10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Mountain Lion Server [Feature]

By

Profile Manager is a killer feature in Mountain Lion Server, but it isn't the only killer feature.
Profile Manager is a killer feature in Mountain Lion Server, but it isn't the only killer feature.

Apple is expected to launch Mountain Lion next week. At the same time, the company will be launching Mountain Lion Server. The new edition of Apple’s server platform is revolutionary in a lot of ways, not the least of which is its $19.99 price tag.

Mountain Lion Server includes the basic server functionality that you’d expect from a product intended for the small to mid-size business (SMB) market. That means features like file sharing, network printing, client backups, website hosting, VPN, email services, centralized contacts for an organization, and shared calendaring. All of that is important and Mountain Lion Server seems destined to make those services easy to set up and manage.

In addition to those basic capabilities, however, Mountain Lion Server comes with some pretty incredible functionality for businesses or workgroups of any size or type. Here are ten of the big money features that are easy to overlook.

Apple Attempts To Block Russian Servers Circumventing iOS In-App Purchases

By

in-app-purchases1
The hacker circumventing in-app purchases like these is Apple's latest target.

Apple is working to block the Russian servers that are allowing users to circumvent iOS in-app purchases and obtain content for free. The Cupertino company reportedly began blocking certain IP addresses over the weekend, and had one server taken down. But despite its efforts, the service continues to work.

Mountain Lion Server May Look Limited, But It Still Has Enterprise Bones [Feature]

By

Appearances can be deceiving. Mountain Lion Server still has solid enterprise capabilities.
Appearances can be deceiving. Mountain Lion Server still has solid enterprise capabilities.

Apple has released two documents about Mountain Lion Server ahead of this month’s Mountain Lion (and Mountain Lion Server) launch. The first, a 25 page product guide, offered a some insights into the changes and new features that Apple wants to highlight for customers. The second is Apple’s Advanced Administration guide, an in-depth document that would be nearly 400 pages is it were printed or packaged as a PDF. This guide is the full documentation for Mountain Lion Server and it offers a lot of information about all the changes that Apple has made since Lion Server shipped last summer.

On the surface, these two guides are enough to make longtime OS X Server administrators nervous at Apple’s removal of the advanced admin tools and features that have been in nearly every previous OS X Server release. It’s very easy to look at the contents of the Advanced Administration guide and assume Apple is completing the consumerization of its server platform.

Digging a bit deeper, however, reveals that Apple may actually have a winning strategy in the way that it continues to integrate iOS and Mac management into a single workflow and that not all of the capabilities from previous iterations of OS X Server have been scrapped.

New Guide To Mountain Lion Server Confirms Apple Is Cutting Enterprise Tools And Features

By

Mountain Lion Server guide confirms that Apple has cut many advanced tools and features from previous releases.
Advanced Admin Guide for Mountain Lion Server confirms Server Admin & Workgroup Manager aren't included.

Mountain Lion Server is the final chapter in Apple’s march from the enterprise data center – a march that started five years ago when Apple introduced a simplified management interface for small business as part of Leopard Server. The first sure sign that Apple had decided to tailor its server platform only for smaller organizations came with the cancellation of the Xserve.

To experienced OS X Server administrators, Lion Server looked like a patched together product that still had much of its former enterprise capabilities but with advanced administration tools that had been gutted like a fish. All of which pointed to Apple moving forward with its narrower focus and a simplified management app call simply Server.

Microsoft Makes Mountain Lion Server Very Attractive By Gouging Small Businesses With Windows Server 2012 Licensing

By

Microsoft's small business server will go up against Mountain Lion Server at 10X the cost and with artificial limits on it.
Microsoft's small business server will go up against Mountain Lion Server at 10X the cost and with artificial limits on it.

Now that Microsoft has unveiled the pricing and licensing models for Windows Server 2012, it’s easy to see why Apple’s focus on the small business market has been a genius move. Apple has been positioning its server platform as a small business solution for a while and Mountain Lion Server is the premier example of this focus.

Mountain Lion Server provides all the core needs for a small or mid-size firm – file sharing, email and messaging, shared contacts and calendars, and collaborative tools – for both Mac and Windows users. It also provides Mac deployment and update services as well as Mac and iOS device management capabilities. All of that is insanely affordable at just $31.98 ($19.99 to buy Mountain Lion, if needed, and then $19.99 for Mountain Lion Server).

By contrast, Microsoft’s so-called streamlining licensing for Windows Server 2012 lists a Windows Server Essentials Edition, which is the new equivalent of Windows Small Business Server, as starting at $425 with serious limitations.