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Why IT Won't Like Mac OS X Lion Server 341

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sounds-oxymoronic-to-me dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's John Rizzo sees Mac OS X Lion Server as a downgrade that may prompt a move to Windows Server. 'Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Server adds innovative features and a new low price tag, but cuts in services and the elimination of advanced GUI administration tools may force some enterprise departments to think twice about the role of Mac servers on their networks,' Rizzo writes. 'Looking more deeply inside Lion Server, it's impossible to avoid the conclusion that Lion Server is not built for those of us in IT. The $50 price tag — down from $500 — is the first clue that Lion Server trying to be a server for the consumer. But the ironic part for IT administrators is that Lion Server actually requires a greater degree of technical knowledge than its predecessors.'"
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Why IT Won't Like Mac OS X Lion Server

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  • mac /= server (Score:4, Interesting)

    by alphatel (1450715) * on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:10PM (#36872690)
    No doubt Apple is backing its new iCloud platform as the way for everyone to share - and damn the so-called hardware Server market. This is the only operating system not natively supported in most virtual machines. IDC [idc.com] doesn't even include Apple in market share reports anymore, and they've clearly de-leveraged [techrights.org] their investment over the past few years as opposed to their commitment to growing xServe in 2002 [macobserver.com]

    All that aside, I had a client who insisted on moving to OSX Server in 2003 to manage his email. FIle sharing was fine, even over a massive fiber/iscsi San config. But it didn't take long for his users to force a switch to an exchange hosted environment. The features just weren't there and the support or the tech resources to make corrections were far too time-consuming.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      I will tell you this... a Glassed in Server room full of Apple servers and Xsan are 800X more sexy looking than ANY other manufacturer. When I was IT manager at a comcast regional our Director of sales would take clients down to the production offices to show them THAT server room full of apple servers instead of the real one. Simply because that room looked professional and random Sun+Dell+HP servers look like a hodge podge mess even though it was very clean.

      • by Gerzel (240421)

        You know if you want something sexy looking you could just glass in a room of sweet looking empty boxes with some leds and fans for a lot less.

        • by hazem (472289) on Monday July 25, 2011 @05:48PM (#36876286) Journal

          This reminds me...

          Working for a university once, there was a dispute over whether our department should get to keep a small closet of a room during a department change. In order to make the room look busy and important, I built a "Beowulf" cluster of stacks of 486 machines. I made sure the disk activity lights and network switch were visible from the window in the door and then had the machines randomly requesting 1 kb files from each other. All the activity lights looked really impressive. And we got to keep the room for a year.

          Looking back, I should feel lucky I didn't accidentally create skynet.

    • by cplusplus (782679)
      It's pronounced "!=". Sheesh ;-)
    • How much koolaid do you need to drink even before you consider Mac OS Servers. I am a Mac Fan and I think using OS X for a server situation is idiotic.

      It isn't that Mac OS X can't do the work, but you are not gaining much over any Unix Server, except for the fact you are stuck with Apple Hardware and an Apple OS. At least if you went with Sun Servers you have a Unix Server that is really designed to be a Server, with all the ugly complicated features that Jobs doesn't want to talk about.

      I only saw OS X s

  • by DarkVader (121278) on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:13PM (#36872742)

    I've played with it for a few days now, and I absolutely agree. I'm not planning on upgrading any of my customers at this point, and I'm considering my options for replacements in environments where I can't maintain Snow Leopard Server indefinitely. I think it's likely to be relegated to calendar server duty, and I'm going to move mail, web, and FTP to some variety of Linux.

    I'm really not happy with Apple about Lion - it just doesn't feel like an upgrade to me, and server is even worse. I don't like seeing the best operating system there is backsliding like this.

    • We run a mixed OS X/Windows 7 environment. We use AD/Open Directory, but mail is done by Google Apps (as well as calendaring, etc), DHCP/DNS/etc. is done by network gear. Is Lion great? Meh. With email/calendar outsourced, the only thing we need it to do is directory services, software updates, etc., which it does fine.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by vijayiyer (728590)

      Go here to download Server Admin, and gain back all of the old functionality:

      http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1419 [apple.com]

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:33PM (#36873060)

        Go here to download Server Admin, and gain back all of the old functionality

        From TFA:

        "Once you locate and download the Server Admin tool, experienced Mac OS X Server administrators will notice it's a much thinner tool than it used to be. Roughly half the services that used to be there are missing. Most user-based services, such as file sharing, calendaring, and Web services, have been moved to the simple Server application. Others, such as QuickTime Streaming Server, have been completely removed."

