In addition to Mountain Lion, Apple today launched the latest generation of its OS X Server platform known as Mountain Lion Server. The release includes several new features that will appeal to small business and larger enterprises alike.
Like Mountain Lion, Mountain Lion Server is available from the Mac App Store. The $19.99 price tag is a huge bargain given Mountain Lion Server’s feature set.
The release functions as an add-on to Mountain Lion in the same way that Lion did last summer. That means that you will need have Mountain Lion installed before you can purchase and download Mountain Lion Server.
According to Apple’s OS X Server upgrade page, if you’re upgrading a system running Lion Server to Mountain Lion Server, you’ll need to follow the same two-step process. First, install Mountain Lion and then install Mountain Lion Server. You can also upgrade from Snow Leopard Server to Mountain Lion Server provided you have the latest Snow Leopard Server release, which is 10.6.8.
As with Lion Server, purchasing Mountain Lion Server will download an app called Server from the Mac App Store. Server allows you to install Mountain Lion Server. The Server app can also be run on any Mac running Mountain Lion and used you to administer Mountain Lion Server remotely. The first time you launch Server on a Mac, you’ll be given the option to install OS X Server or to use the app to manage a remote server.
As we’ve highlighted over the past few weeks, Mountain Lion Server is much more polished and cohesive that Lion Server. Despite a simpler interface that makes server management easier for non-technical users, it still has many enterprise bones and features. It also offers several new and updated features that can make Mountain Lion Server an excellent choice for small to mid-size organizations as well as for departments and workgroups in larger organizations.
One of the biggest changes from Lion Server is the expansion of Profile Manager, which now delivers all the Mac management capabilities of older OS X Servers releases with a more lightweight approach that makes them easier to configure and require fewer resources to implement Mac management in a Windows Server/Active Directory environment.
Apple has provided additional Mountain Lion Server details and resources in a 25 page product guide and a complete advanced administration guide (much of which is available through the Server app’s help menu). Additional details are also available in the Mac App Store.