What's new in Leopard Server

Apple focuses on ease of setup and administration

1 2 3 4 5 6 Page 6
Page 6 of 6

This is a huge security and administrative advantage for any organization needing secure wireless connectivity. It allows a wireless network be secured but also permits granularity of access based on user accounts rather than on a single global password. Also, the use of existing usernames and passwords provides an easy-to-remember log-in for wireless network users.

Another new feature that seems buried in the DNS service settings is wide-area Bonjour. One of the limitations of Apple's Bonjour zero-configuration networking technology is that it can locate resources only on the same subnet. Wide-area Bonjour allows a server to register Bonjour services across multiple subnets and to identify those services to clients. The effect is similar to that of a WINS server.

Network searching

clear.gif

Apple's Spotlight search tool is now on the server. Spotlight indexes file metadata for fast searching from the Mac OS X Finder. In Tiger, Spotlight was limited to searching local hard drives. Leopard Server now allows indexing of server volumes. When Leopard clients search with Spotlight, those searches will take advantage of the server-based indexes. But security is also taken care of; Spotlight Server is integrated with file permissions to prevent users from receiving search results for items to which they don't have access.

Podcasts made easy

clear.gif

Podcast Producer, working with the new Podcast Capture utility included with Leopard, leverages Leopard Server and Apple's Xgrid clustering technology to deliver a user-friendly and high-powered podcast creation system. Users can easily capture audio or video content using Podcast Capture, or they can select existing multimedia files. The content is off-loaded to Podcast Producer for processing.

Through a series of administrator-defined workflows, the content is automatically encoded into specified formats and packaged for distribution. Users can distribute their podcasts via a Web link, an RSS feed, as streaming media, in an e-mail and through other modes. Additionally, special effects such as credits, watermarks and introductions can all be added via workflows. The result is a powerful processing application that is easy for administrators to configure and even easier for end users producing content.

The final word

clear.gif

While this article isn't intended as a review, it is hard not to take an overall position on Leopard Server. In initial testing, it appears to be a remarkable step forward. The usability of the administration tools is much improved for experienced users and the new simplified setup makes many of the basic services accessible to less technical users. We'll have more coverage of specific features in the future, but for now it seems a sure thumb's up.

Ryan Faas is a freelance writer and technology consultant specializing in Mac and multiplatform network issues. You can find more information at www.ryanfaas.com and can e-mail him at ryan@ryanfaas.com.

clear.gif
clear.gif

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

1 2 3 4 5 6 Page 6
Page 6 of 6
8 simple ways to clean data with Excel
  
Shop Tech Products at Amazon