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’s wiki server could have been a major social network option for businesses
Microsoft confirmed yesterday that it plans to purchase Yammer, a four-year old company that specializes in providing enterprise social networks. The move, which has been rumored for months, offers Microsoft a chance to develop business collaborative systems that go well beyond the company’s Sharepoint service.
The move is an interesting one that could be significant in the enterprise space. The success of public social networks has led a number of organizations to attempt to bring the social concept into the workplace. The rate of success has varied with NASA’s Spacebook project being one of the more notable failures (and one lampooned by Stephen Colbert).
Apple’s pricing for Mountain Lion Server is a great bargain for small businesses.
OS X Server has always been something of a bargain compared to the various flavors of Windows Server. Unlike Microsoft, Apple never focused on a client access licensing model in which organizations must pay for the server software itself plus additional licenses for users or devices that connect to it. Apple also doesn’t break OS X Server down into multiple variations each with its own features, licensing needs, and upgrade limitations.
When you buy OS X Server, Apple gives you everything from file sharing to Internet and collaborative services like wikis and internal messaging through Mac and iOS device management. If you start as a small business with a single basic server and eventually grow to the point where you need to support and manage dozens or hundreds of Macs, PCs, and mobile devices, there are no limits imposed on licensing or data migration.