IW: Leopard Server Passes Turnkey Sniff Test

While Appleis Mac OS X desktop OS is well known, Apple has also been hard at work developing a turnkey server version, Leopard Server, that takes a unique and bold approach, according to Tom Yager at Infoworld on Tuesday.

Apple has continued its tradition of making Leopard Server simple to use for the enterprise in its implementation of platform independent file/print, e-mail, Web, and network services such as stateful firewall, VPN, proxy, virus, and spam filtering.

However, in Leopard Server, Apple "places a completely new emphasis on cutting edge network collaboration that includes blog, wiki, instant messaging, calendar and scheduling, and address book (which Apple refers to as Directory). Sure, thatis a trick that Linux or Windows can pull off, but Appleis spin is unique. These services are turnkey simple, but even in a turnkey setting, Leopard Serveris services are loaded with features and integrated to an extent that one finds, well, on a Mac desktop," Tom Yager reported.

Mr. Yager also recapped how Apple went all out on open standards solutions. "Standouts among Leopard Serveris standard standards are CalDAV shared calendars, Jabber/XMPP, Apache 2.2, Ruby on Rails with Mongrel and Capistrano, IPSec and PPTP VPN, RSS, and Kerberos. Apple went proprietary only on the underlying plumbing of management GUIs," Mr. Yager pointed out.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that Mac OS X now provides full POSIX compliance, is certified UNIX, and now has to be considered on of the Big Four: Mac OS X, AIX, Solaris, and HP-UX.

Mr. Yager concluded by noting that Leopard Server has limited scalability and its GUI tools fall short of an "experienced adminis expectations," in his words. Even so, Leopard Serveris target market is those who want a turnkey, user-friendly system. In that sense, it really is "The Peopleis UNIX," he concluded.