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back to article When Apple needs speed and security in Mac OS X, it turns to Microsoft

I was looking through the documentation for Mavericks - the next major Mac OS X release - to find out more about the tags and other extra metadata we'll soon be able to add to our files. The feature was mentioned during the keynote at last week's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in California. It made me wonder whether …

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

"If they produce kit that is compatible with Windows shares then more managers will endorse a switch from Windows boxes to Apple kit."

Given the price premium, I doubt it.

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

I can see loads of managers going for "compatible" kit that costs 1.5 to 2x as much for the same underlying hardware...not.

May increase BYOD sales in the shiny, difficult to upgrade laptops though.

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

"I can see loads of managers going for "compatible" kit that costs 1.5 to 2x as much for the same underlying hardware...not."

Actually I can... Usually just for themselves though, not the regular staff.

I once saw a manager who was allowed to choose their own computer, go for a very expensive, all-in-one touchscreen HP computer, with integrated freeview tuner... to use Internet Explorer & Microsoft Office... Everyone else got bog standard dell boxes, which actually worked much better.

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

Right, because Windows laptops get upgraded all the time... good luck trying to 'upgrade' your integrated graphics chip, or the soldered on wifi, or maybe the bluetooth chippery could do with a boost.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

Name me a laptop that is easy to upgrade? If I want to change the CPU, GPU or sound card how do I go about that? oh it's stuck to the logic board.

Tip: Buy what you need to start with.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

I can't see how Samba will benefit, what with it being dropped from Lion because of license changes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

"...Given the lower TCO of running Apple kit, and the superior quality of that kit then the investment would quickly pay for itself...."

You've never actually used Apple kit have you? The MBP is a case in point, generally well engineered, physically, but if you're unlucky enough to get one with a firmware problem or build problem, Apple seem to forget all about that customer service they're famous for. MacOS has viruses, even Apple advise you to run a scanner these days.

Anyway, this isn't an enterprise play, Apple seem to be doing all they can to keep out of big business in everything except mobile devices. They don't make credible server hardware and they don't do come-to-site servicing and they are dropping nice professional features from lots of their software.

Now, I really like my MBP, but it's a high end consumer device, not an enterprise laptop.

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Meh

Re: Hmmmmmmmm / I can't see how Samba will benefit

Apple didn't like the license of Samba and then decided to write their own version in certain versions of OS X ... which ended up a pile of tripe and breaking so much when using fileshares to Windows Servers over long periods of time. (Speaking from experience here! Timeouts, File not founds, etc ...)

It doesn't surprise me they have gone to Microsoft for the official SMB2 protocol. After all, Apple hate admitting they're wrong and would rather throw money at the problem to get it solved than admit they went wrong in the first place by throwing out the more logical Samba 4 route.

To clarify: Yes, I own a Mac.

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h3
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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

No but its an out of date version. They should implement SMB 3.0.

Nothing to do with samba 4 at all.

If they had gone for ZFS and NFS 4 when they had the chance they would be still working just fine.

(Funnily enough the Microsoft NFS 4.0 client / server is pretty much as good as either the Solaris / Freebsd versions. Whereas the opposite is not true regardless of MS releasing specs and doing everything they can to help opensource developers.)

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

The Pro series HP's can have the quadro upgraded when necessary. Dunno about the other bits but upgrading the quadro is a pretty easy supported process.

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

Don't see why they cannot provide the same build quality as enterprise devices for that sort of cost other than they care more about form over function / durability. (And they are a UNIX without focus follows mouse so who cares about anything else).

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

Actually, Apple is regarded as one of the best companies for taking care of problems. If you had a firmware problem on your MBP during the warrantee, it should have been fixed quickly. If it wasn't your case is an exception to the rule.

Your claim that the Mac OS has viruses is simply false. No viruses are known to affect Mac OS X. None.

