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Inside Apple's Leopard Server OS

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the nice-place-to-visit-wouldn't-want-to-live-there dept.

OS X 133

An anonymous reader writes "Mac expert John Welch, author of the widely read OS X versus Vista comparison, delves into Apple's Leopard Server OS. He and Information week have on offer a deep dive into what's known so far about OS X Server 10.5, which will be showcased at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Welch weighs in on Leopard's iCal, Wiki, file, Quicktime, and mail services, along with Xgrid 2, Open Directory 4, and 64-bit capabilities. What does it all add up to? His assessment: Apple probably isn't aiming at 'big' enterprises; just the same, Leopard Server is shaping up to be a great SMB (small and mid-sized business) product. Welch writes: 'For about a thousand bucks on existing hardware, or for the cost of an Xserve, you get a really solid server, able to support Web services, collaboration, groupware, IM, and file services. You can run it with its own directory service, or as part of an Active Directory implementation out of the box. It provides some features that due to pricing and/or setup requirements, have traditionally been reserved for big enterprises — in particular clustering of both email and calendaring servers.'"

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Linux (3, Interesting)

kraemate (1065878) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500035)

A comparison between Leopard Server and Linux would've been better, IMHO.

Re:Linux (5, Funny)

AxminsterLeuven (963108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500129)

Sure, but it wouln't provide any obvious reasons for Vista-bashing. Where's the fun in that?

ATTN: Windows/Linux refugees! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500199)

Still looking for the "maximize" button when your Mac has "zoom" instead? Take the hint, switcheurs: If you can't deal with multiple windows at once, GTFO of our platform. The Mac wasn't designed for one-track minds.

Re:ATTN: Windows/Linux refugees! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500621)

Yeah, cause almost every fucking Mac application actually DOES maximize when you press "zoom". Woooow, supaaaaaar greaaaaat feature. Yawn.

I switched back to Linux. It's not perfect, but at least gives me more freedom.

Re:ATTN: Windows/Linux refugees! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500715)

Hell yeah switchiurs! You are not supposed to use a mac for work and focus on what you are currently doing! Nub! Macs are there just to look pretty with a pretty interface NOT TO BE USED!

I'm a mincing art fag who likes trannies (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18501759)

Is the Mac for me?

Re:ATTN: Windows/Linux refugees! (1)

timster (32400) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502765)

This has got to be the most effective troll ever. I can't believe how many people actually believe that you are a Mac user. Congrats.

Re:Linux (4, Insightful)

rindeee (530084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500263)

You're wrong. No offense intended. Your response is, I suspect, a common one. The reality however is that in the market Apple is targeting with this, MS is the standard. Could you build out a Linux box to do all the same stuff that Apple is doing here? Yeah, pretty much (not sure on the QuickTime streaming). That's not the point. What matters is that Apple HAS built it out. They've used OSS to do it. They wrapped it in a slick package. They've made it super easy to deploy, manage, extend, expand and use. A 'systems consultant' could walk in the door and give a small/medium business a complete solution using the Windows desktop and top notch OSS client software (Thunderbird, etc.) providing a truly complete solution for peanuts compared to what an MS back-end would set you back. Kudos to Apple!

Re:Linux (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500711)

That same systems consultant could do the same with Apple, Linux, BSD or Windows. How are you saying "you're wrong"? A system consultant that chooses and deploys a specific system is familiar with it and it is turnkey system for him. There is no trying this and playing with getting that working etc.. That consultant has done it in the past many times and knows how to do it. If the consultant is playing around and attempting to get basic things working, you need to hire a different consultant.

I am curious about your claim of:
They've made it super easy to deploy, manage, extend, expand and use.
Considering that this will not be even showcased until June, how do you have any idea about that? That aside.. Have you deployed this in an SMB environment and done some expanding and extending? If you want people to take your opinion seriously, make it your opinion based on some personal experience with the product with some feedback. Repeating or assuming based on something you've heard someone else say is useless to everyone.
   

Re:Linux (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501233)

The bottom line is, well, the bottom line. As I said, you could do this with Linux (but it will be tougher to manage for the end user over time). You can do it with Windows (obviously since the article is posing Leopoard Server as an alternative to Windows). It's a combination of ease of deployment/mgt. and cost. According to the article (see your 'curious' qustion) it wins in both areas. Of course none of us has used it, that's why we're reading an article written by someone with more insite that we have on the matter. Let's not forget, we're discussing the contents of the article as they pertain to the facts that we do know. Don't get so worked up.

Re:Linux (2, Interesting)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#18503739)

"They've made it super easy to deploy, manage, extend, expand and use."

Considering that this will not be even showcased until June, how do you have any idea about that?


Probably because OS X Server has been around a while, and has always been super easy to deploy, manage, extend, expand and use.

The thing is, anybody who can administer Linux can also admin an OS X (non-server) box to do the exact same stuff. OS X is basically just Mach+BSD+Aqua. You don't need OS X Server to just run sendmail or apache or whatever. The consumer-level OS X does all that with little more effort (and sometimes less) compared to Linux.

OS X Server is a product designed to line up favorably, ease-of-use-wise, with Windows servers. If that's not important to you, save your money and select one of the cheaper options.

Re:Linux (2, Informative)

605dave (722736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501911)

Absolutely you could be running QTSS Streaming Server on a Linux box. Apple open sourced the code several years ago under the name Darwin Streaming Server. It is licensed under the Apple Open Source License [apple.com] , and is available from the Apple Developer Connection [apple.com] .

Mac versus linux decision point (4, Informative)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500581)

Okay here's my comparison.
If you are going to have anything less than 20 computers, and you actually have a bussiness in which time is valuable and you don't have IT-class people with time on their hands, then Linux is insanley expensive to maintain. Get the apple even if the cost per node is higher.

Okay now you say you have 50 to 100 nodes. most of these are behind a cluster router so don't have to be locked down. They all don't have to be running services or what they do run is identical. Well then get Linux. There's zero need to get the apple cost per node. And to boot they will probably reun just a tad faster since you can strip out all those services you don't need. At 100 nodes, having a machine run 10% faster is like 10 extra nodes, so it's worth the optimization at that level of use.

