Server app vs. MS Office 365

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by cavi, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. cavi macrumors regular

    cavi

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    Haifa, Israel
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I would like to hear your thoughts about a the the Server app vs. Office 365 suite.
    I own Mac mini which runs Server app. for now, the main use is as mail server and file sharing server (I'm the only user at the moment, so the "file sharing" is for me only now.
    since I bought Office 365 subscription (although I tried hard, I didn't managed to get alond with the iWork suite due to lack of basic capabilities) I wonder to make the whole transaction to the cloud.
    Office 365 for business allow me, for 12.5US$ to have (a) 50GB mail client, (b) MS Office suite, and (c) 1TB of cloud storage. if we put a side the fact that Server gives me the ability to crate as much users / mail addresses/ s and add as much storage that I want, there is any reason to keep the server and not use MS suite?
    I'll be happy if you'll share your thought about this issue. moreover, if there any details that you think that I should take in consideration when making my decision (such as privacy issues, security etc') I will be happy if you'll share them with me.

    Thanks =]
     
  2. Geeky Chimp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    #2
    So we use macOS Server (or OS X Server) as our Server Platform. We migrated away from Windows, Exchange etc a while ago and are pleased to say all is working great for us. We have migrated our Client machines too and haven't looked back. We have Remote Access via VPN so we can access all of our File Shares etc. We host our Mail, Calendars, Contacts etc. We also use several of the other features like Profile Manager, Caching etc. It does mean we have to manage our own servers but that isn't an issue for us.
     
  3. DJLC macrumors 6502a

    DJLC

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    Mooresville, NC
    #3
    IMO, cloud-based is always better than locally-hosted these days. More space, more scalability, and you don't have to worry about administering and securing on your own.

    At work we use Google Apps (now GSuite) for most everything. I do still maintain an Active Directory server for centralized authentication and directory info. Ie., our web filter leans on AD for logins, our copiers/scanners talk to AD to pull employee emails and fax numbers so it's easy to send documents, etc. It does have one share running, but that's just a bunch of legacy files.
     
  4. cavi thread starter macrumors regular

    cavi

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    Haifa, Israel
    #4
    I'm not talking about MS windows server, but on the Office 365 for business which is giving me all the features I need (plus MS Office which I purchase recently after I got tired from iWork and its lack of development...).

    I don't think on using Google apps. I don't trust them with my private files (privacy is one of the issues which are preventing me from switch no to 365 solution -- I'm not confidant enough with MS)
     
  5. Mikael H macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    #5
    Cloud = Someone else's computer. As long as you're OK with that, you have a number of benefits and some drawbacks using cloud services compared to running your own services. Of course remember that you can always combine the two; run some services locally and some with your cloud provider. TCO versus convenience is a calculation you'll have to do for yourself.

    Microsoft probably have less to win by snooping on your stuff than what Google have, but both corporate solutions should be reasonably safe unless you're the tin foil hat kind of person.
     
  6. DJLC macrumors 6502a

    DJLC

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    Mooresville, NC
    #6
    Although I agree on the surface that it may be a concern, Google Apps / G Suite meets all privacy requirements set by the US and the EU, including protected educational and healthcare data. They'll allow you to sign agreements with them as required by both HIPPA in the US and whatever the EU regulations are called.

    So I feel adequately private and safe in Google given that we've signed agreements. I've recommended it for use at both a school and a medical office that I work for.
     
  7. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #7
    Google Apps for work has completely different terms of service when compared to the free product. The terms explicitly guarantee data privacy, no marketing, and destruction of data when you close your account.
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #8
    Both Microsoft and Google solutions are going to be the better bet in the long haul. OS X Server is a fantastic platform, but it seems as though your needs are more than satisfied with going with a cloud based platform, which gives more reliability and ease of use as well as affordability in this case.
     
  9. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    #9
    I admin both a G-Suite (ex Google Apps) domain, and an Office 365 domain. Each has it's advantages, but I have to say MS did a really good job with 365, including the desktop Office apps in the subscription is a steal as well, especially when each seat of that can be installed on up to 5 pc/macs. The one thing that impressed me with 365 when setting it up was the support. I've only had to call support twice, and each time I have gotten a knowledgeable, friendly, easy to understand human being on the line with minimal effort. I had done hosted Exchange through another provider before and the support was pretty awful. My biggest gripe with Google is the support. You don't need it often, but when you do it can be challenging. The first tier of support is basically user-level help desk. Every problem I've had that I wasn't able to fix myself had to be referred to the next level of support which requires a call back on their schedule, which is frustrating.
     
