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  • Kristian Vättö - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Your Twitter was right, this really is endless Reply
  • CharonPDX - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    It was that pesky loop that started on page 23 that circled you back to page 8. By the time you'd read page 23, you'd forgotten what was on page 8, so you didn't notice you were in a loop until you were at what you thought was page 157... Reply
  • B3an - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Very in depth article... but i feel you've wasted time on this. No one in there right mind would use OSX as a server. Apart from Apple fanboys that choose an inferior product over better alternatives because it has an Apple logo, but i emphasize the words "right mind". Reply
  • FATCamaro - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    For enterprise work, or a Windows-only network this is certainly true. For SMB, or even 500 mac/mixed users I think it could work if you can provide some glue to handle fail-over.
    Windows server is better for Office for sure as is Linux for web & applications.
    Reply
  • Spivonious - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    I can run a web server on the client version of Windows. It's just not installed by default. Reply
  • mino - Saturday, August 06, 2011 - link

    Hint: for how many users/connections ....

    If it was THAT simple there would be no Web Edition, mind you.
    Reply
  • AlBanting - Friday, August 19, 2011 - link

    Same thing for client version of Mac OS X. I've done this for years. Reply
  • KPOM - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    True, for an enterprise user. However, a small business or tech-savvy home user trying to manage multiple Windows PCs, Macs, and iOS devices might well be tempted by the $50 price tag.

    If should be obvious by the price drop and the discontinuation of the XServe that Apple no longer intends to compete with Windows Server or Linux in the enterprise market. They are a consumer-oriented company, and released a server OS intended for a consumer market.
    Reply
  • zorxd - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Tech-savvy home user will run a free linux distro for a server. Plus it will work on any hardware, not only on a Mac. Many use older PCs as servers.
    Also the Mac Pro is too expensive and the Mac Mini can't even have 3.5" drives which mean that it is a bad solution for a file server.
    Reply
  • richardr - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Actually, I have a real use case, though it may be a bit specialised for your tastes... non-computing departments of universities are full of people with underused desktops running Word, but also have other people doing analyses that take ages to run on their machines. Making them all Macs (you'll never persuade them to use linux) and wiring them up with xgrid and OSX Server is a pretty pain-free way of running my analyses on their machines without too much disruption to their lives... Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Given the shift in corporate policy from being Blackberry focused to adopting other smartphone platforms including iOS, I think most CTOs would take a look at OS X Server if only for the easier iOS device management features. I don't really see it replacing existing Windows servers though, particularly since Apple doesn't sell dedicated server class hardware anymore. Reply
  • quakerotis - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    This is simply not true. OS X Server has been for us a very good performer, both in stability and ease of use. B3an, you must be speaking anecdotally because I am not a fanboy. There are many server technologies to choose from. this is one of the better ones. Reply
  • diskrete - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    As an IT manager for a small company, I would definitely use Lion Server to manage Macs and iPhones.

    It in no way replaces existing Windows/Linux infrastructure. But recycling a Mac mini to use for managing Apple devices? Absolutely. It’s worth it just for the ability to create machine-based 802.1X profiles.

    IT today is not about standardizing on one platform, it’s about using the right tool for the job.
    Reply
  • sligett - Thursday, August 04, 2011 - link

    Unix isn't a server platform anyone in their right mind would use?

    There are thousands upon thousands of small and medium businesses as well as schools that are hostage to expensive windows "experts" that have put a Windows server in their business. The client can't do a thing with the server without the expensive help of the expert. You don't see that as a viable market?

    So many people speak out on the Internet as though "I can't use this" is equivalent to "no one can use this".
    Reply
  • erple2 - Thursday, August 04, 2011 - link

    To be fair, any infrastructure that's put in place by an "expert" tends to continue to have to be maintained by another expensive expert. Non-techies have problems with Macs just as much as non-techies have problems with Linux, or Windows machines.

    BTW, I've found that the mac "experts" that have put a mac server in their business are also very expensive to hire back for help.

