Why on earth does Apple insist on not putting VGA

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by foidulus, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    ports standard on their XServes?(or at least a DVI). Come on Apple, these are $3k machines AT LEAST. Are you really going to play these games where you sell a $3k server(at a decent profit I might add), then try to ding us one more time by making us buy a $30 cable? Are you really that cheap? It reflects extremely poorly upon your company and IMO stands as a huge hinderance to wider adoption of Apple products in the server room.

    It's not even about the $30 per se, that amount is dwarfed by the wasted manpower required to hook up and maintain a billion different doodads just to KVM up a server and of course the feeling that Apple is trying to nickel and dime their customers to death...

    Apple, stop playing these childish games and put a real VGA/DVI port on XServes, it will save your customers a ton of headaches and make you look like a much more mature player in the enterprise server market.
  2. brad.c macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2004
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    Sometimes I get the feeling if you remind Apple that they make Xserves, they'll cancel the program.
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    VGA is worthless. It should have died in 1999 when DVI was introduced.
  4. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    I second this notion. Digital > Analog
  5. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    On servers? Surely the monitor port on most servers is just for maintenance/admin (or is on all the servers I've ever worked on).
  6. chaos86 macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2003
    Yeah it's true that DVI is much better than VGA, but the fact that it's been in use since it was invented by Abraham Lincoln* means it's probably a really inexpensive thing to add to a $3000 machine. I mean at this point, a VGA chipset must be cheaper than, and sold in the same quantities as, those crappy clear plastic straws you get at cheap take out places*. The ones that split when you don't get them perfectly in the hole on the lid. Also consider that every server room built before 2004* and most after that* have a KVM terminal which runs on VGA, and how nobody running a server needs anything more than that*.

    *Not based on real facts.
  7. TheAshMan macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2009
    Clarksville, Maryland USA
    I have to agree

    It is ridiculous that they don't put them in. We recently bought 2 X Serves (we have 5 altogether) and I forgot to add the VGA card. I am also worried about the fact that they dropped the X RAID a year or two ago. How do I know they won't just drop the server too? It is too bad, because I think they have an excellent server product, especially the new one that I can't talk about. It is just cheapened by the fact that leave out something as basic as video for a monitor. And don't tell me that some enterprise customers want them left out, I don't think that much thought went into it.

    While we are at it, could someone explain to me why when I upgraded the RAM in our X Serve (2008 model) to 8 GB (4 - 2GB DIMMs) that I couldn't put it in the proper slots as documented by Apple, which is also the way our HP servers work? The RAM must always be added in pairs and you skip the odd slots until you have filled up the even slots. In our Apple server I had to put all 4 DIMMs in the first four available slots or the server wouldn't recognize the new RAM. It is hard for me to explain, but see the doc below, I copy/pasted some of the text, but there is a graphic in the PDF.


    Installation Rules
    You must install DIMMs in pairs, and the DIMMs in each pair must be identical (the same
    size, speed, etc.). The first pair is installed in slots 1 and 2. Install the next pair in slots 3 and 4.
    Subsequent pairs go in slots 5 and 6, and then slots 7 and 8.

    For Best Performance
    For the best performance, use identical DIMMs in all slots and fill up slots 1 through 4 before you
    install DIMMs in slots 5 through 8. If you don’t have eight identical DIMMs, install identical DIMMs
    in slots 1 through 4 and a second set of four identical DIMMs in slots 5 through 8. If you can, after
    you fill slots 1 through 4, add a full set of four DIMMs in slots 5 through 8 instead of just a pair in
    slots 5 and 6.
  8. bainesajay macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2003
    apple not serious

    apple is not serious about enterprise. i wish mac rumors had a enterprise section for people like us. i share your frustration. apple could really be a cool leader in this section.

    a lot of mac users to do not realise that OS X server is a mickey mouse product. the xserve had a lot of great ideas, but really does not follow through.
  9. 173080 macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    Why would you want a video card? It's a server!

    I configure and run my Xserves through SSH and Apple Remote Desktop.
  10. foidulus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    As do we for the most part, but to do the initial configuration and to troubleshoot certain problems(such as network issues), having the thing hooked up to a KVM is immensely useful, but having to play Apple's little games of "which proprietary cable can we force people to buy next?" wears really thin really quickly.
  11. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Mini DisplayPort is not proprietary.

    Check monoprice. Jeez.
  12. brad.c macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2004
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    I've not been in the server market for a few years, and back then USB KVMs were available, but scarce.

    Now I'm curious, what's the availability of Mini DisplayPort KVMs?
  13. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    It's true. Though they pretend to be serious about it, they're really not interested. They half-ass their way through common enterprise applications and functionalities.
  14. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    You will need to get a mDP -> VGA/DVI adapter for a KVM. I haven't heard of a mDP KVM yet. It would make sense that there would be one at some point, but for the time being, there isn't.
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I used to maintain a bunch of Sun servers at a previus job. I almost NEVER went into the server room. I don't even think we had monitor attached the servers. Only if one was broken and we had to pull it out of the racks would we hook up a monitor. Why would you want one? It's a PIA working in a server room. Much better to be in my office.
  16. TK2K macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2006
    I think, honestly the mini display port move was a good one, and here's why.