        • "Most", "such as", "Others", "such as".

          Can we be a little less specific please? I hate seeing all these details.

        • by rwade (131726) on Monday July 25, 2011 @04:04PM (#36874992)

          "Once you locate and download the Server Admin tool, experienced Mac OS X Server administrators will notice it's a much thinner tool than it used to be. Roughly half the services that used to be there are missing. Most user-based services, such as file sharing, calendaring, and Web services, have been moved to the simple Server application. Others, such as QuickTime Streaming Server, have been completely removed."

          I wish you had quoted a bit more, because it leads the reader to conclude that if the one service removed that TFA mentions is quick time streaming server, then big f'ing deal. Here's a little more from TFA:

          One of the more significant feature rollbacks comes in reduced support for Windows clients. For years, Mac OS X Server's LDAP-based Open Directory had the ability to function as a primary domain controller (PDC) to support Windows clients. The PDC provided Windows clients with single sign-on authentication, and for those who work on both platforms, it gave users access to the same accounts and server-based home folders from their Windows PCs as well as their Macs. In Lion Server, Windows clients still have access to file sharing, but are now second-class clients.

          Another service that Apple deleted is the print server of previous Mac OS X Server builds. Lion Server contains only the same ability to share printers found in every copy of Mac OS X client for the past five years: the open source Common Unix Printing System (CUPS), which gives Macs the ability to host shared print queues and simple pools of printers but lacks the enterprise features that previous print servers had. For example, Lion Server's CUPS cannot prioritize printers in the pool or set quotas for individual users or printers. And you can't publish printers to Open Directory.

          The print server would seem to be one of the more important removals in functionality.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:29PM (#36873004) Journal

      I think it's likely to be relegated to calendar server duty, and I'm going to move mail, web, and FTP to some variety of Linux.

      You don't have to keep the Mac around for serving calendars. Apple open sourced the server [calendarserver.org] and you can run it on your favourite *NIX flavour.

      • by DarkVader (121278) on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:54PM (#36873346)

        Yeah, I know about that.

        It's not really ready for production server use yet:

        Milestone: Linux Port

        No date set

        Milestone with the goal of a functional (to approximately whatever the current level of functionality is) server on some version of Linux.

        This is intentionally vague; the point is to get a server running on something other than Mac OS, which should make future portability work a bit simpler by identifying and reducing the Mac OS dependancies.

    • I think it's likely to be relegated to calendar server duty, and I'm going to move mail, web, and FTP to some variety of Linux.

      I'm confused as to why based on this article. It sounds to me as if everything is still there, but some of it has to be command line configured like it would in Linux. I generally think that for servers command line and text file configuration are much preferred anyway, and it's the way you'd have to do it in Linux. I was reading the whole article trying to find out what the problems are. The installation issues sounded mildly annoying, but usually with a new server OS deployment I'm going to build one t

      • I'm confused as to why based on this article.

        Me too.

        for servers command line and text file configuration are much preferred anyway, and it's the way you'd have to do it in Linux.

        Indeed.

        I was reading the whole article trying to find out what the problems are.

        Me too.

        for an enterprise IT shop these changes shouldn't have much impact.

        Really, the big one I can think of right now is how you build a server offline. It appears to me that you have to have a connection open to the App Store. That definitely excludes it from Enterprise. Even if they deliver server hardware with it preinstalled and you can connect to an internal patch server later, that still doesn't satisfy Enterprise: you simply have to be able to install to bare metal from vendor-supplied media.

    • I always hated OS X Server because I was brought up on the old UNIX boxes and I liked to do everything on the command line... but the #@$@#$ GUIs in OS X Server would clobber all of my config files (and they were not well documented either). I'm very glad to see OS X server go back to the command line and be more like Linux.

  • The summary mentions only two choices for IT professionals:
    • Upgrade to Lion
    • Switch to Windows server

    I can easily think of two more:

    • Stay with what you have
    • Switch to a non-windows, non-MacOS option

    I have not heard any reason why a currently working installation of OS X would suddenly stop working altogether just because the owner did not upgrade. Windows people have seen this before; there are plenty of people still running Windows XP even though two newer version of the same have been released since.

    • Stay with what you have

      How long does Apple continue supporting OS releases? (I have heard it's shorter than MS, but I'm actually pretty ignorant...)

