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Xserve Powers iTunes Music Store

pudge posted more than 11 years ago | from the lickable dept.

Apple 146

Nexum writes "MacCentral has the scoop on the entire iTunes Music Store being powered by Apple Xserves. Is this the first really big implementation of Apple's server hardware? I have to admit, that even being a big Apple fan I didn't think that the Xserve hardware would be powerful enough for the severe pounding that the iTMS must have been getting. This seems like great news for Apple being able to show that they can be a real serious force in the server arena, to which they are practically a total newcomer to." I wouldn't see any reason to doubt that hardware and Mac OS X software could handle iTMS. I mean, it's heavyweight hardware, and Unix software. Still, good to see actual examples of Xserve sites in the wild.

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146 comments

What it's running doesn't matter (0, Flamebait)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112064)

If there's anything that Apple does right it's that they make sure they do everything right the first time and then spend the rest of a product's life screwing it up.

So when it comes to making an online store, you can bet they didn't just throw together a couple of servers and hack up some Perl. They spent months getting everything right from the frontend UI to the backend load-balancing servers. They've no doubt got a nice server farm and fat pipe running to the internet just in case they do get hit like a redheaded step child.

Apple was ready for business, that's why the store went off without a technical hitch. That they were running XServes just shows that they have extra servers lying around. God knows they aren't being bought in the general server market.

Re:What it's running doesn't matter (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112204)

Aren't being bought? Are you out of your mind? You know the story behind the Xserve, right?

Genentech, a biotechnology company, did some research in late 1999/early 2000 and found that BLAST, software for sequencing genetic material, could be modified to use vectors instead of scalars and get performance improvements of as much as 10X. They did some preliminary work and ran a big cluster of Power Mac G4's for a while. Then they went to Apple and said, "We want this and this, and if you build it for us we'll buy umpteen thousand of them."

Apple built it. Genentech bought umpteen thousand of them.

The net result is that every Xserve apple sells is pure profit. Genentech has already paid for the development and initial tool-up costs, and then some.

This is not the first time something like this has happened. In the late 1990's SGI designed and built a DSP coprocessor system for Lockheed. They then turned around and sold it as the Tensor Processing Unit. Of course, nobody's ever heard of those because they're very specific little devices, but it's the same basic principle.

Re:What it's running doesn't matter (1)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112320)

And Apple sold about $14.6 million [midrangeserver.com] in a market of $4.47 billion. That is about 0.00326% market share, in dollars. If every one is bought [apple.com] at the current cheapest price ($2799) that is about 5216 machines sold. Not impressive numbers at all.

Re:What it's running doesn't matter (1)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112375)

Dude Q4 estimates from 2002 are a bit stale at this point, don't you think? You really could not get your hands on an Xserve until around August last year...

Re:What it's running doesn't matter (3, Interesting)

benntop (449447) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112429)

Keep in mind that the XServe isn't only about profit. It is also about mindshare and having a broad enough hardware selection that any company could approach Apple with a need and our favorite fruit company could turn right around and tell them, "yeah, we can do that." Clustering? Big RAID arrays? Redundancy? No problem.

Sales numbers notwithstanding, it is a competitive box. In the future it will be interesting to see how many of the things fly out of the warehouse. Time will tell, time will tell...

Re:What it's running doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112482)

Uh. Dude, those numbers are from Q4CY2002. That was the first full quarter that the Xserve was shipping. The Genentech numbers booked in Q3 (or even Q2, I don't remember), and the non-Genentech bookings are, as I said in my post, pure profit for Apple.

Re:What it's running doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

ccady (569355) | more than 11 years ago | (#6115296)

Of course, pedantry requires that me to point out that it is 0.00326 of the market, which is 0.326%, a hundred times larger than you calculated. A third of a percent of a huge market is not bad, especially when it's pure profit.

Re:What it's running doesn't matter (2, Informative)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 11 years ago | (#6115627)

Aside from the fact that your math is a little off (0.326%, not 0.00326%), it seems to me that what you're saying is that Apple is doing better than most companies that introduced servers in the last few years. There are hundreds of companies that sell low to mid range 1U servers, and most of them would love to have a $14 million dollar quarter immediatly after product launch. A third of a percent of a multi-billion dollar market is not too shabby, especially compared to none of that market.

It's not market share or revenue that keeps you in business, it's profit. If you have enough market share and revenue to make a profit you're successful. I know it hurts you to think of Apple that way, but that's how it works.

Re:What it's running doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6116078)

Isn't BigBir3d also comparing a $14.6 million Q4 revenue to an annual $4.47 billion market? Doesn't this acutally come out to about 1.2% of the market, and the math is really off by 400-fold?

8000 Xserve / 6 months vs. 5000 Itanium2 in a year (2, Informative)

afantee (562443) | more than 11 years ago | (#6117001)

Apple actually sold about 8000 servers in about 6 months after launching Xserve in the middle of 2002 - not bad at all for their first entry.

In contrast, Intel only managed to sell 5000 Itanium 2 systems in the whole of 2002.

Re:8000 Xserve / 6 months vs. 5000 Itanium2 in a y (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6117365)

Of those 8,000 something like 25% went to the same customer.

Every server admin I know has looked at the xserve, since it was new to the market. Most like the unlimited seat license (except those would put something other than OS X Server on it). None were impressed by its harware specs enough to either buy one (small company they owned), or suggest to the powers that be to buy one (most I know).

They all wanted more or less the same thing, SCSI with hardware RAID. Outright proc performance wasn't the biggest issue. I/O performance or memory bandwidth was.

Re:8000 Xserve / 6 months vs. 5000 Itanium2 in a y (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6118284)

They all wanted more or less the same thing, SCSI with hardware RAID.

Xserve RAID is the most cost-effective RAID available. And it's 2 Gbps fibre channel. None of this piece-of-shit SCSI stuff.

Of course, you don't have to have an Xserve to use Xserve RAID. It'll work with anything.

Re:What it's running doesn't matter (1)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 11 years ago | (#6117572)

Bad math skills. Sorry guys & gals.

Either way, in the server market, Apple doesn't amount to a hill of beans. There are more Linux servers sold than xServes.