    There are some very very nice manageability features that OSX Server buys you that aren't all that simple to implement by relative novices in other environments...
    Reply
  • cwatt - Monday, September 26, 2011 - link

    Ha ha, you are really ignorant! I am currently rolling this out to a big organization and this article is a really big help.. BTW ... those inferior products are actually extremely good quality and very easily managed and a lot more secure than other platforms... You should not let your opinion get in the way of your judgment, you should make the best decision based on the environment not because you are a fanboy or you randomly hate really good products! Reply
  • blueeyesm - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    I have to agree that managing iOS devices using OS X Server is probably their only ace in the hole. The rest of what this offering serves can be replicated/managed better under Linux. That being said, if Apple wanted to be really smart, they'd help their community devise methods in which to enhance a shopping experience, or other interacive experiences with an iOS or tablet device.

    That is, until cloud computing becomes the de facto standard and Apple ceases to offer a server or client to download, you just are expected to do everything via iTunes/iLife Cloud edition.
    Reply
  • badjohny - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    With its drop in price, and ability to install on any mac, I would love to see apple take OSX server and shape it into a WHS for mac. It looks like all or many of those things are available in OSX server, but the ease and convenience of using a WHS is unreal. Push the Home server aspect of OSX server and really make a use for it in a standard home. itunes server edition, Apple TV media server, IOS update manager, Shared home calendars, email, and family based websites come to mind. These are all things that It can currently do, but they all need some "apple magic" to make them very powerful and at the same time very easy for anyone to setup. Apple could easy include a option in the setup of a mac to have it search your network for a server. If it finds one have it ask if you want to enable the features. They could even leverage the icloud system and have it linked by your itunes account. They all the data could sync through the icloud service. enter your apple ID and your client is setup to use your server instantly.

    They could even make a personal iCloud options. Every picture/video you take have it saved over to the server also.

    I understand that OSX server is a niche item in big business. Apple should admit defeat in enterprise setups and push server to a more person level. Have it compete with windows SBS and WHS but make it have the apple easy of use. They have a real product here, but like most home server options it seems to be more of a niche item.
    Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Basically Apple does not make or sell server grade hardware. Sure, if you look on their online store you will find a version of the Mac Pro that calls itself a server and comes with OSX Server installed. But there are a variety of things about it that make it not enterprise ready and more suited to small business or home servers. If Apple really wanted to be in the enterprise market then what they would absolutely have to do is to allow it to run as a virtual machine on all the major virtualization platforms. For example where I work we are a VMWare shop and no server software is coming in our door that will not run on VMWare Esx server.

    Its my theory thought hat they have no intention or desire to compete in the enterprise server market. If they did, there would be no reason for a price drop as most businesses in that market place would not have blinked at the $499 price or even the $999 price - both are a drop in the bucket compared to all the other costs associated with a data center. No, the price drop to me definitely signals that its their intent to be in the small business and home server market.
    Reply
  • HMTK - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    You're right, Apple does not have anything that could even remotely be called server hardware.

    There have been rumors that Mac OS can run as a vm on vSphere 5 (if you're ok with the licensing). If true you could run it on real servers and real SANs and use nice features like high availability. The only show stopper is probably licensing but I would think that is VMware were taking the trouble of making OS X run on their hypervisor they would have a deal with Apple.

    AFAIC Max OS X Server would be interesting only for managing iOS devices.
    Reply
  • HMTK - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    OK so you can definitely run a Mac OS X vm on vSphere 5 but only on Apple hardware. What a joke! Probably Apple idiocy rather than a technical limitation. Reply
  • Spazweasel - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    Apple is a hardware company. OS/X and iOS exist to make hardware sales possible (thus the cost of development is included in the pricing for Apple hardware, something the Apple haters conveniently overlook) Allowing the running of OS/X on non-Apple hardware reduces Apple hardware sales, so they don't do it.

