I was talking to a friend today about the Dedicated Server blog, and she asked me if dedicated servers were PC or Mac. I explained to her that usually they’re Windows or Linux, but it did get me wondering why there aren’t more Apple servers prominently featured on the market. A quick search of the Internet revealed that there are in fact dedicated servers on Apple hardware, but they’re not usually as featured as Windows or Linux machines.
I’ll admit I’m not entirely sure as to the reason- my experience with Mac servers is fairly limited, and I don’t know what they bring to the table that other operating systems don’t. I suppose that could be it- there may not really be a good opportunity to introduce a platform that doesn’t immediately show an obvious functionality advantage. I’m not sure that there are any server applications that run only on Mac that don’t also run on Windows or Linux platforms.
That quick search for “Mac dedicated server” on Google reveals some hosting companies that have them (including one appropriately named “mythic-beasts.com”) but the same on WebHostingTalk revealed no obviously meaningful ways in which Mac servers are more efficient or effective than their Linux and Windows brethren; posts like this one seemed to be pretty typical of the feeling spread throughout the forum, with most people asserting that a Mac-based server is no different from a traditional LAMP or WAMP server (There was even one guy who claimed Mac servers are only good for “brand whores”. Ouch! Hard stuff).
I think it’s an interesting topic and one that I’ll delve into deeper; maybe another post down the line will feature some Mac-only server apps that make them super useful (Maybe for older, Mac-only games?). For now, however, Apple aficionados can breathe easy; the world of dedicated servers is not only for the Linux and Windows crowd!