Inside Apple’s Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Server OS

Apple Store“With the upcoming release of Mac OS X Server 10.5, aka Leopard Server, the Mac IT world is thinking ‘What is going to be new?’ Well, to be honest, everyone is. Apple’s infamous closed-mouthed approach to major OS releases, while great for marketing purposes, isn’t always so great for the IT world. However, Apple isn’t a road map company, so if we want to get an idea of what to expect in Leopard, we have to dig into the public information Apple has released,” John C. Welch reports for InformationWeek.

Welch reports, “Fortunately, there’s a decent bit of it. It’s not everything, (certainly not Steve’s famous “Top Secret” features), but it’s not a sharp stick in the eye either. One of the big features for many people is the iCal server. I know I’ve not been alone in saying that the lack of calendaring in Mac OS X Server has long been a real hole in the product’s feature set, and with iCal Server, Apple is making its first real attempt at plugging that.”

Welch covers:
• iCal Server
• Wiki Server
• 64-Bit Capabilities
• File Services:
• Web Services
• QuickTime Services
• iChat Server 2
• Mail
• Xgrid 2
• Open Directory 4

Welch reports, “Apple is taking items that either cost a lot of money, or need a lot of expertise, and selling them real cheap, and in a way that while you still need some basic networking knowledge and skills to set up, won’t require the same levels as other systems. Will it let you gut a large-scale Active Directory/Exchange system? Of course not, but if you’re a business with a hundred or so people, and you want to add services, increase reliability, and not go into deep debt to do so, Leopard Server is going to be a compelling option.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard’s top secret ingredient: 3D everywhere, including new 3D Finder? – March 27, 2007
RUMOR: Some Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard ‘top secret’ features leak out – January 26, 2007
RUMOR: Apple Mac OS X Leopard to replace ‘Aqua’ with ‘Illuminous’ – December 11, 2006
Apple confirms ‘resolution independence’ and more coming in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard – October 23, 2006

17 Comments

  1. Macboy…

    The thing that a lot of people get hung up on is Apple getting back into what they call “the enterprise”.

    In reality, the vast majority of people – both in the US and Europe – are employed in small businesses: the last analysis I did (several years ago) said that the average number of employees for a UK company was around 18.7, whilst – in the US – the figure was around 32 (IIRC).

    These are all companies who, at present, get screwed by Microsoft’s predatory CAL licensing structure and represent a substantive, commercially-viable marketplace for Apple.

    However (and I’ll admit to a personal agenda here), Apple has to encourage the development of a vibrant reseller channel that is capable of rolling out and maintaining heterogeneous networks (part of which may consist of line-of-business applications contained in virtualised Windows environments) for customers who, as a product of human nature, will take the same route that their peers in the SMB community.

    Apple has a fantastic opportunity at this time: partly because Microsoft couldn’t find its ass with both hands and a map, but also because it has – for the last several years – shown a wider community the possibility of elegant, stable, secure software. Leopard Server should be yet another chapter in the evolution of OS X that provides SMB owners and managers with a reason to desert Microsoft’s mediocre products – Apple’s challenge, as ever, is to get that story to the market.

  2. the market is shifting now, Customers who use Apple technology will have an edge on the competition. What company would not like to shift a couple million from IT to marketing or heck their own pockets? ( think about it…. stuff that works.)

    Apple will be making billions more. M-soft billions less.

    Even if we come in second forever 49% is pure gravy.

    Now the race is on.

  3. These features are not aimed at anything I’d refer to as an “enterprise”. I’d be willing to call what half the folk in the UK work in as a “small business”. Under 20 people is “small”. Get to a couple hundred and you are talking about mid-sized business for certain. And these server options seem targeted at these SMBs – from a couple of people to a couple hundred.
    A market that covers three quarters of the folk working in any “developed” nation.
    A market where the boss has met every employee.
    A market sensitive to costs.
    An opportunity. Oh, sure, a modest one. Only about a third of all PCs in the market. Oh, wait, it’s a market Apple has barely touched! So, it’s all new to them! Grab 10% of it and they’ve almost doubled their total sales! And … that’s possible.

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

  4. DL,

    I work for an enterprise class organization and we have about 1200 Macs that use iChat server and Apple’s Open Directory (Not AD!) for desktop authentication. These Macs access a combined native Apple storage file sharing footprint of 120TB using Xserve and Xserve RAIDs.

    Apple is growing in large organizations more than you think.

    Tell your CIO Apple storage costs $1.31 per GB. A fraction of the cost of storage from Dell, HP, Sun or IBM.

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