Is OSX Lion Server More Evidence That Apple is Gunning for the Enterprise?
The next version of OSX, titled Lion, will be released later next year. Apple released a developer preview today and it may contain something of interest for the enterprise: OSX Lion Server. OSX Lion Server is a core feature of OSX Lion, included at no extra cost. You will be able to provision any Mac with Lion as a server through a guided setup process.
“And it provides local and remote administration — for users and groups, push notifications, file sharing, calendaring, mail, contacts, chat, Time Machine, VPN, web, and wiki services — all in one place,” according to the Apple website. It will include a profile manager, Wiki Server and support file sharing with the iPad.
Most of these are existing OSX Server features, but the increased emphasis on the iPad is new. Here’s how Apple describes the Profile manager:
Profile Manager delivers simple, profile-based setup and management for Mac OS X Lion, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. It also integrates with your existing directory services and delivers automatic over-the-air profile updates using the Apple Push Notification service.
What’s really interesting is that this is being baked into every system. Fast Company’s Kit Eaton writes: “Though some commenters had worried Apple was letting its interest in enterprise users slide when it pulled its Mac X-blade server hardware, it looks like these fears are unfounded.” However, many of these features apply as much to home power-users as they do to the enterprise. We talk a lot about the consumerization of the enterprise, but rarely talk about how the need for families to manage multiple devices, users and file permission. Is the “digital lifestyle” also causing an “enterprization” of the home?
We already told you about how Apple has been sending promotional materials to enterprise clients and snatching up enterprise sales people from RIM. So we know the company isn’t ignoring the enterprise. But it’s not entirely clear that OSX Lion Server is an enterprise play.