      • by _xeno_ (155264) on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:32PM (#36873044) Homepage Journal

        Who knows? They don't say.

        No, seriously, I've gone looking for this information and wasn't able to find it. The best answer appears to be they will support the current version and the previous version, and that's it.

        If someone has better information than that, I'd love to have it, but it makes suggesting a Mac OS X-based solution a bit difficult when I can't give a solid number on how long the platform will receive security updates.

      • by Nephster (203800)

        How long does Apple continue supporting OS releases? (I have heard it's shorter than MS, but I'm actually pretty ignorant...)

        Apple only offers security and bugfix support for its current release and the one before it. So, 10.4 was deprecated when 10.6 came out, and now that 10.7 is released, 10.5 is deprecated.

      • by repetty (260322)

        How long does Apple continue supporting OS releases? (I have heard it's shorter than MS, but I'm actually pretty ignorant...)

        I have observed that since OS X came out ten years ago, Apple supports the most recent two versions of their OS for security issues. The current version gets their maximum attention, though.

        I've even seen them reach back two 10.x versions to address severe security problems.

        Long term support is where open source options can spank proprietary ones, not that they often do. (IE: Go with RedHat/CentOS Enterprise and not Fedora.)

        It's weird to propose Windows as an alternative to Mac OS X server deployments since

    • Unless they've changed stances recently, Apple does not support running macs with any OS version earlier than the one they shipped with. They don't specifically try to stop you; but they make no effort to be particularly helpful about it. Outside of tiny shops, that pretty much squashes the "Well, we just won't upgrade" plan. People still routinely run XP because it is still quite easy to buy brand new hardware with full, vendor supported, XP compatibility.

      Anywhere large enough that "IT" is a mass noun w
      • Unless they've changed stances recently, Apple does not support running macs with any OS version earlier than the one they shipped with. They don't specifically try to stop you; but they make no effort to be particularly helpful about it. Outside of tiny shops, that pretty much squashes the "Well, we just won't upgrade" plan. People still routinely run XP because it is still quite easy to buy brand new hardware with full, vendor supported, XP compatibility.

        Are Apple shops really that dependent on Apple for support? PC users, and shops that have large implementations of PCs running something other than Mac OS X, have become accustomed to finding support places other than their OS provider.

        In other words, the software problems that people are having with PCs have already been seen by other PC users. It seems unlikely that this is distinctly not the case with OS X users. If the business is capable of running well with a current version of OS X (or any othe

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:46PM (#36873258) Journal
          When I say "Does not support" I don't mean "Cry, cry, Apple's helpdesk monkeys won't talk to me because I installed version y OS on a version z computer!!!"

          I mean, When Apple releases a new hardware model, they release a slightly different spin of the OSX installer that includes drivers, firmware, etc. for the new hardware platform. If the hardware platform drivers for your platform were released in conjunction with, say, 10.6, Apple will not bother to release a platform support package for running 10.5 on that hardware.

          That's the difference: With Windows, MS does bundle a variety of drivers-that-are-commonly-used with their install media, in order to improve the odds of things Just Working; but the OEM you purchased the computer from, or potentially the OEM they purchased the chips from, are the actual providers of the drivers, and will have them available for whatever platforms they support. Apple doesn't do that. Their install media come equipped with all drivers for supported models as of the OS release. If you wish to run an OS that was released before a given piece of hardware, the drivers won't be included in that OS. If you are lucky, you might be able to bodge drivers taken from a later OSX release into working on an earlier one. If not, too bad.
      • Apple does not support running macs with any OS version earlier than the one they shipped with.

        Does anyone? I mean Dell won't support you running XP on a machine that they installed Vista or Win 7 even if the machine runs it. I remember that there was alot of complaining that consumers had to pay for downgrade rights to XP when Vista came out. For enterprises, they normally have separate agreements with MS for support and Dell doesn't even install Windows on the machine anyway.

        • Pretty much any manufacturer with an "enterprise" line does. Dell's most recent desktop and laptop models ship with 7; but support back to XP, HP does the same. The only ones that are a little patchy are models that officially support XP-64bit or Linux. Consumer lines, on the other hand, generally offer no official support for earlier versions.