Re:What it's running doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6113521)

Actually, I've heard of the Tensor Processing Unit. It works in SGI's Origin systems...It was very difficult to program in chains, etc. Do you like programming in microcode (not assembly or C)? The tools were awful at the time (late 90s/early 2000). It was essentially a VERY specialized ASIC on an board.

Re:What it's running doesn't matter (3, Interesting)

E1ven (50485) | more than 11 years ago | (#6115382)

Not to press, but do you have a source for this? I'd love to be able to use that infomation, and credit it to mroe than a Slashdot post ;)

the scoop ?? (1)

kayen_telva (676872) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112081)

it says they use the xserve on the itunes site thats it. how is this a scoop ?

Re:the scoop ?? (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 11 years ago | (#6114180)

it says they use the xserve on the itunes site thats it. how is this a scoop ?

Because some high calliber investigative journalists at MacCentral (as site dedicate to Apple news) have managed to read a web page that has only been up for a little over a month! Impressive, huh?

I know it's wrong but... (-1, Offtopic)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112086)

I know it's wrong since I am a musician myself, but these days, with P2P the way it is presently, you really gotta feel like a sucker if you're paying for pop music. I suppose you can feel good about supporting struggling artists like the Dixie Chicks but man...
I would just feel like a sucker if I spent money on music that I could "borrow" for free. (I never archive anything either anymore...I mean, it's there now and probably will be forever right??? right???) Anyways, can you really "own" a file?

Reciprocity (2, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112279)

But if you don't pay the Dixie Chicks *now*, how do you expect to get paid *later*?

And what happens if you sign up with someone, and then they get carried by iTunes Music Store... what would your attitude be if I said, "Why should I be paying for Tha_Mink when I can borrow it for free?"

And as for archiving.. history and science shows us that nothing can defeat entropy, the increase in disorder and noise. The only hope is to make as many copies as possible and vainly wish that one copy somewhere, somehow, survives for later generations.

Think stone tablets, manuscripts, tomes, books. How many of those exist in which only a single copy has managed to survive?

Re:Reciprocity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112520)

The only hope is to make as many copies as possible and vainly wish that one copy somewhere, somehow, survives for later generations.

This is absurdly off-topic, but if you want to preserve something for future generations, print it out. Even cheap laser printer paper will last thousands of years as long as it doesn't get wet or catch on fire.

How many of those exist in which only a single copy has managed to survive?

Consider the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Sheepskins stuff in clay jars lasted for thousands of years. THAT's non-volatile.

Re:Reciprocity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112803)

Consider the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Sheepskins stuff in clay jars lasted for thousands of years. THAT's non-volatile.

Um... have you seen photos of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls? They are all fragments of pages, with huge holes rotted into them. Entire volumes are missing. What people call "The Dead Sea Scrolls" is the tiny remains of what was probably a considerably larger library of documents.

If Jews and Christians had not been making copies of the same texts all along, the Dead Sea Scrolls would have appeared to us as a jigsaw puzzle with 3/4 of the pieces missing.

Re:Reciprocity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112884)

Um... have you seen photos of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls? They are all fragments of pages, with huge holes rotted into them. Entire volumes are missing.

But the rest is still readable. Take your hard drive apart and remove the middle three platters. See how far you get.

Paper and paper-like constructs (cuneiform, stone tablets, and so on) degrade gracefully. Digital media do not.

Re:Reciprocity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6113145)

It's probably fairer to say "engravings and engraving-like constructs (papyrus, parchment, paper and so on), given which came first...

Re:Reciprocity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6115449)

Uh... no. Paper is not an engraving-like construct. It's some sort of ink smeared on some sort of surface. Engravings, on the other hand, are a paper-like construct.

Re:Reciprocity (1)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112964)

But if you don't pay the Dixie Chicks *now*, how do you expect to get paid *later*?

I don't expect to get paid later.

And what happens if you sign up with someone, and then they get carried by iTunes Music Store... what would your attitude be if I said, "Why should I be paying for Tha_Mink when I can borrow it for free?"

I'd be saying "I don't see any reason you should..." and I'd be thinking "I don't see any reason he should..."

Re:Reciprocity (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 11 years ago | (#6115082)

Ah, well then.

Go ahead and do what you will, it's your conscience.

I've got musician and artist friends, and they'd like to see some cash for their efforts, even if it's only enough to live by, so the concept of paying is one I'm comfortable with.

Heck, I work in software, and I'd like people to pay me for my efforts instead of downloading from each other for free.

Re:I know it's wrong but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112503)

You're either a troll, or a tool. It depends on whether you meant what you said in your post. If you didn't, then you're a troll. If you did, then you're a fuckin tool, man.

You choose. I don't much care which one it is.

They'd better be running XServes... (4, Interesting)

Shenkerian (577120) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112093)

Imagine the fallout if people found out Apple was using, say, IIS on 2000 Server. It would make the sales pitch for their server solutions a little tougher.

Re:They'd better be running XServes... (1)

elemental23 (322479) | more than 11 years ago | (#6117148)

Operating System and Web Server for store.apple.com [netcraft.com]

The site store.apple.com is running Netscape-Enterprise/3.6 SP3 on Solaris.

www.apple.com is running Apache on OS X. Strange to see store.apple.com running something different.

saw this in Infoworld too (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112158)

On the back, an article about companies like Microsoft and Apple that "eat their own dog food".

Though this isn't exactly news, what else would they use???

Xserves are great, I know folks (like my boss) who didn't even consider them but once they read the specs, their eyes open, their head nods up and down slowly, and their mouth says "wow, not bad. pretty good in fact"..

Re:saw this in Infoworld too (1)

fdobbie (226067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6113393)

They used to run apple.com on a farm of Sun machines, actually (granted that was before they had an "Industrial Strength UNIX" operating system).

Re:saw this in Infoworld too (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 11 years ago | (#6115531)

Though this isn't exactly news, what else would they use???

Given their connection to FreeBSD, they might use FreeBSD and Apache, arguing that the X-Serve is aimed as SMEs. The fact that they have enough confidence in it to use it to power something that generates this amount of traffic is a vote of confidence in their own product. Mind you, MS run some of their sites on Windows 2003 beta (presumably with multiple redundancy for the inevitable crashes).

