Snow Leopard Server to provide low cost, secure mobile access to iPhone

Posted:
in Mac OS X edited January 2014
Apple will leverage the popularity of the iPhone to deliver business users new Mobile Access services in Snow Leopard Server to securely deliver corporate email, contact, calendar, and intranet web services to iPhone and iPod touch users far more cost effectively than Microsoft Windows Server.



The company's website has for some time referenced "Remote Access" as an upcoming feature of Snow Leopard Server, but only describes it as being a combination of new "push notifications to mobile users outside your firewall" and a proxy service providing "secure remote access to email, address book contacts, calendars, and select internal websites."



The recently released WWDC 2009 session previews somewhat cryptically highlight additional details about how the new proxy service works and presents its new name for the service:



The Mobile Access Server provides a path through a corporate firewall for IMAP, SMTP, HTTP, and CalDAV without using VPN. Learn about the features of, and deployment tips for, this powerful new service in Snow Leopard Server.



Currently, mobile devices usually have to first initiate a secured VPN tunnel to the company's private network before being able to access resources such as internal websites or collaboration and messaging services. A VPN works like a virtual dial up session across the open Internet, and must be manually connected before remote users can access a company's internal services.



Apple began providing advanced VPN support for business networks in iPhone 2.0, enabling iPhone users to connect to Microsoft or Cisco VPN servers. However, the company is now positioning Snow Leopard Server as an alternative way to deliver remote access services to mobile devices with less overhead and equipment, and avoiding expensive Client Access Licenses charged by Microsoft. According to sources familiar with Apple's plans, Mobile Access uses a proxy server to provide remote mobile users with "always on" security they won't need to manually connect with when needed.



A proxy server can act as a network gateway that performs content filtering or caching services to accelerate web access to internal users on a private network. In Apple's case however, it appears that Mobile Access in Snow Leopard will be used as a reverse proxy to deliver SSL certificate-based secure encryption of both email and web-based services to iPhone and iPod touch users.



It is already common for mail servers to deliver SSL encryption of POP, IMAP and SMTP traffic, and for web services to supply SSL-encrypted web access via the HTTPS protocol. Because Apple's new Address Book Server, iCal Server, and Wiki collaboration tools are all WebDAV-based, it will be simple for Apple to offer an SSL proxy that centrally secures all the email, calendar, contacts, a collaboration server access for iPhone users, making it simpler, faster, and cheaper for companies to deploy mobile remote access without configuring or supporting VPN connections.



Users will be able to access internal network resources from their iPhone or iPod touch with the same level of security that banks and online merchants use to provide SSL-encrypted website access. And because Apple designs both the server and the mobile client software, it can make the setup and configuration for using Mobile Access secured resources nearly invisible to end users.



That strategy may likely help tie the growing popularity of iPhones among corporate and government users to increased sales of Snow Leopard Server, and draw more attention toward Apple's Mac Server offerings as a much less expensive alternative to Microsoft's combination of Windows Server, Exchange Server messaging, SharePoint collaboration, and Exchange Active Sync for supporting remote access to mobile devices.



Apple performed a similar software coup when it introduced Macs running Final Cut Pro as a cheap alternative to very expensive Avid video production workstation studios. Final Cut Pro didn't need to match Avid feature for feature, it only needed to serve as a less costly option for existing video production users. By allowing them to offload many tasks to Macs, Apple's platform gained entry into an industry where Apple now maintains a major presence.



The iPhone and iPod touch are already making an impact on corporate, government and other larger organization users, with the US military now making wide use of iPod touches as general purpose devices, several universities beginning to make Apple's mobile devices a central part of their learning infrastructure, and many large Enterprises developing custom applications for iPhone users.







By offering Snow Leopard Server as a much cheaper alternative to Microsoft's server software and the Client Access Licenses companies must pay per user, Apple will send a particularly embarrassing response to Microsoft's recent ad campaigns portraying Mac hardware as "cooler and sexier" but higher priced than the low end of generic PCs using Windows. That's because while Dell can slightly undercut comparable XServe hardware costs from Apple before adding Windows Server, Microsoft's software licensing dramatically balloons the costs businesses face to deliver the same features Mac OS X Server can, which Apple bundles on its Mac servers at no extra cost.
«134

Comments

  • teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    that's all well and good but omits another big factor- Verizon's CDMA reception and corporate service loyalty. This must then pertain mainly to current AT&T clients.
  • pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    that's all well and good but omits another big factor- Verizon's CDMA reception and corporate service loyalty. This must then pertain mainly to current AT&T clients.