          Beyond that, it matters a lot less if your random PC OEM supports XP: basically every component in the system(with the possible exception of some proprietary BIOS-
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:32PM (#36873034) Journal
      Switching to Windows seems particularly stupid. Most of the server stuff in OS X server is open source, only the admin GUIs are proprietary. It's relatively painless to migrate to FreeBSD - you can just copy the config files across for the most part.
      • And if you're not going to use the admin GUIs anyway, there's really no reason to switch to anything. The article is complaining about changes in the admin GUI, if you are competent enough to configure the thing through the command line, you're not losing any functionality.

    • by hawguy (1600213) on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:52PM (#36873328)

      I have not heard any reason why a currently working installation of OS X would suddenly stop working altogether just because the owner did not upgrade. Windows people have seen this before; there are plenty of people still running Windows XP even though two newer version of the same have been released since.

      Apple doesn't seem to announce end-of-support dates for their operating systems (at least they don't make it easy to find), but many IT departments aren't allowed to run unsupported software because they have a regulatory requirement to keep the software up to date with security patches.

      So sure, Keeping Leopard or Snow Leopard is a short-term fix, but they are only going to be a viable solution for as long as Apple continues supporting them.

    • by rwade (131726) on Monday July 25, 2011 @04:23PM (#36875242)

      Earlier in the year, Apple released a new version of it's popular professional video editing software, Final Cut Pro X [apple.com]. There was much belly aching [slashdot.org] by the user community and in the media about missing features. Indeed, the comments from professional users are eerily similar to those comments of IT admins about Lion Server -- basically that it's being dumbed down for the consumer market.

      Just a few weeks ago, Apple updated the FAQ [cnet.com] for this software, with CNet quoting the following:

      "Final Cut Pro X is a breakthrough in nonlinear video editing. The application has impressed many pro editors, and it has also generated a lot of discussion in the pro video community," the FAQ reads. "We know people have questions about the new features in Final Cut Pro X and how it compares with previous versions of Final Cut Pro. Here are the answers to the most common questions we've heard."

      In the FAQ, which details specifics about importing, editing, media management, export and purchase, Apple's tried to make one thing clear: some of the missing features will return with future software updates.

      Indeed, Apple may be as inclined due to this backlash to reverse itself with OSX Lion as it was with Final Cut Pro. It's entirely reasonable to project that missing server features may make their return to the Sever Admin panel or as stand-alone add-ons.

      After all, I doubt that Apple is trying to get rid of the userbase of corporate departments that use OSX Server and technologies like the group print spooler and the Quicktime streaming server are already developed, coded, and released -- so why not roll them back in?

      • by jimicus (737525) on Monday July 25, 2011 @04:50PM (#36875552)

        In the FAQ, which details specifics about importing, editing, media management, export and purchase, Apple's tried to make one thing clear: some of the missing features will return with future software updates.

        Indeed, Apple may be as inclined due to this backlash to reverse itself with OSX Lion as it was with Final Cut Pro. It's entirely reasonable to project that missing server features may make their return to the Sever Admin panel or as stand-alone add-ons.

        If there is one thing I've learned over the years, it's that promises of "Jam tomorrow!" are next to useless.

        You or I have precisely zero idea of Apple's internal roadmap and even less idea of what issues are driving the decisions that form that roadmap, and future functionality can be changed at the drop of a hat. The same is true for more-or-less any IT vendor. Until such time as the product is released, it doesn't exist.

  • John Rizzo, author of "Mac OS X Lion Server for Dummies"
  • by macshome (818789) on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:19PM (#36872842) Homepage
    Mac OS X Server before it, and now OS X Lion Server aren't intended for enterprise IT, and haven't been for a while. Apple has been working the word enterprise out of the marketing pages for a while now.

    Indeed, the current blurb says this on apple.com: "OS X Lion Server gives you everything you need to provide workgroup and Internet services.".

    For workgroup and SMB sized applications it's pretty nice, but a bit of a quandary when you hit the big leagues.

    I put all my thoughts on it in my review on AFP548.com: http://www.afp548.com/article.php?story=lion-server-review [afp548.com]

    The real place in enterprise for the Mac has been in on the client side for quite some time now.
  • They need to have mac os X sever for any VM on any base hardware.

    Apple does not even have a real sever any more.

    The mini and mac pro are lacking in big plies like.

    Dual PSU

    lights-out management (LOM)

    Hot swap HDDS -at least the mac pro has easy to get to HDD bays

    Dual nics in the mini.

    no easy to make bootable installation DVD or image for sever 10.7 -you can make a OSX 10.7 install image / dvd.

    NO sever OS downgrade on the new hardware.

