updated 04:35 pm EDT, Mon June 23, 2003
Apple today previewed Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther" Server, the next major release of its UNIX-based server. It now includes Automatic Setup for easily setting up multiple servers; Open Directory 2 for hosting scalable LDAP directory and Kerberos authentication services; Samba 3 for providing login and home directory support for Windows clients; and the JBoss application server for running powerful J2EE applications. Panther Server will be available by end of the year for $500 (10-clients) and $1000 for an unlimited version.
Automatic Setup makes setting up a rack of Xserve systems as easy as setting up a single server. This new feature allows system administrators to setup any number of servers from configuration settings stored on a directory server, external FireWire device, USB storage device or an iPod.
Apple says it is the first major vendor to ship a server operating system with Samba 3, the latest version of the open-source project that delivers high-performance, reliable file and print services to Windows clients. Windows users can authenticate against Panther Server directly from a PC login window and Panther Server can also host Windows home directories and support Windows "roaming profiles."
Other open standards-based network services in Panther Server designed for mixed-client environments include Open Directory 2, an LDAP directory and Kerberos authentication server based on OpenLDAP, Berkeley DB and MIT's Kerberos KDC that for scalability and security and an all new mail server rebuilt from the ground up using the open source Postfix SMTP and Cyrus IMAP and POP servers. In addition, a new VPN server built into Panther Server supports Mac OS X, Windows or UNIX clients using PPTP and L2TP tunneling protocols.
Panther Server also includes an updated release of Apache, the popular web server along with Apache Tomcat and Apache Axis for creating web services as well as a new JBoss application server and new application deployment tools.