Mac OS Server will no longer be a ... server?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Mork, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. Mork macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #1
    Apparently, with a forthcoming 2018 update, Apple no longer wants me to be able to use my MacOS Server as ... a server? DNS: deprecated, for example. What?!!!

    https://9to5mac.com/2018/01/24/major-changes-macos-server/

    Unclear why this seismic shift, but clearly I need to move away from MacOS Server since "deprecated" will most assuredly at some point mean "removed".

    Am I misunderstanding this disturbing shift for MacOS Server?

    Thanks,
     
  2. AlumaMac macrumors regular

    AlumaMac

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    #2
    Apple has been telegraphing their dis-interest in MacOS Server for many years now. This just confirms it.

    According to the article they are shifting Servers focus towards "management" services. Not sure why you would still have a product called 'Server' that is really a focused management tool, but that sums up the Apple of today. Not to mention the organizations that would actually need device management probably are already invested in more extensive enterprise management systems but we'll have to see what they are up to.

    I guess you'll have to either 1) build a linux box or 2) purchase a 3rd party all-in-one solution or 3) farm most of it out to the cloud.
     
  3. thisismyusername macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    #3
    To be fair, it's been clear for years that Apple has no interest in the server market. These days, you're much better off just building a cheap linux or freebsd box.
     
  4. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #4
    OK, I was mainly trying to make sure I wasn't missing anything. But, these crazy head-scratching shifts are the same kinds of things that made me leave Windows. I love my Mac, but Apple is constantly testing my resilience. :(

    With OS Server, it was easy to configure with the Airport Extreme router (which of course Apple doesn't care about anymore, either). Plus, setting up DNS and associated was clear and easy. Not sure I could do all that, or have time for all that, with a Linux box and the perils of Apache (as one example).

    I hear good things about Raspberry Pi, so maybe that's something to consider. Perhaps there are step by step tutorials for setting up a Linux server (with DNS, ....) online.

    Anyone recommend Raspberry PI?

    Thanks for all the great replies.
     
  5. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Location:
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    #5
    The Pi runs Linux so it is not gaining you anything. These services aren’t that difficult these days.
     
  6. Geeky Chimp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    #7
    The deprecation list for macOS Server 5.4 (High Sierra) isn't looking so bad now (iOS File Sharing and FTP). At least they moved the other features directly into macOS (File Sharing, Time Machine, Caching).
    We moved to Mac and Mac Servers several years ago and we don't want to go back to Windows.
    Luckily we have already started building a replacement to macOS Server by using the many open source projects that Apple integrated into macOS Server and building our own Interface.
    But seriously, this is the new Apple - lets destroy anything and everything. Even the new iPhone 'iPhone X' is a joke.
    Come back proper Apple!
     
  7. 2ilent8cho macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2016
    #8
    So does this mean Profile Manager might actually be usable large scale in the future if Apple are moving features to focus on device managment? We use to use it for managing 100's of iPads but when we had issues we complained to Apple and they asked us why are we using their own product as its not really fit for anything more than testing or proof of concept.

    If it became reliable i would go back to it since you dont have to per device every year to manage it.
     
  8. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #9
    Deprecated ... "today, means removed..."tomorrow".

    I still don't see how I could set up a server with the new MacOS "Server".

    Now, because I can't be sure that Apple will pull some unwanted move like with MacOS, I am holding off buying a new Mac too.

    Nice job, Apple.
     
  9. AlumaMac macrumors regular

    AlumaMac

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    #10
    Who the heck knows....even if they released a polished product can you really trust they would support it in the long run??
     
  10. Geeky Chimp macrumors regular

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    Jun 3, 2015
    #11
    Yes, pretty much. I can’t see macOS Server existing in macOS 10.14 , except this new Profile Manager only version.

    That’s why we’ve chosen the route we have of building something ourselves using the open source projects Apple does. That’s pretty much the Linux way but on macOS rather than Linux.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 26, 2018 ---
    Let’s face it, based on the past year with macOS Server even this Profile Manager only version of Server is going to be deprecated soon.
     
  11. dimme macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #12
    My server pretty much runs file sharing, caching, and vpn. Everything else is 3 party tools and apps. And with file sharing and caching mover to the os level that just leaves com. I will probably just move the VPN to a 3rd party tool and run regular OS X. For me thie changes Apple is making is no big deal.
     
  12. DJLC macrumors 6502a

    DJLC

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #13
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: macOS Server is totally unreliable. They're removing services that I've found, many times, don't work as advertised anyway. Good riddance. They should kill Profile Manager while they're at it, cuz that's total garbage too.

    The ONLY thing I'll be missing is NetInstall, so I'll have to work on getting an alternative up and running on our Windows or Linux servers. Once that's taken care of, I just have to offload printer sharing to something else, and our Xserve can end its 9 year run in production.

