I’ve had Apple servers for quite some time now (actually, this MacMini is my fourth Mac doing server roles, after a G3 iBook, a dual G4 MDD PowerMac (power hog alert!) and a beautiful G4 iMac), and I’ve had an incredibly positive experience. Although people are complaining about (Mountain) Lion Server’s simplicity, I believe things have gotten better, not worse.
Still, my requirements are a bit simple; after all, this was, up until very recently, a geek’s server. It does file, web/wiki/blog, mail, and home automation server, as well as media center, my apps server, Internet and gaming machine. Nowadays, with Lion Server and our startup activities, it does a bit more: Time Machine (backup) server, contacts and calendar, VPN, and a couple of web apps.
And most of these with a simple flick of a switch.
What I like the most about it is it’s flexibility, but also it’s resilience. Remember, it’s used daily as a media center (XBMC, iTunes) and a gaming machine (native Mac games). No crashes, no down time, no perceivable performance loss, low power consumption (13W “idle”), inaudible in all tasks (except with some heavier games).
It’s just there all the time, and it Just Works®. I wish more things in life were like that!