Along with the preview of OS X 10.4 "Tiger", Apple has also offered a sneak peek at the companion update to OS X Server claiming over 200 new features.
Some notable innovations include native support for 64-bit applications, a Weblog Server that enables one click hosting, iChat Server for private Instant Messenger networks and migration tools to make it easy to upgrade from Windows servers. From the Apple press release:
For the first time, Tiger Server can natively run 64-bit processes for database, engineering and scientific applications to take advantage of the increased performance unleashed when accessing massive amounts of memory while still running side-by-side with existing 32-bit applications. Combined with Apple?s Xserve? G5 server hardware, Tiger Server offers an affordable, easy-to-manage solution for high performance computing.
Weblog Server is fully compatible with Safari RSS in Mac OS X Tiger and makes publishing a weblog as simple as checking a box in Server Admin preferences. Weblog Server is based on the popular open source project ?Blojsom? and is fully integrated into Tiger Server with an easy-to-use interface, Kerberos authentication support and LDAP integration. Weblog Server provides users with calendar-based navigation and customizable themes and users can post entries using the built in Web-based functionality or with weblog clients that support XML-RPC or the Atom API.
Tiger Server includes a brand new iChat server designed for organizations that need to keep internal communication private. Organizations can define their own namespace, use SSL/TSL encryption to ensure privacy and Kerberos for authentication. Tiger Server?s iChat server works with Apple?s popular iChat conferencing software in Mac OS X Tiger and is compatible with open source Jabber clients available on Windows, Linux and popular PDAs.
Tiger Server has also been updated with tools that make migrating from Windows-based servers easy. Administrators can now migrate the user and group account information from an existing Windows Primary Domain Controller automatically into Open Directory. Tiger Server can then take over as the Primary Domain Controller for Windows clients and even host Windows users? home directories, group folders, roaming profiles and shared printers.
Other new features in Tiger Server:
- Mobile Home Directories that give mobile users the best of both worlds?access to files and preferences while on the road with the user?s home directory centrally stored and managed on the network;
- a Software Update Server that lets system administrators host their own proxy/cache server to control the availability of Apple?s software updates for Mac OS X Tiger and Tiger Server systems;
- Access Control Lists that provide a more flexible permissions model that gives administrators better control over files, folders and network services, making it easier to set up collaborative environments;
- Internet Gateway Setup Assistant to make it easy for small business and home office users to set up complex network services, including DHCP, NAT, DNS, Port Routing, Firewall and VPN services;
- Xgrid? 1.0, Apple?s easy-to-use clustering software is integrated into Tiger Server to make it easy for scientists and researchers to build a distributed computing cluster that supports up to 128 agents, up to 10,00 queued jobs and up to 10,000 tasks per job.
The release is characterized as "...the best release of Mac OS X Server ever,? by Apple?s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller. ?Tiger Server combines over 100 of the best solutions from the open source world with Apple?s legendary ease-of-use to create the easiest way to deploy powerful open source server solutions.?
Mac OS X Tiger Server is expected to be released in the first half of 2005 for a suggested retail price of US$499 (10-client edition) or US$999 (unlimited-client edition). More information can be found at Appleis Web site.