    Tl;dr: I hope the door doesn't hit macOS Server on its way out, cuz I don't want ass prints on my door!
     
  13. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #14
    I would ditch printer sharing for direct IP if possible.
     
  14. DJLC macrumors 6502a

    DJLC

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #15
    I'd love to, but we're also using PaperCut to track printing.... so all my print jobs have to be funneled to the PaperCut server, then sent back out to my copiers / printers. We put PaperCut on the Xserve b/c with Bonjour printer sharing, users can easily install the printers themselves + I can default them to black and white duplex printing. If I do Windows sharing, it's harder for users on Mac to add them + I had trouble figuring out how to push those defaults through MDM. Buuuuuut now I'll have to figure that out... :/
     
  15. AlumaMac macrumors regular

    AlumaMac

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    #16
    Bummer to hear. The Xserve installs I used to manage were trouble-free.
     
  16. Geeky Chimp macrumors regular

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    Jun 3, 2015
    #17
    Our OS X Server / macOS Server installs have been very stable, and led to very few Support issues, Profile Manager included.
     
  17. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 9, 2009
    #18
    I just got a Raspberry Pi and I'm relatively certain I can get it working with DDNS and my Java web services and just replace my Mac OS Server dependency.

    If anything like this crazy Mac OS Server move happens with the Mac OS itself, I guess it's off to Linux, too, for everything else....getting tired of Apple's unpredictability.
     
  18. DJLC macrumors 6502a

    DJLC

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #19
    The Xserve itself has been trouble-free! One of the SAS drives died just before Apple stopped providing parts, so we were able to get an OEM replacement. Not a single hardware issue since. Starting in 10.7 Server though, things started getting trashy on the software side. Open Directory completely deleted itself a few times, DHCP / DNS were unreliable, services would go up and down with little warning, etc. At this point, we've transitioned to Active Directory on Windows, DNS on Windows, DHCP on Linux, and all of those services are rock-solid. The Xserve is running 10.10 with Server 4 — all it does now is print, caching, Netboot w/ DeployStudio, and a Munki repository using Apache. FWIW, 90%+ of our users are on MacBooks — I'm pushing macOS out of my server closet, and I'm pushing Windows away from my users.

    Count yourself lucky. Profile Manager is the steamiest pile of crap I've ever encountered — issues pushing profiles out, issues updating profiles, buggy web interface, etc. It once decided to delete restrictions from over 300 student iPads. We moved to Mosyle Manager, a cloud-based MDM geared specifically to education, on the advice of an Apple Edu rep.
     
  19. Marshall73 macrumors 65816

    Marshall73

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2015
    #20
    I kinda guessed this would happen at some stage so I bought a copy of Windows Server 2016 for my home network. I have migrated all services over to it now and will wipe the Mac mini and repurpose it as a desktop.
     
  20. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

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    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX USA
    #21
    I'll plug Kerio firewall appliances as a decent replacement. OD friendly, DNS, DHCP, VPN, anti virus, everything you need. Mac Mini provides the directory, caching, & some type of netboot.

    Pretty efficient setup that "just works". Been years since OD has suddenly deleted itself -LOL - but I still back them suckers up weekly.
     
  21. guzhogi macrumors 68030

    guzhogi

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    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Wherever my feet take me…
    #22
    According to the release notes of Server 5.6 on the developer portal, it looks like OD is on the way out in the fall as well.
     
  22. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #23
    That’s OK for a PoC, but you really want a proper server for production use. However, if you learn the ropes on the RPi, you can pretty much apply that knowledge onto any Linux or BSD based server operating system regardless of the underlying platform.
     
  23. AxiomaticRubric macrumors 6502

    AxiomaticRubric

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    Sep 24, 2010
    Location:
    On Mars, Praising the Omnissiah
    #24
    What I don't understand: With Apple's massive cash reserves, they can't keep third party open source server apps up to date in their operating system?

    Ffs, all they have to do is maintain a macOS friendly wrapper around these apps (a.k.a. macOS Server). I don't see how that could be a huge drain on engineering talent. Hell they could have kept this going with their own developers and engineers on a volunteer basis.
     
  24. Mikael H macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #25
    I understand the concept, though: Back in the day, you'd port a server to a platform and you'd feel good about yourself until the next major release of the software; bugs and security issues be damned. Today people expect a recent version, at the very least quick back-porting of security fixes, and so on, and that's before you get to the wrapping layer that hopefully makes it all feel as though you're managing an Apple product rather than a usually pretty complex entanglement of various software.

    Medium business and up will already have Linux or Windows competence enough to run all of these services in their native environments, so Apple is really only "losing" small businesses and home users here, and those were paying peanuts for a growing amount of responsibility on Apple's part.
     

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34 January 25, 2018