- Building a New Server vs. Installing Using a Disk Image or Backup
- Moving Data and Third-Party Solutions
- Transition Now or Wait for Leopard?
Transition Now or Wait for Leopard?
With the challenges that you might encounter in moving to an Intel version of Mac OS X Server, the question begs to asked: should you do this in the immediate future or should you wait till Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) Server is released next year? Leopard is expected to be released as the first universal Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server release, which means that some, though not all, of the potential issues mentioned in this article simply do not exist.
There are, of course, pros and cons to this approach. First, Leopard Server will be a major revision of Mac OS X Server with changes to many core technologies, including Open Directory. As a rule, it is always best to make major server upgrades using a migration rather than an upgrade strategy (back up your data and configurations, do a clean install of Mac OS X Server, and then restore your data) to ensure a problem-free infrastructure. Thus, implementing Leopard Server will be a fair amount of work, regardless of the platform question. And if you’ll have to put in the transition and testing man-hours anyway, it might be best to combine the hardware transition with them.
Another advantage is that although you might end up with more work at the time of transition, having a universal version of Mac OS X Server will enable you to take advantage of disk image technologies for large-scale server deployments. It will also enable you to have a platform-neutral backup strategy. It also allows more time for third-party developers to provide Intel-native or universal versions of any server add-ons you might be using.
That said, you might not want to adopt Leopard upon its initial release, which could push back the timetable of adding new servers or replacing existing ones. It also doesn’t address a need for a new server as a result of an existing server’s failure.