“The Mountain Lion version of OS X Server marked the end of a transition for Apple’s server software,” Andrew Cunningham reports for Ars Technica.
“When Apple released OS X 10.6 in 2009, Server was an expensive and entirely separate version of OS X that only shipped on Apple’s rack-mountable XServe systems and cost $1,000 if you wanted to run it on any of your other Macs,” Cunningham reports. “Fast-forward to 2012 and the XServe was long-dead, OS X Server was a $20 add-on to OS X, and the powerful-but-complex tools used to manage and configure the server software had been thrown out in favor of a greatly simplified application primarily controlled via big on/off switches. It took a couple of years, but Apple had done the same thing to its server hardware and software that it did to Final Cut Pro. The company made its features more accessible for small businesses and high-end consumers at the expense of features important to a subset of professional users.”
“The Mavericks version of OS X Server ushers in no such sweeping changes. In fact, the scope of the update is closer to the incremental updates that the Mountain Lion version has received between its launch in July of 2012 and now,” Cunningham reports. “Despite a version number increase from 2.X to 3.X, OS X Server is finished with the major overhauls. The software has been changed from an enterprise-targeted package to one better suited to power users and small businesses. Now that the transition is complete, it’s clear that slow, steady improvement is the new normal.”
Tons more in the very comprehensive full review here.