Dear Apple (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112162)

Dear Apple,

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

Re:Dear Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112195)

Dear Homosexual,

I am an apple. I was eaten by a homosexual because, well, I'm just a fruit and I couldn't really do anything about. Since my flesh was eaten by a homosexual, my inedible core has been used for the most unspeakable sins. And I loved every minute of it! I plan on living the rest of my natural life as a gay sex toy. It would be so helpful if you could let me know what shape and texture I should have to please my owner the best. Thanks in advance.

with much fruity goodness,

Red "Now Brown and Golden" Delicious

Dear Father O'Day (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112176)

Dear Father O'Day:

Thanks for your letter. Being Catholic myself, I know exactly what you're talking about! It has always been our plan here at Apple Computer Inc to revolutionize personal computing with our high-quality and highly gay products.

I'm happy to answer your letter by letting you know that YES we will be releasing an entire hLife ("homo-life") software line. You'll be able to recognize it in stores by the small stylized logo depicting a large cock entering a tight anus with an Apple logo on it. ("Suddenly it all comes together" indeed!).

Anyway, I hope you and other members of our community will join us on our mission, and purchase the exciting new hLife boxed set. Only the boxed set comes with translucent cock rings!

Sincerely,

Harry Rodman
Vice-president
Homosexual Liaison Services
Apple Computer, Inc.

Don't hate me because I use an Xserve. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112193)

Find me another server that can hold 720 gig in 1U and survive a million hits a day.

These things are awesome! Our IT guy is a part timer because our Xserves are so reliable.

Re:Don't hate me because I use an Xserve. (3, Funny)

heXXXen (566121) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112410)

Yes! Awesome! We aren't needed anymore! Thanks for putting us out of jobs Apple.

Re:Don't hate me because I use an Xserve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112453)

Lets hope all of you lose some weight then. Fat, smelly, and sweaty Admins are a dime a dozen.

You're trying for your own switch commercial too? (2, Funny)

Cappy Red (576737) | more than 11 years ago | (#6113054)

some scheme by music [pvponline.com]

"Well, we were getting all these, well, I don't know what they were. These weird screens with scary messages, and those were just the complaint emails. Then we got an Xserve, and it all changed."

[Apple logo]

"I'm AC, and I just fired my IT guy."


*honk*

It's a sign of achievement... (5, Interesting)

chrispy666 (519278) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112217)

...and not simply a technical prowess.

I mean, Apple bashers can say all they want, but the Xserves are great machines, and the architecture proves to be scalable and reliable. Sure, they are not running at 20THz, but hell they will cope with the load of such heavy duty app like the music store.
This shows Apple dedication towards *reliability*.

I dunno if I'd like to have OS X Server running on such nice boxes, but it's Apple, it works together nicely.

P.S. : I'm a switcher, that doesn't mean I only swear by Apple products. I just try to give credits to a company that clearly tried its best to come up with comprehensive solutions.

Re:It's a sign of achievement... (2, Insightful)

bobthemonkey13 (215219) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112359)

Keep in mind that the PowerPC architecture can do quite a bit more per clock tick than x86 hardware, so a 1.33 GHz PowerPC can probably perform about the same as at least a 2 GHz Pentium 4. Of course, this would vary quite a bit depending on the task at hand; only benchmarks will show the real numbers. Anyway, the PowerPC(s) in the Xserve have a good amount of raw computing power, and this will only improve as Apple moves to PPC64 chips.

It seems to me that Apple is looking to move back to the older concept of the UNIX server: a high-end server and a (mostly) proprietary UNIX operating system sold together as a unit. For a while, it seemed like Linux and cheap-as-dirt x86 hardware were going to do away with this; now Apple is trying to introduce it as a product, albeit with more of an open soure component. Only time will tell if they can make money on this. My guess? They'll get a steady but not dominating niche market, much like they have with home computers (and for that matter, much as "big iron" UNIX still has.) They may have a problem with people installing Linux on the Xserves and then not paying for OS X Server software or upgrades; then again, their chosen market may not even consider this. Again, only time will tell.

Re:It's a sign of wah? (0)

zaad (255863) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112604)

Keep in mind that the PowerPC architecture can do quite a bit more per clock tick than x86 hardware, so a 1.33 GHz PowerPC can probably perform about the same as at least a 2 GHz Pentium 4.

I get tired of hearing this. Real world performance is a complicated thing. Nevermind the raw computing power of the CPU (how are you going to determine this?), there's OS overhead, application optimization, compiler optimization, etc. that would significantly impact the end performance. Of course there's plenty of finger pointing when that happens.

There was a benchmark recently [digitalvideoediting.com] that showed Intel PC's trouncing Mac on video editing and Adobe expressing its preference [slashdot.org] .

Of course, this would vary quite a bit depending on the task at hand; only benchmarks will show the real numbers.

*ahem* Benchmarks? Only real world performance will show real world performance. =)

It seems to me that Apple is looking to move back to the older concept of the UNIX server: a high-end server and a (mostly) proprietary UNIX operating system sold together as a unit. For a while, it seemed like Linux and cheap-as-dirt x86 hardware were going to do away with this; now Apple is trying to introduce it as a product, albeit with more of an open soure component. Only time will tell if they can make money on this. My guess? They'll get a steady but not dominating niche market, much like they have with home computers (and for that matter, much as "big iron" UNIX still has.)

My guess is that unless a particular company needs a powerpc processor for a very specific reason, there's almost no way anyone would pick the Xserver over cheap commodity x86 hardware running Linux (despite the SCO clown show). The reason? Total control. The hardware is available anywhere (don't have to rely on any single company). The software isn't an issue. At worst, you'd have to develop your own custom Linux app to serve your needs. Either way, it's a lot safer than to tie my company's future to Apple.

Re:It's a sign of wah? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112827)

My guess is that unless a particular company needs a powerpc processor for a very specific reason, there's almost no way anyone would pick the Xserver over cheap commodity x86 hardware running Linux (despite the SCO clown show). The reason? Total control.

Wow. You're an idiot. You either (1) totally ignore, or (2) have no conception of the amount of shit you have to go through to get a "commodity x86 hardware running Linux" working and to keep it working. For-fuckin-get it.

