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Ontario
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Discussion Starter #1
I was in San Jose last week and the rumour. I heard was that Apple is working on a new 3U server.
I suspect this will just be a MacPro repackaged to fit better into standard server racks. (Not that there is anything wrong with the MacPro).

I only hope this is the case.

Has anyone heard such rumour?
 

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I heard something to the same effect a month ago or so.

If they redesgn the mac pro I could see it being tweaked slightly so that it could be mounted in a rack. But Apple wouldn't make two versions of it, just one witha rack mounting option.

Sent from my iPhone
 

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Ontario
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Discussion Starter #3
Yes this is what I suspect....a case that is capable of mounting in a rack.
 

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Makes sense. Thinking about it, Apple could really do some cool designing to make the Mac Pro serve dual purpose as a work station and 3u rack mountable server. Their neat pop-in and out drive trays that were on the Xserve could be used, and they could maybe put a few more in there. Make the power supply and blowers swappable and easily accessible. I'm sure they could come up with some neat ideas!
 

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Along with that and the recent MacPro support for large SSD drives ... I'd LOVE for Apple to take advantage of the Intel partnership and get a significantly reduced discount for SSD introduction across the ENTIRE lineup before end of 2011.

Apple the first company to deliver SSD drives as a standard across the entire product lineup.
 

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Where on earth is that 3 inches coming from?

There is no way you can lop off 3" from the side of a Mac Pro and still keep everything inside it the way it was. You wouldn't be able to fit the drive carriers in the machine for one, even without the slack on the aluminum caddy that serves as a pull handle.

You could shave off an inch. Maybe a bit more. But 3 inches?

That would require a radical redesign of the entire system.

I don't doubt that Apple is going to replace the XServe somehow, but I would assume that whatever 3U system they come out with will be a new system in itself and not based on the Mac Pro. It's going to be really hard to push a rack mountable server without LOM.

-DN
Dell makes 3 U servers and so does everyone else.. so I can image if you can make a mac mini - you can make a 3 U server
 

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This all makes zero sense.

The Mac Pro and Mac Mini are fine for server use where racks are not required. Cramming an ultra-quiet machine into a rack where the majority of the machine is dominated by massive heatsinks (just to increase the surface area and drive the noise down) is not logical.

The server room is no place for "quiet" machines. It's a place for slim boxes with tiny fans running at 10K RPM blowing across heatsinks literally a tenth the size of what is in the Mac Pro.

Jamming the MP in a rack is just plain inefficient. They should have kept the XServe.

-DN
Hey, I'd like for them to have kept the Xserve to, but in the absence of that it does for sure make sense for businesses who've got one rack with rack-able UPS, storage, a need just 2 or 3 servers for something like Final Cut server, or large doctor's offices in Ontario running Practice Solutions, or an environment with some PC servers who need just one Mac server in their network closet.

Maybe they can get it down to a 2U space.
 
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I'm kind of glad the Xserve's are gone, they were way overpriced for what they were power wise .. yes they had the cool factor and they ran ok, but I think that going with a 3U server would be a much much better approach than a 1U server that's way too deep for what it is. Also Xserve parts were ridiculously expensive. Lastly not many users took advantage of a lot of the really cool features they had (like LOM).

I think they could make a machine more like a mac pro into a 3U rack mountable server without too much fuss ... as was pointed out it wouldn't be as simple as just changing the case layout, but I really don't think that they need to reinvent the wheel again like they did with the Xserve (which was just all about how many bogomips they could jam into a single rack) ... these days space is less of a premium for the group that this type of machine would serve ... the supercomputer types mostly ignored the Xserves and went with custom shelving and macpro's because it was a better value.

Who knows, maybe all this big deal is actually just going to be a new style of case for the mac pro's themselves which are a bit smaller and will have an option for rack ears to attach to them ... that would be the best of both word's IMHO. Mac mini's just don't cut it for lots of people's server needs and Mac Pro's are just physically too big ... while they are a nice case design they could be made smaller without too much fuss I would imagine.

Only time will tell. I'd love to see a rack mountable machine that has 4 drive bays (that takes standard drives and not special approved apple module versions of them that are way too much $$). Who knows, maybe they'll also finally get around to eSata and bring back similar stylings of cases that use eSata and port multipliers so we can finally have affordable Apple branded storage solutions. I really hated advising clients that they would have to go with Promise hardware instead of Xserve RAID's ... they really were just not as reliable at the end of the day and they did not have the level of OS integration that the Xserve RAID's did.

