Snow Leopard Server to include Mobile Access Server

Snow Leopard Server to include Mobile Access Server

Summary: In an aggressive move into Microsoft's server market Apple has added new features to the upcoming Mac OS 10.6 (a.

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TOPICS: Apple, Mobility
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In an aggressive move into Microsoft's server market Apple has added new features to the upcoming Mac OS 10.6 (a.k.a. Snow Leopard) that will make it a viable (and less expensive) alternative to Redmond's offerings.

Apple has previously hinted at Snow Leopard's upcoming "Remote Access" features, describing them as being a combination of new "push notifications to mobile users outside your firewall" and a proxy service providing "secure remote access to email, address book contacts, calendars, and select internal websites" reports AppleInsider.

A WWDC 2009 session preview describes how the new proxy service works and presents its new name for the service:

The Mobile Access Server provides a path through a corporate firewall for IMAP, SMTP, HTTP, and CalDAV without using VPN. Learn about the features of, and deployment tips for, this powerful new service in Snow Leopard Server.

The new Mobile Access Server will allow clients to access internal network resources from their iPhone or iPod touch without having to first initiate a secure VPN tunnel. The advantage of the new Mobile Access Server components will be cost.

AppleInsider created a chart comparing the costs of comparable Windows and Apple servers with 100 Client Access Licenses (CALs) and the Microsoft offering costs almost 10x more than the Apple solution.

Snow Leopard Server
Even without 100 CALs, the Xerve ($3,749) is less expensive than a Dell PowerEdge 9150 after you add Windows Server 2008 ($4,014).

I sense another TV commercial coming...

Tip and chart: AppleInsider

Topics: Apple, Mobility

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40 comments
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  • Shame you, Microsoft!

    :D

    You can get an Xserver at a fraction of a cost of WS 2k8 system.

    Now that makes much economic sense, but I'm a home user, so I prefer Linux server, but needed some features like IIS 7.0 with .net Framework 3.5 for web development (for home automation), but to each their own (I'm more productive/comfortable at writing ASP.net/C# code than PHP).
    Grayson Peddie
  • It's always been this way

    Windows has always been the most expensive option when it
    comes to this sort of thing. Both OSX Server and Linux beat
    it hands down.

    This table doesn't even mention the half dozen other features
    that Microsoft charges you for, like database software, a web
    server, directory management, version control...

    Apple tax my ass..
    ChiperSoft
    • I'm glad to see it....

      This will put pressure on them to bring the costs down on these things. I like most MS products but if you ask me the one single thing I do not like about MS is the whole CAL's business as it is confusing and hard to keep up with sometimes. I applaud competition in the market, it keeps people more honest that way and lowers cost. MS has been riding high for years on corporate networks so I invite this kind of stuff even though I their products are rock solid on my network.
      OhTheHumanity
  • Woah. Creepy stats.

    Thanks much for the article!
    HypnoToad
  • The hidden Microsoft tax...

    Why corporations allowed themselves to fall into the Microsoft trap in the first place, I'll never know. It's no wonder why companies are sticking with their current 8 year old Windows technology. With all the belt tightening companies are doing to survive in this down economy, it's no wonder why they're holding off on updating to Vista or why their not anxious to migrate to Windows 7 when it comes on line. With the capabilities, ease of use, elegance and true UNIX underpinnings that will be offered with Apple's new Snow Leopard server, this may be a good time for companies to re-access and break free from the burden and high cost being locked into the very expensive Microsoft licensing model.

    Microsoft has gotten away with their yearly licensing renewal costs for years because they were one of the few centralized corporate management systems that offered a pretty much full solution model in corporate environments. Up to this point, Apple wasn't seen as a threat or a solution because their wares were aimed at the individual user or small business environments. On top of that, Apple gave the impression that they weren't interested in competing with Microsoft in the corporate space.

    My guess is Apple played it that way because they felt they weren't ready, and in typical Apple fashion, they don't show their hand until they feel they truly have a viable alternative that is not only less expensive, but is also easier to implement, offers better security and is much more elegant then what's out their. Apple likes to blow their competition out of the water as opposed to competing to a photo finish.

    Steve Ballmer is no visionary, and I don't understand why he's still allowed to run Microsoft. If the board of directors at Microsoft had an ounce of common sense, they would be looking franticly for his replacement. Without new leadership at Microsoft, they are doomed to eventually fail. I don't know how much longer they can succeed with their current model.

    It will be very interesting to see how Apple makes out with Snow Leopard and which companies will switch to it after its initial deployment. The cost savings alone should be enough for corporations to at least give it a hard look.
    gregory.dworak@...
  • RE: Snow Leopard Server to include Mobile Access Server

    When is Snow Leopard being released?
    robshelby@...
    • I believe...

      This summer some time after Apple's WWDC in June.
      gregory.dworak@...
  • RE: Snow Leopard Server to include Mobile Access Server

    i think software is difficult to earn money in these
    days where many ppl expect free software...m$ will be
    bound to fall if they do not move into
    hardware+software
    geoff_chan
  • Comparison between the software

    Cost is one thing but how does OS X Server handle user management? Logon script processing? Is it directory based? What are the differences between Exchange 2007 and whatever it is Snow Leopord offers? Does it allow custom programming on top of the mail interface? Does it allow public folder storage? What is their alternative to SharePoint and how does it compete?

    I'm aware there are cheaper solutions. I've yet to see a better solution, or even one that makes the cheap solutions a viable alternative. I'm sure I'll get dismissed as this being your typical "Windows fanboy" or whatever, but no one will actually answer any of these questions.
    LiquidLearner
    • Great Question

      I think it is IT people like you that have the smarts to answer these sorts
      of good questions and now more than ever there are compelling reasons
      to do the research. Get your employer to get you a Apple Developer
      Connection Membership, download the Snow Leopard Server pre-release
      and try it out.

