Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Server review

A server operating system that costs just £35 and is easy to configure must have a catch. Ian Betteridge ventures gingerly into the Lion's den to find out in our review.

Server software isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Apple, but it has a long history. In fact, Mac OS X Server 1.0 was released in 1999, almost a year before the public beta of the client version.

Since then, every release of OS X has had an equivalent server version, and every release has combined simple configuration with increasingly powerful, enterprise-ready features. It combines file sharing to Mac and Windows, email, web and Jabber-based IM services, as well as calendar and address book servers.

With Lion, though, Apple appears to be taking a break from this tradition. What it has produced is, instead, a server OS which is easier and faster to get up and running, but sacrifices some of the more advanced services which had been added to it over the years.

Installation

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

It's clear even before you have Lion Server installed that Apple has focused on making the process of getting up and running as streamlined as possible. Like its client sibling, Lion Server is only available as a download from the Mac App Store This means, of course, that you need to be running the Mac App Store, so an up-to-date version of Snow Leopard Client or Server is essential. Lion Server is in fact bought as a download that installs on top of the Lion client.

Lion Server is available only as a download through the Mac App Store.

Unfortunately, this also means there is no supported way of installing Lion Server from a bootable DVD. You can, though, create a bootable external hard drive which you can install from.

Almost everything in Lion Server is configured through a single application, Server.

Set up reflects this focus, too. Even with a minimal amount of server admin knowledge, you can be up and running with a basic server configuration in minutes. Once up and running, almost all of the configuration is done through the new Server app, and most configuration options are extremely simple. The Wiki server's options, for example, consists of a single switch to turn it on, plus an option to limit which users can create wikis.

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/business-strategy/mergers-and-acquisitions/354602/xerox-to-nominate-directors-to-hps-board-reports
mergers and acquisitions

Xerox to nominate directors to HP's board – reports

22 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/business-strategy/public-sector/354608/uk-gov-launches-ps300000-sen-edtech-initiative
public sector

UK gov launches £300,000 SEN EdTech initiative

22 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020