    "Idiocy"? Yeah, sure, whatever.
    Reply
  • HMTK - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    Not allowing Mac OS to run under a hypervisor on non-Apple branded hardware won't help them either. Or do you think a halfway decent IT-department would put a desktop machine or a hard disk posing as a server in a data center? They'd rather pay a few 100 € more for a license if they could run it on ESXi/XenServer/Hyper-V and reliable hardware. Reply
  • Spazweasel - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    Apple makes its money on the desktop, not the server room. I doubt it's worth the effort. OS/X in the server room is a niche product, and Apple know it; it's much more suited as a workgroup/small office server, and those environments do not have ESX or Xen installations.

    Apple has no incentive to support OS/X in a VM, and plenty of reasons not to. Really, I don't see why this is a surprise.
    Reply
  • HMTK - Thursday, August 04, 2011 - link

    I'm not saying it's a big surprise, I'm saying it's stupid. why not make good manegement tools for their iOS available in a way that companies can integrate better in their infrastructure?

    You might be surprised as to how many small shops are going the virtualization route. Even if you have only a single server it makes sense in the long run when the time comes to replace the hardware. Just import the VM on the hypervisor on the new hardware and you're done.
    Reply
  • GotThumbs - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    This is an interesting article and I enjoyed the depth of detail. As a builder of my own systems for years, does the use of this software bind you to using only a ready built Apple system? It seems Apple is slowly trying to create a close proprietary system where you have to use apple hardware and apple software. I know their are hackintosh systems but it seems its still going to be quite a bit of effort and so far seems to be a waste of time for me. As the article mentions, there are lots of alternatives available. Apples MO seems to be offering zero options for using outside sources. Apple consumers are being channeled to Itunes and the Mac App Store for all purchases. I'm personally not a fan of that trend and have no intentions of bowing down to that kind of control. I can see where the general consumer who has very little technical knowledge is quite accepting of Apples controls as its a very simple and somewhat brainless system packaged in a slick looking package. Reply
  • GrizzledYoungMan - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Or is it still something we're all going to pretend works, when it very clearly doesn't out in the real world (If it worked, why would DAVE exist)? I'm referring here to the myriad of permissions issues and oodles of useless garbage sidecar files that pop up after a few days of operation in a mixed environment.

    Haven't read the article. Probably won't. Sorry. Apple is a joke at anything that designing anything that doesn't fit in your pocket/surrogate vagina of choice.

    I get this feeling, deep in my angry muscle, every time some imbecile waves around his iThing, raving about Apple's genius, while I'm thinking about all the time that has been wasted trying to get OS X desktop clients to do things that have worked out in the real world for years now.
    Reply
  • blueeyesm - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Not in Lion, as Samba moved to GPL3 licensing.

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/03/23/insi...
    Reply
  • GrizzledYoungMan - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    You know what's wild? I should actually be excited they're moving to a new standard - the NAS' I often recommend to clients support SMB2, and see useful performance gains from it.

    But then I read "Windows networking software developed by Apple" and my heart sinks. Realistically, what are the odds this is going to work?

    Honestly, I don't really blame the design teams over there so much as a closed corporate culture that both ignores the feedback of their customers and denies any complaints exist.

    They're really missing out on the sorts of improvements that most big software developers make using the information gathered during large, open betas and the like.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    As the article you linked to points out, since version 10.2 Mac OS X has shipped with Samba, an open-source, reverse engineered version of SMB 1.0. With Lion, Apple dropped Samba and added native support for SMB2 while maintaining the ability to connect with SMB 1.0 machines as long as they use UNICODE and extended security. This means Mac OS X 10.7 can no longer connect out of the box with some SMB 1.0 or Samba machines (which it had done for the last 9 years), but it does have full support for SMB2.

    As for GrizzledYoungMan's "oodles of useless garbage sidecar files," it's not like Mac users have any use for a thumbs.db file either. Just hide the metadata files, or don't allow write permissions on the folder if you don't want to see that kind of stuff, but these types of files are most likely only going to become more prevalent as time goes by.
    Reply
  • GrizzledYoungMan - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    I probably should have toned down my sarcasm a bit, but my point is that while yes, Apple said they support SMB since 10.2, it just plain old doesn't work right.