Do you know what the biggest source of IT costs is? I'm talking about across the board, for every company no matter how big or small. Hint: it's not hardware, and it's not licenses. The biggest source of IT costs is SALARIES AND BENEFITS. In other words, the biggest money-suck in the IT department is PEOPLE.

So it's no surprise that people whose livelihoods depend on sweet, sweet IT salaries would advocate the use of the single most labor-intensive hardware/software combination on the planet. The more work required to get it going and keep it going, and the more arcane the knowledge required, the better for Joe Slashdotter. (I'm talking to you, "zaad.")

Meanwhile, companies large and small dream of the day they can fire their last IT guy. That's why IT outsourcing is such a growth industry, even in this down economy. If you move IT from a cap ex to an op ex, you'll help your bottom line.

Xserves require basically no setup or maintenance, unless you're doing something outside the parameters with them. If you want a file server, mail server, web server (or WebObjects server), database server, or cluster, setting up an Xserve takes about ten minutes, and maintaining it takes zero time until the hardware fails. No security issues to worry about (Software Update, baby), no arcane hardware drivers to massage into compatibility. It Just Works.

This explains why IT people hate it. It demonstrates, in no uncertain terms, just how obsolete those people are.

At worst, you'd have to develop your own custom Linux app to serve your needs. Either way, it's a lot safer than to tie my company's future to Apple.

Pffffff. This is fuckin hilarious. I love it! "Doing it my way requires extensive knowledge of obscure arcana. This is good for my job security." Hell, dude, at least you're honest.

Re:It's a sign of wah? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6114585)

> This explains why IT people hate it. It demonstrates, in
> no uncertain terms, just how obsolete those people are.

fuck you

You're the fool. Someone is moving your cheese. (1)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 11 years ago | (#6114750)

If you think any sysadmin, software developer or manager would allow their platform to be picked on the basis that it requires a lot of people and is very expensive, you've obviously never worked in a well managed company. Profit is the motive, not hiring 30 sysadmins when 2 would do.

Just like in the automotive industry, a sysadmin or software developer needs to see the trend and move to the next viable option incrementally as to avoid their own obsolescence. I just laugh at people who say "I never thought I'd be out of a job screwing a bolt into a car door at the local GM plant".

Change with the times or fail. Either way it's your choice and it has nothing to do with "So it's no surprise that people whose livelihoods depend on sweet, sweet IT salaries would advocate the use of the single most labor-intensive hardware/software combination on the planet." unless you're a complete fool.

Re:It's a sign of wah? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6116046)

I love the way my flames get modded up to +5, Insightful, (or +5, Funny, which is even more ironic) while my serious comments get modded down to -1, Troll.

Not that this wasn't a serious post. It's just that I'm starting to think maybe I oughta be a little more abrasive in my day-to-day posting.

Re:It's a sign of wah? (1)

Knife_Edge (582068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6117806)

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. Thing is, people moderate depending on whether or not they agree with what you said. The tone with which you say it merely makes moderation more likely. Therefore it is usually worth it to go out on a limb and be assertive, even abrasive, unless you are voicing an opinion that you know is going to be unpopular on slashdot. Like one of my more recent posts, stating that all the concern over palladium is paranoia, especially since it is pure vaporware. My tone was fairly vicious, and I was rewarded with a flamebait mod, and one of the two replies to me stated essentially that 'we are all slaves, you are just blind to that fact.' Whatever. That may be the majority opinion here, but it is still just an opinion and there are arguments against it. The idea of moderation is to smack down real trolls, while allowing the best expressed positions in the discussion to rise to the top. Moderation is not supposed to be a vehicle to express agreement or disagreement with posts. We have posting for that! But there are still a lot of people who would rather click a button than risk entering a discussion, even when they have an opinion to express.

But never fear, eventually your karma gets high enough and your user account gets old enough that you can meta-moderate all the unfair moderation. I have been doing that quite a bit recently, and you would be surprised how often I come across a post that is a nothing more than an assertive, valid opinion relating to the discussion at hand, that has been modded into oblivion. Obviously some moderator had an axe to grind. All I can do is rate that unfair, and hope my karma stays high enough that I am still allowed to do this in the future.

P.S. is my post [slashdot.org] that I referred to really completely and utter flamebait? You decide!

Re:It's a sign of wah? (2, Insightful)

corporatemutantninja (533295) | more than 11 years ago | (#6116579)

Well, you're both right. I look at dozens and dozens of IT organizations (VC) and although managers are extremely cost conscious, they also have a deeply rooted suspicion of anything that claims to automate their jobs. It's not intentional, it's just psychology: people want to believe their hard-learned skills are valuable, and will find themselves picking holes in the cheaper, automated solution in order to justify not only their job but their value. It often takes a CFO to say, "Ok, we'll do without those 5 features that you want to custom code...buy the cheap shrink-wrapped stuff." So neither of you are a "fool" or an "idiot", but the truth is somewhere in between your extreme views.

Re:It's a sign of wah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6117332)

Xserves require basically no setup or maintenance, unless you're doing something outside the parameters with them.
Since about, hmm, 1960, the minimal administration computer has been sold, and since about, hmm, 1960, with the exception of an ickle bubble in the late 90s, the number of administrators required has gone up up up.

If in 5 years time 90% of the SME Unix server market is running Xserves because of their oh-so-cheap running costs and zero effort utopian revolutionary Perfect Everything, and the only people that need to know anything about administrating servers are Apple employees themselves, then my God, perhaps you'll be proven right.

So, it's that prediction (which has been wrongly made, dozens of times), vs what happened every other time companies have made that claim. I know where I'll put my money.

(Oh, and I'm not an admin by trade, so I have no vested interest in seeing things remain complicated on purpose. I do however think that machines are much too stupid for us to have reached "zero administration" stage, and any manager that buys into the alternative pitch will find he's just wasted his time.)

Re:It's a sign of wah? (1)

6hill (535468) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112832)

Adobe expressing its preference

Would this be from the same benchmark/study that innovated by using minutes containing 100 seconds [adobe.com] , among other things? Not to mention the fact that Adobe appear schizophrenic at best about their preferred OS [adobe.com] . My guess? They'll "prefer" any operating system that will bring in the greenbacks at a suitable pace.

