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

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?