    Where is it that Verizon's reception is so great? What has changed in the last 2 years? I live a densely populated area of coastal NJ, and I was using Verizon right up until the iPhone debut in 2007. Until that day, I was sticking my head out of my office window to get Verizon to hold a call for more than 10 seconds.



    Since switching to the iPhone, I have no problems with phone service fro 2 years straight, on AT&T.



    No idea where people get this idea that, "overall" Verizon's network performance is better. Maybe today it is, but it wasn't 2 years ago and now its too late. AT&T became popular and is growing fast.
  • ringoringo Posts: 328member
    I'm surprised they didn't mention the cost of supporting Blackberries.
  • hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Where is it that Verizon's reception is so great? What has changed in the last 2 years? I live a densely populated area of coastal NJ, and I was using Verizon right up until the iPhone debut in 2007. Until that day, I was sticking my head out of my office window to get Verizon to hold a call for more than 10 seconds.



    Since switching to the iPhone, I have no problems with phone service fro 2 years straight, on AT&T.



    No idea where people get this idea that, "overall" Verizon's network performance is better. Maybe today it is, but it wasn't 2 years ago and now its too late. AT&T became popular and is growing fast.



    I have to use VerizonWireless by corporate edict. My experience is VZW is much better today than they were two years ago. Reception is better, reliability is better, EVDO availability and speed is MUCH better.
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,731member
    I wish Apple would introduce a SOHO server.



    I really like the HP Mediasmart servers would be very tempting if it didn't run Windows Home Server.The HP Mediasmart EX487 has 4 SATA Hard Drive bays and comes with 2 X 750GB hard drives.

    It has a 2Ghz Celeron processor and 2GB of RAM.

    It can stream iTunes and videos to iPods and iPhones.



    I would love something like this that could run Mac OS X Server

    -Serve calendars, contacts, mail

    -Time Machine backup

    -iTunes media server



    It would be nice to have something comparable in the $1000-1500 ball park.
  • weemandanweemandan Posts: 1member
    What's the equivalent of SharePoint on OSX server included?
  • wprowewprowe Posts: 33member
    Now what Apple needs is more enterprise level maturity in their iPhone / iPod Touch support in areas like encrypted devices, locked configurations, enterprise profile management, etc. Let's hope that they improve that with iPhone 3.0.
  • mikedtykemikedtyke Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by weemandan View Post


    What's the equivalent of SharePoint on OSX server included?



    The only thing is the wiki which doesn`t have document handling capabilities of sharepoint nor the extensibility.



    But then i`ve yet to see many organisations use sharepoint as anything other than a wiki.



    There`s pros and cons for each but i see CALs as a very big CON when it comes to Microsoft`s offering.
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,731member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by weemandan View Post


    What's the equivalent of SharePoint on OSX server included?



    Wiki Server
  • wprowewprowe Posts: 33member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by weemandan View Post


    What's the equivalent of SharePoint on OSX server included?



    I think the article implies that Apple Wiki is the Sharepoint competitor. I'm not sure it is as robust as Sharepoint. There are open source alternatives like Drupal, Joomla and other CMSs that can match a lot of the Sharepoint functionality at zero software cost.
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,731member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MikeDTyke View Post


    The only thing is the wiki which doesn`t have document handling capabilities of sharepoint nor the extensibility.



    But then i`ve yet to see many organisations use sharepoint as anything other than a wiki.



    There`s pros and cons for each but i see CALs as a very big CON when it comes to Microsoft`s offering.



    Few organizations use SharePoints full feature set because the learning curve is too steep.

    WikiServer while more basic offers features users will actually use and understand.
  • virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    I wish Apple would introduce a SOHO server.



    I really like the HP Mediasmart servers would be very tempting if it didn't run Windows Home Server.The HP Mediasmart EX487 has 4 SATA Hard Drive bays and comes with 2 X 750GB hard drives. ...It would be nice to have something comparable in the $1000-1500 ball park.



    I think this is one of the biggest barriers to adoption of Apple's back-end solutions.



    If you have a small business or home concern and want to go to Apple for the hardware, all they offer is rack-mounted X-Serves. The average person/business is not going to install a rack system when all they need is a single server. Rack-mounted servers also basically need their own room.



    I work at a large University right now and while there are many server rooms (and some really big iron that handles the University traffic as a whole), many departments just don't have that kind of equipment. My department has run dozens of servers for many years out of a closet filled with G3/G4 tower's, Mac mini's and Mac Pros. The majority of people I know who run Mac OS-X server, run it off of similar hardware in similar situations.



    Apple really needs a small business server.



    One that isn't rack mount, doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and one that the average person can just use without having to get IT advice or build a special room for it. It would be a great fit for home users with burgeoning media libraries as well.
  • cu10cu10 Posts: 294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wprowe View Post


    ...Apple Wiki...I'm not sure it is as robust as Sharepoint. There are open source alternatives like Drupal, Joomla....



