Apple all but kills macOS Server

“Apple appears to have all but killed macOS Server by deprecating most of what distinguishes it from a desktop OS,” Richard Chirgwin reports for The Register.

“The company slipped out news of the software’s demise in a nondescript forum post that details how Cupertino plans to stop supporting DHCP, DNS, mail, messages, NetInstall, VPN, the Web server, the Wiki, as well as calendar and contact support,” Chirgwin reports. “‘A number of services will be deprecated, and will be hidden on new installations of an update to macOS Server coming in spring 2018,’ the statement said, and ‘These deprecated services will be removed in a future release of macOS Server, so those depending on them should consider alternatives, including hosted services.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Unsurprising. The writing on this wall has been there for quite some time.

SEE ALSO:
Apple Mac servers: Why they still makes sense – March 23, 2015
A power user’s guide to OS X Server, Mavericks edition – December 10, 2013
OS X 10.9 Mavericks Server: Big changes for developers – November 1, 2013
Steve Jobs on Xserve cancellation: ‘Hardly anybody was buying them’ – November 08, 2010
Apple offers new $2999 Mac Pro Server to replace Xserve – November 05, 2010
Apple discontinues Xserve as of January 31; will continue to fully support existing units – November 05, 2010

34 Comments

    1. As of OS X (macOS) 10.5 Leopard, there were complaints coming out of Apple, albeit unofficially, that Mac OS X Server had begun to decline in quality. Those of us working in the field agreed. As of 10.7 Lion, it was clear that Apple was debating its future, with Server being both vastly simplified into a mere add-on and its price drastically dropped.

      I personally gave up on Server as of 10.9 Mavericks. Apple’s attempts to keep it ‘professional’ software were faltering. Apple’s concurrent attempt to make a dent into the Enterprise niche were again failing, its server hardware was on the chopping block. Awful Microsoft continued, detrimentally, to rule the Enterprise. Woe on us all.

      Now Server continues to shrink (NOT ‘killed’) into fewer, more bare bones services.

      At the moment there is an extremely active debate about this situation going on at the MacEnterprise list (@lists.psu.edu) with the number of posts headed past 100. Those who work with Mac servers are either:
      A) In a panic
      OR
      B) Resigned to Server eventually being ‘killed’
      OR
      C) Recognizing why Apple is killing off the specific service published in their list.

      If you’d like to read Apple’s announcement regarding services to be ‘hidden’ and eventually ‘removed’, check this out:

      https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208312

      Note that this list does NOT NOT NOT equate to Server being ‘killed’. But it certainly points toward Apple again lowering its support for Server. Some of the services have been moved into standard macOS, such as Caching Server. XCode Server has been moved into XCode. Some of the deprecated services are rarely used. Some are easily available elsewhere for Mac. Some others have lost Apple’s interest, apparently.

      Meanwhile, Server still provides a lot of core services useful to at least most small businesses. They include:
      – Apache
      – PHP, Perl, Ruby, Rails, PostgreSQL
      – OpenSSL
      – Python
      – WebDAV
      – OpenLDAP
      – Profile Server
      – Xsan
      – Aspects of NetInstall
      – VPP (Volume Purchase Plan)
      – DEP (Device Enrollment Program)
      – macOS Setup Assistant
      … And a several server management odds and ends.

      For further detail, compare the technical specifications list for Server at Wikipedia and compare it to the Apple list of deprecating services. You’ll find that macOS Server lives on albeit with several fewer services.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacOS_Server

      1. Chromebooks with software like Citrix are being promoted to Enterprises as safe alternatives for travelling workers. Burning a bridge by removing the future of having multiple virtual sessions on a Mac server may be shortsighted.

        1. Really? Chromebooks as ‘safe’? The Internet is the PRIME source of malware, hacking, social engineering, fraud, cyberwarfare…. Google really has become a Marketing-As-Management hell hole (my interpretation), as espoused last week by one of its departing engineers.

          IOW: I laugh at the thought.

          As for losing multiple virtual sessions on Mac Server, I missed that bit of degradation. I’ll look into what’s going on.

          I can certainly testify that the Mac Enterprise community is incredibly DISpleased with Apple’s consistent whittling down of Mac Server. Summarizing what I’ve said previously: Apple has never done Enterprise right. The Mac Server community is demoralized. But then I believe Apple itself has been consistently demoralized by the larger Enterprise as a whole. That Microsoft rules the Enterprise is the sick result. It’s a sad story all around IMHO. And I have a brother who runs the Enterprise software at a large business. It’s always a great subject about which he and I butt horns.

