Xserve w/Leopard Server (Mac OS X 10.5), First Impressions

picture-4.pngWe just picked up a refurbished 2.66GHz quad-core Xeon from Apple, which we’ll be using for internal infrastructure. (We’re in the process of migrating from a mix of Solaris and Linux). After about 8 hours of learning the ins and outs of Leopard Server over the weekend, we had the box running Open Directory (Kerberos and OpenLDAP), DNS, AFP, SMB, FTP, domain account and machine management, mobile home directories, MySQL, Software Update, Xgrid controller, Wikis, Blogs, iCal and VPN services, all tightly integrated with single sign-on (via Kerberos) into a sexy 1U package.

  • Xserve (refurbished discount, direct from Apple): ~$3K
  • 3 x 750GB Disks (Newegg): ~$450
  • 2 x Apple Drive Module (direct from Apple): ~$380
  • 2 x 2GB FB-DIMM RAM (Crucial): ~$300
  • Infrastructural sanity: priceless. (…or ~$4.5K after tax and random small stuff)

That’s some serious value considering how much of a PITA setting all this up can be in Linux (or whatever) without vendor support, and far cheaper than paying a Systems Administrator in the long run. The Server Admin and Workgroup Manager tools are pretty freakin’ usable, too, relative to the internal complexity of the system. I’m a happy camper for now… let’s see if it lasts.