    • Hot swap HDDS -at least the mac pro has easy to get to HDD bays

      The minis these days make it very easy to get to HDD and RAM. You just unscrew a large cap on the bottom.

      Dual nics in the mini.

      How about 20? It has Thunderbolt.

      no easy to make bootable installation DVD or image for sever 10.7

      What? It's very easy to make a bootable clone using a program like Super Duper.

      The dual PSU is an issue, but the mini's are so small and cheap enough why wouldn't you just be running several and have hot failover to the w

      • by DAldredge (2353)
        ECC RAM is somewhat important in a server.
        • by repetty (260322)

          ECC RAM is somewhat important in a server.

          I agree. That said, I recently became interested in replacing my aging home server and, in my research, have learned that there are now lots of companies selling "mini-servers" and their mobos and MOST (all?) of the models don't support ECC memory.

          Apparently, in that market strata, ECC just isn't that important.

          This may be an occasion where Apple's marketing instincts are more correct than our prejudices.

      • by jimicus (737525)

        The dual PSU is an issue, but the mini's are so small and cheap enough why wouldn't you just be running several and have hot failover to the working ones?

        They actually seem like really good server systems to me.

        Hot failover is damn difficult. If your application doesn't support it (which many don't), your only realistic option today is to virtualise it and set up some sort of mechanism to shut down the (failed) virtual server and swap everything over to the hot spare - which usually implies shared storage of some sort.

        There are ways to try and work around this with Linux and DRBD but AFAIK no distribution has yet done this in a reasonably neat fashion - you'd have to lash so much together by hand there's a very go

      • by EvilStein (414640)

        The macminicolo.net folks seem to agree with you on that one.

        I think that Apple is still squarely in the market they enjoy - and that isn't big iron.

    • If you have those kind of requirements, then you can probably afford an admin who actually understands the software that he's using. The actual server applications that OS X Server uses are either third-party open source programs or released by Apple on Mac OS Forge [macosforge.org]. If you're a small business that doesn't have a dedicated IT team, then Mac OS X Server gives you a simple GUI that will handle most common tasks and can be operated by someone moderately computer literate. If you're a large enterprise, then
  • All of the advanced GUI tools (Server Admin, Workgroup Manager, etc.) have been updated for 10.7 and available as a separate download from Apple:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1419 [apple.com]

    The whole premise of this article is bunk.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      The whole premise of this article is bunk.

      No, the reinforcement of the premise is bunk. IT departments will still hate 10.7, if for the only reason they've always hated OSX - not for stability or user-friendlyness, but for the simple fact that having an apple backend will draw hipster know-nothings to apply to work at their company.

      • by RatBastard (949)

        1/10. Obvious troll is obvious.

        • No, the reinforcement of the premise is bunk. IT departments will still hate 10.7, if for the only reason they've always hated OSX - not for stability or user-friendlyness, but for the simple fact that having an apple backend will draw hipster know-nothings to apply to work at their company.

          1/10. Obvious troll is obvious.

          Yes, an obvious troll. But no one said that trolling can't also be 100% truthful...

      • The whole premise of this article is bunk.

        No, the reinforcement of the premise is bunk. IT departments will still hate 10.7, if for the only reason they've always hated OSX - not for stability or user-friendlyness, but for the simple fact that having an apple backend will draw hipster know-nothings to apply to work at their company.

        And push out all the un-hip know-nothing MCSEs. Silly Microsoft, copying Cisco in their drive to establish 4-letter fraternities.

    • by DarkVader (121278) on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:28PM (#36872976)

      Know how I know you didn't RTFA?

      The article is not bunk, and the author mentions the admin tools. He also points out that a good chunk of the functionality of those tools have been ripped out, you're limited to the Server app or command line for quite a few things.

    • by TheLink (130905)
      IT folks who know what they are doing usually prefer CLIs to GUIs. A GUI is fine for configuring a single server once (or trying to ;) ). Not so nice when you have more than a handful. And good luck having your developers rapidly create decent GUIs for every feature/configuration/task you want to add.

      Heck even Microsoft has realized that and made powershell. Perhaps due to the pain of running Hotmail on Windows ;).

      A good GUI can probably beat a CLI in many things, but not usually for stuff like "advanced co
  • by Medievalist (16032) on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:24PM (#36872904)

    I don't know any high quality sysadmins that want more point'n'click high-bandwidth GUI features on their servers, and less reliance on low-bandwidth SSH console commands.