People who claim different, must consider their time has no value, the risk to their bussniess from uncertainty about the patch level of their system has no value, or they have free access to high level sys admin.

Re:Mac versus linux decision point (2, Insightful)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501715)

A few points.

In a server setting, ports must be open. OS X much-vaunted security (mostly, no ports open) is now at risk.

In a server setting, you would use a supported distribution of Linux. This includes security updates. Same as Apple.

In serving Windows clients, SMB would be provided by SAMBA. The web administration of SAMBA is the same.

OS X has always performed very badly in disk access (its architecture is bad for this).

Local service can provide setup and maintainance contracts. The small shop does not a full-time guru.

Re:Mac versus linux decision point (2, Insightful)

fyoder (857358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502087)

IT-class people with time on their hands, then Linux is insanley expensive to maintain.

I would have disagreed with you until I had the experience of working on a small network set up by a creative monkey based on Mandrake distros. The monkey quit and left the non-tech savy boss begging for help.

That said, if you are set up initially by someone who knows what they're doing and get a modicum of training with regard to day to day tasks, Linux can run rock solid without much trouble. If it's well set up when you do need to call an expert for support, the expert can just get to work on your problem without first having to hose off the monkey shit.

If a creative monkey is going to set things up, then as much as it pains me to recommend Microsoft, that might be the way to go. Choices are more constrained. Still would be a good idea to get an expert to go over the set up with eye to security. Or use a distro like Fedora and do things the Fedora way, don't get creative unless you really know what you're doing.

Re:Mac versus linux decision point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18503755)

I have seen creative monkeys just as much on the MS side.

The difference being that it is slightly less as many people who do that type of work have MSCE certification and have been taught to do certain things a certain way.

Linux has no central certification and the people are more free to implement things in multiple ways.

I don't think this is a plus for or strike against linux. Creative monkeys themselves with some common sense are not bad either - sometimes a creative monkey is needed.

But it does say a lot to have the monkey document how the system is set up and works in case when he leaves. Keep a hard copy. Make sure he updates it daily/weekly/whenever he changes critical things.

(This is also often the reason why a dependable distro made as a server is good where one has to muck around much less to get things working the way they ought to. Monkeys don't like documenting.)

Re:Mac versus linux decision point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18504299)

use a distro like Fedora and do things the Fedora way
Jesus Christ, I can't believe you're suggesting Fedora for a production environment. You'd honestly roll out somebody's R&D toy when there's money on the line? CentOS is your friend here. I can't even count the number of weird-ass bugs I've had to deal with that only happen on Fedora systems. I even went so far as to put a "I don't support Fedora" note on my web site, just to head off the interminable "Are you running Fedora Core? Then I'm afraid the only support I offer is support migrating to another distribution"-type calls.

FWIW, I hear that FC5 is much more stable, but I still won't support it. Just too many nightmares...

Re:Linux (1)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18504375)

"A comparison between Leopard Server and Linux would've been better, IMHO."

No, Linux is a kit of parts you use to build a system. Apple's market is some one who wants to open a box and pluig in a working server AND big AND here have ONE place to call for help for both hardware and software suport.

A better comparison would be with Sun Microsystems. Sun can sell you a UNIX box that does what an Apple server does. Heck it even uses much the same Open Source software. Put Sun can send a hardware or software guy out to your site on quick notice, few Linux vendors can (maybe IBM can?) What does Linux cost if you buy it with single point support?

But Apple is cost effective. They beat both Sun and IBM on price. Linux is only cheaper if you don't pay the person who builds if for you.

That said. I'm typing this on a Linux system. Been a big time Linux supporter from Kernel version 0.95 and a long time Sun user from long befor that.

Yes but... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500105)

Tell me how fast it copies files...

Thanks
--Bill G.

Re:Yes but... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500945)

20 minutes for 17Mb files

This would be the same... (0, Troll)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500115)

...as comparing a Ferrari to a Geo Metro

Honestly, Windows ME vs Windows Vista would be a more fair comparison

Re:This would be the same... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500211)

Actually, it would be a Ferrari compared to a Lambourghini with a shitty paint job.

*nix (In my case, FBSD) lets me run a solid multi-service server on a box Apple would tell me to throw in the dumpster.

'all you need is newer hardware'. Now, where have I heard that one before...

I just bought my son an iMac and playing Lego Star Wars on it can throw it into a loop that only a power-off can break. OSX is pretty, and waaaaay better than anything from Redmond, but Cupertino shouldn't pat themselves on the back just yet.

Re:This would be the same... (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500299)

I think that might be the game itself, I've played call of duty 2, as well as NWN. Jedi KNight 2. When they crash, sometimes it was more serious then others, occasionally it took a saved game with it. But they always crashed back to the desktop. It could be because most of these games are being played through Rosetta, which is what I gather, that pesky layer so that programs believe that its still aG5, not the slick new dualcores, of which I have. I love it. and for the GTFO anonymous fan-boi-zealot, i run mac, windows, and linux. Enoughs enough.

Re:This would be the same... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500349)

THAN you fucking retard.

Re:This would be the same... (2, Funny)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502893)

I just bought my son an iMac and playing Lego Star Wars on it can throw it into a loop that only a power-off can break


Lego Star Wars: the number one benchmark for enterprise-ready servers!

;^)

Re:This would be the same... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18503357)

Joke taken, but just how much difference do you think exists between OSX versions? A lot? Well then, turn off the GUI. Completely.

That's what I thought...

The magic end-to-end bullet (5, Interesting)

Deviant (1501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500189)

The one thing that has really helped MS in the enterprise has been that the sell an entire solution that all works together. Windows desktops sign into Windows Active Directory run by Windows Servers. Outlook connects to Exchange running on Windows servers with Kerberos AD logins. Office and Sharepoint getting along to create and maintain intranet content.

Apple has made huge inroads with solving the desktop issues of running Unix on the desktop. For the most part though I have seen either Linux or MS solutions on the server for file sharing and web serving and NIS/NFS and such. Even on the mac I would imagine that Entourage connecting to an Exchange server makes up a large portion of the Enterprise mail community.

