Apple Announces Mac OS X Tiger Server Release

The server software update for the Macintosh platform, out on April 29, sports 64-bit addressing and distributed server capabilities that look to strengthen Apple's hand in grid and supercomputing environments.

April 12, 2005

3 Min Read
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First Microsoft, and now its longtime rival Apple.

Apple Computer announced Tuesday that the newest version of its server software, Mac OS X 10.4 Server -- more commonly known as Tiger Server -- will be available on Friday, April 29, concurrent with the release of its 10.4 Tiger desktop operating system update. The server package will include several new capabilities, including 64-bit addressing, improved connectivity with Windows systems, and a built-in distributed computing architecture, Xgrid, meant to extend Apple's recent successes in grid-style supercomputing environments.

Tiger Server will ship at $499 for a 10-seat license or $999 for an unlimited-client edition, the company said; volume and maintenance pricing plans are also available for larger enterprises.

"With no client access fees and over 100 open source projects combined with Apple's legendary ease of use, Tiger Server is the clear choice for all Mac and PC workgroups and an ideal alternative to Windows and Linux servers," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

The new Tiger release, which follows on Microsoft's recent service pack update to Windows Server 2003, continues Apple's strategic aim at server environments ranging from smaller, entry-level businesses and other small deployments to large-enterprise and distributed situations. At the lower end, Apple has included a blog server feature, Weblog Server, that lets administrators handle blog publishing and use calendar-based navigation to share blogs entries or project information. Also, another built-in server software allows handling of instant messaging at the server level using Apple's iChat client, tying user accounts into Tiger Server's directory services.However, Tiger Server is also an attempt to continue Apple's incursions into the larger enterprise. The software is fully 64-bit, according to the company, with support for 64-bit and 32-bit applications, processes requiring high amounts of memory, and support for the Unix-based LP64 data model. The inclusion of Xgrid, developed by Apple to support clustered computing on Apple's Xserve G5 servers, continues the company's efforts to build on smaller enterprise clustering as well as clustered Xserve supercomputers such as those being used by Virginia Tech and the Army.

Tiger Server -- itself Unix-based -- has also been reconfigured by Apple for better support of Windows machines, including support for Access Control Lists and native file permissions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 Active Directory environments, which Apple claims has never been done on a Unix- or Linux-based system before. The software also includes a migration tool that looks to entice businesses moving from Windows NT-based servers with an easy crossover.

OS X Server's directory service, Open Directory, has also been updated to boost scalability to 200,000 users, as well as integrated NT Domain services, Active Directory member support, LDAP schema replication and authenticated directory binding. Tiger Server also affords admins easier control of network visibility for end users and a new certificate management interface.

Other features included in Tiger Server are:

  • A Software Update Server, similar to that found in Windows Server 2003, that lets admins control the availability of Apple software updates.

  • An Ethernet link aggregator, based on the IEEE 802.3ad standard, that improves control of multiple network interfaces and allows for single-point failover.

  • And a junk mail filter that allows control for spam and virus checking at the server point.

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