    Google Thursby DAVE to see what I mean.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    I'm familiar with DAVE, and you're right that obviously much is to be desired with Apple's SMB implementation if there is still an aftermarket product that costs more than the OS itself just to fix this particular issue.

    I kinda feel like more of the problem has to do with Mac OS X's lack of native support for NTFS though, rather than SMB actually malfunctioning.

    I chuckle that while you're thinking about "all the time that has been wasted trying to get OS X desktop clients to do things that have worked out in the real world for years now," I'm thinking about how much time I've wasted trying to get Windows Home versions to do things that Microsoft has artificially prevented them from doing so that they could sell customers an "upgrade". For instance, try setting up file sharing with user-level passwords and NTFS permissions on a network with Windows XP Home and Widows 7 Home Premium machines...
    Reply
  • GrizzledYoungMan - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    You'll get no argument from me that Windows' tiered pricing is a bummer. Up-selling is sleazy.

    But overall, I'd say that Windows actually represents a better value if you make the right upgrade choices (ie, XP straight to 7). For the price of a few of Apple's annual updates, you get something that lasts a few years longer, does a lot more, and puts you through the OS-version-transition rumpus less frequently.

    While I can understand why the press loves the frequency of OS X revisions, I don't see it as a good thing for the user (and certainly not my own personal experience). Upgrading your OS is a pain, and to do it every year - lest you suffer the consequences of running a two year old, unsupported version of OS X - is a burden. And as I mentioned, the end result of this accelerated schedule is that the end users become the beta testers.

    No wonder they're getting out of the desktop business. They can't handle anything much more complicated than a mobile phone OS.
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Since version 10.3, Mac OS X has been on a major revision update schedule that is much closer to once every 2 years (Leopard actually came 2.5 years after Tiger). In the early days of Mac OS X there were some teething issues that resulted in a more rapid release cycle, but I also seem to recall Microsoft releasing Windows 98, 98SE, ME, and 2000 in rather quick succession.

    Mac users are also free to skip every other version. Not to mention that upgrade pricing for Mac OS is way cheaper than Windows when you realize that you're getting the full-feature client version with a far more liberal license scheme and no activation based copy protection for $30. How much would it cost to legitimately upgrade every machine that you own or control from Windows Vista Home Basic 32-bit OEM to Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit?

    Apple released updates for Tiger for more than 3 years after it was discontinued. I guess if they had a stubborn enough install base they would be forced to continue support for a 9 year-old version of their OS as well.

    What does a client version of Windows itself do that Mac OS does not, aside from allowing playback of Blu-ray discs?

    If you've ever bought a retail Windows machine, you probably know that out of the box, under normal usage, the thing will be all but unusable in less than 18 months time, forcing you to buy another cheap POS Windows machine, or to perform a clean install of your OS. I love sacrificing 16% of a new system's performance to anti-virus software right off the bat, too.
    Reply
  • RubberJ - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    My system has been running Win7 since RTM and hasn't slowed.

    And does Antivirus really take 16% of your system performance or are you just talking out your arse?

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/anti-virus-vir...

    Just as i thought...mac fanboy alert...
    Reply
  • repoman27 - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    Yeah, as soon as I posted that last comment I realized I had crossed the line into religious war territory.

    My point about crappy system performance and having to reinstall the OS was regarding the way retail PC's come preconfigured, and what the typical end-user then subjects them to, not your particular case. My personal Windows systems (I do actually use Windows on the daily) tend to work fine for years, but then again I also spend a lot of time building performance tuned system images. I also don't personally run antivirus software anymore, because I'm not a sucker.

    As for that, I tend to refer more to the testing done by AV comparatives, and my own personal testing, but I certainly wasn't talking out my arse. 16% may indeed be hyperbole when talking about a new Sandy Bridge based system running Windows 7, but not at all on legacy equipment running XP or when running in a virtualized environment.