If Apple can provide a cheaper end-to-end solution from the server to the desktop with LDAP directories, email, calendering, intranet etc - all preloaded on their server hardware and ready to go - then they have a real winner. Hell the cheaper licencing costs they can offer from basing on open-source can help subsidize their higher hardware margins to make this a comparable, if not cheaper, solution compared to something MS from the likes of Dell or HP.

If they really wanted to twist the knife in they should release some client software/drivers for Windows that make it just as easy to connect that to their servers and services as Macs to accomodate the need for having some PCs in a newly mac office.

Now is the time to do this as companies are faced with upgrading to Vista on the desktop, a new version of Office, and soon a new server platform. Most of this means new hardware purchases anyway. They might be able to just swoop in and offer a complete solution the likes of which linux has been unable to - all bundled with and guaranteed/supported on their own hardare as well.

Re:The magic end-to-end bullet (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500423)

Doesn't Apple offer that with ldap?

Re:The magic end-to-end bullet (3, Funny)

imikem (767509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500631)

The one thing that has really helped MS in the enterprise has been that the sell an entire solution that all works together.

They do? It does? What planet did I wake up on today?

Re:The magic end-to-end bullet (5, Interesting)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500735)

If Apple can provide a cheaper end-to-end solution from the server to the desktop with LDAP directories, email, calendering, intranet etc - all preloaded on their server hardware and ready to go
First, no, it would take a lot more then just that to have people choose an Apple based network over SBS or other Windows setup.

Second, Leopard pretty much is the last piece they need to provide that. it adds iCal server which is really all they were missing. With iCal server, Open Directory, Cyrus IMAP, Postfix and MySQL OS X Server could essentially do everything an SBS Premium install can do with out the 75 user limitation. However, you will need someone with some knowledge and experience to set it up. OS X doesn't have a million little wizards to get everything going with 4 mouse clicks. Initial set up should be done by someone who has an idea what they are doing.

Re:The magic end-to-end bullet (3, Interesting)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501061)

No, but it does have a million little graphical panels, many of them with useful help or hints on the screen, which allows someone moderately familiar with unixese to set one up quickly. I'm running them as a compute cluster as well as networked desktops, which has necessitated setting up everything from LDAP and NSF (don't ask) to DNS, NetBoot, and Sun Grid Engine. Kerberos came along free for the ride with the LDAP config. Easiest Unix machine I've ever set up, and easy to maintain. The remote monitoring tools are a pleasure, where the GUI actually makes a difference. (it's nice to see at a glance that machine 7 has thrown a warning light because fan 6 is running slow). The only real problem is that ARD runs through VNC (at least it did for Version 2,which is what I'm still at), so it's deathly slow compared to either X11 or RemoteDesktop.

In the SMB space, they really seem to have a winner. Maybe I just never took heavy enough drugs to grok Win2K3, but I could never make it work as smoothly as OS-X server does. It's not Solaris, but it'll do.

Re:The magic end-to-end bullet (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18504601)

Wait... you think Apple servers are harder to set up than Windows? Maybe you've just used Windows servers for a long time and you know the ins and outs, but Windows installations certainly aren't sensible these days.

Re:The magic end-to-end bullet (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500771)

They might be able to just swoop in and offer a complete solution the likes of which linux has been unable to - all bundled with and guaranteed/supported on their own hardware as well.

If Apple doesn't have a complete equivalent-or-better solution ready to go, right now, they've missed the boat and will have to wait to pull your "swoop in" move until the next Windows release.

Re:The magic end-to-end bullet (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502001)

they should release some client software/drivers for Windows that make it just as easy to connect that to their servers and services as Macs.

They already have Windows services in OS X Server 10.4. You can set it up to look like a Windows server, with AD and such. The rest of the services (POP email, web, LDAP, etc.) are pretty agnostic. I'm not sure about the iChat IM server. Is there a Windows client that can speak to it?

Re:The magic end-to-end bullet (1)

koehn (575405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502871)

The iChat server uses XMPP (Jabber), so yes, there's a ton of Windows client support. I was wondering if the iChat server has gateways to other systems like AIM and Yahoo, but I haven't bothered to check.

Re:The magic end-to-end bullet (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18503523)

Towards the end of the article, it mentions possible gateway support. That would rock at my work, where we've ditched the Mac MS Messenger clients in favor of the web based one. And a lot of the Mac users are whining for iChat use. If we can run a gateway to our Messenger server, sweet!

Re:The magic end-to-end bullet (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502301)


Even on the mac I would imagine that Entourage connecting to an Exchange server makes up a large portion of the Enterprise mail community.

Not generally. If Macs are allowed at work, it's generally in an environment that has a generic IMAP service set up (or, where I work, we're all webmail based. Really. But it does allow you to use any platform you like that has a web browser). While non-Exchasnge email isn't common, it's not common to have Macs at work either, so there you go. Entourage to Exchange still has big problems, and it's become clear that MIcrosoft does not intend to allow platforms other than Windows to interact with Exchange server. At least, that was before they agreed to release interop specs in the latest round with the EU; I wonder if it will be much easier for a third party to step in and make compatiblity easier.

all... (0, Offtopic)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500203)

...i wanna know: is it able to delete [slashdot.org] files?
 
*scnr*

So (0, Troll)

OSS_ilation (922367) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500233)

it's not running in "big" enterprises. Then, in all seriousness, where is it running these days? I ask out of curiosity, not criticism. Is it enjoying the modest gains that the desktop offering has over the past couple of years? If I use Server, will Steve Jobs do a jig in my front lawn? Ok, the last one was a corny attempt at humor, but I am genuinely curious.

