Server, Simplified →

Andrew Cunningham, at Ars, on Mountain Lion Server:

My fear in this brave new world is that OS X Server will suffer the same fate as Apple Remote Desktop, another enormously useful tool if you’re trying to manage a large number of Macs. Remote Desktop’s last major update, version 3.0, was introduced all the way back in 2006. Though it is still technically being maintained and sold in the Mac App Store—its current version is 3.6—most of those point updates have served only to add compatibility with new OS X versions and add incremental feature improvements like IPv6 support.

There’s still some good, low-hanging fruit that Apple could harvest to make OS X Server better for the kinds of users they’re gunning for—things like centralized FileVault management, the ability to patch iOS with the Software Update service, and local iOS device backups. If the software goes into maintenance mode, I worry that we’ll never see server features that keep pace with the features in the OS X client.

As someone who manages an Xserve, I have the same worry. 10.8 didn’t do anything to help.