Windows Home Server vs OS X Server

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Jophster, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Jophster macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2010
    Ok, so the title pretty much says it all.

    I'm just interested in what people have to say about them as head to head competitors?

    Overkill, complicated and business based?
    or the is it all about simplicity, media and consumers?

  2. hakuryuu macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2007
    Lomita, CA
    Home Server has nowhere near the functionality or potential of OS X Server. OS X server should be compared directly to Server 2008 where it isn't quite as good in some areas, but is in many ways a much better bang for the buck. OS X server includes more features out of the box than just about any Windows Server. You need to add Exchange and sharepoint as well as extra CALs to duplicate what OSX Server is capable of.
  3. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I'm pretty sure that WHS is more for consumers, so it has a way to manage your music and pictures, and backups for entire computers so you don't need an external hard drive off of each PC.

    I think OS X Server is more centralized where the files are kept ON the server, or accessed through the network, but there's no central repository backup (I could be wrong).

    OS X Server is also much more expensive than WHS in the long run, as the cheapest mac has limited HDD space, and you're going to need external drives.

    I think what is comes down to is that OS X Server is for OS X, and WHS is for Windows.
  4. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    It's completely irrelevant. Nobody uses OS X Server in a corporate environment, no matter what the product might be capable of. And that product is largely based upon Open Source software that you usually run on Linux - completely free.

    The reality of the server world is that it is dominated by Windows Server and Linux. You won't find OS X here. Microsoft offers the best BackOffice solutions and Linux is the best choice for web servers and appliances. And both Windows and Linux have infinitely more third party support than OS X.

    You cannot compare Windows Home Server with OS X Server. It's like comparing a rowing boat with an aircraft carrier. If you want to compare the two, compare in the same league. But the problem here is that Apple does not offer anything in the lower end where Windows Home Server is located. OS X Server compares more with something like Windows Small Business Server or a bundle of Windows Server and several other of Microsoft's BackOffice products - and those products are targeted at data centers, not living rooms.

    But the way that you pose your question makes it obvious that you wanted to hear this: "OS X Server is easy to use and great for media and consumes. Windows Home Server is complicated to use and business based." Right? ;)
  5. hakuryuu macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2007
    Lomita, CA
    Oh I don't disagree. OS X Server sits in an uneasy middle ground. It is well used in what is truly its its target market of movie/tv production houses. And there are more than a few small businesses that do run off OS X. But without some work it will never meet the needs of the enterprise even though it does most (but not all) of what they need for far lower cost than what MS offers. It is a fine web server but you can't beat free software in this space and Linux dominates for a reason.

    Really it just is a niche product that works well for businesses and schools that can make it do what they want it to.
  6. JoshBoy macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    I have asked questions in the past about OSX server and was basically always told "if you dont know don't use it" From what I finally have learnt out there is it all comes down to the needs. I was looking at it from a file sharing, mainly media, time machine back ups and external access. WHS offers some great solutions and is probably one on Windows best products that was not advertised as it should have been. Especially if you have an xbox as well, it creates their own eco system, in service pack two there was also a lot of work to make it compatable with OSX so to say it doesn't apply to macs is not correct. I found that if you have multiple computers running leopard or SL with an airport extreme and one or two HDD connected it basically does the same thing. I will explain my set up.
    I have my main computer always on, an iMac 24' 2.4Ghz, I also have an APE with two HDD's connected (1TB Each), one for time machine the other for files. From my main computer it acts like my master "hub" that organises all my photos through Aperture 3 (stored on the external HDD) and my Itunes (stored on the HDD) That iMac is set to time machine onto part of that external HDD. (Both iPhones sync to this computer been the "main hub)
    Next I have my MacBook Pro, I use this for all my photo work (i do photography) because it is more powerful. This Macbook pro connects not only to the HDD;s on the airport express but also my iMac giving them the ability to share. I can also access the APE from any internet connection on my MBP as if I am sitting in my office. I also have a macbookbook with the same set up. To have media sent through my house to the bedroom I use an AppleTV and a PS3. The PS3 streams content off my external HDD attached to the APE so over all i get to share all the media I want through the entire building, I get to share all files with different permission's if I wish and I get to access my files remotely so in a way SL and leopard are offering what windows home server offers anyway. Once I move into a commercial space with more employees I may look at OSX server but until that time I am happy.
    I am happy to be corrected but this is just what I have found. Good luck!
  7. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    Why is the target market production houses? OS X Server offers nothing specific for those environments.
  8. hakuryuu macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2007
    Lomita, CA
    Xsan. I can't imagine they use Mac Pros as MDCs next to the racks of raid arrays.

