Want a free/open-source Apple Home Server?
When Apple introduced the Mac Mini server version nobody knew. When Apple discontinued the XServe people started thinking. When the changes for OS X Lion became public and OS X Server was merged into the client-version, everybody should have known. When the rumors came that Apple will stop using Samba and implement their own SMB2 server/client, I knew: Apple wants to give the world an alternative to Windows Home Server (WHS).
Whats in for me?
This means you can save all your files on a central point in your home without leaving your Apple-fanboy-philosophy by buying a pc server. All seamlessly integrated with bonjour. And now you can, when using Bootcamp or Parallels, also link Windows clients.
Did anybody said free?
Back to the open-source thing from the title, since that probably was why you came here: when I started my Linux-box-acting-as-a-OSX-Server-box-project I thought Apple would always continue to use Samba and therefore use only technologies that have open-source implementations (Bonjour -> Avahi, AFP -> Netatalk, etc). This way I could mimic all features of the Apple Server, for free.
But Samba currently only features NT-domaincontroller (for older systems < Vista) and the Apple implementation will support Active Directory (aka or related to SMB2). So when Lion will we introduced it won’t be possible to do every thing OS X does with Linux. I think this still is a good thing since the Samba team will be pushed to work on and release Samba 4. This new version will add support for Active Directory and will solve the binding-problems you currently can experience with Vista/Win7. When Samba 4 will lose it’s beta mark I will update my automagically-install-script for Ubuntu making installing Ubuntu and mimicking OSX almost a one-click, Apple-like experience.