    Sharepoint is mainly a DMS/ECM (not strictly web CMS).



    EMC Documentum and Alfresco are its main competitors (latter is open source, former is very expensive).
  • physguyphysguy Posts: 904member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    I wish Apple would introduce a SOHO server.



    I really like the HP Mediasmart servers would be very tempting if it didn't run Windows Home Server.The HP Mediasmart EX487 has 4 SATA Hard Drive bays and comes with 2 X 750GB hard drives.

    It has a 2Ghz Celeron processor and 2GB of RAM.

    It can stream iTunes and videos to iPods and iPhones.



    I would love something like this that could run Mac OS X Server

    -Serve calendars, contacts, mail

    -Time Machine backup

    -iTunes media server



    It would be nice to have something comparable in the $1000-1500 ball park.



    I've run OS X Server on a mini with no problems for 40 people. It has all you would need above.



    $800 - Mini 2GHz Core 2 duo, 320 GB drive.

    $500 - Server Software

    $130 - 1TB External

    $150 - Display (Or hook it to you flat panel)



    $1,580 - Total



    So just a little above your target but you get quite a system.
  • macfandavemacfandave Posts: 602member
    The send "Lauren" on a mission to get a server that can serve 100 clients for less than $4000.



    She pops in and out of a Windows Server store (whatever that monstrosity might look like) and whines that she couldn't get out for less than 7 times her budget and sheepishly admitting that she's not "cool enough to be a Windows Server person" (at that point, a thought bubble pops up over her head with a picture of Steve Ballmer.)



    Then she heads to the Apple Store, gets her Snow Leopard Server and change.



    But, instead of an insipid little happy dance, she takes it all off with an erotic pole dance. Why? Because I'm directing the commercial -- that's why!
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,731member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by physguy View Post


    I've run OS X Server on a mini with no problems for 40 people. It has all you would need above.



    $800 - Mini 2GHz Core 2 duo, 320 GB drive.

    $500 - Server Software

    $130 - 1TB External

    $150 - Display (Or hook it to you flat panel)



    $1,580 - Total



    So just a little above your target but you get quite a system.



    Once Snow Leopard Server comes out I will probably go with a Mac mini + Drobo solution.



    I forgot to mention that the HP Mediasmart server that has FOUR SATA DRIVE BAYS is less than $800. This is what drives me crazy! to get something similar from Apple I have to cobble together a Mac mini, a Drobo and a copy of snow Leopard server.



    How I wish I cut put Snow Leopard server on the HP Mediasmart server.
  • neilmneilm Posts: 445member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    If you have a small business or home concern and want to go to Apple for the hardware, all they offer is rack-mounted X-Serves.



    That's not correct and never has been.



    You can buy OS X Server by itself, in limited and unlimited versions, and run it on your choice of Apple hardware. People can, and do, run it on Mac minis, iMacs and so on.



    Apple also offers the Mac Pro with server software, which would seem to fit exactly the small business need mentioned.



    See: http://www.apple.com/server/
  • akhomerunakhomerun Posts: 386member
    I think Apple has a real advantage in enterprise with being primarily a hardware maker in that their licenses are unlimited. Microsoft could never compete with Apple's software prices because Apple makes their money on hardware.



    It's also good for them that they are continuing to take enterprise much more seriously than in the past.



    I know, I'm stating the obvious.
  • teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    No idea where people get this idea that, "overall" Verizon's network performance is better. Maybe today it is, but it wasn't 2 years ago and now its too late. AT&T became popular and is growing fast.



    AT&T's lackluster 3G coverage has been well documented both here and throughout by repected journalists. While you many have great coverage many don't. Corporate accounts have to deal with reception issues all over the country not just "a densely populated area of coastal NJ" .
  • akhomerunakhomerun Posts: 386member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    I wish Apple would introduce a SOHO server.



    I really like the HP Mediasmart servers would be very tempting if it didn't run Windows Home Server.The HP Mediasmart EX487 has 4 SATA Hard Drive bays and comes with 2 X 750GB hard drives.

    It has a 2Ghz Celeron processor and 2GB of RAM.

    It can stream iTunes and videos to iPods and iPhones.



    I would love something like this that could run Mac OS X Server

    -Serve calendars, contacts, mail

    -Time Machine backup

    -iTunes media server



    It would be nice to have something comparable in the $1000-1500 ball park.



    Hmm...I'm not sure which of these things you can't do with the desktop verison of OS X. But then again I don't do much with setting up servers.
Sign In or Register to comment.