Mac Os X as public web server?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Superspeed500, Sep 20, 2015.

?

Have you used Os X Server for public websites?

  1. Yes, It work's well.

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  2. Yes, It work's bad.

    2 vote(s)
    11.1%
  3. No, I use a Linux system

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  4. No, I use a diffrent OS

    2 vote(s)
    11.1%
  1. Superspeed500 macrumors regular

    Superspeed500

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    #1
    Anyone knows how well Mac Os X server works for web servers open to the Internet? The biggest issues with Os X server as I see it:
    • GUI Overhead. Lot's of software that can contain bugs and less resoures for the web server.
    • Slow security updates.
    The good things is easy managment and a neat interface to configure it.

    Anyone have any experience regarding this, when using static HTML?
     
  2. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #2
    Perfectly good AFAIK - you end up using the same Apache2 server as Linux anyway and all the other usual suspects (PHP, Ruby, MySQL, node.js) are available. However, I'd only choose a Mac for server duties if I already had the Mac or needed the commercial iDevice management features in OS X server. You're paying a huge premium for the OS X GUI, and OS X Server is hardly a killer feature for web hosting: it makes the very basics of configuring web services nice and easy, but for anything more advanced you have to get into editing apache config files anyway, at which point you might as well be running Linux or FreeBSD.

    However, what's your internet connection? Home/small business ISP packages aren't ideal for running servers - some ISPs actually prohibit running public servers, others make it difficult by not giving you a fixed IP. ADSL broadband connections are optimised for downloads and have pretty slow upload speeds (which is the speed visitors to your site will get). You'll need to leave your computer running and your connection up 24/7 and if you do create a successful site it will slow down your connection for everything else.

    For anything other than experimentation I'd recommend using shared web hosting or getting a virtual private server - it will cost money, but so would getting a suitable, high-bandwidth internet connection! Usually these run Linux and offer a web-based front end such as Plesk or Cpanel for configuration: not as slick as OS X but fairly easy and more capable than the OSX Server GUI. There are companies that will lease you a Mac Mini hooked up to a decent Internet connection if you must.
     
  3. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #3
    I haven't put one on the public internet however, I'd suggest there are pros and cons to the idea:

    Pros: OS X is not a popular web server platform, so there is a good chance that any exploits for Linux, FreeBSD or Windows web services will not affect your Mac. The number of worms and other hacks that will impact the box is likely to be smaller. Yes it is still running Apache, but Linux shell exploit code probably won't work on an OS X host.

    Cons: OS X machines are not cheap web servers. You could do the same job with something much cheaper, smaller, etc.

    Serving static HTML, so long as your machine isn't crippled with unreasonably low RAM then anything more recent than a Pentium 2 is plenty unless you're getting a huge number of hits.


    edit:
    as above if you're trying to run a website out of your house then you'll quickly discover that ADSL sucks unless you're lucky enough to have something else.
     
  4. Superspeed500 thread starter macrumors regular

    Superspeed500

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    #4
    Thanks for reply :) I know that some home fiber providers in my country allow hosting of one website for personal use if you pay about 10€ extra per month for a static IP. Leaving a computer on 24/7 is not a problem. The biggest problems I will face with self-hosting will probably be bandwidth and security. 100/100 Mbits connections are available in my country.

    Edit: My current connection is 40/40 (I do sometimes get 40/60 for some odd reason)
     
  5. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #5
    One other thing...

    If you're thinking about hosting it off your Mac desktop - as a precaution i'd suggest putting a web server in a Linux VM or something as an additional layer of protection for your Mac. if the VM gets owned your machine is OK.

    Yes, more overhead, etc. but for a small website it shouldn't be a real problem, and having the public facing server 'contained' within a VM will contain the risks associated with it.
     
  6. Superspeed500 thread starter macrumors regular

    Superspeed500

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    #6
    I have no plans of hosting from a Mac used for other things than server related tasks :) Same plans if I decide to choose a diffrent system.
     
  7. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #7
    You should be able to get a web hosting service, with better bandwidth and a domain name thrown in, for that.

    Don't be put off trying to run a web server from home as an experiment/learning exercise or something that you are going to use for remote access, but its not a sensible way to run a public website.
     
  8. Superspeed500 thread starter macrumors regular

    Superspeed500

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    #8
    I know that it's cheaper, better and much simpler to use a webhotel. I have a site in a webhotel already, and that works fine, but I want more controll over both the hardware and software.
     
  9. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #9
    What sort of control over the hardware and software? You're talking about 'Static HTML' which is hardly demanding of hardware or software - and if you end up going viral your home broadband bandwidth will cause a problem before your hardware does.

    You can get full control over software if you go for a Virtual Private Server - i.e. you get a virtual machine with "root" access.
     
  10. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #10
    Just on virtualisation - i wouldn't rule it out for another reason - snapshots.

    About to embark on an OS upgrade or web server upgrade?

    Snapshot VM. Try upgrade. It all goes pear-shaped and stuff breaks? Roll back to snapshot....

    VMs rock that way.
     
  11. Superspeed500 thread starter macrumors regular

    Superspeed500

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    #11
    Thanks for the tip. Never thought about that.
     
  12. ocabj macrumors 6502a

    ocabj

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    #12
    Go with a Virtual Private Server. I use Linode. Digital Ocean is another popular VPS service.

    You have full control over the OS since you're the one installing and configuring it.
     
  13. bearda macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    Germantown, MD
    #13
    I'd say look at something like AWS. Extremely cheap for low-bandwidth sites (with their smallest instances available for free for a period of time) and you still have full control over the underlying OS and software stack.
     
  14. agazoo macrumors regular

    agazoo

    Joined:
    May 15, 2015
    #14
    I am running Web Based Hotel Management System on old Proliant Gen 4, xeon x 4. It is fairly complex with heavy database, linked to the restaurant POS e.t.c.

    I tried, on one occasion, to run this as a backup on my 5.1, 12 core with maxed Ram.

    Database performance was terrible. Full page output was over 6 secs, where Linux on Proliant did just about under 1 sec. I tried some optimisation, but couldn't get it to run any faster. Utilisation of CPU was low as well. I eventually gave up, and got another Proliant.

    Seems lots of OS X specific tweaking to software is needed to run well.
     
  15. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #15
    I use a Mini Server running Drupal v 7.x for a personal "play" site and it's bullet-proof. Been running continuously for about 6 years without issue.
    I like watching the attempts from all over the globe trying to compromise it. Why they try to on my little site is beyond me.
    This is just for my own curiosity and it's a bit of a hobby. For most uses there are enough free sites with excellent service to handle your web site.
     
  16. dan1eln1el5en macrumors 6502

    dan1eln1el5en

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #16
    I've ran a fairly popular site in Germany on a Mac Mini, it worked very well.
    but it was a bit too bloated compared a nice lean Linux server with only things installed that is needed.

    My current servers are all Debian.
     

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