Computerworld: Apple’s powerful Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server is a tremendous value

Apple Online Store“I’ve worked with various versions of Apple’s Mac OS X Server for nearly a decade now. Each new release has brought major advances to the company’s server software in terms of overall features, performance and ease of administration. The most recent iteration, version 10.6 — a.k.a. Snow Leopard Server — is no exception,” Ryan Faas reports for Computerworld.

“Snow Leopard Server is a tremendous value. It offers a range of features that aid collaboration and mobility for small businesses through enterprises. The improvements in collaborative tools will probably be adopted in education, one of Apple’s core markets. The simple licensing structure and lowered price are enough to make the platform competitive,” Faas reports.

“For organizations that already run in part or entirely on Mac OS X Server, this is a definite upgrade. With so many new technologies and under-the-hood changes, though, you’ll definitely want to spend some time testing and getting to know the new face of Mac OS X Server before making the jump,” Faas reports. “For organizations running on other platforms, Snow Leopard Server’s lower cost and the maturity of so many technologies originally introduced in Leopard Server make it a product to seriously think about, particularly for smaller organizations needing a simple yet powerful option.”

Full article – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Absolutely! The tools that allow companies to configure iPhones for corporate use are in…SL Server.
    The queue and cluster server tools that allow people to make Mac Beowulf-esque HPC clusters are in…SL Server.

    Great value indeed! and under rated too!

    Just my $0.02

  2. Yes, and the Mac mini server is a great deal for a small group’s server needs.

    I wonder what Apple will be doing with their new BILLION dollar server farm? It should be up and running next year.

  3. The licensing model alone makes it a tremendous value. As companies continue to scale back, look for more of them to ditch Microsoft’s exorbitant per-seat license fees, which they must pay over and over and over again.

    IT departments are cost centers. They are constantly asked to do more with less. Problem is, many of them still have the mindset that a MS-only shop is still a best practice. Either that, or they’d rather dance with the devil they know, instead of one they don’t know. Either way, the devil is killing them, cost-wise.

    But, as budgets continue to shrink, it’s just a matter of time before there will be too much pressure for them to stay in their MS comfort zone and look at other products. When they finally do, they will see Apple there, waiting for them with a great value proposition.

    And then there shall be light….

  4. Riiigght. For around half the price one can purchase Small Business Server 2008 which about doubles the features using the same tools used in Fortune 500.

    Active Directory- check
    Exchange Server- check
    Sharepoint Server- check
    SQL Server- check
    Centrally managed desktop configurations & updates via Group Policy- check
    Daily Reporting on Health & Network Status- check
    Built in Remote Access to all of the above including remote desktops WITHOUT VPN- check

  5. It’s nice to see you Apple guys argue about price on both ends of the spectrum.

    When Apple is more expensive, you’re all about “Value”
    When MS is more expensive, you’re all about “Price”

    Dell/HP all have SBS entry level servers around the $1000 mark. Microsoft publishes RETAIL pricing.

    Regarding the Mac Mini, most would not recommend a real business implement their infrastructure on laptop parts.

    The fact that Apple’s major Leopard Server feature is “Podcast Producer” is evidence enough of how far out in left field they are relative to the real needs of the typical small business.

  6. No Answer?
    Here you go”
    10 x 20 Window CALs = $8000
    + 200 Exchange CALs = $13400
    + 200 Sharepoint CALS = $18800
    TOTAL: $40,200
    Apple is the better VALUE at $500.


  7. No, I dont’ see. Because your pricing is completely fictional.

    Essential Business Server is the next step up past SBS, for 200 users roughly $16,000. Again, that’s RETAIL pricing on the MS website, OEM’s have it for much less.

    And again, that’s 200 people that are being productive with enterprise class software. What good does $500 software do when a business isn’t interested in creating podcasts or sharing recipes?

  8. IT Guy writes, ” For around half the price one can purchase Small Business Server 2008″. I don’t know where you’re getting your figures, but the Standard edition of SBS, according to Microsoft, is $1,089, including just 5 CALs. Snow Leopard Server is $499 with unlimited licensing!

  9. And, BTW just for perspective, I like Macs. I really do. I own three. I just don’t think OS X server is the best solution for the ‘typical’ small business owner looking to centralize from a peer to peer network. If they are already all Mac and in an industry (audio, photography, etc) that leverages/requires it, great. But that’s a corner case.

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  10. IT Guy lives in another world and has no interest in getting a passport to visit other lands. So I will not waste my time with his issues.

    I can, however, relate my experience installing SL Server last week. Our law office has 8 client Macs interacting with the server. All client Macs are running Snow Leopard. SL Server is running on a Mini that we bought for <$1000 with SL Server software installed. This is the third version of Apple server software we have used, starting with Tiger Server.

    SL Server is easy to use and maintain, once it is up and running. However, setting it up in a critical production environment, like a law office, is something you should not try to do yourself.

    At this point you might be saying, I’m a smart guy and I don’t need an expert’s help. Well, smart guy, answer me this: do you understand server technology and can you understand Unix commands? If you answer no to either question, hire a Mac server consultant to set up your server or plan to first spend the next 6 months of your life teaching yourself server technology and basic Unix, before you install SL Server.

    We hired a consultant to set up both Leopard Server two years ago and again to set up SL Server last week. A consultant should cost you about $1,000-1,500 and it is money very well spent.

    Like I said earlier, once the server is set up, you will probably not need to see the consultant again until OS X 10.7 Server is released.

    Finally, I do have to respond to IT Guy’s comment about running server software on a computer (Mini) with laptop parts. Essentially, he is full of shit. I ran Tiger server on a G3 Mac tower. I ran Leopard server on an old mirrored-door Mac. In both cases, the server software ran just fine on these grandpas of computers.

    Small business does not need racks of servers in special air conditioned rooms that only IT geeks are allowed into. We need inexpensive solutions that just work–something only Apple seems to understand.

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