One purpose of this blog is so readers can learn from my mistakes. If you’re planning on upgrading both client and servers to OS X Lion you should be aware of something.
First you should know that OS X Lion is a separate download from OS X Lion Server. Instead of having two versions of their operating system available for download Apple has made the server utilities available as a separate installable package. I like this option honestly but I did make a mistake that ended up costing me $29.99.
Because I didn’t want to tie up my server with a major download I initially purchased and downloaded OS X Lion from the App Store on a client computer. I tried to also purchase OS X Lion Server at the same time but the App Store wouldn’t allow me to do so from a system not already running Lion. Later I decided to download OS X Lion on my server so it would be available for install when I was ready (as OS X Lion is a 3.47GB download, I thought getting on the system early was a smart move). When I went to download OS X Lion on my server the App Store reported that I needed to also purchase OS X Lion Server. The App Store did warn me that both would be purchased and that I would be charged $79.98 but being I was in a hurry I made an assumption. My assumption was that OS X Lion was already in my purchase history and thus only OS X Lion Server would be purchased at this point. That assumption, like most, was incorrect and I am now the owner of two OS X Lion purchases.
There are three options available to those wanting to upgrade both server and client computers to OS X Lion. The first, and probably easiest option, is to purchase OS X Lion on a computer currently running OS X Snow Leopard Server. Doing this will require you purchase both OS X Lion and OS X Lion Server at the same time but they will appear as separate purchases in the App Store which will allow you to download just OS X Lion on client computers.
Option number two is to purchase OS X Lion on a client, format the server, install OS X Lion, purchase OS X Lion Server, and then restore your server specific settings. This is probably the most painful method of upgrade both server and client computers to Apple’s new operating system.
The third option is to install OS X Lion on a client, upgrade that client, and purchase OS X Lion Server after the upgrade is finished. This will put both OS X Lion and OS X Lion Server in your purchase history and you should be able to upgrade your server without having to purchase any additional downloads.
So the lesson I have for everybody reading this is making assumptions don’t make assumptions, they can be expensive.
EDIT: 2011-07-20 16:30: I contacted Apple through their App Store support page and they got back to me within a few hours and issued a refund. That’s pretty good support considering the mistake was ultimately mine for making the assumption that I wouldn’t get charged twice.