      Cheers
      CowLauncher
    • I think you raised some good questions

      Here are some resources...
      http://www.apple.com/science/whitepaper/
      http://www.apple.com/server/resources/

      Honestly I can say I don't know, as I work in a MS environment myself.

      I have used Novell's Teaming software at my last job, in a Novell environment, and I liked it. I think it is more friendly than sharepoint and easier to use.

      What I don't like about MS and Windows based software is that it doesn't support opensource or open standard stuff. Take for instance that rendering of sharepoint pages in Firefox or Safari is just awful, and you loose functionality, which is really bad when you work in an environment where there may be different hardware and software in different locations.
      xXSpeedzXx
      • Teaming isn't bad

        I've played with it a bit at a school district who is heavily vested in the Novell platform.

        [i]What I don't like about MS and Windows based software is that it doesn't support opensource or open standard stuff. Take for instance that rendering of sharepoint pages in Firefox or Safari is just awful, and you loose functionality, which is really bad when you work in an environment where there may be different hardware and software in different locations.[/i]

        I'll agree with you here. One of my annoyances, which are no longer an annoyance though. The entire 2010 line of products work in any browser on any OS. Microsoft's server team, at least, seem to have realized it's more important to play nice with all the browsers and OSes if they want to keep their server business viable than trying to use it as vendor lock-in for the Windows platform. I've had the chance to play with Outlook Live on both Safari and Firefox and it performs better in FF3 than it does in IE8, with all the functionality there.

        I'd be substantially more interested in switching had MS not finally moved the big guns to a platform agnostic approach.
        LiquidLearner
    • hm.

      Cost is one thing but how does OS X Server handle user management?
      Depends. You can integrate it with an existing system, or use Apple's system. It isn't,
      however, quite as detailed and does not provide as many options and tricks as
      Windows Server.

      Logon script processing?
      Yes. In various forms.

      Is it directory based?
      Yes. It provides various directory services and integration including net info, LDAP,
      AD, BSD flat files(what used to be yp) etc.

      What are the differences between Exchange 2007 and whatever it is Snow Leopord
      offers?
      No idea. But look on the apple website. Supposedly its decent. If not quite as full
      featured as Exchange.

      http://www.apple.com/business/solutions/it/

      Does it allow custom programming on top of the mail interface?
      Not sure. Never used their mail system.

      Does it allow public folder storage?
      yes.

      What is their alternative to SharePoint and how does it compete?
      Pretty well actually. It offers ftp, afp, smb, nfs and other services. Using user
      credentials, group, or guest, customized for each share. etc. Works pretty well.
      isulzer
      • Exchange

        OSX uses a combination of Sendmail and Postfix for email functions,
        CalDAV for scheduling, and an iChat server for IM. I think that covers
        most of exchange's features? It's all administered through an apple
        made admin interface, but you can also manage it manually the same
        way you would on linux.
        ChiperSoft
        • CalDAV isn't

          nearly as full featured as Exchange with Outlook for calendering, I don't think that point is even debatable. For a lot of people it's "good enough" though. IM is pretty low on the totem pole for Exchange features. You covered Exchange's absolutely most basic features. What about data sharing? What about custom forms? What about Outlook Web Access? What about Unified Communications? Voicemail processing? Voice access to mailboxes? Clustering? Multi-site replication and failover?

          These are the reasons why most companies buy Exchange. If they wanted just a mail server you can get Merrick mail server for $400 and load it on XP.
          LiquidLearner
          • In all due respects

            In all due respects, and I don't mean this in a patronising way, how many organisations actually use all those features? I have been in very large companies and I've yet to see an organisation use the depth and breadth of features provided by Microsoft.

            Now, I am not saying that these are worthless features or that it makes the said software from Microsoft bloated - I just think that you need to stand back and look at the larger picture. Once you step back - features are the least of you worries.

            For me, the problem with Apple has always been the lack of a long term support policy for their operating systems. Microsoft has policies set down so that you know when you purchase their software there is a set period of time to expect updates from them. The problem with Mac OS X there is no set policy - they might provide updates but then again, they might not.

            How can one run an IT department based on the hope and prayer than maybe Apple will release updates? I love using my iMac and MacBook at home, and for the enterprise desktop it could be a shoe in but the problem I find is that with the server there isn't a long term policy set down.
            Kaiwai
          • @LiquidLearner

            What about data sharing?
            yes

            What about custom forms?
            don't know

            What about Outlook Web Access?
            yes, although not as full featured as OWA
            http://squirrelmail.org

            What about Unified Communications?
            don't know

            Voicemail processing?
            don't know

            Voice access to mailboxes?
            don't know

            Clustering?
            yes

            Multi-site replication and failover?"
            yes
            Axsimulate
      • Re: Sharepoint

        "What is their alternative to SharePoint and how does it compete?
        Pretty well actually. It offers ftp, afp, smb, nfs and other services. Using user
        credentials, group, or guest, customized for each share. etc. Works pretty well."
        Sharepoint is more than file sharing. You can read more here,
        http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointtechnology/FX100503841033.aspx

        From what I know, Apple don't have something similar to Sharepoint.
        dvm
        • There is one

          There is Wiki Server included with Mac OS X Server:

          http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/features/wikis.html

          There are also others such as Alfresco:

          http://www.alfresco.com/

          There is an OpenOffice.org plugin so you can publish it straight to the server and according to the website Microsoft Office views Alfresco as a Sharepoint server is able to access all the features.
          Kaiwai
          • Google Apps is quickly making SharePoint, well, pointless. [nt]

            [nt]
            olePigeon