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Old Dec 7, 2012, 11:24 AM   #1
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Apple Updates OS X Server, Adds Caching to Speed Distribution of Mac App Store Updates




Apple has updated OS X Server, the application that runs on top of OS X Mountain Lion to expand the system's server feature set.

The most notable change in this update appears to be a new caching server for Mac App Store updates. Presumably, the server now downloads updates for things like iPhoto and OS X itself to prevent an organization from needing to download large updates multiple times for one workgroup.

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What's New in Version 2.2

o Caching Server to speed up download of software distributed by Apple through the Mac App Store.
o Time Machine service monitoring of which computers have backed up, when they last backed up and size of backup.
o Wiki Server support for MacBook Pro with Retina display.
o Fix for deleting apps uploaded to Profile Manager.
o Ability to use Active Directory groups within Profile Manager.
o Centralized Certificate management interface.
OS X Server is available for $19.99 on the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Apple Updates OS X Server, Adds Caching to Speed Distribution of Mac App Store Updates
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 11:37 AM   #2
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I look forward to this service getting dissected and documented. Here is hoping that it integrates into networks which are primarily windows server driven and/or with multiple subnets.

Now all we need is a proper enterprise-compatible bonjour as has been rumored about lately.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by iamkarlp View Post
I look forward to this service getting dissected and documented. Here is hoping that it integrates into networks which are primarily windows server driven and/or with multiple subnets.

Now all we need is a proper enterprise-compatible bonjour as has been rumored about lately.
The tech department in the school district I work for is considering Aerohive. I haven't used it before, but according to the website, looks like they provide enterprise-level Bonjour services.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 12:09 PM   #4
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Why not cache all large downloads somehow? Whether from a web browser or a store like steam?
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 12:32 PM   #5
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I don't understand why this is such a big deal. OS X Server has had a Software Update service forever. Now it caches stuff through the app store, too? Neat, I guess.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
Why not cache all large downloads somehow? Whether from a web browser or a store like steam?
It's the "somehow" part that is difficult. Without integration from 3rd parties how do you handle privacy and access control, copyright concerns, and invalidating out of date files, as a few examples? In the case of Steam, and non HTTP based downloads, how do you even set up a standardized method to request the downloads?
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by holmesf View Post
It's the "somehow" part that is difficult. Without integration from 3rd parties how do you handle privacy and access control, copyright concerns, and invalidating out of date files, as a few examples? In the case of Steam, and non HTTP based downloads, how do you even set up a standardized method to request the downloads?
Sandbox apps to only allow a select few types of downloads?

Not that anyone not on the App Store even bothers with sandboxing, it seems.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 03:39 PM   #8
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THIS IS WHY BUSINESS IGNORES APPLE.

A server is not an "app". Try bolting something on to your Caravan to make it into a Ferrari.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 04:20 PM   #9
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How about restoring things like NFS shares with a simple click instead of having to use the freaking Shell to set it up?

WTF is the point of the Mac as "It just works" if they keep making it more difficult to use instead of easier? (i.e. NFS used to be just a button click). And my WebDav sharing setting hasn't worked right yet when I tried it with XBMC (I had to install Samba3 to get SMB to work properly with it since XBMC doesn't work right with AFP, tending to crash after about a half hour of watching something and NFS is a PITA to set up via script).
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 04:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
How about restoring things like NFS shares with a simple click instead of having to use the freaking Shell to set it up?

WTF is the point of the Mac as "It just works" if they keep making it more difficult to use instead of easier? (i.e. NFS used to be just a button click). And my WebDav sharing setting hasn't worked right yet when I tried it with XBMC (I had to install Samba3 to get SMB to work properly with it since XBMC doesn't work right with AFP, tending to crash after about a half hour of watching something and NFS is a PITA to set up via script).
Same thing with FTP and other services. I'm having to go to the command line now instead of just ticking a box. Very annoying.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 07:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer View Post
THIS IS WHY BUSINESS IGNORES APPLE.

A server is not an "app". Try bolting something on to your Caravan to make it into a Ferrari.
The Server app is full of server applications. The difference between a linux desktop and a linux server is the set of applications you have installed. The Server App includes DNS Server, Open Directory, Mail Server, Software Update Server, etc.

There is nothing wrong with having the Server App as a way to add the server functionality to the OS.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 08:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer View Post
THIS IS WHY BUSINESS IGNORES APPLE.
It's more the other way around ... Apple ignores business. For big business a server is rack mounted in a DC; not in cluster a Minis sitting in a shelf.

But I'm fine with it ... A company need to choose which market they want to serve. The the cash pile Apple sits on prove they made the right choice for them.

Get a server somewhere else.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 12:34 AM   #13
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Ignoring the enterprise means that their market share remains a rounding error.

Yes it can blip during a consumer fad, but like iOS it will wax and wane depending on the fickle herd mentality of the average dummy in the street.

To really take hold they need to get the enterprise, and therefore get enterprise apps. So far their strategy has been to tell the enterprise to pound sand.

An interesting tactic.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 04:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jayhawk11 View Post
I don't understand why this is such a big deal. OS X Server has had a Software Update service forever. Now it caches stuff through the app store, too? Neat, I guess.
SUS on ML caches App store apps, but doesn't cover non-OSX apps (even FCP and iLife). It looks like this will cover all apps from MAS. Hmmmm.

