According to Steve Jobs, “if the hardware is the brain and sinew of our [Apple] products, the software is their soul”. As of July 2011, the soul of the Mac OS will be upgraded in the form of a new OS called “Lion”. But while this new OS comes with a number of shiny new features, what does it mean for server admins that are more concerned with their server than their desktop?
First up, it looks like the non-server version of Lion is going to allow users to run native, virtualized versions of Mac OS X Lion. This matters because in the past, Apple has limited this ability to run VPS servers to only those who bought the server version of their OS, and would require each user to buy a license for every single copy they wanted to be virtualized.
For $30, a user can upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion, and the “server app” addition is only $50 more, meaning that the new Mac OS X comes in as one of the most cost-effective virtual server tools on the market – something many IT admins and cost-watching execs will be happy about.
It seems that Apple is doing its best to infiltrate the server virtualization market by making it virtualization platform both affordable and simple to use. Though there are more powerful server tools on the market, Apple is well-known for their easy-to-use GUIs, and many IT users may decide to make the move to Lion for the simple fact that they will be able to easily deal with most events that occur within their data center.
Though Apple is playing catch-up in the virtualization market, Mac OS X Lion looks to have great potential.