Re:So (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500635)

I manage the modest network of a facility with 900 Macs and 120 WinPcs, 1800 users, 3 mail servers, 2 webservers, etc. All servers except one anti-virus server and one Linux mail server, are Mac Xserve running Tiger 10.4 server. All the computers are in a single OpenDirectory domain with all users, including Windows users, authenticating off OpenDirectory. All have roaming home directories which users can access from Macs or PC, managed printer and workstation access... The fact is, we use OS=X server because we have easier fine grain control over desktop applications and resource acces than we do from Windows servers. We find the Mac servers very adequate for our needs. The management software is superb and much more logical than Server 2003 and older and far more coherent and centralized than I have seen so far Linux or BSD

It takes one full time person to run the network and maintain the network and computers, largely due to Apple's remote desktop and net boot reimaging services and the fact that all the Macs can run off two install images: one for Intel, one for PPC. The WinPCs take roughly twice the maintenance time per cpu than the Macs largely be cause of differing drivers.

Oh.. The facility is a public k-12 school. Mac server are also very common in colleges, law offices, large and medium printing companies, greeting card companies, scientific research, and newspapers.

Re:So (2, Interesting)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18503901)

Sounds fairly similar to my internship at Central Washington University. There was one full-time Mac guy for all 700-800 Macs on campus. A couple others would poke at them, but they'd toss anything more than a simple problem to the Mac guy. There were about 2100 PCs on campus...and eight guys to cover all of those. Do the math.

And you're right on in saying that OS X Server is so much more intuitive in it's design that 2k3. I had taken several classes in 2k3, but had never touched OS X Server when I first installed it on a test machine. I was absolutly amazed at how much EASIER it was to setup and maintain that 2003. There's no comparison. Microsoft just loves to spread shit all over the system so that you have to know it backward and forward to get anything done and wind up opening five windows/applications. Apple put 90% of everything within two applications. Server Admin for services, Workgroup Manager for Open Directory Management. Then there are a few more little apps for managing other miscellaneous things. If only Microsoft could design something that simple, but they've proven time and time again that they're utterly incapable of it.

Re:So (1)

foolsdragon (318157) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500795)

It's running my network at a VERY rapidly growing printing company. Not just the creative group, either. Every desktop (and laptop) in our company is a Mac, and so is the entire back-end. The only things in our environment that aren't are the production web servers (Debian on cheapie Dells) and our Exchange (puke) server, which we had to put up so our salescritters could have Blackberries to show off at their cocktail parties.

Honestly, all fanboi-ness aside, I think you'll be seeing a greater penetration (heh) into the major enterprise markets thanks to the easy licensing terms, bullet-proof reputation, and honestly easier administration. I agree that Apple needs to come up with an answer to Exchange to REALLY compete, and I'm hoping that iCal server in Leopard is the first step in that direction.

Mac server target market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18501255)

is the small businesses and nonprofits who need the magic of a central calendar and working email. These are groups that have between 5 and 5 seats. The MS solution for them is punishingly expensive, it OFTEN is the cause of their bankruptcy. Exchange server, a PD and BD controller, an AD server, all on separate boxes in a 20 man shop? I don't think so. What they do is share out directories.

Maybe they'll take a stab at ClarkConnect.com or smeserver.org, both are linux based, but both have very serious errors in configuration that are showstoppers. The ClarkConnect CUPS server is set to pause the printer upon any and every error, this disqualifies it for just about any use where there are ordinary end users, and their forums are unresponsive. smeserver is just totally weird.

If Apple can follow through on this, it'll be killer. And there are millions of these small shops, how many Fortune 500 companies are there?

Re:So (2, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501539)

So it's not running in "big" enterprises. Then, in all seriousness, where is it running these days?

Well, are "big" enterprises all that exist? The answer should be hopefully obvious.

For our part, which is that of a large public research university, we have probably about 100 Mac OS X Server systems on campus here, and about 35 in our primary datacenter, not counting systems in compute clusters, which probably adds another 100 or so. (We have about 16000 Macs in general on campus, nearly all on Mac OS X.) Most are used for tasks where an Apple server is required or desired, like AppleShare file service, QuickTime Streaming Server, managing Mac OS X clients, etc. And yes, things like AFP and QTSS can be done on other platforms in various ways, but sometimes you want a seamless commercial-vendor-supported solution. The remainder are used as light to medium duty departmental/workgroup UNIX servers. In the latter case, they're usually picked because they're a lot easier for some folks to run than Windows Server 2003 or Linux; it's sometimes the difference between a small department or workgroup actually being able to reasonably run a server, or not. Some are deployed in departments with many skilled sysadmins who manage hundreds of Mac OS X clients, and use Mac OS X Server-specific functionality to do so.

Apple vs Microsoft (1, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500245)

Apple's infamous closed-mouthed approach to major OS releases, while great for marketing purposes, isn't always so great for the IT world.

The thing is, they don't wanna be great in the IT world. They wanna show the Mac fans "see? we can do it" and simulatenously provide something to tie together Mac based little networks, where it's not the cheapest or more powerful option, it's the EASIEST option. "It just works" - you know, this is Apple.

While certainly possible (and being done in some datacenters), Apple based server for public facing sites is a terrible idea, though unless you have money to waste and don't care for industry-grade support, so don't confuse the one kind of servers with the other.

You see, the IT world is boring and predictable, it's like the PC guy. The PC guy will put out public betas years in advance and listen to feedback.

The Mac guy will keep quiet and at the last moment, wow the audience with the latest gimmick.

But he's not the kinda guy you'd normally hire in your company. You'll hire the boring and predictable guy, who delivers.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500369)

Add to that the fact that the OSX micro-kernel architecture means performance will generally be worse than linux on equivalent hardware. OSX is a great desktop OS, why anybody wants it on a server is a mystery.

Hardly a microkernel (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500691)

Mach is hardly a microkernel, or if it is, so is NT.

Yes, OS X has a lot of unnecessary overhead, and where kernel performance is important you're better off with a traditional UNIX kernel rather than a high overhead modularized one (OS X *or* NT). But it's unfair to tar microkernels with the Mach brush while you're pointing that out.

Anyway...

Why anybody wants it on a server is a mystery.

Same reason they want NT on a server, despite it only being a decent desktop OS (albeit one that's been increasingly screwed up as it's been targeted more as a game console and video player by Microsoft). It's a trade-off between computer processing time and human processing time.

