New Macs imminent

It seems that Daring Fireball and Fake Steve Jobs are expecting new product announcements in the next 3 hours, probably a new Macbook, Mac Minis with Snow Leopard Server, iMacs, and probably not a tablet. Reports from Apple’s financial update indicate the channel is being filled with some product, but they won’t say what. Macjournals opines that any updates would need to be announced within the next 21 days to be sufficiently available before the festive season.

Apple planning US$1 Billion iDataCenter

According to DataCenterKnowledge apparently Apple is planning on spending some of its billion dollar cash on hand to build a US$1 billion data center on the East Coast, either in North Carolina or Virginia (as they battle to legislate the best incentive packages).

With thanks to David for the link.

Mac OS X Server AFP high CPU load problem

This discussion thread over on Apple’s forums documents a large number of system administrators who have their AFP (Apple File Protocol) creating a high CPU load and thus making the server unusable for their users.

Suggested workarounds which have anecdotally provided varied success (including none 🙁 ) include:

  • Turning off Spotlight on client machines
  • Turning off Spotlight indexing on the shared volumes
  • Executing

    defaults write /Library/Preferences/ -dict-add afp_wan_threshold -int 1000
    defaults write /Library/Preferences/ -dict-add afp_wan_quantum -int 131702

    on all 10.5.x client Macs.

  • Installing Security Update 2009-001 which states

    Description: A race condition in AFP Server may lead to an infinite loop. Enumerating files on an AFP server may lead to a denial of service. This update addresses the issue through improved file enumeration logic. This issue only affects systems running Mac OS X v10.5.6.

The problem was originally posted with respect to Mac OS X 10.5.4 on 29th of August 2008, and still seems unresolved for many people. And people wonder why it’s hard to argue that Mac OS X Server belongs in the data centre.

Sun xVM VirtualBox 1.6 available for Mac OS X

Sun’s open source virtualization package xVM VirtualBox is out of beta for Mac OS X and available for download. Note that it can’t currently host Mac OS X (aside from the licensing issues that only allow you to virtualize Mac OS X Server). According to ZDNet Sun sells a commercial version with USB support and an RDP server.
If you download it and can’t open the archive you may need to remove the ‘.bz2’ from the end of the filename.

Adobe AIR and Mac OS X Server Admin?

Today I’m logging in to a server remotely using Mac OS X Server’s Server Admin tool and I get a dialog asking “Server Admin wants to use the PrivateEncryptedDatak keychain”. Which is interesting as I have no idea what the password is, and googling the term only seems to find a few references which mention Adobe AIR, which I installed earlier today. Curiouser and curiouser.

Mac server hosting are offering dedicated Xserve server solutions for US$250 (presumably per month, plus US$400 setup). For that you get “MacOSX Server featuring Xserve – 1.33Ghz PowerPC G4, 60gig storage, 512MB ram, WebObjects 5”. Although the RAM (and storage) seems a bit small. There are other options available which include WebStar V, FileMaker Unlimited (version 5?), and Lasso Pro 6 (not 8!). They do offer “flat-rate pricing with no traffic surcharges”.

digital.forest offers an Enhanced plan for US$30 setup and US$19/month (+US$10/month for MySQL) with perl, PHP5, Python, Mac OS X and more, 100MB of storage, and 3Gb of data transfer. Not sure what their colocating price is like though as you need to contact a salesdroid. Digital.forest have been around since 1994 and have a long time association with Mac newsletter TidBITs.

Leopard Server License allows virtualisation on Apple Hardware

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard’s license allows it to be virtualised, provided that

  1. it is virtualised on Apple hardware,
  2. sufficient licenses are purchased to cover each virtual instance

2. Permitted License Uses and Restrictions.

A. Mac OS X Server Software. This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Mac OS X Server software (the “Mac OS X Server Software”) on a single Apple-labeled computer. You may also install and use other copies of Mac OS X Server Software on the same Apple-labeled computer, provided that you acquire an individual and valid license from Apple for each of these other copies of Mac OS X Server Software.

via comments on the MacEnterprise mailing list.