There are about two dozen piece of malware that affect the Mac OS X. For half of those the actual risk of any sort of damage is considered "very low." The reason is that most of those are found on illegal file-sharing sites offering pirated software. You can reduce this "very low" risk to zero by not downloading torrents or allowing unknown apps access to your computer by thoughtlessly supplying your user name and password just because a popup unexpectedly requested them.

The one possible exception to this was NOT a virus. It was the "Flashback" TROJAN that affected Macs NOT through the OS, but through a clever Java exploit. That makes the responsibility Oracle's, not Apple's. Users who did not enable Java were not affected, and Apple slammed the door on that threat with a Software Update anyway, so unless you have been living under a proverbial rock it is not a threat.

The remainder are not considered a threat at all.

Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of pieces of malware for Windows, including viruses. I'll take my chances with the Mac.

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Boffin

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

[QUOTE]Re: Hmmmmmmmm

Right, because Windows laptops get upgraded all the time... good luck trying to 'upgrade' your integrated graphics chip, or the soldered on wifi, or maybe the bluetooth chippery could do with a boost.[/QUOTE]

I assume you have never looked inside a laptop then? WiFi is always on an swappable board. Usually accessible via simple screw access panels on the back. Bluetooth similar (as this is often part of the WiFi card anyway). If not - whack a USB dongle in the side.

The more expensive laptops have experimented with swappable graphics boards. I've often swapped these for clients, but that tends to require a few more screws to be handled on the back.

Similar with CPUs - the higher up the range the more swappable a CPU is.

You have to ignore the cheapest, bottom range laptop as these cut price corners and start using integrated soldered in graphics and CPUs. It is still rare to find a soldered CPU and as you are talking about Apples here then we should ignore the bottom of the range Windows Laptops so we have a fair comparison of like for like.

Last time I was going to change an internal part in an Apple laptop I needed a heat gun and some very strange dismantling instructions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

@Don - I can't be bothered to go into my dealings with Apple support over the last few years in detail, save to say that 1xG5 mac, 1xMBP that I personally own and I a couple of other MBPs, which have had the response "That's not covered by Applecare" for straight up hardware failures, firmware problems and general degredation of hardware (fans making much more noise than the speakers...) One of the problems was a MBP resetting a few times a day with a cinema display plugged in, listed as a firmware error on their site, with no fix, they said I needed a new logic board which was, guess what? Not covered by applecare.

I've never found Apple "Geniuses" to be anything of the kind, more like generic sales staff, but dressed by GAP. This is to the extent that much as I like my MBP, I will probably never buy a Mac again, which is a shame.

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

" No viruses are known to affect Mac OS X. None."

http://www.sophos.com/en-us/press-office/press-releases/2006/02/macosxleap.aspx

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

Upgrade, no. Repair, yes. When you're running a few hundred laptops, hard drives and batteries die on a weekly basis. It's very much desireable to be able to swap in a new one rather than wait a week for a manufacturer replacement.

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Facepalm

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

Ah, someone who believes the Mac is "easier to use\doesn't go wrong\doesn't get malware" line. Wake up!

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

The problem with NFSv4 is the requirement of Kerberos for security and the continual need to share user and group mappings.

SMB at least works in both standalone and domain environments, and the infrastructure for the latter is much easier to set up than it is to get a fully interoperable NFSv4 environment.

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Trollface

You know something Mr Eadon, I recently posted the following joking comment with.......

.....regard to your posting habits.

" I've been subjecting his posts....... ....to some advanced textual analysis and my conclusion is that he is an uber-iPhanboi disguising himself as a Linux advocate. This would explain why all his posts attack Redmond whether the issue is on topic or not and at the same time his intemperate and idiotic postings are intended to discredit Linux - cunning what? Well, Baldrick might well think so."

After reading this post of yours I realise that I in fact really did hit the nail on the head without realising it.

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Mushroom

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

> Actually, Apple is regarded as one of the best companies for taking care of problems.

...by a captive audience perhaps.

The thing about PC users is that they can always dump their current brand for another one. There's no need to see the world through rose colored glasses because you don't have any other choice.