Linux users make the same tradeoff when they use glibc instead of building a custom Gentoo around uLibc. :) :) :)

Re:Hardly a microkernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18501371)

Mach is a microkernel, Darwin isn't but it inherits some (not all) of the performance problems of Mach. Processes (fork(), exec() etc), context switches and IPC (pipes, UNIX sockets etc) are an order of magnitude faster on linux or FreeBSD.

I thought uLibc was optimized for size not speed? Kentsfield has what... 8MB L2 cache?

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500387)

"... it's not the cheapest or more powerful option ..."

Did you not read the article?

"Apple is taking items that either cost a lot of money, or need a lot of expertise, and selling them real cheap ..."

That is the point. MS is soaking business through its licensing costs. Apple has a cheaper solution that may well appeal to SMB.

The Windows guy ain't delivering. (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500401)

The Windows guy ain't delivering.

He's not Dilbert, he's Wally. Look at Vista... it's got a few improvements, but most of what's new in Vista is the business it's running out of its cubicle selling music and movies for the entertainment industry.

The Mac guy, maybe he's the guy in sales with executive hair, but luckily there's a better choice for the server room.

The employees you really want are in the Tron suit and devil costume. [imageshack.us]

Re:The Windows guy ain't delivering. (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500555)

Windows right now is working just fine. It runs many, many, many businesses, and 90% of the desktops on the planet. What is Windows not "delivering"?

Re:The Windows guy ain't delivering. (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500827)

The other 10%

Just think, if MS had ALL of the desktop market, they could use their lack of documentation to ensure that those desktops only worked with MS servers, and thereby corner the entire server market as well.

Not that they would do anything like that.....oh, wait. Nevermind.

Re:The Windows guy ain't delivering. (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500831)

Windows is also responsible for countless man-years lost to fighting viruses abnd worms that could have been avoided (yes, really, the big flood of Windows malware coincided with the introduction of Active Desktop and the merging of Internet Explorer, Outlook, and Windows Explorer through the HTML control), and that's just one of the ways it's a classic Wally-style "high maintainance employee". I've already mentioned its "moonlighting" as an enforcer for the RIAA and MPAA, which you can explore further in Peter Gutmann's article [auckland.ac.nz] .

Businesses are used to putting up with people like this, so it's no wonder that they accept the same kind of abuse from computers.

Re:The Windows guy ain't delivering. (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500849)

What is Windows not "delivering"?
Stable, reliable, performant, cost-effective server platforms. Which is why almost no large scale business I'm aware of runs MS software for their money-making customer facing web sites.

I'm sure some are going through the pain of doing it, but even the one I'm aware of currently that runs their custom code on Windows is moving to a non-MS solution because Windows has stopped scaling for them.

Re:The Windows guy ain't delivering. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500865)

What is Windows not "delivering"?

Reliability, integrity, ease of use, ease of maintenance, capability of running well on current hardware.

It does deliver the ability to run (sort of) on cheaper hardware.

Re:The Windows guy ain't delivering. (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502025)

What is Windows not "delivering"?


A secure, stable environment. Businesses and consumers spend literally billions of man-hours every year patching and re-installing their Windows systems, trying to keep them secure and usable. Whole departments of extra technicians have to be hired just to keep on top of Windows security. This is money poured down the drain, and if Microsoft can't fix the situation, eventually people are going to go with a solution that can.

Re:The Windows guy ain't delivering. (3, Insightful)

rthille (8526) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502885)

A friend who used to work at Microsoft who was talking to a current microsoft employee (paraphrased):
Former to Current: "What I want is a stable, secure system that works without having to reboot for patches all the time."
Current to Former: "Our server version is coming out later this year."

Former to Me: "That's when I knew she just didn't get it. She didn't realize that there are benefits to the 'regular consumer' by having a secure, stable system."

Me to Former: "You're surprised a Microsoftie doesn't get it? WTF?"

Re:The Windows guy ain't delivering. (0, Flamebait)

klubar (591384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501999)

Have you tried getting "business class" support from apple as a medium business. Support to apple means waiting on hold to some indian guy who doesn't speak english. Then dragging your broken computer to an apple store and waiting in line behind some pierced dude who needs help with garage band, and then waiting in line behind someone's grandmother...

Where is the 4-hour on-site support, premium software service and all the other stuff of "real business machines".

Unless you have mostly apples, there really isn't any need for an apple server.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500441)

> You'll hire the boring and predictable guy, who delivers.

If that's an analogy for Microsoft, it should read: "You'll hire the boring and predictable guy who fails to deliver."

Apple deliver, Microsoft talk the talk yet palm you off with an unfinished mess.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500567)

But he's not the kinda guy you'd normally hire in your company. You'll hire the boring and predictable guy, who delivers.

Yeah, but you'd rather hang out with the Apple guy outside of work.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18503333)

Me, I'm not big on hanging out with yuppie fags, but to each his own.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18503505)

Why? I think it'd be tough to pick up chicks at a fruit stand.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (5, Informative)

larkost (79011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500755)

I think that there is a very flawed perception in your argument. You are correct that Apple does not reveal "everything" about new products before unveiling, and with some products (especially new ones) they are absolutely secretive.

But I think it is a common mistake in industry to think that you can do better planning based on the information from any vendor other than Apple (in the Steve Jobs Era). If you take Windows Vista vs. 10.5 as an example:

Microsoft has been touting features of Vista for years now, but if you take a look at the list of those features, and the ones that businesses were planning on building on, you would have been completely mislead as recently as 9 months ago. WinFS (database based file system) was arguably the killer feature that everyone was planning on. And we don't know when and if that will be delivered. And if you are really one of those planners who needs to know the future, then you would know that this feature was originally on the plan for Cario, which was Windows 95.

So Microsoft has been giving out information all along, but you can't rely on that information at all. Sure they have had a beta program going for quite some time... but we are talking about long-term planning here. The people who make those plans do not have time or inclination to play with those betas.

Now Apple on the other hand: I was at WWDC last year, and so got to see a lot of the new API's that Apple was working on, and I got to see a lot of the demonstrations of technologies that will be in 10.5. There are a whole number of technical-level details that Apple gave out, the type of things that are very important for programmers, and systems integrators. I got a great idea of how 10.5 will fit into my employer's network (even better than 10.4).