    Anywho, my initial intent was merely to clarify various exaggerations or inaccuracies in this thread, but I guess I did end up painting myself as the fanboy with that previous rant.
    Reply
  • Wizzdo - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    As a power user, developer, and servicer for Windows and OS X I can tell you quite simply that, relative to OS X, Windows is an expensive frustrating bag of hurt for a great many typical users. OS X comes with a fantastic suite of software tailored very well to work with the OS and the OS is in turn tuned very well to work with the Hardware. Updates (even Major ones) are painless and offer excellent value for the investment. They are generally highly looked forward to by most OS X users.

    Anyone who claims Windows and a generic PC will likely serve the average user better simply does not have a clue. There really is little comparison now and OS X Lion just pushes the experience that much further ahead.

    For much of my day I am forced to use Windows to develop SQL Server infrastructures. SQL Server is IMHO the best piece of software Microsoft has ever managed to make. However, my blood pressure drops considerably when I get to boot back into OS X where I can get some creative work done in a responsive pleasing modern environment that does not feel like a thinly veiled version of DOS.

    Apple gets it right and that is why they are the revered technology leader in the industry right now.

    Timemachine alone is worth the price of admission for anyone who values there work and wants effortless trustworthy backup and retrieval of it. Watch MS scramble to get this into their next OS just like so many other features. Apple didn't invent them all but knows how to make them work the way they should.
    Reply
  • GrizzledYoungMan - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    I would just like to point out that Wizzdo lives in a universe in which Windows 7 is a thinly veiled version of DOS, and Timemachine is a novel, useful feature.

    Sigh. OS X users.
    Reply
  • ex2bot - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    Actually, Time Machine IS a useful feature. Is it "novel"? It is novel in the sense that it is drop-dead simple. You plug in an external drive and click the 'Yes' button. Then as long as it is attached it makes complete + sequential backups. I use it on my Macs. I also clone periodically. Well, I don't clone. My drives do.

    The backup review interface works well, too. It's basically a specialized Finder window. I admit the star field is . . . interesting.

    GrizzledYoungMan, has Time Machine not been useful for you? What happened when you used it? It's worked for me on multiple machines. Backing up is useful because hard drives fail eventually. Even hard drives attached to Windows PCs.

    And Windows 7 *is* a thinly veiled version of DOS. See, Windows just a shell that sits on DOS. . . Nahhh! I'm just kidding ya. I know it's son of NT (or grandson maybe).

    Ex2bot
    Positronic Mac Fanbot ("Cannot harm humans" is just a guideline, I believe.)
    Reply
  • justinf79 - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    Way to show your ignorance there buddy...

    Windows, the security/virus nightmare where you're bombarded by OS security patches daily gets old fast. And quite frankly OS X is more powerful AND simpler. Windows has always been garbage.
    Reply
  • ex2bot - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    Upgrading OS X is not much of a pain, as Repo says. Plus, it's practical to skip at least every other upgrade. So, upgrading every four years (2 + 2) at $60 isn't a big deal and the improvements are worth it.

    I especially appreciate Expose', Time Machine, Spotlight, and Quick Look and use them regularly And every Mac user has benefitted from Quartz GL (uses 3d graphics card to speed up screen draws).. There have been myriad "invisible" or subtle improvements as well. See Apple's "Mac OS X" section for details.

    Four years between OS upgrades is not bad, as I said. Longhorn was supposed to come out about 4 or 5 years after XP. Microsoft just had eyes bigger than its stomach and it was delayed. But Windows 7 was worth the wait. Especially features like the display compositor + aesthetically pleasing UI + improved security (and no more yellow speech bubbles popping up all the time)

    Ex2bot
    Automated System Process
    Reply
  • ex2bot - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    BTW, Expose's successor is called "Mission Control." Reply
  • Sahrin - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    a reduction in advertising, if you guys are going to do all these paid reviews for Apple. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    It's getting a bit of a joke these days that anything with the Apple badge will get a news article, preview, in depth review the moment it's out dwarfing everything else which barely seems to get a look-in. I get that Anand likes Apple stuff and if I don't I should go elsewhere but I like the non-Apple reviews when they do occasionally get published.

