Some macOS Server services being stripped out in spring, including Calendar, Websites, Mai...

Posted:
in macOS
A support document published by Apple sheds light on what services macOS Server is leaving behind soon, and provides possible options for those needing replacements.




The support document, dated Jan. 24, 2018, was released one day after the latest macOS Server beta. In the notification, Apple says:

BlockquotemacOS Server is changing to focus more on management of computers, devices, and storage on your network. As a result, some changes are coming in how Server works. A number of services will be deprecated, and will be hidden on new installations of an update to macOS Server coming in spring 2018. If you've already configured one of these services, you'll still be able to use it in the spring 2018 macOS Server update.

Features listed as being purged from basic installs of macOS Server soon are Calendar, Contacts, DHCP, DNS, Mail, Messages, NetInstall, VPN, Websites, and Wiki. On the document, Apple lists three possible replacements for each, such as the open source Apache HTTP server that its own Websites functionality was based on.

AppleInsider discussed the matter with our own sources not authorized to speak on behalf of the company, with them saying that in many cases, the Apple-mandated service wasn't as up-to-date as the open source version. As a result, users were replacing sometimes deprecated versions with newer ones. Further questions involving additional reasoning behind the move were not answered.

The move will make macOS Server less of a "plug and play" solution than it is at present. Instead of users setting up a service and figuring out how to deal with it through use, the installation process will basically demand at least a bare-bones level of knowledge from the administrator to get it to work right in the first place.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,892member
    "

    being stripped out in spring, including Calendar, Websites, Mai..."

    I'm trying to work out what's actually left!  Oh I know, FTP!
    edited January 2018 SpamSandwichkirkgrayrandominternetpersontokyojimurepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 41
    So here we go guys time for some one to come along and write a front end for all the open source replacements that exist in unix. I mean there is no need to pay apple 20 bucks for something that is now worthless. Lets pay some one 9.99 to make the work of all the config files and setting and install packages of say Bind easy for the moderate admin 
    edited January 2018 williamlondonkirkgrayoneof52fastasleep
  • Reply 3 of 41
    croprcropr Posts: 884member
    Basically macOs server is being killed.  I moved my server infrastructure to the cloud on Linux servers 5 years ago.  And I am not the only one
    bkkcanuckspacekidcornchiprepressthisdysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 41
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,976member
    This doesn't surprise me especially since Apple is pushing for more use of iCloud services making the deprecated server services redundant. This is especially true in educational and government installations.

    On the brighter side, putting (more?) resources into creating a better low-cost MDM service might be the hidden gem in this announcement. Server software is $20 without any client license fees making it a huge bargain compared to MDM systems like jamf and Blackberry's offering. Grab a Mac mini and it might be enough to manage a large number of Apple devices. Of course, having MDM on your main server that does everything else would be preferable but in this case it might be more cost effective to run it on a small, dedicated server.

    Anyone want to compare Apple Server's MDM to jamf and others?


    bikertwinoneof52willcropointrepressthisjony0
  • Reply 5 of 41
    cropr said:
    Basically macOs server is being killed.  I moved my server infrastructure to the cloud on Linux servers 5 years ago.  And I am not the only one
    Basically, it provided a UI for administration to simplify administration.  I used it to setup a DNS server once, but found myself editing the files anyways directly.  For anyone setting up the server -- they would likely be technical enough not to need a simplified UI -- and it would likely get in the way.  Better to focus on services provided in the cloud that respect privacy.  No great loss.  
  • Reply 6 of 41
    The discussion I've seen indicates Apple is focusing on enterprise-scale management, and eliminating support for services that (1) as indicated in the article, most sys admins replace with hand-configured, more up-to-date versions, and (2) can be implemented on the cloud (Office 365, &c.) to focus instead on enterprise device management, which supposedly is what its big corporate customers have asked for. All second- and third-hand, though, except for (1), which has been our situation for several years.
    bikertwinrepressthisfastasleep
  • Reply 7 of 41
    sunman42 said:
    The discussion I've seen indicates Apple is focusing on enterprise-scale management, and eliminating support for services that (1) as indicated in the article, most sys admins replace with hand-configured, more up-to-date versions, and (2) can be implemented on the cloud (Office 365, &c.) to focus instead on enterprise device management, which supposedly is what its big corporate customers have asked for. All second- and third-hand, though, except for (1), which has been our situation for several years.
    Makes sense... but why not kill MacOS Server completely?

    And, make basic MDM hosted by Apple free?

    If Mac customer need something on-premises they can purchase jamf (an Apple Partner).

    Whatever route Apple takes it’s not going to be revenue generating...
    edited January 2018 repressthis
  • Reply 8 of 41
    rob53 said:
    This doesn't surprise me especially since Apple is pushing for more use of iCloud services making the deprecated server services redundant. This is especially true in educational and government installations.

    On the brighter side, putting (more?) resources into creating a better low-cost MDM service might be the hidden gem in this announcement. Server software is $20 without any client license fees making it a huge bargain compared to MDM systems like jamf and Blackberry's offering. Grab a Mac mini and it might be enough to manage a large number of Apple devices. Of course, having MDM on your main server that does everything else would be preferable but in this case it might be more cost effective to run it on a small, dedicated server.

    Anyone want to compare Apple Server's MDM to jamf and others?


    I hope you are kidding. There is no comparison between Profile Manager and JAMF (or AirWatch, MasS360, MobileIron, or any of a hundred others.)  

    Profile Manager is strictly for Apple devices and Apple users. It is missing so many Enterprise features, including Active Directory and Exchange Integration, Device tracking and location services (for corporate devices), Dashboards and reporting, and  Advanced group support (Smart Groups). 