For my home setup, though, the advantage will be that large packages will download 'in the background' so that the wait time on the clients will be vastly reduced.

But I's still have preferred a better RADIUS implementation in the GUI.

----------

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Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer View Post
To really take hold they need to get the enterprise, and therefore get enterprise apps. So far their strategy has been to tell the enterprise to pound sand.
More than just software, they need enterprise hardware to run it. While mini might be appropriate for SOHO (although barely IME), their solutions for the enterprise are ... pitiful.

It's quite sad, but Apple seem to be retrenching to itoys and iOS.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 07:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer View Post
Ignoring the enterprise means that their market share remains a rounding error.

Yes it can blip during a consumer fad, but like iOS it will wax and wane depending on the fickle herd mentality of the average dummy in the street.

To really take hold they need to get the enterprise, and therefore get enterprise apps. So far their strategy has been to tell the enterprise to pound sand.

An interesting tactic.
I agree. Rolex's watch marketshare is incredibly tiny because they insist on not making a digital watch! What a bunch of morons.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 01:01 PM   #16
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Is there a website that discusses the top 10 or so uses for Server and how to configure it for those uses? Sometimes it is handy to see how other folks improve their work flow and service level rather than researching it manually and missing come cool aspects somebody else takes for granted.

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Old Dec 8, 2012, 05:23 PM   #17
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Is there a website that discusses the top 10 or so uses for Server and how to configure it for those uses? Sometimes it is handy to see how other folks improve their work flow and service level rather than researching it manually and missing come cool aspects somebody else takes for granted.

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Try this
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07...o-os-x-server/
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 01:45 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by guzhogi View Post
The tech department in the school district I work for is considering Aerohive. I haven't used it before, but according to the website, looks like they provide enterprise-level Bonjour services.
I'm using their bonjour gateway on some projects already which while no substitute for a proper enterprise compatible bonjour implementation, does help out in the mean time.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 01:32 PM   #19
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 07:56 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer View Post
THIS IS WHY BUSINESS IGNORES APPLE.

A server is not an "app". Try bolting something on to your Caravan to make it into a Ferrari.
Even when Apple had a modest share of the general desktop enterprise market their servers were just basic workgroup type stuff. Larger shops would have used Unix.

When Mac OS X was new and shiny there were rumours of Apple buying some established unix vendors and making Mac OS X a major enterprise UNIX. It never happened but the remnants of that concept appeared as the Xserve - a cool product with no enterprise sales and support effort behind it at all.

You can't just woo the enterprise overnight or half-heartedly.

Last edited by Macist; Dec 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 10:40 AM   #21
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You can't just woo the enterprise overnight or half-heartedly.
I agree. Enterprise & Apple seem to have views that polar opposites. Example: Apple likes keeping everything a secret. Enterprise, on the other hand, likes roadmaps and knowing what a software/hardware vendor is going to do a few months/years down the road so they can plan how to roll things out.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 10:55 AM   #22
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What Apple doesn't understand is how much IT professionals influence the purchase of computers. I get asked daily by family and co-workers for advice and I used to tell people that paying the little extra for Macs was justified, and their overall experience would be better. (Not to mention fewer calls to me for help...) But my current frustrations over the lock-down style of OSX and iOS have been pushing me away. I have 800+ computers running 10.4 - 10.8, and it is nightmare to manage these using Apple's server software, unless I use a dedicated server for each OS. Well that's just one example, that and the ticking time bomb of your computer after the 3 year warranty if something breaks be prepared to shell out at a minimum the price of a new PC tower.

I dont know... now with the Windows 8 disaster, maybe I'll suggest Linux, or Chrome??
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 01:23 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Dirtfarmer View Post
THIS IS WHY BUSINESS IGNORES APPLE.

A server is not an "app". Try bolting something on to your Caravan to make it into a Ferrari.
I disagree. Because servers ARE applications.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 03:35 PM   #24
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Ignoring the enterprise means that their market share remains a rounding error.
...
To really take hold they need to get the enterprise, and therefore get enterprise apps. So far their strategy has been to tell the enterprise to pound sand.
But why not take aim and small and medium sized businesses? Many of these folks NEED an IT presence, but the skills aren't there in sufficient amounts to support your basic MS or *nix back-office and/or customer-facing functions. I just finished up helping a small company upgrade their stuff and got a local (VERY reputable) IT company in to set up and support.

What I saw was APPALLING. These guys lacked basic process and didn't really have good IT skills overall. But, apparently other companiesare worse - so it's a lack of options.

It seems like a no-brainer for Apple to take on basic back-office functions: LDAP (authentication), file share, DNS, and maybe mail/calendaring (although MS 365 really isn't bad). With the ease of use, native support for backups, etc, and integration this seems like a great way to sell more Apple "stuff".

That's just my opinion. I'm sure there's quite a bit of product development and support to have on hand, but it seems like a natural extension of what they have now.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 09:16 AM   #25
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I've been following this thread since its posting, and I wanted to thank everyone for their help and information on the changes to OS X Server since 10.7. The resources and such have been a great help.

On another note, it has been since Dec 7th and this is the only "Mac" posting since. Rather a shame given how much news and rumors seem to be committed to iOS devices. Times change I suppose.
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