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Apple’s latest operating system is here (should be here someday soon) and there are some changes (for good and bad) that we will outline in this post. This latest version is named Lion, the version number is 10.7. The requirements for upgrading to Lion is an Intel based Mac with at least a Core 2 Duo processor running OS X 10.6.8. If you have OS X Server there is an additional requirement in that you purchase Server.app prior to upgrading (more on that later).

The upgrade process itself is fairly straight forward and can be done remotely. There are no more installation DVDs. Everything is purchased and downloaded through the App Store. If you are running OS X Server you must purchase ($49.99) Server.app first, then purchase ($29.99) and install Lion. The installation can be done remotely via Screen Sharing or Apple Remote Desktop. If you leave your connection open, the machine will come back usually between 20 and 30 minutes with the remaining steps of the upgrade process.

We highly recommend customers schedule an upgrade by opening a support ticket. Our free hands-on support can be used to assist with any issues that may arrise. Scheduling the upgrade ensures that we have engineers ready just in case, and that the upgrade happens during the free hands-on support timeframes.

With all that said, there are some aspects of this upgrade that you really should pay attention to:
1 – Always back up your data.
2 – Server.app does not handle web hosting well
3 – MySQL is no longer a part of the OS (PostgreSQL is)
4 – Always back up your data.
5 – Server.app will fight with MAMP PRO for web hosting
6 – Always back up your data.

If you are doing anything in terms of web hosting, reverting to a clean install of Snow Leopard and installing Lion with MAMP PRO might be your best bet. You can disable the built in Apache from Server.app, but that renders most of the Server features disabled.

Server.app does a great job of managing users and file sharing. Lion itself introduces Virtual Display (Terminal Server) serving unique desktops to each user. Lion itself is refined and leap forward from Snow Leopard. If any of these changes would directly affect you (web hosting, MySQL, etc) we recommend testing Lion prior to upgrading. If you need access to a test machine with Lion installed open a support ticket and we can schedule you time in our “Lion Lab”.