Anyway. While we could debate the merits of PowerPC vs. x86 till our faces turned blue, I do agree with you on the assesment of the server market. Xserve will be a niche player, but then again, being a niche player on the whole hasn't been too bad for Apple.

Re:It's a sign of wah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6117289)

Feh. That Adobe "preference" thing was so misinterpreted, it pisses me off. I hate the Apple fanboys as much as anyone else, but this one was ridiculous by the Apple haters.

Adobe was essentially saying: "So, you prefer Windows? No problem! Our products work extremely well on PCs, too."

Everyone and their dog interpreted it to mean "We recommend that you use Windows, not that other computer we used to like. Because we don't like it anymore. At all. Stay away from Macs!!"

See how ridiculous it was? Yeah, a top end PC can outperform a top end Mac. Everyone has known that for ages. Even in rigged Photoshop benchmarks that were the last thing Macs used to win. Big fucking deal. That's not why people buy Macs.

Sorry, I just had to clear that up. Back on topic now...

Re:It's a sign of achievement... (1)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 11 years ago | (#6113708)

They may have a problem with people installing Linux on the Xserves and then not paying for OS X Server software or upgrades; then again, their chosen market may not even consider this. Again, only time will tell.

I seriously doubt this would be an issue. Anyone who goes out of their way to get an Xserve, with the other options out there, is probably looking for the Apple hardware/OS combo. I doubt there will be very many Linux/*BSD/what have you Xserves out there. (At least not until you start seeing Xserves on ebay anyway...)

Price of Xserve vs. Price of X86 servers (1)

hoser (95281) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112246)

How do Xserves measure up in price to comparable x86 Windows servers? I know Apple workstations (I don't want to call them PCs and get in trouble!) like PowerMacs or iMacs cost more than most Dells or Gateways, are Apple's Xserves in a similar position to Compaq, HP, etc, servers?

Re:Price of Xserve vs. Price of X86 servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112257)

er... what about checking Apple's site [apple.com] for a price list ?

Re:Price of Xserve vs. Price of X86 servers (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112485)

iMacs and iBooks compare very favourably with equally specced PCs.

Sure, if you compare them to dirt cheap basic gateway and hp rubbish then they'll be more expensive, but compare them to HP and Dell's midrange stuff and they are about the same - remember that Apple starts at midrange and goes up. There is no bargain basement cheap version with Apple.

Re:Price of Xserve vs. Price of X86 servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112581)

Is that like how McDonald's doesn't have any drinks smaller than Medium?

No thanks, I'd rather pick up something quick from 7-11 than getting ripped off at McD's.

Re:Price of Xserve vs. Price of X86 servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112811)

No, it's more like how Mack doesn't sell half-ton pick-up trucks.

Re:Price of Xserve vs. Price of X86 servers (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 11 years ago | (#6114934)

But you can buy a Coke or Sprite from both places - but McD's marks it up a lot compared to the 7-11.

You can't buy an Apple from anyone but Apple - they're the only ones that make them.

Re:Price of Xserve vs. Price of X86 servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112574)

I know Apple workstations (I don't want to call them PCs and get in trouble!) like PowerMacs or iMacs cost more than most Dells or Gateways

That's not true. Most Mac configurations simply can't be compared to anything else on an apples-to-apples (haw haw) basis, because the Mac configurations are unique.

For example: find me a dual-processor non-Mac workstation with built-in 1000BASE-T and FireWire 800. There's no other computer like that out there at any price.

Find me an all-in-one computer with a built-in articulated widescreen LCD and 802.11g.

Find me a laptop with a 17" screen and a DVD burner.

And so on. It's usually very difficult to make an honest comparison between a Mac and something else.

Re:Price of Xserve vs. Price of X86 servers (4, Funny)

kageryu255 (674465) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112666)

Like jo_ham said, you have to be very careful comparing Macs & Dell/Gateway/HP/etc. products. Once you spec out features to as close a level as possible, the Macs actually do come out ahead on most (not all, but definitely most) fronts.. especially with recent price slashes on the laptops and consumer lines.

As far as the XServe goes, if you break it down per-gigabyte or per-gigaflop, the prices compare very favorably. Check out the website ( http://www.apple.com/xserve/raid/ [apple.com] ) for the XServe RAID box for Apple's quoted comparisons if you like.

And plus, just look at all those blinkenlights!! I've seen both an XServe + XServe Raid playing an HDTV file on a 23" Cinema display, and a small rack of XServes chugging happily away on.. well, something.. and they're quite sparkly. Mmmm, blinkenlights..

Re:Price of Xserve vs. Price of X86 servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6114495)

It's call Total Cost of Ownership there. I may be able to buy a cheap dell or HP but I'll spend a lot of time supporting it which cost money in manpower. I put an IMac in there, teach the user the basics and I probably won't hear from them till they have a hardware failure or forget their password or something else that takes two clicks to fix. I imagine XServe is similar. Wire them up, configure what they need to do and let the XServe tell you next time they need attention. Probably when you get a hardware failure about 2 years down the road knowing apple hardware reliablity.

Dear Apple: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112318)

Hello gentle sirs,

I am a switcher of three months, now a happy Mac user after years of Windows computing that just didn't make sense. I can't believe I waited so long to make the decision! I bought a Power Mac G4 with Mac OS Jaguar and haven't looked back since.

One thing I wanted to express is my desire for scat. Gay shit. I want to be a human toilet. I've been looking for the right nasty little boy who can train me and use me like the brown log shredder that I am. Sit me under a toilet seat and go to down pumping fudge onto my mustachioed face. I thought that by buying a Mac I'd get into the scene, ya know, and make some hot hookups with colons packed to the gills in unshat crap worms. So far, I've been disppointed.

Mr. Jobs and the executives at Apple, I plead with you to release more information regarding getting into the hardcore underground stool swallowing scene. All I can think about is gobbling down an 18" ass-birth fresh from the fart factory. Mac users popping squats over my face and letting loose with a tempest of farts and raining a hail of turds.

I hope you can help me with this issue.

Thank you.

