Bright Spots on the
Tiger"> In the WWDC sessions, out of earshot of the media, Apple said it would beef up Kerberos and make SMB home folders work with Windows domains. It also spent some time discussing NTLMv2 authentication for higher security, another feature currently available through the third-party products. Naef said Apple was "sending the message that they were pushing to be a good citizen with Active Directory."For example, ACLs will let Mac server managers specify user and group permissions for creating and modifying files and folders as well as for accessing network services. Windows servers and Unix servers such as Sun Solaris have supported ACLs for years. For insights on Apple and Macintosh coverage around the Web, check out Matthew Rothenbergs Weblog. But once again, the question is whether Tiger Servers ACL implementation will work in a cross-platform environment. That is, will Mac clients be controlled by ACLs on Windows servers? "How they actually pull that off will be interesting," Nelson said. "Well have to see the implementation details to see whether you can do it cross-platform." Meanwhile, Apple isnt spending a lot of effort to promote Tigers support for ACLs. Jobs only mention of it was when he said, "Access control lists have been a big request." This was a line that received big applause from the developer audience. Click here to read more about Apples PowerPC G5-based Xserve. Instead, Apple focused on its big server dreams to the developer crowd. For instance, when describing its Xgrid 1.0 cluster server strategy (which uses Apples Open Directory), the company emphasized the use of Macs in multimillion-dollar super-computer arrays rather than the enterprise use of clusters. Nelson considered Apples focus on servers and Oracle 10g is paying off in at least one respect. "The Xserve RAID product helped Apple get back into the enterprise because the price point is much less than the competition. The more Apple can get into data centers, the better for Apple. And these are the same guys buying Oracle." Perhaps Apple doesnt yet have a complete enough Tiger vision to encompass enterprise issues such as Active Directory and improved integration of Mac clients. Or the company is holding some cards out for the launch of the OS in 2005. But if Apple really wants to increase its Mac market share with Tiger, it will need just such a strategy. John Rizzo is the editor of MacWindows Web site. Check out eWEEK.coms Macintosh Center at http://macintosh.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis about Apple in the enterprise.
For those sites that do run Mac OS X servers, Tiger Server will add ACL (Access Control Lists), an important feature of Windows Servers that gives administrators and users far more flexible file permissions than the simple read-write-execute of Mac OS X.