Analysis: Tiger Server bridges the worlds of open source, Unix and Windows, and may be the key to finally gaining Apple a foothold in the corporate data center.
While most of the attention Friday is on the client version of Apples latest release of its Mac OS X operating system
, Tiger Server is a major event in itself. It bridges the worlds of open source, Unix and Windows, and may be the key to finally gaining Apple a foothold in the corporate data center.
Integrated into Tiger Server are a secure instant messaging server, a mail gateway with spam and virus filtering, and a Weblog serverall of which can integrate directly with corporate directory services and access control systems, including LDAP and Microsofts Active Directory Service.
Tiger Server plays well with Windows clients for other reasons. Apple has also included full support for ACLs (access control lists)based on the same ACL specification used by Microsoft in Windows XP and Windows 2003. Windows users accessing files or applications on Tiger Server would see the same permissions they would have on any Windows server.
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And since Apple doesnt charge for CALs (client access licenses), an Apple box running Tiger Server could do the same job as a Windows 2003 system for hundreds or thousands of dollars less.
The fifth major release of Apples server operating system includes over 200 new features, according to Eric Zelenka, Apples senior product manager for server and storage software. "There are more than 100 open-source projects integrated into Tiger Server," he said in an interview with Ziff Davis Internet. "Theyre not just bits on disk; weve fully integrated them. One of our real goals with Tiger Server is to make open source easy to use."
Tiger Servers mail gateway is one example of how Apple has leveraged open source. The software leverages the Apache Software Foundations Spam Assassin Project
for its adaptive spam filtering capabilities, and the ClamAV
open-source virus scanning engine. Apple has integrated the two into Tiger Servers mail server software, which can be used on its own as a mail server or as an SMTP gateway between corporate mail servers and the Internet.
The iChat Messaging Server is another element of Tiger Server derived from open source. Its based on Jabber
and the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP)
(which are now supported by Apples iChat client).
But iChat Server also uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption and can be integrated with corporate directory services such as LDAP and Active Directory to create a secure messaging server behind the corporate firewall.
Blog server leverages open source.