    VGA will be dead soon, hopefully, but numerous KVMPs still use VGA only. If you wanted to migrate you'd ether have to get a DVI to VGA adapter or replace your entire KVMP setup.

    Additionally, if it had a VGA port and you had a DVI kvmp, well you're screwed because there's no easy way to convert a VGA signal to a DVI one.

    So looking at this I imagine the conversation at apple went something like this:

    If we put a DVI port and people have VGA they'll need a connector anyway, DVI is a much physically larger port and looking at the back of the xserve right now there isn't a ton of room (if you look the mini display port is surrounded by air ventilation holes) so from an airflow perspective mini display port is best. Yes, it does force the use of dongles, but we have an extremely good lights out management system including our fantastic VNC software Remote Desktop. an IT department could probably get away with only having two mini display port adapters per server room and plugging them in in the rare case where a physical monitor is required.
  17. foidulus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    Then they should at least include the cable in the box. A lot of places of business(mine included), doesn't make purchasing a walk in the park, and having to purchase and manage another piece of equipment does add a lot of overhead that could be avoided if they just threw the stupid cable in the box(like they used to with previous gens of xserves...)
  18. TK2K macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2006
    Agreed, i'm not saying what they do is good, i'm just saying the migration to mini display port makes sense. They most certainly should include both in the box.
  19. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Don't you just remote desktop onto servers, like 99.999% of the time? And if you don't is it really that difficult to take a $30 adapter out the draw to plug into your server?
  20. TK2K macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2006
    Some of this has to do with principal.

    The xserves are the only apple computers actually assembled in the US, they come with 1 year onsite support, they are designed for easy access, flexibility, to be rocks solid, and for the most part, self sufficient.
    They come with 3 sets of rails, a raid guide alignment, a tool to make removing the PSU easier, two different lengths of power cord, and extra mounting hardware.

    With all of that included, you'd think they'd throw in an adapter or two.
  21. Mr-Stabby macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2004
    Count yourselves lucky. The XServe G5 didn't even have a graphics card as standard, you had to add one as an option. I didn't, and therefore had to rip an old PCI graphics card out of a G3 Beige Power Mac just to set the bloody thing up!

    I do feel your pain though. Our company too is very tight with money, so i've just bought 2 new XServes, thinking they would come with Mini-DP to VGA or DVI adaptors, and now i have to explain why i have to spend an extra £60 buying the adaptors. It's just annoying. Include it with the price of the server for gods sake, i don't mind paying the extra money i just want it as one package.
  22. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    They also come with an integrated lights-out management (ILM) processor too. Yet another reason (unless all the networks/connections ) have crapped out that could possibly avoid the need a KVM switch ( even to do "console" on/off kinds of things. ). The XServe manual offers 5 different ways to do remote setup of the Xserve.

    Maybe the battle with folks as to why it needs a DB9 serial port expended all the political capital devoted to getting legacy connectors onto the machine. The whole "we absolutely need DB9 and VGA" track sounds so 1980s. ;) I can see one of those, but both when have limited space?

    Note this is also a question if the graphics processor supports VGA. Some newer stuff is DVI-D only (not DVI-I ). Although I think also has to due with mimicing the same set up that the Mac Pro has (although on motherboard as opposed to on a card. Mac Pro also is a GT120 , albeit on a card and more memory.) Since Apple doesn't formally give forward looking guidance, this is also in part a "clue" that mini-DisplayPort is the future. Apple committed everything to being on mini-DisplayPort. This leaves no doubt what the commitment was/is/will be.

    The issue is that practically everyone is going to put the Xserve into a rack. (so ship that stuff). Not everyone is going to hook the Xserve to a KVM. You can put the "Keyboard and Video " on a mobile cart that you wheel around the machine room. You just keep the mini-display VGA/DVI adapter hooked to the Video monitor that you wheel around. That one cart could be used on 100 Xserves and cost waaaaay less than some 100-way KVM set up. Now that you can do many admin things even with the machine turned off the number of times absolutely have to physically connect to the box is pretty small.

    There are more options for remote install possibilities now. (dual Ethernet connections that don't have to be on same network and ILM )

    Making people "login" to do local Admin work also give you a clear audit trail ( unless folks scrub everywhere behind themselves) too. When there is a server with an unsecured keyboard/monitor you are allowing another unaudited avenue of access.

    So it isn't as ubiquitous that folks buying XServes are all going to permanently hook the server to a physical keyboard/monitor (even with one level of indication switch.)

    Buying Applecare (or OS subscription ) is a separate SKU on the purchase order. A $30 cable is just another line on a multi line PO. Or if demand is large enough Apple could do a bundle SKU for this where buy as "one line item". Some of this is people not looking at the listing of what comes in the box and then having to issue a second PO later because missed reading the "what's in the box" listing.

    It is a green thing. Don't ship stuff that many folks won't use.
  23. Muncher macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    Maybe they could offer it as a free option then?
  24. Optimouse^^ macrumors member

    May 22, 2007

    Can you at least write about it?:D


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