Mac OS X can do it just like any other UNIX. I terminal in to a multi user Mac OS X box all the time at work. One user is logged in on the box, I'm logged in as a different user simultaneously doing work as well.

These days, instead of doing old school terminals, Macs do SSH sessions or VNC for multiple simultaneous users. But locally, again, Mac OS X obviously supports multiple simultaneous users as well.
 
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booyahbooyah

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 11, 2011
128
9
I wrote apple on the idea after the n MP announcement. Something like an appletv with connections for video and keyboard would make a thin client type front end pretty effective. It would just need high speed connectivity to pull everything together.

They key advantage wouldn't be cost (although 6 clients on 12 cores would be competitive). But rather allocation. Most users don't tax their whole system all of the time. So the 2 or 3 that are would each get most of 4-6 cores + GPU capacity at a given time. And the guy working late would get the whole enchilada.

You're right (although cost is a significant factor to the enterprise market.)

There's a lot of pent up demand for Macs in the enterprise market. But the enterprise IT managers (the "orifices" in Steve J.'s parlance) are afraid of Macs (mostly fear of the unknown).

I hope Apple pursues this strategy as a way for enterprise IT managers to simplify the overhead of managing Mac hardware.

----------

I remember the DEC PDP 8 and the VAX. I also remember the micro VAX which could have destroyed the IBM PC if DEC hadn't overpriced it. The last VAX I worked on was in the mid 1980's about the time I bought my first Mac.
Those were the days! The youngsters would never get it ;)

----------

What you just described is called a server.

You're right. I wonder if there's a more specific term, such as "desktop server" (i.e., it serves a desktop, not a website or an app).

----------

You might want to research what a true multi-user operating system is prior to replying next time.

Boy, someone sure has a lot of opinions about who should post what and where!!!
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,897
1,752
.
Well, if Apple decided to allow something like that with the Mac Pro, it would sell like gangbusters in the enterprise market (IMHO). It'll be cheap Mac hardware (on a per user basis), and easier to maintain.

Thoughts?
Beyond what they already implemented years ago?

https://developer.apple.com/library...leUsers.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/10000180-SW1


and

http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/03/31/mac_os_x_10_7_lion_to_introduce_multi_user_screen_sharing


The "remote" users would still need something that is capable of connecting to the the server. The bigger core blocking issue is what remote viewing software running on a 'thin' client would work. If the users need a thick client (i.e., a Mac from the rest of the line up) to login this isn't buying much of anything in reduced complexity.
 

flat five

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2007
5,577
2,654
newyorkcity
There's a lot of pent up demand for Macs in the enterprise market. But the enterprise IT managers (the "orifices" in Steve J.'s parlance) are afraid of Macs (mostly fear of the unknown).

I hope Apple pursues this strategy as a way for enterprise IT managers to simplify the overhead of managing Mac hardware.


seems like their strategy (be it by chance or design) is to breakthrough via iphones and ipads..

there are some huge corps out there who i would of previously thought of as windows/blackberry without a doubt-- now using MacBooks/ipads/iphones.

i'm not sure if that means much as to getting the non-mobile computers into the corporate infrastructure but it seems as if it would be an exploitable hole.
 

snarfquest

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2013
210
4
OS X is a flavor of UNIX so.... asked and answered.

The "feature" that I would see getting MAC OS X into the Enterprise market would be good VDI support. Right now windows owns the VDI market which is really sad since the architecture basically mirrors what Xwindows was with cheap xterms.
 
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