Apple’s easy server solution

“If you are an IT professional and yet love the Mac OS, it’s tough not to have a ‘real’ Mac server in the line-up,” E. Werner Reschke reports for T-GAAP. “While the Mac Mini Server is a nice choice for home use, it lacks the redundancy needed for business applications that can’t afford downtime or to lose data because of hard drive or power supply failures.”

“Recently I had a conversation with Brian Stucki, owner of Mac Mini Colo, located in Las Vegas, NV. What his company has done with the Mac Mini Server it is very impressive,” Reschke reports. “While his solution doesn’t solve the redundancy issue, he has a nice setup for those who need to colo for a Mac Mini Server. He said the Mac Mini’s reliability was great and has yet to see a power supply fail on any of the 1,000 plus Mac Mini Servers he’s dealt with over the years.”

Reschke writes, “There could be another way for Apple to deliver redundancy in its server offerings. What if Apple made it so two Mac Mini servers could be connected directly together via Thunderbolt and then could share a brain and drives?”

Read more in the full article here.

19 Comments

    1. I have to agree with you there. Last time I used OS X Server was 10.3 and it was great, I even had the Xserve acting as the PDC for the Windoze boxes we had…

      Fast forward to Lion Server and all those features are gone, and there is nothing like the customisability that was available in 10.3 as far as I can see.

      1. WRONG. I’ve been deploying and supporting OS X since it’s beta and you are dead wrong. There is MUCH more today than there was in 10.3.

        The GUI took a hit in 10.7, but if you are a real server admin you know how to use the CLI..

        Also the article is stupid, Very easy to setup mirroring between two minis, multiple ways to skin that cat, redundancy is had, and it is still half the price of an xserve or expensive MP. Web servers on a loaded mini smoke, so do directory services and mail.

        1. Truth,

          Rather than acting like a brattish imp, maybe you could have politely pointed us towards a website that shows how to access all these new features?

          Last time I looked in the mirror and pinched myself was all the confirmation I needed that I am, indeed, a real server admin, so man the fsck up and maybe provide some information?

          1. Well, I just posted a lengthing post with over a dozen links for everything you could need, but it didn’t show up. Perhaps the MDN admin needs to approve it because of the links.

            In the mean-time google “Mac Mini RAIS”

            On apple dot com check out the libraries in the developer dot apple dot com page.

            go to list dot apple dot com and subscribe to client management and os x server lists.

            go to afp548 dot com lots of good stuff.

            Go to google groups and check out “macenterprise” group.

            Peachpit press has good os x server books

            if you go to apple dot com, mac, os x server, you will find a resources link, it has an advanced administration guide.

            Thats all the free tech support you get today…

          1. Thank you for acknowledging how little you know of OS X server. Apple creates/maintains/changes command line tools for just about every service. These command line tools offer much more flexibility and options beyond what is offered in serveradmin and server.app.

            While it may be cute and fashionable to desire gui only server administration, it is impractical. Real servers administered from a blinking cursor run the world.

            I get wanting something easy to do simple things with, but some of us went to school for and have devoted our lives to real systems work. Don’t demean it just because you live in an IOS world, or because of the bad experience you had with some tool MCSE IT goon at work.

            Someday AI may replace the need for all that typing and syntax, but it isn’t happening anytime soon.

            And to the original point in this thread, LION server DOES have more than Panther Server did, by a long shot.

            1. Got OS ‘server’ on the Mac Pro I’m typing this on, and was running UNIX systems for Uncle Sam when Reagan & Bush 1 was in the White House as an additional duty as assigned (US Army). Cannot hide your transcript from higher ups and I got tagged.

              The IT peeps and others that champion CLI are like the people who poo-pooed the Lisa and Macintosh as toys back in the early-mid 1980’s. The whole concept of the Macintosh was to get a powerful computer for the masses that was easy to learn and use- not something subject to cryptic and arcane commands.

            2. I don’t know that I draw the same connection you do, not all IT are mac hating bigots. I’ve always embraced the mac and enjoyed using them.

              At the same time, I work on systems for a living and have a love for scripting, rolling my own and uptime. I love that I can use these skill on the Mac platform, and I think the platform is better for it. I like that I do not have to fsck with my personal machines when I am not at work and just want to get some info/share something/etc.

              I may have come across snarky, but I am tired of the whining every time server/OS X changes. 9 times out of ten, these are the people who just upgraded without testing/researching what that really meant. Crying about being “forced”. After all it is newer so it must be better, right?

              His claim chowder about Lion having less than Panther was pure nonsense too. His inability to seek out and find the tools/information he needs are his deficiencies, not Lion Server’s IMO.

              Too be fair Lion server is a little goofy, it is in the middle of a transition, soon there will be no more serveradmin app no workgroup manager and only the new server.app. (which right now lacks many options) knowing how to access, configure and manage these services via the CLI is important, especially if you are managing services for a base of users. A couple of books, or a class would have quickly filled in his knowledge gap, but he chose to whine and complain about his own laziness and blame it on Apple.

              Systems change everyday, if you are gonna be in this game, you need to learn to roll with the punches.

              I started my Uncle Sam , thank god I didn’t have to serve under Ronnie Raygun or his little CIA puppet master.

    2. You’ve got to be kidding.

      10.7 Server has at least as many services as 10.3 did plus more. 10.3 didn’t have Collaboration services.

      I don’t know what you’re talking about.

      1. Having used both, it is the GUI on Lion Server that appears spare. I am just an amateur sys admin for my little network of file and web servers, but it initially looked less comprehensive to me as well. Some items are just buried more than they were.

  1. I suspect Tim Cook may well turn this around since he is more business/enterprise friendly than Steve Jobs ever was. Apple shouldn’t be giving away any of it’s markets especially since it as more than enough money to develop these things.

  2. I installed and maintained one of the few Xserve/Xraid combos within a major branch of Treasury, and got several years of good service out of it before it was phased out.

    Fast forward to the major Apple data storage facilities and there’s hardly a Mac to be found. No one will take Apple’s server offerings seriously until Apple itself does so.

  3. UNIX or Linux on the Server, Mac as a client.

    This could be subject to change as Apple seems determined to dumb down Mac OS into some POS iOS clone.

    The Lion Server is a joke.

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