Why choose OSX Server then?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by corbywan, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. corbywan macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2008
    Forest Grove, OR
    I've appreciated the honest yet non-critical discussion about OSX Server on this board (so far) especially when not recommending it to those who ask. A common thread I have observed is this; when someone is getting ready to choose a server solution, be it workgroup or internet, and they haven't bought anything yet, the recommendation seems to mostly be for Linux. The reasons are typically security, stability, and its common so its well tested and documented.

    So the questions in a forum that is all about OSX and XServes would be; why should someone choose OSX Server? Under what circumstances would I want it over over Linux? Workgroup server? Corporate intranet or internet server?

    Someone sell me on it! Pretend I'm the pointy-haired manager in a room full of Dilberts (which is a compliment, not a dis. word.)
  2. 0racle macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    North Carolina
    Do you have Mac Clients you want to administer? Open Directory which is only available on OS X Server.

    OS X Clients need a fileserver? Yes, anything will work as OS X supports SMB, NFS and AFP, but what about those annoying resource forks. Having the server be able to deal with them as well can make many things easier (backups).

    Do you have to run OS X software? OS X Server. We run Acrobat as a 'Service' here. Ghostscript was not going to cut it.

    Are you familiar with managing OS X? OS X Server will seem more familiar.

    Why choose X over Y is always the same answer. Do you know how to manage it? Does it run the software you need?
  3. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005

    Ultimately it depends on what you need. There are occasions when even a Windows server makes sense..... ;-)

    OS X server is a great OS - if you're providing services to a Mac-centric network, it's the sensible solution. If you aren't, however, then maybe you need to look at which OS will provide what you need.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    There is no "best" OS for a server. But sometime there is a "best match". What you have to do is pick whatever it is that best fits your needs. So when people do not recommend an Apple serve it just may be they it would not be a good fit to the problem
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I chose it because my users required a solid AFP base to deal with their legacy files.
  6. corbywan thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2008
    Forest Grove, OR
    Can any of the Mac client specific function be done via Linux, like NetBoot/Install, Software Update, etc? I imagine that Podcast Producer is a specialized feature. Obviously CalDAV, wikis and blogging aren't special to OSX Server.

    Is there a Windows client or version of TimeMachine that works with TimeMachine server?
  7. milles21 macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2008
    do my best

    Why choose OS X server,

    I choose it over Linux because I have mac, and windows systems however even if I had all windows I would likely still choose OS X server over Linux.

    If I am looking for directory services and integration across the board email, VPN, DNS,DHCP,conferencing calendar, intranet all integrated via LDAP without using 15 different packages then OSX is you choice.

    I only use Linux on my web servers when I need just redundant web data holders. I generally connect everything to a NAS or SAN so OSX handles all of the enterprise communication perfectly.

    I also can get both proprietary mainstream vendor applications, and opensource software for my OS X server network.

    If you are looking at plain web servers, possibly MYSQL linux can fit your needs but if you want expansion and integration go with OS X server.

    I currently run 4 OS X servers 2 for Open Directory and DHCP, DNS, File and print. 1 for intranet, enterprise conferencing, and database, and 1 for testing. I run linux on the perimeter network for web hosting cheap easy to clone no real integration required.
  8. corbywan thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2008
    Forest Grove, OR
  9. fuzzwud macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2004
    Great thread. It's basically what I wanted to ask in a more article way. I have 7 macs with a Powermac G5 as a file/database server; the computers run either Panther or Tiger. I want to upgrade to Leopard and it's less costly for me to get the 10 client Leopard Server. I have some additionally questions related to yours. I'm new to "real" server stuff.

    Oracle: what do you mean by running Acrobat as a "service?" do mean that it's possible to run applications on clients from the server? What is Ghostscripting? What are resource forks and what's the issue with resource forks?
  10. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    1,000 users
    800 PC clients
    200 Mac clients

    300 physically racked servers (don't ask)
    295 are Windows boxes
    5 are XServes, and they run:

    OD Master
    OD Replica
    Task Server, Puppet & Internal I.T. Documentation Wiki
    Font Reserve Server & InDesign Server

    probably a great example of needs and whys.
  11. Random Chaos macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Can't resist asking: 300 servers (I assume all internal) for 1000 people? Are you doing a lot of development work for other clients that you need servers set up like their servers are?


    From my experience:

    OSX server is good for integration with Macs. Otherwise it's almost identical to a Linux server. Most server apps that are run are identical to the ones you're used to on a Linux box, somewhat customized by Apple, but equally customizable.

    However, unless you're supporting Mac clients, there's no reason you can't do everything on a Linux box. It will just take more time to set up a Linux box. So I guess the real difference is in paying $1k for OSX Server or spending $1k of someone's salary setting stuff up, and which gives you more for the same price :).

    However, for Windows, nothing quite replaces a MS server. This is due to stupid bugs in MS applications (especially MS Word) that have caused numerous issues for the company I work for when using CUPS.

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