I didn't get to see the wiz-bang super-secret features that are still secrets, but to be honest, those aren't things I have to plan for until 9 months after 10.5 comes out anyways. The things I need to know to do my planning or programming Apple has made available to me (granted not for free), and the stuff that it would be cool to know, but I don't need to know to get my job done they still have behind the curtain.

And the stuff I saw I know will make it into 10.5 (unless the specifically told me it was on the bubble). Apple has a great track record with that. The stuff they didn't know if they could pull off correctly was excluded from public view. In my mind that helps me make the right decisions, rather than lead me to false expectations.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (1)

hypermanng (155858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502311)

Windows 95 was Chicago and before that Windows 4.0 to be released in '93. Cairo was the NT-based replacement for Chicago to be released in '97.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18502633)

All great points, larkost. One thing you didn't talk about is the robust-ness Apple tends to deliver...

When they say they're adding feature X, when (not if) it comes out it's either already solid (99%) or the bugs that do crop up are minor (99% of which are cosmetic). When it ships, we can rely on X to do what was advertised and can usually extend it in useful ways - it JustWorks and the API is fairly obvious/straightforward (else private).

A couple I know (ex NASA employees, computer consultants), the other day, couldn't figure out how to send me a jpeg in email. Guess what OS they use - apprently Vista has no proplems copying/pasting .doc or .ppt files, but a simple jpeg stumps them. And all this time on OSX (and before that OS9) I've been dragging my files over to my email window to add them as attachments - robust simplicity. Copy/paste works on OSX too, for adding file attachments, I'm just used to dragging.

Give me useful, obvious and robust features over broken promises, awkward and half-broken cruft any day.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18502709)

You see,

So Microsoft has been giving out information all along, but you can't rely on that information at all. Sure they have had a beta program going for quite some time... but we are talking about long-term planning here. The people who make those plans do not have time or inclination to play with those betas.


This doesn't matter. The "planners" just need something to plan. Whether or not its accurate is another story. As long as there is a plan and a budget attached, they are cruising along fine. MS could say whatever they want (and often do) and not deliver (and often they don't), but plenty of planning and budgeting got done in the meantime!

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500787)

However, small companies would love to have that quiet guy that comes out an wows them with the latest gimmick that delivers what they need- and from what I've seen and experienced, "boring and predictable" rarely lasts long in the IT world. It normally evaporates quite quickly when something discovers that the MTBF figures aren't a rule of law.

Think small companies with under a hundred people whose business methods don't require heavy online customer interaction but still need a web presence. They don't require- and can't afford- a staff of IT people. They can't justify the expense or licensing fees some of those heavy-duty services carry, no matter how nice it would be to have them.

It sounds to me that Leopard fills their needs quite well. It's a step up from running a desktop machine headless and calling it a server, staffed by Tim in accounting in his spare time, but a lot cheaper than going the full enterprise class system, with a full IT department and attendant high-end licensing fees.

It sounds like a nice package deal of all the goodies most businesses want, with enough "just works" in it to keep IT staffing budget affordable. It also has enough scalability to keep things running until (if ever) they hit the point which would justify the full boat enterprise system and staff.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (1)

foolsdragon (318157) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501251)

You're probably right, in an "Apple vs. Microsoft" world, but in environments where Microsoft isn't the knee-jerk default for everything, a combination of Apple for the desktop/workgroup management and *nix for the production side is VERY compelling, cost effective, reliable, and competitive.

Not every move that a company makes is designed to immediately take on the biggest bully on the block. Despite not releasing beta after beta, Apple generally gets it right for what their customers want, at least in the consumer world for now. I think the changes in Leopard Server are indicative of them starting to get it right for the business world as well.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501561)

While certainly possible (and being done in some datacenters), Apple based server for public facing sites is a terrible idea, though unless you have money to waste and don't care for industry-grade support, so don't confuse the one kind of servers with the other.

I will admit that Apple doesn't have the Enterprise level support that Microsoft has. However, in every company I worked for, that Enterprise support did nothing for us. Whenever we actually had an issue (servers randomly crashing, web servers that don't respond to HTTP requests), our admins eventually found the solutions themselves online after days of frustrating tech calls to MS. They were there when we called them, but they were of little help to us.

But he's not the kinda guy you'd normally hire in your company. You'll hire the boring and predictable guy, who delivers.

Which one is the guy that is always 2 years late and when he finally delivers, the product does not live up to the original promises? As far as I know most companies (MS included) have marketing departments that oversell/overpromise. Dilbert is funny because that situation is more true that naught.

Most IT departments are conservative. They have to be. That's why Vista is not likely to be adopted by large companies until at least SP1. I would think that these departments would prefer the Mac if a Mac fits their needs. For most IT departments, it is about the right tool for the job. Need an Exchange server? Don't get a Mac. Need a file and print server? Windows, Linux, or Mac depending on your environment. With a Mac, they get a server (based on Unix) that fits into their environment fairly well with a minimum amount of support required and reasonable licensing.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft and Their TPM Compliance (1)

cyberbian (897119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502935)

It's interesting to note that ALL Apple computers ship with a functioning enabled TP Module. Microsoft has complied with the TCGs recommendations with respect to TPM. You'll find that Apple has no controls, no oversight and no statement as to the use of the TPM installed in their machines. This is one place where Microsoft has actually been better.


ANY vendor can be more stable by locking its hardware platform and focussing all of its dev dollars into ensuring that its OS operates REALLY WELL on that platform. The key point to consider as an IT buyer is 'What kind of vendor lock in will my company suffer?' Once a firm decides to go with one platform over another they're committing to at least a 3-5 year implementation and support schedule.


Considering Apple's record (or complete lack thereof) of Trusted Computing how confident should any business feel about committing to Apple? Sure it's shiny and works well, but any OSS on a fixed platform could provide the same (if not better) results.

