OS X Server has always run on Mac hardware. However, with the advent of cheaper, mobile and energy efficient iOS devices such as iPads, the Amsys team have always thought it would be fantastic if you could utilise these devices to run the server product, as well.
Just think how wonderful it would be to have a rack of iPads hosting your file sharing services or web services!
So for the last few years our team of developers have been busy working away and today we can finally, proudly announce the ‘iOS Server’.
iOS Server is a native app that offers all the features of Apple’s OS X Server product for the iPad. Instead of being tied to Macintosh Hardware you can deploy iPads for your back-end infrastructure.
You gain many benefits by using iPad:
- iPads are mobile. So instead of having a dedicated server room, you can deploy the iPads around your office. You could even take your server home with you in the evening.
- They are much more energy efficient, plus with a built in battery, if you have a power failure; they still continue to run.
- They have a smaller footprint so you can stack them far more easily than say the new Mac Pro.
- No keyboard or mouse is required.
We took a long time to create a Server App for iOS that looked and behaved like Apple’s OS X version. So if you are already running or administrating OS X Server, you will feel right at home with iOS Server.
As we already mentioned, we have recreated nearly all the services that OS X Server offers, but here are some of the highlights.
As you can see from the screenshot, we have implemented a fully working FileSharing service supporting AFP and SMB network protocols. You can make use of the internal storage of the iPad and reshare files to your network.
To overcome the limited storage of the iPad, we have implemented a mechanism that allows you to reshare files from your favourite cloud service such as Dropbox or Box. For redundancy, you can even cluster a set of iPads to create more bandwidth and more reliability in the event of a failure.
iOS Server has full support for managing all your users and groups. These can either be local users to that specific iPad, we offer full support for Open Directory Accounts or you can connect iOS Server to your company directory server, such as Active Directory.
With a fully functioning MDM service, you can manage your OS X and iOS devices/users in the same way that you have been able to with OS X Server.
iOS Server can act as a Caching for all your OS X, iOS and App updates. For example, the File Sharing service, you can utilise the local storage of the iPad to cache these updates or you can tap into your favourite cloud service.
As you can see we offer the full comprehensive services that you would expect. Ranging from Mail and Calendar services to backup services.
Availability and Requirements
iOS Server requires an iPad with retina screen running iOS 7+. Minimum suggested storage is 32GB. iOS Server will be available from the App Store starting today priced at £0.69
Personal Note: After the disastrous Spaghetti harvest of 2013 , I’m off to open my first jam mine in deepest, darkest Cornwall.