    John
    Reply
  • ex2bot - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    It's no joke. Check Anand's mailbox some time*.

    Ex2bot

    *Crazies, please don't mess with his mailbox.
    Reply
  • ex2bot - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    I know for a fact that Apple employees stuff money into Anand's mailbox*. Lots and lots of money. They use $20s and $50s straight from Jobs' car, who burns them to light his cigs.

    Ex2bot
    Currency Calculating Mac Fanbot

    * Anand, I don't really believe this. I was kidding, as I'm sure you've figured out. Actually, I'm sure they are $100s, not $20s and $50s. After all, he's a Billionaire.
    Reply
  • the_engineer - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Thanks for this great in-depth look at Lion Servers new & continued functionality, I learned a lot reading this. However, I'm still very confused at where XSAN fits into the picture. As a storage power-user I've used software Linux raid, semi-hardware windows raid (Intel, Highpoint), and I've lately dabbled into ZFS because it seems like it's really got everything I could ever want as far as straight storage capabilities are concerned (I'm running a raidz6 with 6 750GB drives currently running on Nexenta). I'd really like to put Lion Server on a mac and install a generic SATA card and add 6 3TB hard drives and do a great big raid5 in a mac pro, but am very confused as to whether or not this will work. I was very hopeful that Lion Server would integrate 'software' RAID5 or similar functionality, but it's not clear anywhere whether it does this or not. Simply put, Do I still need to buy a dedicated raid5 card to have a redundant array of inexpensive disks on a mac or am I missing something still?

    -Looking for a great user experience AND a ton of redundant storage
    Reply
  • HMTK - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    Why not set up a NAS with iSCSI or NFS ? Reply
  • the_engineer - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    LONG story short, geting a deidciated NAS box means spending more money than ought to be necessary at this point (I have an i7 desktop and a core2 desktop, both capable of running Lion, Windows, FreeBSD, you name it... Just fine, as well as plenty of vanilla SATA ports & cards available). I'm Trying to weigh all purely software options available to me, with ZFS/BSD sitting on top of the heap for storage features but OSX sitting on top of the heap from a usability standpoint. The longer I look at it the more likely I am to end up running one huge 20-drive ZFS based NAS under FreeBSD but was trying to avoid getting to this point. Reply
  • HMTK - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    If you put it on the network you can access it with all decent OS's. I've got a little HP mini proliant just for that. Reply
  • the_engineer - Thursday, August 04, 2011 - link

    Indeed, and that's the plan, assuming nothing else I like more comes along. I was really sort of tantalized by the possibility of software RAID in OSX, and still haven't been able to get a straight answer on it. Currently it is looking like it's a no go. Reply
  • tff - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    As a home user, I've been frustrated by the inability to have two users edit a shared calendar in OS X/iOS without using 3rd party software.

    How would it differ using Lion server to accomplish this rather than Lion and iOS 5 clients using iCloud?

    Typical Mac home user- iPhones, iPads, Mac laptops.
    Reply
  • Omegabet - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    You can install server.app on a client. Just copy the app over from the server. The first time you launch it, choose connect to a server. It will then run server.app from your client. Otherwise it will upgrade lion to the server version. This was recommended in the apple documentation (can't remember where though). Reply
  • qiankun - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    One instance I found frustrating is that non-HSF+ volumes like NTFS and exFat cannot be accessed from other computers using SMB or AFP. You can add the volume to the file sharing list, pick whatever protocol you like, but when you try to access it you'll get an error. Same thing applies to the bootcamp partition.