Problems shouldn't happen to begin with. If your Mac is languishing in the shop for two weeks then Apple has already failed you.

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Boffin

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

One of the reasons for this is that Samba changed it's licensing, which forced Apple to write it's own implementation. http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-20046383-263.html and http://apple.slashdot.org/story/11/03/24/1546205/apple-remove-samba-from-os-x-107-because-of-gplv3

I would bet that Apple is licensing code from Redmond to make this process faster*, pretty much guaranteeing that SMB2 will be the default file sharing protocol.... Note that Apple's current SMB implementation, while claiming SMB2 compatibility, actually only talks SMB1.

* we all know how much work it took to reverse engineer SMB for Samba to work right & the resulting patent/IP fight....

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Holmes

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

Right, because Windows laptops get upgraded all the time...good luck trying to 'upgrade' your integrated graphics chip, or the soldered on wifi, or maybe the bluetooth chippery could do with a boost.

Mine do.

Well, the integrated graphics on a laptop is obviously a no-go, but in the dozens of PC laptops I've worked on in the past few years, I've always been able to upgrade/replace the battery, the wifi (never seen it soldered on -- always been PCIe -- with the bluetooth on the same card, usually), the hard drive, the optical drive, the RAM -- heck, even the CPU is usually socketed rather than soldered.

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

Tip: Buy what you need to start with.

I will when they start making what I need to start with, at a price point which is equivalent to "buy slightly lower and upgrade the RAM and possibly the HDD".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

Except that the Microsoft NFS server is faster and has better clustering....

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

IBM think pads. T20 T60 They use ziff socket

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

Eadon, why don't you take a few days off occasionally? Or at least post as AC in a somewhat different style?

You make a perfectly valid point here (one which I was going to make too) about the ignoramuses here and in business, the ones who don't understand the difference between cost and value. There are lots of them about, and anyone who denies it is just being silly.

But because YOU make the point and it's got YOUR name against it, any effect the point should have had is lost.

Just a thought.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

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Unhappy

Re: No viruses and therefore no virus scanners are needed for starters!

Oh.. My.. God... Are you still seriously promulgating that old wive's tale? And you actually kicked off the comments in a semi-sensible fashion, too.

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FAIL

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

"Not covered by Applecare".

Translating from "Apple Speak" this means your machine was out of warranty.

Good luck with getting Dell, Acer, etc, to fix your machine for free if the warranty has expired.

Suggest you take your machine to a local independent Apple repair centre just like you would for a broken Windows laptop

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

SMB uses AD, AD uses Kerberos, What was your issue again?

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

While it may technically sneak in as a virus, Leap/A is/was not much of a danger - it involved several manual interventions on the user's part to get in, after all - quoting from the article you linked:

>> it requires user interaction (the user has to receive a file via iChat, and manually

>> choose to open and run the file contained inside).

Oddly, last week I was asked to fix a friend's mac, which had started behaving oddly. The problem? His wife had installed Avast!

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Re: Hmmmmmmmm

The article is clear it's a work, the headline calls it though a virus. And yes it a no threat malware. So his post is till fully correct.

There are no known viruses for OSX, out of a few known malwares only a few actually has a low threat status, or no threat at all. As the one you just linked to, it was a proof of concept that only worked in a specific setup. Never found in the wild.

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Eh?

OSX has IMHO always been better at finding Windows Shares than er, um, Windows itself....

Maybe this just makes it better?

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Unhappy

Re: Eh?

Serious question...

Please tell me how! All of my Windows machines can see all my of Windows network shares. Including the file server where everything is stored (this one is important!).

The Apple machine... Occasionally sees the media machine or the file server, but nothing else and only infrequently at that :(

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Re: Eh?

@stacy

If it doesn't show up in the the network view in finder, go to Go->Connect to Server and then use smb://<hostname>

I must admit I have no problems at home with my Mac finding my Samba shares on my unix desktop.

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Bronze badge

Re: Eh?