          1. I will agree that outside of being used as a remote terminal, which is the entire point of Citrix being the partner when Chromebooks are being promoted as safe alternatives, the security risks otherwise are not much different from using Chrome to access websites on any other platform.

            1. I suffer from ignorance about Citrix, which is why I avoided the subject. Another topic for me to look up. I very much appreciate you insights and intelligence. Coffee’s on me when you have the time.

  1. Too bad really I had enjoyed their first foray into the server business when surprisingly System X at Virginia Tech turned out to be a supercomputer.

    Once again MDN is charging the headline from the original article’s “Apple whispers farewell to MacOS server” to “Apple all but kills macOS Server”. Perhaps they are to compensate for something, a fear of peace perhaps or reflect something patriotic, after all they are the kill kill kill war mongering nation of this century. Whatever the reason, it’s getting pretty obvious that MDN will be continuing to insert violence into their headlines. Good for them, free will, freedom of speech is important though I don’t think they realize that you can attain freedom by removing it from others.

          1. Little Derek I will resist the urge to tell you children should be quiet when adults are speaking and allow this time for a teachable moment.

            See, when you want to say something FIRST you must listen to what has been said or written and try to understand it. This may be a big problem with your view of the realities of the world. You have an idea in your little mind and you refuse to look at facts before opening that childish mouth of yours.

            I will type this extra slow for you so maybe you can read it (unlike you did RW’s post). Mr. Warrior was making a POLITICAL statement wrapped in a technical point (and surrounded by delicious chocolate nougat for your little immature brain to see and ignore everything else….).

            Now as much as I can’t stand his hatred of all things American, at least he has the balls to make his point without fear of people like me calling him out, whereas Little Derek Currie, whose voice is still cracking from immaturity, can’t muster up his little gonads enough to EVER take a real side on ANY issue less he be shamed by those he thinks are “cool” on the Left (because they sound so tough)!

            As far as the Server OS, I have all but given up on Apple doing anything serious anymore. Sad but the future they have made. I have no need for this technology but hate that they threw in the towel on this, routers, desktops (until I see the proof), cutting edge software and a cohesive user environment such as they had up until a few years ago.

            Apple has decided to fling off the PF Flyers of an exciting youth and settle into the Hushpuppy loafers they bought at the Microsoft garage sale.

            Good luck, Derek. You are in for a decade of cranial hurt if you decide to never wake up and see what the Right does right, but then ignorance is bliss to some.

            1. My commentary is more social and cultural but I can see that point.

              I consider your comment about my sentiments towards Apple’s home nation to be very misplaced. I have a great love and appreciation for the free and civilized world, so there is a difference. I find this quite hilarious actually. One the one hand there is a media group putting “kill kill kill” and other violent imagery in their headlines and because I point it out you think the hate comes from me.

              With an attitude like that it’s not surprising that Apple’s home nation hasn’t seen a year of peace in well over a decade.

            2. Spoken like a true politician “correcting” his last statement.

              I have read your comments for years and again your disdain for American culture, including foreign policy (which I don’t agree with maybe 75%, mainly because of State Dept corruption) seethes out of almost every political discussion you butt into or start.

              Go ahead and name the Kill! network. You’re implications are waaaay under informed, biased and childish.

              Go ahead….

            3. Tower Town, Uninformed biased childish implications, sounds a bit like your nation’s rationale for invading Iraq. I guess the difference between my uniformed biased childish implications is that mine don’t result in genocidal numbers of deaths, but yours do.

              That should be a good indication where the hate stems from.

            4. Thank you for the attention. But I have no sense of veracity in anything you say. You lost my respect long ago. Why bother reading what I know is only going to be the usual propagadist vomit from a minimal mind?

              But I will note that ignorance is your forté. I have no respect for you because you’re a hard core purveyor of ignorance, all for the benefit of the incredibly stupid, manipulative disease vectors of my country. The USA is ‘in for a decade of hurt’ specifically because of your sick and destructive ilk.

              And no, I don’t expect you care what I say either. I chatter at you for the benefit of OTHERS to whom I enjoy demonstrating that in this sick era of destructive thinking there ARE people who actually THINK and ACT for the betterment of the future of miracle planet Earth, our only home, and the humans who inhabit it.

              Game player, I can’t even conjure any pity for you. The real world devours you. That seems good and right to me.

            5. You’ll be in a world of butt-ache the next few years as everything you just said will be proved false.

              Yes, you’ll be drowning in a ship of denial telling everyone your idealogical boat is now a submarine, but we will all know the truth.

            6. More reasons for the future to hate you? Surely you know enough psychology to understand that the core problem here is your self-loathing reapplied to the world around you.