Odd comparison? (1)

ScriptMonkey (660975) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500323)

I'm not much up on Windows, but isn't this a weird comparison? I though Vista was targeted to desktops, not servers. Shouldn't this be comparing the OS X Server to Windows Server 2007 (or whatever its going to be called)?

Also, a comparison between OS X Server and some server oriented Linux distro would be nice to see.

If this were Digg ... (0, Offtopic)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500397)

There would be some lame "Kevin Rose is Steve Jobs bitch" comment about now. But it isn't and there isn't.

The Kevin & Tracey bum lick award goes to (-1, Offtopic)

GypsyQ (1080645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500585)

The middle-classes are insecure about their own needs. They will always bow down to the superior opinion of the professional. The lower-classes may be mocked as Kevin & Tracey, but I give you your suggestible natural tendency as a retort to the dismissal. The Apple and the Bang & Olufsen.

The Apple wasn't all it was cracked up to be until Mac OS X. The design of the original iMac is pisstakeable. The Mac OS X user-interface is pisstakeable too - the hint is the button on the top right and the sliding drawer.

The BO is pure German mimicry of 70s Italian design school mimicry or mockery of the coffee machine, I can't decide witch. It is Ferrara Roche material to me and the PC knows about the deep dark secret inside the Apple. Apple are motherboard shape changers for their cases. They are stuck inside Ikea cardboard box land too.

The middle-class expert bum lick tongue is on full display at any Steve Jobbypooo performance. Cringe. Bow. Cringe again and wince with pleasure. Angela kicks your boney arses now.

Re:The Kevin & Tracey bum lick award goes to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500999)

I would like to congradulate you, sir, for making the most nonsensical post on slashdot today. I have now added the ludicrous term "pisstakeable" to my repetoire and feel that much more enlightened for using it.

Re:The Kevin & Tracey bum lick award goes to (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18501291)

I have now added the ludicrous term "congradulate" to my repertoire.

Can Somone Translate that into English? (1)

HalfOfOne (738150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501129)

Can someone translate that into (American) English for me? I swear, some day we'll teach you Brits to speak real English. ;)

English or (American) English (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502185)

"I can't decide witch."

Now that's a beauty of a homophone error. The guy should put that in his sig.

Interesting fact... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500651)

Mac experts are also experts in fellatio.

Re:Interesting fact... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500773)

Slllluuuuurrrrrrrrpppp; Yum!!!!!!!!

Re:Interesting fact... (0, Offtopic)

akira69 (621573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501253)

My girlfriend does give good BJs. I didn't know it was because of her mac.

Re:Interesting fact... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18501765)

Mac experts are also experts in fellatio

As well we should be when compared to Linux and Windows experts because, unlike them, we actually have the free time necessary to receive and enjoy a blow job.

Re:Interesting fact... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18502107)

As well we should be when compared to Linux and Windows experts because, unlike them, we actually have the free time necessary to receive and enjoy a blow job.

Plus Linux experts often forget to shower which can be a deal breaker. See RMS ...

laughable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18500689)

A comparison of a beta product to a currently shipping one is hardly worth the electrons used to publish it.

I have a suspicion... (1)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500797)

That to Apple, SMB is SOHO and the home family structure.

Yeah, enterprise gets the big ticket win, with the follow on support and infrastructure pricing.

However, take a family, each one gets their own laptop (2 kids) and maybe the parents share one laptop or desktop. OK, now throw in the TV and phones, it may be an easy sell for a server in the house for media and file serving.

So now do the math, how many laptops and ipods are out there in the "family" environment? Like I said, it is isn't a big, single win but capturing the home market could start the bleed into the work environment.

Where is the small business hardware? (1)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500837)

The article states that Leopard is for small to medium size businesses. Okay. Apple, where is the small to medium size business hardware? Unless you're doing heavy duty image editing you do NOT need an xserve for a server in the small business environment. It is total overkill and a waste of money. Get a mac mini you say? Umm, no. There is no redundancy in the disks and the disk IO is slow. Where is the headless "Mac" tower that allows for SATA and SATA RAID? You've got mini's, iMac's, Mac Pros, so how about just a Mac? OS X Server is a kick-ass OS that would do wonders in many an office, but the cost of entry is far, far to high for the print / central word doc storage server crowd.

Re:Where is the small business hardware? (2, Informative)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501271)

And what's wrong with an XServe in the SMB space? RAID'd disks, or use the XServe RAID (or any other disk cabinet) externally, redundant power, space and power efficient design. If you need something to live with the office, then a MacPro, comparable in price to a PC of the same class, does the same job at the cost of more physical space. I've run academic sites that would qualify as small business computing (15 to 50 users, central storage and print, independent desktops running common environment), and we would have considered $3500 for the base machine, plus another $3500 for disks and a tape backup quite acceptable. I built a few of those machines, and after fighting the heat and support issues, bought the $3500 machines from HP and IBM which are still in service, years after I've departed. When i talked to the group, they haven't had a service call in on them yet, either, just like after being run hard for three years (I do HPC, so most of the machines run 24/7 doing heavy floating point and thrashing the disks with several gig scratch files) I haven't made a call on any of my XServes.

I and others have said this before; real businesses buy real hardware with real service contracts, because their data is worth more than the marginal cost of the cheapest machine they can find at NewEgg. The price difference between the $1500 machine that you're demanding, and the existing $2500 machine that they sell, is minimal, and can be written off on taxes.

Re:Where is the small business hardware? (3, Informative)

kellererik (307956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501551)

real businesses buy real hardware with real service contracts, because their data is worth more than the marginal cost of the cheapest machine they can find at NewEgg.

You are absolutely right, in a perfect world, that is. A friend of mine constantly fights with his customers for this very reason. They buy cheap hardware and expect him to make it work, he could simply refuse to do so, but he has to eat, you know. The latest case had even me wondering, though. A medium-sized business wasn't willing to pay for an Xserve, but went with a Mac Pro instead. They are located in an area with exceptionally bad powerlines (If I would work there, I would refuse from connecting a desklamp without an UPS, that bad, really), the didn't want buy another UPS, so the Mac Pro runs unprotected, dies from time to time or mangles up the cyrus database. Guess who gets blamed?

