Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server

Following the release of Snow Leopard, we take a closer look at Apple Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server

Apple Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server
  • Expert Rating

    Not yet rated

Pros

  • Powerful, user friendly interface

Cons

  • For best results clients should be running Mac OS X 10.6 (though it still supports Windows PCs well)

Bottom Line

We found Snow Leopard Server to be a powerful but simple to use server solution, with the stability and power of Unix, topped with an intuitive interface familiar from Apple’s accessible Mac OS X client operating system. The adoption of open standards, along with a focus on technologies that well support the company’s expanding iPhone platform and media lab technologies, provides useful advantages over competing products. Snow Leopard Server’s extensibility and attractive pricing system alone may seal the deal, especially in education, publishing and media creation settings.

Would you buy this?

Time was, if you needed a server for anything from a small business to a college, or an enterprise-level corporation, you were looking at a complex computer system, negotiated through a command-line interface.

Today, a server is more likely to have a graphical interface to setup and maintain it, and likely derived from some version of Microsoft Windows NT. Powerful and robust server systems requiring knowledge of console commands are still popular, often for free as open-source software, but many modern-day sysadmins fear to step outside their graphic-interface comfort zone in order to embrace the command line.

While bullet-proof Unix and Linux server systems may now also sport GUI layers for easier configuration, Apple's Mac OS X Server, like it's popular client version, has a very forward-facing and friendly graphical user interface. But if you want to roll your sleeves up and use a Unix terminal, OS X 10.6 Server is a complete POSIX-certified flavour of Unix that will respond to control through the default bash Terminal.app interface.

Now, to match this year's Snow Leopard installed now on all new Macs, comes Apple Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server. While the upgrade to 10.6 on the client side added few entirely new features, the same is not true of the server version.

Apple Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server features several new facilities that will sit well in Apple's core server markets of education, creative audio/visual media and small businesses. And it also scales up well to corporate installations. Like the client version, it majors on 64-bit performance to improve security and address huge amounts of memory. In SPEC benchmarks, Apple has shown that v10.6 Server is up to twice as fast than 10.5 in key operations such as file serving.

Installation is straightforward, with an easy step-by-step wizard guiding the initial setup immediately after the OS software completes its installation. A typical Apple Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server would be based on a rack-mount Apple Xserve or a Mac Pro - but it will also happily run from a Mac mini, as we found. In fact, Apple is now even selling Snow Leopard Server pre-installed on a new optical-drive-free Mac mini. Administration can be made with a headless setup, using either Macs' built-in Screen Sharing app, or the separate Apple Remote Desktop 3. Or you can simply use an open-standard VNC application.

The Mac server can be sited behind an internet modem router; or using the Mac server as an internet gateway, assuming you have at least two ethernet interfaces, taking advantage of the Mac's firewall and DHCP functions. Note that when it comes to the system firewall, while System Preferences shows the familiar On/Off slide switch, you'll need to go into Server Preferences to configure this fine-grained ipfw firewall.

If installing Apple Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server on a computer previously using client Mac OS, make sure your router hasn't reused the old system's DNS name, as happened to us, or you may experience network connectivity issues. We logged into our router and manually edited the Mac server's DNS name, and were then happily back on track.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: Apple, Mac OS X, snow leopard, snow leopard server
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?