              Note to the future: It’s when humans such as the above are given a mouthpiece that we get fecal matter in our ears.

  2. “MacDailyNews Take: Unsurprising. The writing on this wall has been there for quite some time.”

    This also applies to the product base of Apple or what once was, the Mac. Even before the old cheese grater Mac Pro was discontinued, Apple was already ignoring the Mac Pro for years. The four years of trash can Mac is disappointing. Waiting for the new new Mac Pro is worrying considering the iMac Pro with its high cost that is obviously targeted at a very minority niche. This stokes fears the new Mac Pro will be the same – the Mac Mini is another.

    Apple has become a consumer company specializing in phones that builds computers on the side as it chases the competition. Apple’s innovation since Jobs left is dead. Today an online retailer that sells everyone else’s product and a internet search company are who Apple is playing catch up too and doing a poor job of it.

    1. Just wait for the day when someone at Apple says all development for the Mac, iPhone and iPad can be done on a Microsoft PC, lets drop Xcode and all other development software, to save a few dollars.

  3. I just retired two MacMinis both running OSX Server software. I’d run OSX Server since 2007, when it was more than just an application. They served me well, but I don’t recommend them for production websites. They’re just enough different to be aggravating. I run 20+ websites, and have migrated to Ubuntu on linode servers. OSX Server made it easy for novices to get real websites running, along with email. However, in a production environment, they’re too hard to maintain, and the email backend was way too much work to mitigate spam. Also, the servers got hacked, the “old” server was completely compromised – this is not the fault of the OSX, but having a novice put things out there. Also, having 20 WordPress websites on the same server made it really difficult to figure out WHICH site(s) was hacked. I dumped email serving overboard several years ago in favor of Rackspace. I learned a lot about how to do website development, and will have a soft spot for OSX Server, but have moved on to safer pastures.

    1. VERY wise assessment and actions. If others would understand what you have, they’d spend less time ranting about the direction Apple’s headed in. 🙂 And like you said, it’s not like your memories were erased, you’ve just focused your future on reality!

  4. I really doubt it but the upside could be they are looking at re-entering the serious server market and want to get the amateur software off the market.

    Yeah….I’m high.

  5. Maybe I’m just living in the past, but I’m STILL convinced that there is a market for a “it just works” Mac server for small businesses up to about 100 people for a file, print, backup, email, deployment, and light web server. What I mean by a “deployment server” is a few clicks server that that loads all the software an employee needs including a VM for legacy Windows apps including all the licenses. You buy a new Mac, connect it to your network, and WAM! everything you need is loaded, licensed, and updated. What I mean by a light web server is to have a company’s “Brochure” website up with easy deployment, updating and backup. Maybe light web commerce too. I’m convinced the average small business owner that doesn’t want to hire an I.T. person or spend on day to day 3rd party I.T. support so a “it just works” server could be valuable. I did ALL of this (except web services and our “email” was using mcimail) back in 1996-1997 with a 486 netware server- basically when we bought new machines, we connected them to the network and everything was loaded- sometimes it took 4 hours but the loading scripts ran by themselves. I learned to accept new machine deliveries in the late afternoon so the scripts could run overnight.

    I fully realize everything I’m talking about can be done “in the cloud” but I’m old school enough to know that to have TOTAL control of your apps and data has real value. I just think to make it easy for a small business to deploy 1 to 100 Macs has value to Apple. Right now my current boss would look at me like I was from outer space if I suggested that 20 of our 80 people would really benefit from a Mac on their desktop. (and she uses and loves her iphone/ipad including business use- as a matter of fact, I don’t think she has a laptop- I think she uses ONLY her iPhone/ipad on the road). My Mac saves me 8 to 10 hours a month. That’s big money. One quick example: Friday I had a windows 7 application update go VERY bad. In ten minutes my backup of the VM was reloaded and I forgot about the “update”. Others took up to 4 hours to undo that mess on their windows machines. Just the email strings about that s-show were a horror movie in progress.

  6. Frak, frak, frak!!!

    As a small business with a small IT budget, this sucks.

    We are graphic artist, not coders and programmers. The old Apple way was great! It just worked. Now we have to migrate services, which we will end up winging because we, again, are artist, not coders.

  7. I imagine for big business some of Apple’s business partners (e.g. IBM) will pick up the slack. I’m not familiar enough with the Apple business partner’s offerings to know if they have a solution for SMEs, although I imagine many are moving to various cloud/SAS providers. I’m not as up-to-speed on the current state of Apple-oriented business solutions as I used to be…

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