Again, you are perfectly right, in theory. Educating customers shopping at NewEgg and the like for hardware to be used professionally puts a heavy burden on every consultant.

my 2 cents

Re:Where is the small business hardware? (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18503049)

Springs for the the MacPro but won't buy an UPS? WTF?

Re:Where is the small business hardware? (1)

kellererik (307956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18503361)

That's what I thought, too. Sad, isn't it?

Re:Where is the small business hardware? (1)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501641)

Okay. Well, at least get rid of the dual-proc and allow for a single processor.

Re:Where is the small business hardware? (1)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502645)

I just ran their configuration script and I think you're right. It's coming up with a figure that is easily twice the price I paid for a dual Xeon Intel-based server with redundant power and cooling, 10 SCA HD bays, multichannel RAID, and 4GB of ECC.

In a small business environment I need heavy duty features, but on a small scale. A single beefed up server can handle most of the workload, and scalability isn't really a concern. The xserve products look really, really nice, but to me appear to be overkill for small business (50 employees, manufacturing). This is the kind of hardware that I drool over a little bit as I imagine our network growing over the years, but ultimately don't purchase because I don't need anything that fancy just yet.

This sort of reminds me of the sales calls I used to get from Cisco/etc where they try to convince that I need managed switches with all sorts of features and proven efficiency... at many, many times the cost of my generic gigabit switches that handle our data flow just fine. They're fast enough, and reliable enough...and cheap enough that a failure means a simple, low-cost swap out (this never happens though).

In the small business environment, we just need something that will work efficiently, and work reliably. Issues that face real data centers aren't really applicable. Power requirements: don't care. Environmental requirements: don't care. Size/form factor: don't care. Scalability: minor concern. Monitoring capabilities/KVM/etc: minor concern. Just work well enough that nobody notices that it's working well, and reliably enough that I can go on vacation with the little peace of mind afforded by redundancy and automation. Oh yeah, and unfortunately, it has to be on the cheap. Think the Honda Civic of server hardware.

ZFS (5, Interesting)

boxless (35756) | more than 7 years ago | (#18500877)

If they get ZFS working, as is the rumour, and it's not buggy, then I think they may have a killer feature on their hands.

Even Microsoft shops might be inclined to test this out for a NAS box. One of the big reasons why people by netapp boxes is for the snapshot and snapmirror capabilities. With ZFS, OSX would have very similar capabilities for a lot less $$.

Re:ZFS (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18501309)

Is ZFS any better than HFS+ or NTFS at handling other filesystems' characters, filename lengths, and privilege status gracefully? One of the greater annoyances I have found in using Mac's and PC's in a mixed environment is the errors that get thrown when moving files to a server running the other platform. I know there are commercial solutions to this problem out there, but they cost a lot.

Miles to go before someone sleeps (1)

heinlein (17425) | more than 7 years ago | (#18501521)

I'd guess that John C. Welsh has never laid his hands on, installed, or tried to configure OS X 10.5 server. I installed the developers' preview edition of Leopard server, and, well, someone's got a lot of writing to do.

In particular, I tried to set up the iCal server and test it with various clients. There's essentially no documentation, and what exists is less than helpful. It appears not to work well with the iCal application that ships with Tiger. I had a little better luck with Mozilla calendaring clients, but only a little.

If iCal is going to be the great alternative to MS Exchange that Apple aficiondos and the IT press would like it to be, it's got to a) work with a variety of existing clients (including Tiger's), b) be easy to set up from the client side, c) work with existing authentication databases, and d) have some meaningful documentation. Anything less, imo, and Leopard's iCal server is basically vaporware.

Re:Miles to go before someone sleeps (1)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502481)

It appears not to work well with the iCal application that ships with Tiger.

Stands to reason that they'll release an updated, iCal Server-friendly version of iCal via Software Update for Tiger and maybe even Panther once Leopard Server ships. Even for Apple I think it would be a bit much for them to require Leopard clients for all this stuff to work-- if the idea is for Leopard Server to take a bite out of Windows Small Business Server's market share, they'll need to make it fairly painless to migrate. And that means working with Mac mail and calendar software that shipped before Leopard, plus Outlook back to version 2000 or 2003 on the Windows side.

~Philly

Re:"I'd Guess" That You're Not a Developer (1)

Telephone Sanitizer (989116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18505123)

...because documentation is available on Apple's developer site and a simple Google search would have gotten you decent instructions on how to get even the earliest versions working under Tiger.

Also, developers know that the shipping version of iCal uses a different file format than the version in Leopard.

I'm guessing that rather than being a legit developer, you got your hands on an illicit copy of the (now ancient and obsolete) Leopard preview from last August's developers conference. Otherwise, you'd know WTF you were talking about.

No exchange server = not ready for business (2, Interesting)

klubar (591384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502051)

Without full support for exchange, this is a wanna-be server. The exchange, outlook integration is still way better than the ical approach. With exchange shared adressess books, shared calendars and really good email integration works. The apple server "sort of" supports imap and pop... and a couple of poor open-source web integration alternatives.

Exchange alone is a good enough reason to go with Windows servers (and yes, I know some people have difficulty setting up exchange.)

Re:No exchange server = not ready for business (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502917)

But not only that-- Apple has to be able to integrate seamlessly with an existing Exchange installation if they want to make a dent in the server room. The only company that would use Apple's idea of a "groupware" server is a company that doesn't already have its data locked away in Exchange, i.e., a new company.

We have Xserves in our server room. They're not bad-- they get the work done, sharing out 7 TB of data. But they're there for one reason: support for HFS metadata. If it weren't for that one fact, we'd probably would not have gone with them. (BTW, Netatalk is great, but it does not cooperate with Samba wrt file locking) Troubleshooting an Xserve is a royal pain in the ass-- you have very little idea what the GUI tools are doing behind your back.

Re:No exchange server = not ready for business (1)

drrck (959788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18502959)

I don't know about you but all the large companies I've worked in/with use Lotus Notes, not Exchange. Different people have different needs. Lotus Notes is arguably more flexible than Exchange and iCal. Does that mean it won't work for people?
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