OS X Server 10.1 Is No Laughing Matter

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2001-12-17 Print this article Print

Apple's Mac server boasts broad file and print sharing capabilities.

Traditionally, putting the words "Mac" and "server" together was a good way to get a laugh. Macintoshes made lousy file servers and even worse Web servers. But eWeek Labs tests of Apple Computer Inc.s OS X Server 10.1 showed the now-Unix-based Mac finally makes a good server.

The standard Mac OS X operating system has the same BSD-based architecture, which makes Mac OS X a decent server itself. What sets Mac OS X Server 10.1 apart from the standard edition are OS X Server 10.1s broad file and print sharing capabilities, which make good use of open-source technologies such as Samba; increased fault tolerance and support for RAID; intuitive server and network management tools; and a broad collection of server applications, including the QuickTime Streaming Server, MySQL, Tomcat and Web-Objects 5.

Its a simple matter to build a very similar (and less expensive) system using one of the freely available BSD operating systems, although such a setup would, of course, lack the intuitive Mac interface. We found that the Mac-based GUI management tools provided much easier administration than did the Unix-based versions of these tools.

The ability of Mac OS X Server to bring these powerful open-source networking capabilities into the Mac GUI environment makes it especially attractive to businesses or departments that are mainly Mac-based but have had to look at other systems to provide file sharing and other network services.

Mac OS X Server 10.1, which shipped this fall, is priced at $499 for 10 clients and $999 for unlimited clients. The server edition inherits all of the new features in the standard OS X 10.1, plus updated versions of many of the bundled applications.

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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