Apple's attempt to secure sales in the professional-network and server markets is bearing fruit, claims network industry bible Network News.

The title reports that Unix-savvy IT execs are taking a serious look at Mac OS X 10.2, as it introduces an assortment of tools that make managing Macs on a network much easier. It supports standards-based enterprise features including security, protocols and management tools.

In part, this is because the operating system is built on FreeBSD, an open source operating system for Intel, Alpha and PowerPC-servers based on a Unix implementation built at the University of California, Berkeley.

Integration Admitting that the move to OS X is what makes adopting Macs feasible, David Bratt, technology architect for H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center revealed: "We are currently looking at our future and determining where Macs will fit and how we'll support them."

"OS X offers all the communications and network/systems-management tools BSD Unix has, and can integrate tightly into a TCP/IP network," observed IDC research director Dan Kuznetsky.

The report finds a softening of attitudes toward Macs in the enterprise market. IT manager Casey Riddell admits to not having always been a Mac fan, but says his attitude is changing because of OS X.

"Recently with Apple's OS X, I have completely changed my stance, and I am seriously considering the new XServe servers for a few minor Web projects," Riddell says.