    I like to use NTFS or exFat on external drives, for simple fact that whenever needed you can simply disconnect them from the mac server and plug into a PC. I know there are software that allows reading HSF+ partitions on windows, but it's not installed everywhere, very unlikely if you want to use the drive on a random computer you or your friend uses.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    Windows Home Server. That's all I have to add. Reply
  • justinf79 - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    WHS isn't even in the same league... Reply
  • rs2 - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    I've used a number of different wiki solutions, and the one included on OS X Server is a toy compared to most other popular wikis. There's just no comparison between the OS X wiki and something like Confluence or MediaWiki. Reply
  • gamoniac - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    At first glance, this looks impressive, given the price tag and the myriad of features provided. However, the author should note the huge maintenance costs of this at best rudimentary product. Anyone who has used Apache or IIS 7 knows the Lion web server is years away from catching up.

    What good is a cheap product if you have to to spend, say, 40 hours, trying to get something to work. The TCO is too high even at $10/hour, and even for home users.
    Reply
  • gamoniac - Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - link

    PS: Good article nonetheless. Thank you AT. Keep them coming! Reply
  • repoman27 - Wednesday, August 03, 2011 - link

    What's good about a cheap product with a myriad of features is that if even one or two work as advertised out of the box, it was worth it. If not, you're only out $50. I configured Snow Leopard Client on a MacBook Pro to work as a NetBoot / NetRestore server because I happened to find that functionality useful, and although it was trivial to do so, I'm perfectly inclined to shell out the $50 for Lion Server going forward rather than monkey around with another client version.

    In general, you're right though, it's stupid to cheap out on a capital expenditure and then spend an order of magnitude more trying to get someone who knows what they're doing to make it work.

    Really, though, who doesn't spend at least 40 hours setting up a new server for the first time?
    Reply
  • 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
  • jedimed - Thursday, August 04, 2011 - link

    Does anyone know if Lion Server supports any DLNA media streaming? Reply
  • jay2901 - Saturday, August 06, 2011 - link

    sorry if this has been answered already...but if you aren't interested in legacy nt domain controller functionality, can you join a windows 7 pc to lion server's open directory? would love to use this in a mixed (50-50) environment with mac/pcs without needing active directory. Reply
  • ATOmega - Monday, August 08, 2011 - link

    Such a limiting selection of hardware and functionality.

    Running a server, it makes more sense to take advantage of the strong updates and packages in Debian/Ubuntu and just run with that.

    I mean, if you're crazy about the Apple hardware, go nuts! But it's clear what Apple really does with server is integrate a handful of half baked UIs with otherwise free software packages. Calling it a "server edition" changes little from an existential perspective.

    I'll never understand the appeal of paying up to 3x more to get the same if not less...
    Reply
  • tumme_totte - Tuesday, August 09, 2011 - link

    Andrew, you say that Windows computers can't join the OD since a Lion OD Master can't be Primary Domain Master for Windows. But in the documentation Apple says something else:

    https://help.apple.com/advancedserveradmin/mac/10....

    Can this be verified? Windows 7 machines can't be joined to Leopard Server (neither Server 2008) and I was hoping Lion would solve this.
    Reply
  • Te-Moz - Sunday, August 14, 2011 - link

    Andrew, you can set up device management with a self signed SSL certificate.
    Obviously it's 'nicer' to have one that's authority signed, but for us, we just need Lion server to control our Macs and iPads, push updates and provide some shared storage. (Educational setting)

    Great article, and if you wanted to do one on setting up a golden triangle with Lion Server OD and Win AD, then I'm sure a lot of folk would fine that really helpful also. ;)
    Reply
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  • reese637 - Saturday, December 24, 2011 - link

    Hi all. I'm a young tech enthusiast who likes to get his hands dirty in networks and servers and what not. As of now, I've been running our home network with two Time Capsule routers (acting as access points, web servers, backup drives, and file sharing), and many mac desktops and laptops (I believe four MacBooks and two iMacs). For a while now, I've been interested in upgrading to the Server edition of OSX, but I was afraid that it had too many requirements such as xserves, server domains, etc. Now that Lion Server seems to be a bit more consumer friendly and a lot cheaper, I was seriously thinking in upgrading. Would any of you please be able to let me know if there is anything else I need to buy/do in order for OSX Lion Server to actually work in my home? Thank you. Reply
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