Why Apple are not into Servers?

komatsu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 19, 2010
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34
For a company that has a lot of heritage in serving the needs of
creative professionals (who need a lot of storage) - it is quite strange the way Apple seem to have no interest in making servers anymore.

They make all of these ultra-sleek iMacs and Macbooks with SSDs but where to store all the content?

It's true that the client-server model of computing is in decline. But do they expect graphic designers, videographers etc to store all their work on iCloud? In the line of my work, i visited a few creative design agencies recently only to alot of them find them buying multiple 2TB USB drives for storage. Not ideal.

So what do you use as a server in a Mac environment? And why do you think Apple have no interest in servers anymore?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
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Boston
Apple dabbled in the server market but failed to make any inroads. Their Enterprise presence is all but non existent - at least server wise.
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
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Mac OS X started it's commercial life as a Server Operating System: Mac OS X Server 1.x (aka Rhapsody), which was great to manage Mac OS 8/9 clients. After the release of the "aqua-Mac OS X" (i.e. Mac OS X 10.0) Apple has released a client OS and server OS.

Apple used to have a "true, dedicated" Server platform: Mac OS X Server and Xserve (including Xserve RAID).
These server products were there either to:
a) host Xsan volumes;
b) manage Mac OS X clients.

However, Apple likes to (and excels in) create the end-user product which work well with most (if not all) currently available services.

As the need for Xsan diminished and OS X (from 10.7 and certainly iOS) became more and more manage-able using commonly and widely used server products (Windows Servers / Exchange most noticeably), Apple could ditch having to support "servers" and focus on the client devices. Having to actually support servers (hardware and software, for up to 5 years etc.) is not in Apple's DNA.
"Stick to what you do best".
 

komatsu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 19, 2010
472
34
Apple could ditch having to support "servers" and focus on the client devices. Having to actually support servers (hardware and software, for up to 5 years etc.) is not in Apple's DNA.
"Stick to what you do best".
Good point.

So what does a 5 person all-Mac office do with do for centralized storage if they don't want to use the Cloud?
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
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Good point.

So what does a 5 person all-Mac office do with do for centralized storage if they don't want to use the Cloud?
Use a NAS, Windows SBS, or, if they really want: Use a Mac mini with an external RAID 5/6 attached and install OS X Server.app.
Just make sure you regularly make a backup.
 

ratsg

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2010
334
8
Mac OS X started it's commercial life as a Server Operating System: Mac OS X Server 1.x (aka Rhapsody)
Server 1.X/Rhapsody is/was a great operating system, but server was just the hat it was wearing at that time.

OS X roots, at least as far as Steve Job's involvement, date back to the NeXT workstations.

All said though, and the current "Server app", mindset we are currently living thru, OS X, and any Unix, or Unix clone, has the capability to be a server, a client system or something in between. Its really all how the system is set up and configured.
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,830
1,120
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I agree that the config of any OS defines it having services active, i.e it being a server.
UNIX-based OSes by default have most services "built-in", but the standard interfaces don't encourage a user to set them up if the OS is named a client.

To actually market a product as a a Server, the product needs the proper support and encourages the user to set the system up as a server.

Mac OS X Server (1.x to 10.6) had the support and the interfaces to be setup by default with services active.
Since 10.7, the "Server.app" surely has the interface, but by default the app does nothing, and with a price-tag of $ 20 the admin doesn't expect too much support.