macOS or SUSE based server?

Replacement for OS X Server

  • macOS "Homebrew"

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • Linux - SUSE

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Linux - Red Hat / CentOS

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Linux - Ubuntu

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • Linux - Other

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • Waiting for a developer to create a new feature filled macOS based Server App

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    7
  • Poll closed .

Geeky Chimp

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 3, 2015
130
59
My team and I are currently in the process of installing and configuring a significant change to our organisations server infrastructure, and I would appreciate the feedback and views of others here in addition to our internal knowledge.

A bit of history: I previously worked for an Apple Consultancy and we had a full Apple network, with OS X Server, and it all worked perfectly. And now Apple only provide macOS Server App Mojave (or "Just Profile Manager and Open Directory" as it should be called).

Briefly, our current setup is:
Replicating Sierra File Servers, running DNS and Open Directory, and one running Profile Manager.
Sierra Web Servers running several Wordpress websites
Sierra Servers running Filemaker
Sierra Servers running Mail

Backups are performed via Carbon Copy Cloner (with SafetyNet) and we have used the very handy bootable backup feature before.

Now, for the questions...
1. Does anyone run a Homebrew style server, based on macOS ?
2. Has anyone migrated File Shares across to SUSE from macOS using macOS clients? How is that working?
3. Is there a comparable backup solution for Linux like CCC, or any recommendations?
4. Thoughts and feedback welcome
 

Flint Ironstag

macrumors 65816
Dec 1, 2013
1,005
542
Houston, TX USA
Sounds like MacOS server still meets your needs. I have many offices just using MacOS directory services and file sharing plus CCC for backups. It's bulletproof if your needs fall within its limited scope. I haven't had to use Apple's recommended 3rd party apps for deprecated services yet.

There are a handful of clients connecting with Ubuntu & FreeBSD - haven't had a single issue once configured (running for several years now). I wouldn't expect issues going the opposite direction either.

Background: longtime Mac consultant.
 
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hobowankenobi

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2015
984
266
on the land line mr. smith.
Replaced our MacOS Servers with Synology boxes, have not looked back. File sharing (AFP, SMB, SFTP HTTP), backup destination, and some pretty slick file syncing, all running well. Redundant hardware, nice RAID options....a long list of advantages both in hardware and software. Plus options to run lots of services, backup tools, and even VMs, fail over servers, 10G NIC options,...the list goes on.

The only real hold out service that requires a Mac is Profile Manager. That may be hard to replace, unless you go to commercial product.

Oh, and not using directory services on the NAS (already covered with AD boxes), but I see they have options worth checking out.

Might check out QNAP options too.
 
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Mikael H

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2014
649
281
I'm partial to custom Linux-based servers, but then again I don't mind spending some time getting things "just right". As for SuSE vs others, I'd go for the distribution with which you're most comfortable. Ubuntu has large and pretty current software libraries, but it does happen (very rarely!) that things break during updates. I've not had that happen with CentOS, but there you're on the other hand pretty much on your own if you want recent software versions.

If you lack a person with that orientation on your team, @hobowankenobi is right in that you'll save a lot of initial setup time if you go with Synology boxes. Just make sure you get drives that are on their compatibility list. DAMHIK.
 
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DJLC

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2005
761
144
North Carolina
I'd highly advise moving to either Linux, Synology, or a cloud-based solution. Seems to me you could do most of this with Google Suite and a cheap Dreamhost account — and you'd no longer need to fiddle with supporting hardware on premise.
 

Geeky Chimp

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 3, 2015
130
59
Sounds like MacOS server still meets your needs. I have many offices just using MacOS directory services and file sharing plus CCC for backups. It's bulletproof if your needs fall within its limited scope. I haven't had to use Apple's recommended 3rd party apps for deprecated services yet.
Great to know others are still doing the same! I think we have decided to stick with macOS for File Sharing, Open Directory and Profile Manager. Also for hosting our Filemaker servers.
[doublepost=1555062634][/doublepost]
Replaced our MacOS Servers with Synology boxes, have not looked back. File sharing (AFP, SMB, SFTP HTTP), backup destination, and some pretty slick file syncing, all running well. Redundant hardware, nice RAID options....a long list of advantages both in hardware and software. Plus options to run lots of services, backup tools, and even VMs, fail over servers, 10G NIC options,...the list goes on.
Several of us have had bad experiences with Synology in the past so once bitten twice shy. Great to know other people are going down this route problem free so we may have to take another look.
[doublepost=1555062840][/doublepost]
I'm partial to custom Linux-based servers, but then again I don't mind spending some time getting things "just right". As for SuSE vs others, I'd go for the distribution with which you're most comfortable. Ubuntu has large and pretty current software libraries, but it does happen (very rarely!) that things break during updates. I've not had that happen with CentOS, but there you're on the other hand pretty much on your own if you want recent software versions.
For the Mail and Web servers we are going to look at SUSE as we are familiar with SUSE and haven't really used Ubuntu or Debian based Linux distros. Any insights you have about backing up a Linux box other than tar would be great as we are used to Carbon Copy Cloner that creates full bootable backups, without taking the server offline (eg Clonezilla), and with a file history (even if it is not the easiest to navigate).
[doublepost=1555063186][/doublepost]
I'd highly advise moving to either Linux, Synology, or a cloud-based solution. Seems to me you could do most of this with Google Suite and a cheap Dreamhost account — and you'd no longer need to fiddle with supporting hardware on premise.
Thank you for the suggestions. We've ruled Cloud options out because we process private and confidential information which entails legitimate legal/privacy reasons which prevent this.
We have a number of Mac minis spread around the globe as web servers so not sure Dreamhost would suffice, but I appreciate your time in replying.

(I maybe should have added both of these to the first post)
 
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Mikael H

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2014
649
281
Any insights you have about backing up a Linux box other than tar would be great as we are used to Carbon Copy Cloner that creates full bootable backups, without taking the server offline (eg Clonezilla), and with a file history (even if it is not the easiest to navigate).
We’re almost exclusively running virtual servers, so we use Veeam’s suite of backup and monitoring tools. That works really great for us.

With bare metal installs, I’d look at their Agent for Linux; otherwise I must confess I only know what not to run: I never got Backup Exec to work reliably no matter if I used tape or disk storage backend. That, on the other hand, I’ve only used with Windows.