Re:Dear Apple: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112349)

Another instant Trollaxor classic!

Homos and perverts everywhere rejoice!

Huzzah!

Hardly a newcomer (2, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112414)

Back in 1996, Apple and Tower Records got together to try this new thing called 'e-business', where people used this other new thing, the internet, to spend money and buy things using networked computers.

Apple was only interested in selling iron, and had no interest in the retail side of things, much less selling CD's, books and video tapes.

Apple had suits as reps, and since Tower's IT department didn't even have email, the 'Pulse' magazine arm of Tower became the cheerleading squad for Russ (owner of Tower Records) and the gang.

Apple 'donated' three AIX equipped Shiners (200MHz), and Tower gathered a group to meld MUSE's song data and Tower's credit card backend into a website. www.tower.com belonged to some company back east, and they turned down a $10k offer for the domain, so www.towerrecords.com was it. A small group of highly talented software guys in the Bay Area were hired to code it all together*, and the growing pains began.

Fast forward to today, and we have ITMS on Xserve and Tower running the latest ASP shopping cart.

Like they say, it's the singer, not the song.

*That group was bought up by MS in a short time, and the e-shop app was shelved...never to be seen again. If you can't compete, kill the competition and bury the body in the backyard....but that's another thread.

Re:Hardly a newcomer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112555)

Did you cut-and-paste your own post, or did you copy somebody else's? Because this exact same comment has been posted before. Too lazy to look it up now, of course.

Re:Hardly a newcomer (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112603)

Don't recall if I mentioned it here before or not...but I did give it to MacInTouch a short time ago, when ITMS opened. Just an historical footnote.

Re:Hardly a newcomer (1)

burns210 (572621) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112669)

apple has bad luck with join ventures like that... before AOL, apple and (is it compuserve?) were getting together to make this home internet service... apple backed out at the last minute, and shortly after the launch, this home internet system became AOL, the largest(by a HUGE margin) ISP in the world.

Re:Hardly a newcomer (1)

cei (107343) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112828)

Was that (the apple ISP) called eWorld?

Re:Hardly a newcomer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112894)

Uh. No. Everything you said here is wrong.

See, originally there was AppleLink. AppleLink was a modem network for Apple resellers. You could log on to AppleLink and read price lists and service documents and so on.

Apple decided to leverage AppleLink into a system called AppleLink Personal Edition. Anybody who wanted to could sign on for $X a month. (I forget how much it cost... $24.95 maybe? Or possibly it was billed by the minute. It's been years.)

APE was a failure. Not enough people signed up. This was before the Internet was open for just anybody to use, so it wasn't possible to send an email from (for example) GENIE to APE or vice versa. Which make the whole thing moderately useless.

So Apple spun off AppleLink Personal Edition. It became America Online.

The rest is history.

Re:Hardly a newcomer (4, Interesting)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 11 years ago | (#6113249)

Um, no.

In the mid-eighties Steve Case was running a little company called Quantum which was an online service for the Commodore 64. By January of 1986 Q-Link had about 10,000 users. By 1987 Quantum's stock was on the decline and the company was facing an inability to pay back its loans. In '86 Steve Case moved to California for three months in an attempt to convince Apple to let Quantum build an online service for them.

Apple as you said had been running a system called AppleLink. This was a system for retailers and sales reps to keep in contact with all that was going on at Apple. The system was run by General Electric Information Services and was pretty successful at keeping its intended audience up to date. The top brass began to think an extended system might allow them to lower their customer support costs by allowing direct access to technical documentation and the like. This was the system Steve Case was in California to nab the contract for.

He managed to convince Apple to let Quantum develop and run the system. Quantum was going to produce the software and were granted the right to use Apple's logo as long as they made the program LOOK like an Apple product. Problems arose pretty quickly after a while. Quantum in Steve Case fashion wanted to package APE with new computers for free or sell it through direct marketing (mass mailing). Apple said that option was a no go, they didn't want to give software away for free. The service debuted at Apple Fest in 1988 and was $35 annually and $6 night time and $15 day time IIRC. The service had a fair number of users and was for the most part a success as far as Apple was concerned.

Quantum however decided to end their relationship with Apple. Because of the logo deal signed Apple had to pay $2.5m to Quantum to relenquish rights to use of the logo. This set Quantum up very well for the short term. In 1989 Quantum changed the name of the service from AppleLink to America Online.

Later Apple wanted to be rid of the costly AppleLink service run by GE. They decided they wanted a service not only for intracompany communication but an experience for their customers as well.

They approached AOL due to their history with APE. Apple bought the APE code from AOL to develop it further on their own with AOL providing the actual service. Apple added content from third parties and provided e-mail and other services to contend better with existing services like AOL and CompuServ. As I recall the service was announced sometime in January 1994 and went into operation around June. From the rusty confines of my mind I seem to recall the monthly fee was about $8.95 (maybe 8.99) with a couple hours included. Night time hours were $5 and daytime minutes were $8.

The service was aimed at all the people running around with Macs and Newtons and up until then relatively unused modems. NewtonMail was provided through eWorld as was e-mail for regular Macs. The interface was spacial and pretty fun to use. Any Mac enthusiast who could afford to had an eWorld account. Due to budget cuts a Windows version was never released and the service shut down altogether in 1996. Apple's problems elsewhere caused serious problems for eWorld.

I believe eWorld was the service the grandparent post was talking about. AppleLink did not get spun off from Apple however. Quantum ended their partnership and relabeled their service of their own volition. They had been playing Tandy and Apple against each other by developing similar services for both systems, the Tandy system called PC-Link. Apple was under the impression Quantum was giving their full attention to their contract when in fact they had a similar agreement with Tandy. APE failed because Apple and Quantum did not want to market the service and software the same way.

Bzzt! Wrong! (1)

nycroft (653728) | more than 11 years ago | (#6115110)

So Apple spun off AppleLink Personal Edition. It became America Online.

Don't make me slap you.

Re:Bzzt! Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6116075)

You couldn't slap me if you tried. You're too busy flogging the old bishop to pictures of that dog's-ass-ugly BSD chick.

Re:Bzzt! Wrong! (1)

nycroft (653728) | more than 11 years ago | (#6117665)

I'd slap your mama, but she's so fat I have to pull my dick out and walk around her ass to get to her face!

