5900 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 3, 2009 8:03 AM by MrHoffman
Roll back your Mac OS X client version, or use a virtual machine (VM) or such to allow you to run several versions of Mac OS X and Server Admin tools, or use and connect to the target box using VNC or ARD or other such screen-sharing software and manage the Mac OS X Server box directly and "locally" using the Server Admin tools directly on the target server.
Server Admin has never been particularly wide cross-version support, and (as the message indicates) the 10.6 version of Server Admin can't manage Mac OS X Server boxes earlier than 10.5.8.
The 10.5 Server Admin tools won't install on 10.6 either.
If the current target Intel box meets or exceeds the [Mac OS X Server minimal requirements|http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/specs.html], then you can get and install Snow Leopard Server for US$499.
If the box is not an Intel box or does not meet the minimal requirements, then it's time to start planning for an upgrade.
You might look to go from your 10.4.8 PPC box to Mac OS X Server 10.5 Leopard Server, but I'd tend to look to replace the PPC box. (And going to Mac OS X Server 10.5 with an Intel box doesn't - if you meet the minimal specs - make sense given the pricing of 10.6 Snow Leopard Server.)
Possibly with a recent Mac Mini box; that's a pretty good low-end server box, particularly with a reasonable external FireWire 800 RAID storage box.
There's unfortunately no neat way to downgrade your Mac OS X version.
How to downgrade? Roll in your backups that were made via Time Machine or Disk Utility or such prior to your upgrade to Snow Leopard. Or wipe the disk and install. Yes, you'll lose changes made since the upgrade. Or the wipe and install will erase your disk.
It may be appropriate to pursue one of the other strategies mentioned, as well.
In the short term, I might look to use VNC or ARD here to remotely manage the box, and particularly if you're going to be replacing or (presuming it meets the minimums) upgrading the Mac OS X Server 10.4.8 box. (I'm presently using this ARD-based management strategy for a customer's Leopard Server box that's currently and temporarily "stuck" at 10.5.7.)
"[You should only perform an Archive and Install installation over the same major version ... of Mac OS X.|http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2597]".
I would not immediately tend to expect archiving and installing Leopard over Snow Leopard would work.
If you're going to try it, get a good Disk Utility clone (full-disk copy) before making the changes here, and test it before you need use it in production. (Given the budget constraints that the OP is operating under with this production Tiger Server configuration, I'd tend to look to match the risk with that environment.)
What might break here? Donno. Various of the integrated applications did update a whole bunch of stuff when I upgraded my customers' boxes to SL and SL Server. Major versions do tend to change plists and other such, too.
I had some "fun" downgrading development projects as part of an Xcode downgrade recently (please don't ask), and that environment is rather more isolated than what Mac OS X might and can change.
While the cost of upgrading hardware and software configurations is widely recognized, there are also costs involved with staying on older gear and older software.
If a site is planning to lock onto older software releases, then it is generally considered the site's responsibility to purchase enough hardware (servers, spares, etc) to maintain those requirements, or to make arraignments with a supplier or the vendor to provide services and support for duration of the installation; to reserve enough spare parts.
I regularly deal with enterprise-class computing gear that's a dozen or more years old, acquired from a well-known enterprise vendor, and newer hardware and component upgrades there are regularly not supported on older platforms, or newer platforms require newer software releases, or requires site-local customization work, or some combination of these. (I had problems a week or so ago simply because the mountings within the older 19" rack-mount cabinets differ, and the necessary rail-mounting kits simply aren't available.)
The deployments here can go for ten or twenty years and with few or no modifications, and that requirement requires acquiring and monitoring available spare parts and spare servers, and watching and resolving for failure patterns that might burn through the available spares.
Extending hardware support back a generation or three for newer gear also increases the testing and support matrix, and the associated costs. The vendor has more to test, is constrained around what can be upgraded, and there are the usual costs with maintaining the older gear. Those costs can and do get passed through to the customer, too, whether as vendor overhead costs or as reduced feature-sets, or both.