    I mean, I'm willing to hypothesize that they are out there, sure, but I'm also willing to postulate the existence of flying monkeys for the sake of discussion. I don't expect to ever meet one.

  • If you're not satisfied with your upgrade path from an OS X server, why would Windows be your choice? Wouldn't another UNIX like platform be an easier, cheaper, and more reliable choice?

    • by DarkVader (121278)

      Windoze is not an option, let alone my choice for an upgrade path.

      I'm not replacing any currently running OS X servers just for the fun of it, but I'm not going to be putting 10.7 on them, and I'm probably going to be installing quite a few more Linux servers in the coming years.

    • by DAldredge (2353)
      Windows server isn't reliable? Can you give example of how it isn't?
      • by Hatta (162192)

        Not at all. However, a solution designed for a UNIX operating system (e.g. OS X) is likely to be less reliable when ported to a different system (e.g. Windows).

        Nowhere did I say that Windows was less reliable than UNIX.

  • Nothing changes. Haters hate, and people who hate change will bicker. Eventually 10.7.1 will come out and fix some of the problems that are discovered during general release and life will go on. I remember similar stories about Leopard and Snow leopard.

    • by DarkVader (121278)

      Not this time. This isn't about bugs, it's about intentionally removed functionality.

      I do sincerely hope Apple gets a clue from these articles and realizes that they screwed up. But I'm not holding my breath, and I'm not recommending any more Mac servers for my customers unless they have a specific need. I've always been a big Mac proponent, but I'm getting tired of apologizing. This time, I'm not going to, I'll be installing more Linux servers as it's time to replace the 10.6 servers I've installed, un

      • I do sincerely hope Apple gets a clue from these articles and realizes that they screwed up. But I'm not holding my breath, and I'm not recommending any more Mac servers for my customers unless they have a specific need. I've always been a big Mac proponent, but I'm getting tired of apologizing. This time, I'm not going to, I'll be installing more Linux servers as it's time to replace the 10.6 servers I've installed, unless Apple fixes this mess.

        I'm sure you had good reasons, but I'm not sure I would ever have chosen an Apple server, as Apple were always a bit lukewarm on enterprise support, even when they tried their hardest it was a bit half-hearted, and were never really competing well with Linux or even Windows servers for performance or available server software, though I guess they did have it all presented in a neat package with a nice admin UI. Linux is a much better choice for servers at this point, and in a few years I would expect Apple

      • by repetty (260322)

        THANK YOU for not proposing Windows servers as some sort of logical rollover.

  • If your using a non time capsule network backup, it's broken. They disabled DHCAST128, and use dhx2 instead.
  • Not surprising (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Srsen (413456) on Monday July 25, 2011 @01:28PM (#36872972)
    With the elimination of the XServe and now the simplifying of Lion Server, it's clear that Apple has decided to choose a different vector for their server business. To me it seems they are now focused on the SOHO market where the users administer the network and there is no IT department (obviously another reason why IT professionals REALLY do not like Lion Server). This is a very Apple thing to do: turn something complicated into something almost anyone can do. I would not be surprised if they ended up making more money with this approach than they did with the XServe approach - this way has a significantly broader base.

    I would never have considered using OS X Server at home before but I an now thinking about using my current Mini for a home server after I upgrade to a new machine because it now seems doable and worthwhile to me.
  • Honestly, It seems to me that the things that are best done in a windowed environment (user management, policy management, etc) have been kept in a nice GUI, whereas the things that have been traditionally configured in text files or via the command line on *nix servers have been kept that way. Quit moaning about having to actually learn how to administer a server. I don't see how IT guys in a enterprise are really going to see this as a bad thing. If they already know how to administer a *nix box, they ca

  • Elimination? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by smcdow (114828)

    ... the elimination of advanced GUI administration tools...

    Incorrect. Lion does indeed include the most awesome GUI administration tool in existence.

    It's called Terminal.

