Mac OS X Server: Do I really need it?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by doxavita, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    #1
    I would like to make my own home server one day. I'm a total newbie regarding servers. Is Mac OS X server the way to go? Do I really need it?
    What knowledge must I possess?

    Is OS X Server the same as the client version in terms of being able to install programs? What changes? Can I get a server functioning in the client version too? Is the server version worth those extra $500?

    So like I said, eventually I would like to make my own server (at home), so, do I need a Mac Pro for that?

    Your guidance will be much appreciated, thx!
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    #2
    Slow-down there, what do you want to use it for?

    Streaming video?

    Streaming music?

    Cause its cool?

    Sharing Files with another computer (one)?

    Answer yes to any of the above and the answer is you don't need OS X server. Best bet either way is wait for Lion to come out.

    Cheers
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Location:
    GR
    #3

    If you don't know if you need a server then you don't.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #4
    The Server functionality will be "free" with Lion. Just wait for it. By this summer, even Grandma will have Mac OS X Server running on her 11 inch Macbook Air.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    #5
    I want my own website (something.com), perhaps host some forums too. If it's too difficult I might consider third party hosting then.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #6
    That's not a fact. All we know is:

    All it means is they consolidated the two operating systems into one. They could charge you for the server features via Mac App Store. So instead of buying a new OS, you could just buy the activation key. This isn't far fetched, considering OS X Server needs a key to work already.

    If you're planning on running this out of your home via your residential Internet connection, I don't believe adding OS X Server is going to suddenly make that happen.

    You might try HostMonster and you can add/change these types of things on your account easily with a few clicks. I think this would be a much better fit.
     
  7. macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    What's difficult is most home Internet service agreements don't allow running servers, and even if you do the "up" data rate is typically way too slow. Getting appropriate service is far more expensive than just buying shared server hosting from a third party.

    Note that I do run a Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server as a server, but I don't use it as a web server.
     
  8. macrumors 601

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #8
    That sounds like the Apple I know. I'll just wait until more details are provided.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Tailpike1153

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    #9
    Can't agree more. My dad wanted to setup his own server farm for his home biz. Getting a T3 service to his house in Southern Illinois was an outrage. I ended up going 3rd party.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #10
    Your ISP then will be loving to cut you off if you host as public web site from home. You can count on that.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Truffy

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    somewhere outside your window...
    #11
    In addition to what others have said regarding upload rates and ISP issues, you need to have a static IP (which usually costs more) or DDNS (a PITA). And redundancy, so that if one machine goes down your site is still available.

    Really, it's way simpler (and cheaper) to go for a professional, third-party hosting solution.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Tailpike1153

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    no cars, only boats
    #13
    This is probably sensible advice, also considering feedback from others on costs.

    However, using mac osx server as an "in-house development" webserver is great.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    JoshBoy

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #14
    I hate this arrogant response with a passion. I have asked the same question getting this response before and it displays to me how much people have their head up their own ar$&.

    I am considering running lion server on my iMac because I now live on an island and I only get 4gig of download per month and need to manage my updates and need to know if I can download through server and push the updates out.
     
  15. macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #15
    Lion Server is defeatured and more approachable. I now no longer recommend against buying the server OS if you are not sure you need it.

    Updates/patches can always be downloaded from Apple separate from the Software Update facility and applied locally to systems. Even though I've got Snow Leopard Server here, I download major updates and install on all my systems to save bandwidth.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #16
    Well, Lion is out, and Server is now a $49 upgrade. So, at least this removes the cost objection.

    Whatever floats your boat.

    But ditto to previous advice: you don't want to run a public web server on your home/office computer. Do it more cheaply, more reliably, and faster with a shared hosting plan (fine for most), VPS, or dedicated server in a datacenter.
     
  17. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #17
    Note that it is an $80 upgrade: $30 for Lion and $50 for Lion Server. You have to buy both to upgrade.

    I was trying to set that up on SLS and it kept downloading updates for versions I didn't have, which wasted more bandwidth than it saved. :/
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #18
    You don't need Lion server.

    All the things that Lion Server "can do", Lion comes out of the box will full support for UNIX programs and programming languages, such as Apache, NGINX, Postfix, Dovecot, Sendmail, MySQL, PHP, Perl etc,

    If you want to setup a home web server with VirtualHost with Apache? Use Terminal to set it up, Google tutorials, once you learn how todo it you realise how easy it is. (OSX comes with Apache, but you could replace it with any other web server thats compatible)

    Your OS X has server technologies already built in, all OS X Server is a GUI fronted of them, why not take advantage of them if you've already got them, and do it like a pro.

    It isn't Windows where you have to pay to get a web server, namely a crap one (IIS)
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #19
    ...and that has the added advantage that it might actually work, unlike the VirtualHost setup in Lion Server.

    Seriously though, if the original poster is still around: Pay a couple of hundred bucks a year for a Linux-based Virtual Private Server from a web hosting provider. Your website will benefit from fast connections, you'll get your own domain name, you can set it up as a mail server/spam filter/mailing list server and most of them come with a pretty good control panel that goes a lot further than Lion Server before dumping you at the Unix command line.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    DisMyMac

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    #20
    Based on how the internet is structured, I believe there's a conspiracy to keep web servers accessible to federal spy agencies. For that reason alone I don't think we'll ever see home web servers.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #21
    Nonsense. If you shop around a bit its easy to find an ISP that offers a static IP address and permits you to run servers. There are even dynamic dns services that let you run severs without a static IP. Enable web sharing on your Mac (you don't even need server) set up your router to forward ports 80 and 443 to your Mac and you are in business.

    The problem is that most home users use ADSL connections for which the upload speed is a fraction of the download speed. They also rely on "sharing" limited bandwidth between multiple customers. That is perfect for web browsing and email, but not good for server use (and if too many people download from your site, everybody on your circuit will get lousy speeds), which is why some ISPs prohibit this.

    So if you want to do any serious home serving you either (a) need to pay for a business grade DSL connection or (b) use a co-located server or virtual private server sitting in a nice server farm with a top-tier internet link.

    For the majority of small fry, (b) is the sensible option.
     
  22. macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #22
    The relative pricing and support issues are such that (b) is the sensible option for small and even medium sized businesses as well.
     

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