If you run a Mac server, check your Mac App Store updates: OS X Server 2.2.1 has arrived, bringing a panoply of new features and bug fixes.
Headlining is a new feature called Caching Server, which Apple claims will speed up Mac App Store downloads. Although the exact mechanism isn’t stated, it’s easy to imagine that what will happen is if one Mac connected to the server downloads an update, it’ll be cached locally for other Macs to download instantly.
There’s also a monitoring service for Time Machine, telling admins which Macs have backed themselves up and when. Wiki Server support for Retina MacBook Pros and a new Centralized Certificate Management interface are also new.
You can download OS X Server for any Mac running Mountain Lion at the link below.
Apple has released a big update for all OS X Server users on Mountain Lion. Version 2.2 adds a number of notable features, including the ability to cache app and software updates in the Mac App Store for faster downloads. Administrators can also monitor multiple Time Machines connected to different Macs on the same network and see when they last backed up.
The new developer seed for OS X Server v2.2, Seed 2, is out. In an email sent to developer accounts, Apple announced the new download, and included a link to the seed download source, a set of instructions on how to instal and/or upgrade from various previous versions of OS X Server, and a PDF with the new changes detailed.
Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) is the company’s half-hearted attempt to deliver some form of enterprise licensing program for the iOS App Store. The program does make it marginally easier for businesses to bulk purchase and deploy apps to iPhones and iPads than telling employees to buy apps and then reimbursing them, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. As we reported earlier this summer, many businesses and school still feel Apple doesn’t meet their app purchase and deployment needs.
Mobile app management (MAM) vendor App 47 summed up some of the key issues and how it can help companies deal with them as part of the company’s summer lecture series on app management.
Registration is now open for MacTech Conference 2012. The annual conference, which is a great learning and networking experience for IT professionals and developers, will be held October 17 – 19 in Los Angeles. A pre-registration discount is available for anyone who registers by the end of August.
The conference is sponsored by MacTech magazine and was launched in 2010, the year that Apple chose to focus its annual Worldwide Developers Conference solely on iOS. Since then, the conference has grown into a major event for IT professionals that need to support Macs and/or iOS devices in business, enterprise, and education environments. The conference has also become a serious event for Mac and iOS developers.
Apple has launched its first Mountain Lion training guide and certification for IT professionals. The certification is the Mountain Lion edition of the Apple Certified Associate – Mac Integration certification, which can be viewed as the introductory Mac IT certification.
Apple began offering the certification following last year’s launch of Lion. Unlike Apple’s other certification options, Apple provides a free guide to the material on the Mac Integration Basics Exam on its training site. You can also register and take the exam online for $65. Should you fail the exam, Apple will let you retake the exam at no additional charge.
Since the release of Snow Leopard Server three years ago, Apple has been steering its server platform away from large enterprise deployments. Instead Apple has redesigned OS X Server to meet the needs of the small to mid-size business market as well as the needs of Apple-centric departments or workgroups in larger organizations. That focus is very clear if you download and install Mountain Lion Server or look through the Mountain Lion Server documentation from Apple.
One of the transitions that Apple began in Lion and Lion Server, which were released last summer, was a move away from the traditional Mac management architecture that Apple has provided in OS X Server since it launched the platform more than a decade ago. In its place, Apple has built a management system for Macs that is very similar to the mobile management features available in iOS.
In addition to launching Mountain Lion Server last week, Apple rather quietly released a Mountain Lion Server version of Workgroup Manager – the traditional Mac management tool included in previous releases of OS X Server. The move was unexpected after Apple released the Advanced Administration guide for Mountain Lion Server, which implied that administrators would need to begin an almost-immediate shift to Mountain Lion Server’s Profile Manager.
The move is good news for many organizations that have an existing investment in OS X Server and Mac clients. Although Mountain Lion Server’s Profile Manager is arguably a more modern and enterprise-friendly solution, it only supports Macs running Lion and Mountain Lion. Any schools or businesses with clients still on Leopard or Snow Leopard would be out of luck if Profile Manager were the only available option.
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.