Apple Previews Mac OS X Panther Server

Apple previewed the next major version of Mac OS X at the Worldwide Developer Conference keynote presentation. Along with the new Mac OS client, Apple also announced Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" Server. The new server takes advantage of the enhancements included in Panther along with new server specific features.

From the Apple Press Release:

One of the powerful new capabilities in Panther Server is Automatic Setup, which makes setting up a rack of Xserve? systems as easy as setting up a single server. This groundbreaking new feature allows system administrators to setup any number of servers from configuration settings stored on a directory server, external FireWire? device, USB storage device or an iPod?.

Apple is the first major vendor to ship a server operating system with Samba 3, the latest version of the popular open source project that delivers high-performance, reliable file and print services to Windows clients. Now Windows users can authenticate against Panther Server directly from a PC login window. Panther Server can also host their Windows home directories and support Windows "roaming profiles." By tightly integrating Samba 3 with Appleis Open Directory, Panther Server makes it easy for users to access their accounts from either a Mac or a Windows-based PC.

Other open standards-based network services in Panther Server designed for mixed-client environments include Open Directory 2, a robust LDAP directory and Kerberos authentication server based on OpenLDAP, Berkeley DB and MITis Kerberos KDC that delivers industrial-strength scalability and security. An all new mail server rebuilt from the ground up using the open source Postfix SMTP and Cyrus IMAP and POP servers provides an open architecture for integrating with spam and virus filtering solutions, and SSL for secure email. In addition, a new VPN server built into Panther Server supports Mac OS X, Windows or UNIX clients using PPTP and L2TP tunneling protocols.

Panther Server includes an updated release of Apache, the worldis most popular web server along with Apache Tomcat and Apache Axis for creating powerful web services. With the addition of a new JBoss application server and new application deployment tools, Panther Server is now the easiest way to develop and deploy J2EE applications.

Mac OS X 10.3 Server will be available at the end of the year and will be. The 10-client edition will be priced at $499 (US) and the unlimited-client edition will cost $999 (US). Customers enrolled in the Apple Maintenance Program will receive Mac OS X Panther Server for free.