Don't even bother to reply. Dumbass AC.

Re:Hardly a newcomer (1)

ruprechtjones (545762) | more than 11 years ago | (#6117798)

I used to work for "Russ and the gang" in Sacto. I'm honestly suprised that they're even on the net, with all the chaos and inter-departmental fighting going on there. It took 6 months and a lot of begging/presentations just to upgrade the art dept. to 2-year old Macs. Kudos to Apple for even trying to enter that hell.

Who wouldn't? (-1, Troll)

Photar (5491) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112424)

what kind of dumbasses wouldn't use their own Servers to serve their own services?

Re:Who wouldn't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112534)

Remember how long it took Microsoft to move Hotmail over to Windows servers from FreeBSD?

According to the headers in my mail (4, Interesting)

Knife_Edge (582068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112489)

Apple's .Mac mail servers are XServes, too, running OS X Server. Apple is eating their own dogfood. Or forging the headers to make themselves look good... I don't even care as long as the mail gets through.

Re:According to the headers in my mail (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112584)

Uh:

Received: from mac.com ([10.13.10.152]) by ms02.mac.com (Netscape Messaging Server 4.15) with ESMTP id xxxxxxxx.xxx for ; Tue, 27 May 2003 19:00:22 -0700

Unless Xserves run Netscape Messaging Server now...

Re:According to the headers in my mail (2, Interesting)

Knife_Edge (582068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6113093)

Xserves are definitely at some point in the receiving chain for me, but not the final resting place of the mail as you have pointed out. My mistake.

Received: from smtpin06-en2.mac.com ([10.13.10.151]) by ms05.mac.com (Netscape Messaging Server 4.15) with ESMTP id XXXXXXXXX for X; Tue, 3 Jun 2003 13:18:29 -0700

Received: from mx6.sjc.ebay.com (mxpool03.ebay.com [66.135.197.9]) by smtpin06-en2.mac.com (Xserve/MantshX 2.0) with ESMTP id XXXXXXXX for X; Tue, 3 Jun 2003 13:18:28 -0700 (PDT)

Re:According to the headers in my mail (3, Informative)

Thr34d (42275) | more than 11 years ago | (#6114914)

Apple uses sendmail running on Xserv's for their inbound and outbound relays.

They use NMS 4.15 for the message stores and for the MMPs. (Mail Multiplexors, or IMAP proxies)

They are also currently migrating to SunONE Messaging Server 5.2 for all the message stores.

Both the Netscape and SunONE Servers are running on Sun Hardware.

this is good news, although not unexpected (1)

double_plus_ungod (678733) | more than 11 years ago | (#6112718)

you would think that apple is now using much of the technology that they produce. this is the useful demonstration that companies want to see before buying the equipment. the apple.com website, the apple store, and the itunes music store are just the thing to show off the capabilities of apple products. for example: wired, cnet, and cnn report that apple sold one million songs in the first week--sooner or later, buyer researchers learn that it was all done with xserve.

Re:this is good news, although not unexpected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6112834)

FYI, the total is now up to more than 3 million. That's something like six times more songs than have been delivered by all other online music services COMBINED.

Which is pretty fuckin impressive, if you ask me.

"Heavyweight hardware" ? Not really. (2, Informative)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 11 years ago | (#6113120)

An Xserve is an _entry level_ server. It's only advantages over other 1U servers in that market segment are a) lots of internal storage (although that point is rendered mostly worthless by the lack of hardware RAID) and b) OS X. Both of which are fairly questionable outside of a narrow chunk of the market. In nearly every other way, Xserves are blown away by the competition. A similarly specced Dell 1750 (or even the superceded 1650) is thousands (AU$) cheaper, more expandable, has more and better hardware options pretty much across the board, has better warranty options and is near the *bottom end* of a range of server hardware.

Having said that, an Xserve is an ideal machine for this sort of environment. Serving up the iTunes store is something that would almost certainly horizontally scale exceptionally well across lots of machines. It would be interesting to know more details about the backend - although given the hardware cost differences (you could buy four 1750s for every three Xserves) it'd be hard to justify them if you had a competent, established sysadmin team.

No RAID? (3, Insightful)

littleghoti (637230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6113437)

I may be missing something, but isn't this [apple.com] hardware RAID?

Re:No RAID? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 11 years ago | (#6113488)

Er, yes, but it's hardly relevant to comparing the *internal* storage capabilities of the Xserve and other 1U servers, is it ? An X-RAID works just as well plugged into a PC or Sun as it does plugged into an Xserve.

Re:No RAID? (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 11 years ago | (#6115437)

Except of course that Apple is probably using both XServe 1U kit and XServe RAID 3U kit to run the iTunes Music Store... so faulting Apple for lack of RAID when they have (and probably) use RAID for iTMS isn't really fair.

Apple designs two systems for two problems (one for compute, network, and load and one for storage, reliability, and capacity) with one OS and set of software to tie the two.

XServe not necessarily more expensive in AU$... (5, Informative)

phatsharpie (674132) | more than 11 years ago | (#6113910)

>A similarly specced Dell 1750 (or even the superceded
>1650) is thousands (AU$) cheaper

Actually, I just had to price out the different configurations of different servers for my class, and the price difference is actually not that much. See below, they are both gathered from both company's online stores...

Apple XServe (http://www.apple.com.au/xserve/)

* 1 x 1.33GHz PowerPC G4 processor
* 1 GB RAM
* 3 x 60GB HDD (180 GB total)
* AU$7,398.01

Dell PowerEdge 1750 (http://www.ap.dell.com/ap/au/en/bsd/products/mode l_rkopt_1_rkopt_1750.htm)

* 1 x 2.40GHz Intel Xeon Processor
* 1 GB RAM
* 3 x 73GB HDD (219 GB total)
* AU$6,436.10

The XServe is definitely more expensive. However, keep in mind that the Dell comes with no operating system, while the XServe comes with OS X Server with unlimited clients (all the goodies of OS X like deployment license for WebObjects, etc.). So if you want a "GUI" server software, you would have to pony up for unlimited client version of Windows to compare (OUCH!). But if you just plan to use BSD or Linux on it, Dell is definitely cheaper.

