Like the client version of Lion, Lion Server is now a download from the Mac App Store, and as with Lion client this means that there are some changes in the installation process.

A server upgrade install from Snow Leopard Server is performed the same way as a client upgrade install - fire up the App Store, download the installer, and let it do its thing. If you’re running the upgrade from a Snow Leopard server, the App Store is smart enough to prompt you to buy the Server app if you haven’t already. You can also convert any Lion client install to a server install by downloading the Server app from the App Store, and then running it - it will download and install some additional components, and the next time you reboot your Lion client, it’ll be a server instead.

Don't make fun of my test server, okay?

Upgraders should note that OS X Server upgrades tend not to go as smoothly as their client counterparts, and the App Store reviews for Lion Server indicate that this hasn’t changed - if you haven’t already backed up all the data that’s important to you (including a full-disk backup of the hard drive, if you can), make sure you do it before you upgrade. I would recommend doing a clean install if you can, but your mileage may vary - just know that the more you’ve customized Snow Leopard Server, the more likely the upgrade is to break something.

Interestingly, Lion Server removes Snow Leopard Server’s requirement that the software be installed on a desktop Mac system - if, for whatever reason, you want to use a laptop as a server, you can do it without any workarounds. I would generally recommend against this except in light-use or home-use scenarios, since slow-spinning 5400 RPM drives and higher heat are going to give you less-than-stellar performance in workloads that require lots of disk usage - the ability to install Lion Server on a laptop is more useful for remote management of a desktop server, which we’ll talk a little bit about in the next section.
Introduction Server.app and the Server Admin Tools
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  • Wizzdo - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    Lion's web server IS Apache. LOL. Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    I am too much of an elitist fag to succumb to this.
    I just installed my Debian GUI-less server today to replace my o'll ubuntu 10.04 LTS GUI server, got everyhting setup, mysql, apache, php, samba settings, everything gud to go with only 100 megs of ram usage.
    Sure it took much longer to setup, but I am an elitist fag
    Reply
  • don_k - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    Since when is netboot unique to OSX server? Last I checked all *nix variants have had that ability for decades.

    But really, organisations concerned about the sticker price on their server software are not going to go get an apple 'server' for $1k when they can download an iso in 5min and get going are they?
    Not to mention the complete lack of necessary system tools (archiving, compiing especially) without installing macports or something.

    Call it like it is - 1k to manage all those damn pads and phones everyone in the company demands they are able to access the company intranet.
    Reply
  • johnbouy - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    Time Machine took a big step backwards with Lion Server. In Snow Leopard Server you could allow time machine backups on individual share points. This allows you to partition a disk and set up individual partitions for specific Time Machine backups. I use this to control how much disk space is allocated for a backup. In Lion you get to nominate one share point/partition as the Time Machine backup storage point. Hence any client that backs up to the server uses the same disk space. A real step backwards!

    Another issue is that Server.app rewets .config files when started up so you potentially lose any changes you were forced to make due to the lousy Lion Web service interface.
    Reply
  • digitalzombie - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    I like the idea but still... I wouldn't do it. Apparently they got desperate enough to offer it for 50 bucks. Good job for noticing that no one give a damn since Linux is free and both Linux and Window is established already. I still wouldn't give em my money when they tried to charge in the past an arm and a leg. Who the hell do they think they're going fool? The platform isn't the most active for server development tools. Linux got cloud all up in there and it's actively evolving in many area especially server. Don't even try to bring out that pathetic iCloud. It's not open so nothing is going to back that crap other than Apple, openstack have 50 vendors, big companies, backing that project up compare to iCloud. Apple probably won't ever be able to compete in the server sector but they can leverage their UI and simplicity for their user base, such as the gui sys admin tools described in this articles. They should just stick with consumer base products, trying to compete in the server space market is going to kill em. Reply
  • matthi - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    On page 4 of this review, it says ".. our next entries are Accounts and Stats under the Status heading". 'Accounts' should be replaced with 'Alerts'. Reply
  • slayernine - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    If only this was a review of Windows Server it might be useful. I have never met a fellow tech person/geek who uses any version of Apple Server products. (aside from one customer about 3 years ago who was curious about them).

    It is just the simple facts that apple products are know for a lack of an ability to upgrade, locked to features that Apple thinks you should have and a lack of price efficiency. Windows and Linux offer far superior server products that will run on pretty much any hardware that suits your needs and the only reason I can see there being a point to review this product is due to Apple padding your pockets.
    Reply
  • Schafdog - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    I know that it seems like Apple (or Steve) has lost faith in the PC as a hub, but I would really love seeing a iTunes Server that multiple users can control using iOS devices playing on Airplay or iOS device itself.

    Some NAS is now getting this features, so I might drop the OS X Server for one of those instead.
    Reply
  • sodi - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    What kind of crazy organization would use a Lion Server? At works, standard is a necessity. A Lion Server is just oddball. Reply
  • Oscarcharliezulu - Thursday, August 04, 2011 - link

    This seems a bit like OSX Server Lite and Easy rather than a true upgrade to Snow Leopard Server. I wasPthinking of converting an older 'mini to Lion Server (to serve a small business which has MBPs and iMacs, but now I think getting a copy of Snow Leopard Server would be better if I could somehow get it cheap (yet legal). Reply

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