Mac OS X Server is designed for teachers, media designers, network administrators, and professional Webmasters. According to info on Apple’s Mac OS X Server Web site the new interface will make the product, “with its integrated remote administration and reliable architecture, simple for new users while providing the advanced features that professional Webmasters and network administrators require.”
Both Mac OS X and OS X Server are based on an open source UNIX-like foundation called Darwin. However, Mac OS X Server provides native file sharing for Mac, Windows and UNIX clients, FTP for Internet file transfers, and PostScript print spooling services. It provides personal desktop access from anywhere on the Internet with NetBoot, Macintosh Manager, and NetInfo.
Macintosh Manager lets you set network-wide policies for controlling user access to applications, file server volumes, and printers; define the environment users see when they log-in; enable personal desktop access from anywhere on the network; enforce user policies controlling which applications, documents, file server volumes, CDs and printers the user can access. In addition, a new “back-pack” checkout feature enables students to take a portable computer and work assignments home with them.
NetBoot enables you to configure and update multiple Mac systems instantly by updating a central server. It stores a single, consistent System Folder and application folder for all clients on a NetBoot server. NetBoot enables individual users to store their system and application preferences on the NetBoot server and securely access them from any NetBoot client. You can update the NetBoot server from any NetBoot client and manage all the Macs on your network as though they were a single computer.
With Mac OS X Server, you can create your own Internet presence with the Apache Web server, QuickTime Streaming Server and WebObjects (all of which are included). You can provide all services running on Mac OS X Server access to the same common set of user and group information. Adding a single user to the server makes it immediately available to all running services.
Mac OS X Server requires a Macintosh Server G4, Power Mac G4, Power Mac G4 Cube, iMac, Macintosh Server G3, or Power Macintosh G3; fault tolerance systems require a new Macintosh Server G4 or Power Mac G4. You’ll need 128MB of RAM (at least 256MB of RAM is recommended for high demand servers running multiple services), a 4GB hard disk; video card, Ethernet card, and select disk controllers available from Apple. NetBoot client computers need an iMac, iBook, Power Mac G4, or Power Mac G4 Cube; a 1999-model Power Mac G3; or a PowerBook computer introduced in May 1999 or later; Mac OS 9 or 9.1; and 32MB of RAM. Macintosh Manager client computers require: a 68040 or PowerPC processor-based Mac; Mac OS 8.1 or later; and 24MB of RAM.
Pricing for the product hasn’t yet been announced. Mac OS X Server will be available in English, Japanese, French, and German.