"I have no problems at home with my Mac finding my Samba shares on my unix desktop"

That will probably be because the Mac's also using Samba, and there's maybe no AD involved to muddy up the authentication waters too..?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

Any recent Macs aren't using SAMBA... I do find that my new Mac finds Windows and Linux hosted SAMBA shares much more reliably than the old G5 which does run SAMBA.

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Re: Eh?

I second this!! my nice rack Qnap array is seen by everything in network neighbourhood, on all the windows boxes, but getting it to showup in the OSX server is a sod... and if it does show, odds are its not browseable... command K works mostly but it would be nice if it behaved as easily (and consistently) as on the windows machines...

but then... this is a windows AD/Mac OD combined network, unlike Eadons pure Soul -> Mac existence...

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Re: Eh?

Whatever about finding them, MacOS X performance on SMB shares is appalling, and has been for a while. About 3x slower than AFP. I remember this performance used to be better, so it's interesting to learn why it has happened.

As for the author preferring NFS, it really doesn't work for a fileshare, on MacOS at least: when you write a file to the remote store, your numeric UID is what gets applied to the remote filesystem's inode, which makes the file unreadable by anyone else unless their UID magically happens to be the same as yours. At the time there was no way to fix this (it's a client issue), so it was straight to AFP (for performance reasons outlined above).

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Re: Eh?

Not true.

Window 8 desktop connecting over nfs4 or smb 3.0 gives better performance than Linux in every situation.

(Solaris or Freebsd connecting to nfs4 on Windows is fine. Linux nfs4 sucks except to Linux nfs4).

Active Directory has all the common UNIX stuff like NIS but samba active directory sucks.

Linux is like XP used be extending everything and breaking standards compliant stuff in the process.

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Re: Eh?

nfs4 acl's can do anything you need. (At least on reasonable operating systems that implement the standards properly).

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Re: Eh?

Microsoft has been pushing their own propritary and parented exFAT filesystem as the 'new FAT32' for portable media. I imagine they will be very much unwilling to support anything that competes with that.

It's the same basic business sense that leads them to not-support any codecs other than Windows Media and now h264 out the box: If you're betting millions of dollars on technology X becoming dominant, it'd be a very silly manager who lends their support to X's rivals.

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Linux

Re: Eh?

> Window 8 desktop connecting over nfs4 or smb 3.0 gives better performance than Linux in every situation.

That's funny because I can saturate GigE with Linux. It's hard to get better performance than the theoretical upper bound.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

"Microsoft has been pushing their own propritary and parented exFAT filesystem"

Just like the existing FAT filesystem, you mean?

"It's the same basic business sense that leads them to not-support any codecs other than Windows Media and now h264 out the box"

Erm no - that would be the licensing fees required for them...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Eh?

Ok, so you can saturate a gige link, great, but what about 10gige? The main area where the speed of nfs4 is required is using it to serve large ever changing files, such as virtual hard disks. It's also about latency; you may be able to saturate a gige link, but I'm assuming that's saturation in one direction rather than two, I'm also assuming it's saturation sending a large file(s) to a host rather than copying others up at the same time. I bet it will be sequential access, to a file, rather than random and also that it will be large sequential chunks.

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Happy

@An0n C0w4rd Re: Eh?

Thanks! I'll give it a shot tonight!

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AGR

Re: Eh?

I had a QNap box that stopped speaking to my Macs after Mountain Lion was released. Apple apparently messed about with AFP and Qnap has been slow in catching up with the changes. I then had problems getting consistent smb mappings with QNAP.

Moved to Synology for my NAS and have had no problems with SMB mappings at all using the Macs.

Up until I bought the Synology box, I always found it a nightmare to do any home network sharing.

I ended up buying Apple because I got tired of having to rebuild my wintel machines every six months or so. It was taking up some valuable life credit units. Although all is not sunny with OS X, I'm still a fan (not a fanboi, though.)

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Happy

Re: Eh?

I had exactly the opposite issue with my QNAP & Synology devices. The QNAP would play nicely while the Synology was temperamental to say the least and that was on a good day.

Hey, such is life.

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