  10. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #10
    Office 365 hosted-email-only is $4/month per user, so you're paying $8.50 more for the extra stuff (and twice as much email storage). Just stating this for reference.
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #11
    I fully agree... I have had to deal with Google in the education sector for a while now, and it is always an issue of calling codes and it is nearly impossible to talk to serious support.
     
  12. Primus84 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I'm going to disagree, I deal with Google in the education sector in the UK and their support has always been fab.
     
  13. mlody macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Windy City
    #13
    What you are asking here is what is better Honda Civic or BMW 7-series.? You should not even compare the two to each other as the two offerings are several leagues apart. Apple Server software is underdeveloped and pretty much abandon at this point compared to Microsoft Office 365 that is constantly being developed and improved etc. Look at the reviews of Server on AppStore. I would be in a constant fear to use and upgrade this software as pretty much every single time there is an upgrade, Apple manages to break something. This is not something you would want to use in the production business environment unless someone puts a gun to your head and forces you to do so.
     
  14. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #14
    Perhaps I am being a bit biased, as the last experience was a bit bitter. What had happened was that one of our users had violated the terms of use in some fashion, and Google detected this. The entire domain was locked as a result on Google's end, so we could not email support. When you try to request the code to contact them, it is sent to the email that you are locked out of. Eventually, by calling different departments and being transferred, we were able to get the domain issue resolved.

    The only times prior to that were email contact with Google. I have no issues with using email to contact support, but there are issues that are best resolved right away over the phone. The one benefit of Microsoft is that they give a number where you can get in contact with a support person right away, rather than having to wait for a email back. Google has great support, but their avenues of offering support do need a bit of work.

    Furthermore, I believe that they are leagues apart by target audience and design. Apple is targeting a user with a need for a centralized onsite server, in a predominantly Apple environment. They also are targeting the home server market, which is significantly diminishing as cloud options and NAS's improve. The Apple $20.00 one time license is a stark comparison to the monthly subscription of Office 365 as well as yesteryear's home server options from Microsoft.

    We run OS X Server at the school where I lead the I.T. and it is a joy to use. That being said, we are predominantly based on Google's services, so our server merely offers file sharing, printer sharing, network management and analysis, as well as a few other simple services. For the price, it does what we ask and it does it well and reliably. That being said, they are leagues apart by design and target audience rather than by poor development.
     
  15. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    #15
    In my experience with Google, the first tier of support is good for the basics. Not so much for in depth troubleshooting. I have had to deal with a very similar issue on both, basically concerning mail delivery and why some inbound messages relayed from a specific SMTP server were being rejected despite rules setup to allow them. It took 4 phone calls, two escallations and 48 hours for Google to get to the bottom of the problem. 365 I was on the phone for 4.5 solid hours, but it was with the same tech the entire time, who had access to everything and everyone we needed to resolve the problem.

    Granted the problems I dealt with 365 on was slightly less involved, but the difference is that, in my experience: Google will make you wait while they pass the problem up the chain and get you off the phone. MS will stick with you through the entire ride as much as possible and feels like you have someone working with you. Kinda like they understand what it is like to have a boss breathing down your neck.

    macOS Server is worthwhile for three things in my opinion: A VPN server that is super simple to configure and relatively secure, Caching Server and Time Machine server. Everything else you can find more capable and just as if not more reliable in the cloud.

    I'd love to see Apple offer a standalone of caching server that could be dropped on a headless Linux box or run as a virtual appliance and not need all the overhead of the full OS.
     
  16. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #16
    As good as it would be to see Apple sell specific services out of OS X Server, I doubt it would ever happen simply because the whole mentality behind the product is that $20.00 gets you all of these capabilities. Furthermore, like you stated, the cloud market is dominating so from a business perspective it probably would not make much sense to develop that, though we would both love to see that.
     
  17. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    #17
    iCloud Pro with on site caching server capabilities and MDM baked in? Yes please.
     
  18. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #18
    No, you login to http://admin.google.com/yourdomain.com and generate a support code. This dies not require email and is instantaneous.

    I've had very good experiences with Google support.
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #19
    If your domain is locked, using the email under your domain is going to greet you with the same message as trying any other Google service.
     

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