    • Through Terminal, can the user access specialized editors for the configuration files that automatically determine which lines are valid and which aren't and interactively restrict input to valid values?
  • Honestly, having used OS X Server for years, I long ago stopped using the GUI tools for anything that it wasn't required for. Simply because it was always happy to blast away any advanced changes that might have been made by hand. Nothing like having to restore backups of httpd.conf simply because Server Admin or System Update decided to just write over the existing one. Hell, I've also had System Update simply write a blank virgin setup over our LDAP setup. So if 10.7 looses half the GUI and in return

  • This is truly a major disappointment - right on the heels of the discontinued xServe.
    I couldn't be more sad for the direction and the position Jobs & Co. has put Mac IT in. It's like a nightmare. Here we had the best stuff, server and Server OS-wise and they wreck it all within the span of a year.
    I'm starting to get pissed off, and I'm a long time FANBOY. I fucking love the Macintosh. There's nowhere to run.
    What the hell are they thinking?
    They deserve whatever comes their way now, they've demoted us to

  • Beyond basic configuration, real Mac OS X sysadmins don't use the GUI's. The things the author gripes about (QTSS, MySQL, NFS) were never really expansive in the GUI tools beyond "enable networking" or "run # processes" or "set this service to run on port 8000". QTSS has been replaced, not removed and no longer requires server involvement beyond a file share. MySQL is replaced by PostgreSQL and as said before, beyond "enable networking" really had never any GUI admin tools thus we were still going to command line or phpMyAdmin. MySQL is still there by the way, not removed entirely. NFS same thing, shares were never done in the "NFS" tab, they were done in the "Sharing" tab together with AFP and SMB.

    SMB as a PDC/BDC is maybe a slight loss in small environments but thanks to the licensing issues it was stuck on 2 and never could've made it bundled in Mac OS X to 3 (and Windows 7 support) as GPLv3 prevents the proprietary ties to the configuration subsystem. There is documentation available however on how to run Samba 3 (and binary packages as well) on Mac OS X Server and run it as a PDC/BDC against LDAP (which Open Directory is), it just won't be integrated.

    I like that XSAN is now included for free. Great if you want to build a large mail or Apache or any type of cluster and very simple to set up. Also the Profiles addition will be a boon in many (especially the more mobile) environments. A lot of that could be done already (provisioning) in Open Directory (using MCX) but not many users like to be bothered with locking down their environment.

  • let me tell you as an industry insider in web hosting/datacenters that server = linux since a long time ago. the question is, which flavor of linux. the most used and accepted one so far is centos. those who want to handle the support bill use red hat enterprise. debian and clones, opensuse come after. ubuntu is just a new entry.

    just have a look.

    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/ [webhostingtalk.com]

    community forum for hosting/it/datacenters. you can find all kinds of people from industry, ranging from (now the biggest dat
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday July 25, 2011 @02:46PM (#36873978)

    I think Apple has come to realize it's simply not a player in the server space. Being Unix, it's hard to compete with Linux when your greatest strength - the UI - isn't really important. There's very little that Apple offers - in the server space, anyway - that the other *nixes don't also provide.

    That said, this article is silly. The author likes to refer to "those of us in IT", but clearly he's not particularly technically oriented. Unix admins don't just prefer the command line - they DEMAND it. For a Unix admin, the loss of GUI controls is basically irrelevant. And even if you like having a GUI interface (and, btw, please turn in your geek card at the door), the plaintext configuration files for Apache, Samba, OpenLDAP, CUPS, or what have you are not particularly arcane.

    I think the author falls into the camp of people that like to play at being a server admin (seriously - Podcast Producer? Lamenting a GUI for MySQL?) as more or less a "fun little hobby". For those people, Mac Server was a viable alternative to Windows. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not a commercially viable market.

  • by sarhjinian (94086) on Monday July 25, 2011 @03:34PM (#36874602)

    This isn't really that bad.

    The important stuff (MCX) has been enhanced such that client management---which is where the effort is---is easy, fast and comprehensive. The less important stuff is hidden from small shops who would just muck it up, and at the enterprise is usually provided elsewhere (ie, they'll already have an AD domain, Exchange or suchlike, FTP and web servers, file servers etc, etc). Basically, they deprecated stuff most people don't use, or have better solutions for.

    About the only real pain is losing enterprise print services, but even that's not too huge a loss considering that, again, there's better tools out there that enterprises are already using, and small shops wouldn't go anywhere near those features.

    It would be nice if Apple provided better hardware and/or allowed you to deploy MacOS X Server VMs for things like MCX or ARD. That, more than any of the author's other complaints, is what keeps OS X out of the enterprise. Other nice touches would be SSO on iOS and some way to extend Time Machine services to non-Apple Filers, or if Home Sync/Mobile Users is somehow no longer a festering pile of suck (which, to be fair, is the case on Windows and UNIX when you get to the gigabytes of files stage and are sync'ing profiles)

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