    I've been looking at jobs in several cities and the one place I see Apple products used heavily is here in Los Angeles at places that use FCS. I know that there are more than a few other types of businesses in the area that use OS X server and in many ways OS X server was designed to be marketed to them, but I don't see nearly as many of them as I do movie shops.

    Podcast producer, maybe?
  9. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    We're on different wavelengths.

    I can see why they might use a Mac at the desktop, but other than Podcast Producer, I don't see any advantage of OS X Server over any other OS.
  10. wlh99 macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2008
    Most knowegable IT professionals, including myself and most peopel I work with, don't just say use one or the other. It depends on the service being offered and the environment deployed.

    In general, for web services, FTP etc. I lean toward a *nix based system like a Mac or Linux or Free BSD. For enterprise use, email, file and printer sharing etc. Windows server is tough to beat and wins hands down. Mostly because of Exchange alone, nothing OS/X offers comes close.
  11. halifan macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2010
    Actually, for a post house, it comes down to enterprise support for the entire backend of the production chain. Yes, FinalCut can use other solutions (As can their competitor, Avid) but major players want a complete system that's supported fully by one vendor, and guaranteed to perform from commissioning as specified.
  12. paduck macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    I don't think you are comparing products that are meant to compete. WHS is (oversimplifying) for home file sharing and media serving by a relatively small number if people in, like say, a house with a relatively inexpensive and low-powered hard drive "server" (often Atom-based). Mac OS X Server is, well, for a real "server" with large scale user account management and extensive remote services that you would be sharing across the web on an "enterprise" basis - web services, calendar, email, etc. (although Apple does sell it in a Mac Mini format now, but in my opinion, I think they could sell that config. without the "server" OS.)
  13. hamlinspahn macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    OS X Server

    If linux didn't own the web server market Apple would sorry Microsoft.
    If linux didn't own the email server market Apple would sorry Exchange
    Why would Apple win over Microsoft maybe because it works and that OS X is basically linux might also have something to do with it.

    But what should you buy if you know windows I would say windows small learning curve.
    If you know linux build a linux box small learning curve also the cheapest solution by far.
    But if you are an Apple users or even a Linux user and want support and a simple setup buy an Apple small learning curve.
  14. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Xsan and Final Cut Server.

    Those types of business need huge amounts of hard drive space over fast fibre optic connections using SAN based storage. Apple have all those bases covered.
  15. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    FCS is not tied to OS X Server. For that matter, neither is Xsan.

    Apple doesn't have it all covered, as they push Promise Technology equipment now. I've seen much better arrays than Promise (i.e. Nexsan's SASBeast or even SATABeast) and for customers with large data requirements, I'm sure they are looking at EMC, not Promise.
  16. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands

    Choose the server based on your needs.
    Maybe Mac OS X Server with Kerio can come close to Exchange...

    BTW, there is nothing wrong in merging the two. Or using both servers side by side. Some like to use the Golden Triangle (i.e. AD leading, OD for Mac specific features, Mac clients bind to both), or use the two separate directory services apart.

    Whatever you do.... get an expert to help you out in defining your needs first. Then use those needs to create a choice. Then price comparison.

    Then realise MobileMe is good enough :p

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