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.