Apple really does need to "reboot" it's pro market offerings and I think this would be a huge step in the right direction.
 

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Where on earth is that 3 inches coming from?

There is no way you can lop off 3" from the side of a Mac Pro and still keep everything inside it the way it was. You wouldn't be able to fit the drive carriers in the machine for one, even without the slack on the aluminum caddy that serves as a pull handle.

You could shave off an inch. Maybe a bit more. But 3 inches?

That would require a radical redesign of the entire system.

I don't doubt that Apple is going to replace the XServe somehow, but I would assume that whatever 3U system they come out with will be a new system in itself and not based on the Mac Pro. It's going to be really hard to push a rack mountable server without LOM.

-DN
i was wondering the same thing, but maybe with cutting down on the number of ports on the motherboard b/c they could use thunderbolt instead of having all the FW ports?

Also, if they put the drives on top of each other near the front like a raid box....might save space for them to re-align the back.

then again, i'm no engineer :)

BUT, it is apple and they've come up with some pretty funky and workable designs over the years.
 

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Ontario
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Discussion Starter #13
I know for what I do I need a rack mountable unit. That is why I was so pissed that the x-serve was discontinued. It will be interesting to see what they do with Lion as rumour has it that there will be no separate server edition.

I hope this does come to reality. Now lets push for the return of X-RAID.
 
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I dunno. I think a less expensive 3U server will make it more accessible personally. They are certainly missing pieces in the hardware lineup at this point and a lot of small to mid size businesses may jump on them as minis just don't cut it.

The 1U versions had design issues (lots and lots of replaced motherboards). Also the price of drive modules was prohibitive. This approach might sell more machines, especially if the combine it with new mac pro cases ( ie a rack kit that's optional ) and the ability to add standard Sata drives.
 

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Ontario
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Discussion Starter #16
True price of the X-Serve was the achilles heel of the unit (when compared to other server appliances). I do believe though there are enough businesses who use Apple Server applications to justify their existence. Perhaps a lower price and better expandability will allow for enough expansion in the server market to justify the re-entry of Apple into the enterprise server field. After-all I don't think the MacMini Server is a solution that most businesses find appealing.
 

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I can't see the point of making a 3U rack server. If the standard 1U didn't sell enough to keep production feasible then a 3U will fare far worse. Besides once the abortion that is Lion Server is finally released the only people using it will be home users and the odd workplace outside of data centers.

Enterprise on the mac is officially dead.:ptptptptp
I think it's a great idea, we design a lot of edit suites, and being able to rack mount a 3 RU mac pro would be great. The only worry would be if apple decided to put laptop drives in to save space like the mini server.

edit: I was never a fan of the Loop handles/feet
 

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I think it's a great idea, we design a lot of edit suites, and being able to rack mount a 3 RU mac pro would be great. The only worry would be if apple decided to put laptop drives in to save space like the mini server.

edit: I was never a fan of the Loop handles/feet
For a Mac Pro I think they are terrific... it makes lifting one up to put it a on bench to work on it really handy.
 

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there used to be a conversion kit for G4 towers a wile back. It would make sense for Apple to only have one machine, which could be used for both scenarios.

true rack servers need to be easy to upgrade, fix, modify, they need redundancy.... none of this fits with Apple's design philosophy.

The current niche for Apple servers are either FCP users (MacPro), or web providers and SMB (mini).
 
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there used to be a conversion kit for G4 towers a wile back. It would make sense for Apple to only have one machine, which could be used for both scenarios.

true rack servers need to be easy to upgrade, fix, modify, they need redundancy.... none of this fits with Apple's design philosophy.

The current niche for Apple servers are either FCP users (MacPro), or web providers and SMB (mini).
The conversion kit was from a company called Marathon, I owned a couple. They were ok but not fantastic.

Apple could quite easily make things like the power supply modular and user replaceable ... while it wouldn't give true redundancy (the Xserve didn't have this either), it would make them easily serviceable by the end-user.

Even a lot of SMB the mini is not suitable for. The big issue for me is the single NIC .. with servers you really need at least 2 NIC's IMHO.
 
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