Today Apple “announced” Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” Server, and that it will seemingly be an add-on to 10.7 client. It’s basically always been this way, Apple is just finishing the job (for the last server OS X releases, you could effectively upgrade 10.x client to 10.x server by running the server essentials install).
Before we get into the post too much, let me start with an analogy that will lay a bit of the groundwork further on. Go to a restaurant and tell me the difference between your waiter, and the hostess (can’t think of a gender neutral word for this position). The hostess doesn’t bring you your food, they just seat you and maybe bring you water. But, is there really much difference between the two? Could the hostess just as easily wait tables? Or the waiter become the hostess? Sure! Or, they could even be a patron (client) and eat the food given to them by other waiters.
Since the “announcement” (I say it in quotes because basically, all that happened was marketing finally put up a page on the Apple site that acknowledges 10.7 Server will exist, in some form) the two big Apple Server mailing lists (the official one [email protected], and the Mac Enterprise list [email protected]) have been all aflutter with people going apeshit over what is and isn’t listed, the fact that it’s not a separate DVD, etc. Some of this is no doubt left over rage about Apple killing the Xserve, but really, IT people are largely FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) mongers. You think stock brokers/traders are skittish… if half the people on these lists owned any reasonable amount of Apple stock, the price would be in the news more than Linsey Lohan.
But the thing that REALLY annoys me about all of this is these IT people seem to ignore one thing. A “server” is a concept, not a piece of hardware, or software. Just because it’s an Xserve doesn’t make it a server (it makes it server class hardware). I can throw a client OS on it and it’ll run just fine. And just because I have client class hardware doesn’t mean I can’t throw a server OS on it. Further, just because I have a server OS doesn’t mean that machine is ACTUALLY a server. A server, serves. Just as a client OS can be a “server” (hell, I had a client OS acting as my K2 Keyserver and Filemaker Server for years, on an old G4 Xserve for a while to boot!). How’s that for confusing the stereotypes? The analogy above paints the “person” as being both/neither the hardware/software. They can be either, it is the act/role that they are performing that determines if they are a server, hostess, or patron.
We could even look at something like Linux, or Solaris, where the distinction between the client and server flavor largely centers around whether a GUI is installed (or used by default) or not (respectively). But that’s a whole topic in-and-of-itself.
So please, for the love of god… quit it. You all are bitching/moaning/complaining about A. something you can’t really change, and B. something you have very little information on. Even those that have Developer access to 10.7 can’t talk about it with anyone, so you can’t exactly bitch and moan publicly about it even if you HAVE seen it. The rest of you just look like FUDtards.