CW: Making Leopard Servers Simple

Appleis big brother to the Leopard desktop OS is Leopard Server. Itis designed to run on server hardware, like the Xserve, and make life simpler and better for small to medium workgroups. Apple has succeeded in that goal, according to Ryan Fass at Computeworld on Monday.

Setting up a server and all its related services, such as account management, e-mail, file sharing, VPN services and backups can be a daunting task for any IT manager. Apple has focused on making those tasks easy for organizations that may not be able to hire a full-time administrator, yet still want to take advantage of the features and ease of use of an Xserve.

Mr. Faasis review of Leopard server is intended primarily for someone who is investigating the possibility of setting up such a server or who has just pulled one out of the box. As a result, the hands-on experience is intended more to instruct than extol virtues, but in the process, Mr. Fass does, in fact, reveal the ease of use and benefits of Leopard Server.

Screen shots are used to illustrate account management, server preferences, mail and web service options, and VPN preferences. Para 4

"As an experienced Mac OS X server administrator, I was very curious as to whether Apple would really be able to pull off a very simple interface to Leopard Server. Overall, I have to say that Apple did it," Mr. Faas wrote. "The simplified set-up process is easy, provided you have all the requisite information ahead of time. Server Preferences is also incredibly intuitive and easy to operate."

The bottom line is that Apple succeeded in walking the fine line between ease of set up and the typical fine control needed for business installations.