-B

Re:XServe not necessarily more expensive in AU$... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6114377)

xserve - ata 7,200rpm drives

poweredge - ultra scsi 10,000rpm drives & free updrade o 3.0GHz Xeon (USA). more inclusive warranty, multiple different OS's to choose from (including Windows, RedHat, or nothing at all).

Why does a server need a GUI? You set it up, and then it runs. That's it. After initial setup, a GUI is just un-needed system overhead.

xServe seems fine for a small Mac shop wanting to serve files on local network, or for smaller web serving. For "real" server stuff (database and such) I would go with something not xServe.

Re:"Heavyweight hardware" ? Not really. (3, Insightful)

MasonMcD (104041) | more than 11 years ago | (#6115875)

If Apple can survive to the point when most new homes are going to be wired and have a server in the closet (and it will happen), Apple will be the one to bring ubiquitous computing to the home.

X-raid performance... (1)

weave (48069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6113626)

Anyone know of any benchmarks of I/O for X-RAID? I would guess that it's not as good as a full-fiber-to-the-disk SCSI solution like EMC/Clariion sells, but I wonder how close it is.

(From someone who -- with the annual maintenance cost for my current SANs -- could buy and throw out a fully-populated X-RAID box every quarter and still be ahead...)

I am udderly shocked! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 11 years ago | (#6113874)

<sarcasm>I am so shocked to hear that Apple is using their own products for their own services. I mean any "proper" company will use Linux for any and all solutions dealing with computers. Come on what were they thinking!</sarcasm>
I don't think anyone should be surprised by this. Apple is not going to use PCs who is their main competitor. So their only available options are Their products (which they get as an affordable price and have easy access to support updates etc.) or IBM/Sun solution (which is a more proven platform then theirs, but will cost more and have harder time getting support and modifying their systems). OS X is a reliable system for a server platform so their is no good reason to use an other solution. I mean Microsoft uses their Junk for their servers, IBM uses their servers, Sun uses their servers. Even if it may not be the preferred platform for the Job, If they can get it for free and have access to the people who can change the source, of the OS to fix any problems quickly, help promote their own products, Easy access to affordable hardware.

Early in Apple's history, they used DECs ... (2, Interesting)

timothy (36799) | more than 11 years ago | (#6114444)

Just read a book about Digital, which had a note I found interesting / amusing: When Apple was a young company, they bought DEC computers for company record-keeping / infrastructure. DEC no longer exists per se, but it would be an interesting turnaround if at least some workgroup of former DEC employees at HPaq runs *their* infrastructure on an Apple server ;)

timothy

Rename X-serve (3, Funny)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 11 years ago | (#6114477)

I still think the thing should be called the iRaq, err... iRac.

I want my cluster! (1)

xiaodidi (678443) | more than 11 years ago | (#6115530)

Hi! I am thinking of setting up a small Xserve cluster for Life Science calculations. Can somebody help me with some suggestions? I barely know what an head node is.

Re:I want my cluster! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6115925)

Sounds ideal for you

http://www.apple.com/education/hedwebcast/

Contact Apple or a reseller (1)

kageryu255 (674465) | more than 11 years ago | (#6118030)

They'll bend over backwards to get you set up. You said cluster. That means multiple units. $$ka-ching$$ "What can we do for you?"

FreeBSD (4, Insightful)

psyconaut (228947) | more than 11 years ago | (#6115581)

Okay, if this was a farm of FreeBSD machines (a la Yahoo!), then nobody at all would be surprised...even if the machines weren't multi-CPU Xeons.

If they were other UNIX vendors' machines that had RISC CPUs at a "paltry" ~1Ghz...again, nobody would be surprised because "they're UNIX machines and more reliable and they're 'optmized' and they 'don't run a GUI'".

But because their Macs people seem surprised. That's a Mach kernel with some of the best elements of 4.4BSD and FreeBSD/NetBSD grafted on there for God's sake. Yes, it does have a very slick GUI available, but we're also talking about the SERVER VERSION of OS X.

Someone also mumbled about lack of RAID -- what's XServer RAID, then? Yes, it runs ATA drives...but look at the interesting architecture, you've got each drive on a SEPARATE controller. That, IMHO, negates a lot of issues that ATA has in one single swoop.

Anyhoo, kudos to Apple...iTunes music store seems pretty slick on many levels. And it's good to see them eating their own dog food :-)

-psy

apple.com #1 hardware site == 1.5 times #2 hp.com (5, Insightful)

afantee (562443) | more than 11 years ago | (#6116499)

I am surprised that people should have any doubt that Xserve and Mac OS X can handle iTMS.

Apple has been using its own hardware and software to power apple.com including Apple Online Store, QuickTime movie trailer and the .mac Web service for years now.

The QuickTime movie trailer site is the most popular on the Web, and QuickTime Player has been downloaded over 100 mln times in the last year or so. The storage and bandwidth requirement for downloading movie trailers are much higher than that for music.

To paraphrase Jobs iTMS presentation, Apple is capable of moving "ocean of bits" for video downloading, so music is really a no-brainer. In fact, a single Xerve RAID (2.5 TB) can store the 200000 songs many times over.

Apple online store is one of the best and biggest e-commerce site with annual sale in $billions.

A recent survey shows that apple.com is the #1 hardware site on the Web with 3.7 mln unique users a week, while hp.com is a distant second with 2.5 mln.

They also use WebObjects (the original enterprise application server from NeXT) for heavy lifting, which is capable of talking to multiple database systems and load ballancing. WebObjects is one of the best kept Apple secrets, and perhaps the only application server on the market that has the visual tool to automatically generate Java code for database programming.

More Examples (1)

markz (448024) | more than 11 years ago | (#6116718)

can be found in a little brochure Apple just sent us here at Harvard:

Lincoln (NE) Public School District
Interbrand
UNC Chapel Hill
Minnesota Wild
Riskwise
Sybase

They seem to be in some big time use at each of these places. No details really, just a little blurb and some cool pics.

True First Post (1)

Doc Tagle (669678) | more than 11 years ago | (#6116984)

Didn't I point this out already: http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=62298&ci d=5840334
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