    Even Apple System Engineers will tell you that Profile Manager is strictly a "Proof of Concept" MDM that Apple uses to introduce new MDM features. This of PM like a reference design. 


    kirkgraydysamoria
  • Reply 9 of 41
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,976member
    Tribruin said:
    rob53 said:
    This doesn't surprise me especially since Apple is pushing for more use of iCloud services making the deprecated server services redundant. This is especially true in educational and government installations.

    On the brighter side, putting (more?) resources into creating a better low-cost MDM service might be the hidden gem in this announcement. Server software is $20 without any client license fees making it a huge bargain compared to MDM systems like jamf and Blackberry's offering. Grab a Mac mini and it might be enough to manage a large number of Apple devices. Of course, having MDM on your main server that does everything else would be preferable but in this case it might be more cost effective to run it on a small, dedicated server.

    Anyone want to compare Apple Server's MDM to jamf and others?


    I hope you are kidding. There is no comparison between Profile Manager and JAMF (or AirWatch, MasS360, MobileIron, or any of a hundred others.)  

    Profile Manager is strictly for Apple devices and Apple users. It is missing so many Enterprise features, including Active Directory and Exchange Integration, Device tracking and location services (for corporate devices), Dashboards and reporting, and  Advanced group support (Smart Groups). 

    Even Apple System Engineers will tell you that Profile Manager is strictly a "Proof of Concept" MDM that Apple uses to introduce new MDM features. This of PM like a reference design. 

    First post? Have you looked at the current beta to see if Apple has changed anything? To answer your question, no I'm not kidding, especially when you say there's hundreds of MDM offerings all with their own limitations. When was the last time you talked to an Apple system engineer who was working on this product? As far as AD and Exchange (gag me) integration, Apple and Microsoft have worked to provide this interaction and the beta might provide a greater and more positive interaction than before. As I said, all of these non-Apple MDM systems are expensive. As far as providing management for non-Apple products, I really don't care. Apple products have always been added to these other systems with all sorts of limitations because they simply don't know Apple. jamf might be the only one who developed their system with Apple products in mind. As for mobile device management in enterprise and government installations, I'd like to see the security plans covering Android devices because there's only a few Android phones that could be covered because of their lack of operable security, therefore, iPhones and iPads are the leading products being covered.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    I depend on Server.app to sync calendars and contacts between 5 users and about 15 devices. Currently these are all Apple devices. If Apple does lobotomize Server, what alternatives should I consider? Ability to host the calendar/contact server myself is a must. Support for all devices, Apple or not, is a plus. Thanks!
  • Reply 11 of 41
    As a technical type person but a non-server admin, I never could get much of anything to work other than the file server and VPN.
  • Reply 12 of 41
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,763member
    Want to see a funny forgotten Apple web page?

    https://www.apple.com/iservices/certification/roadmap.html
    randominternetpersontokyojimudysamoria
  • Reply 13 of 41
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,432member
    bkkcanuck said:
    For anyone setting up the server -- they would likely be technical enough not to need a simplified UI -- and it would likely get in the way.  Better to focus on services provided in the cloud that respect privacy.  No great loss.  
    For 10 years, I've managed many services* in macOS Server.  While I'm technical enough to manage them on UNIX/Linux as I had before, I'd much rather put that time toward earning $$$.  This is a HUGE loss.

    Cloud and privacy do not go together. Furthermore, cloud-based services are not as responsive as locally maintained services.  Business-critical, proprietary information has no business being in the cloud (sitting on someone else's systems), and neither does sensitive personal information.  It has been a big advantage using Server on a secure platform produced by a U.S.-based company that is concerned about privacy and security.

    Apple can no longer say it cares that much about privacy or security when it takes away Server.  Apple does stand to make more money by offering cloud services replacements, though--it cares about its shareholders more than privacy/security, and Apple management doesn't have the vision to make Server better.

    *IMAP, SMTP, HTTP/S, CalDAV, CardDAV, WebDAV, DNS, DHCP
    edited January 2018 dysamoria
  • Reply 14 of 41
    The only people using these features anyways are hobbyists in my opinion. Any company who was relying on most of these services that are being discontinued is playing with fire. Good riddance and glad Apple is focusing on the more useful services of the Server app, even it it is becoming a non server app.
  • Reply 15 of 41
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,976member
    nycvelo said:
    I depend on Server.app to sync calendars and contacts between 5 users and about 15 devices. Currently these are all Apple devices. If Apple does lobotomize Server, what alternatives should I consider? Ability to host the calendar/contact server myself is a must. Support for all devices, Apple or not, is a plus. Thanks!
    Check out the link in the article, https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208312 This provides both third-party and Apple open-source versions including:

    https://www.calendarserver.org Apple page detailing calendar and contacts server source

    Of course they require some programming skills, mainly the ability to configure and compile. I downloaded the Calendar-9.1 source (May 2017) from https://github.com/apple/ccs-calendarserver/releases and it looks complete, at least for development purposes. You'll need to read more to figure out how to incorporate it into your existing operations.


    dysamoria
  • Reply 16 of 41
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,976member
    The only people using these features anyways are hobbyists in my opinion. Any company who was relying on most of these services that are being discontinued is playing with fire. Good riddance and glad Apple is focusing on the more useful services of the Server app, even it it is becoming a non server app.
    You can say this all you want but most of these services are created using the same ideas found on existing linux server installations, they're just adjusted to run properly under macOS. They don't include any(?) of the cluster server capabilities but that doesn't mean they're only for hobbyists. There's a lot of small businesses who don't need (and can't afford) enterprise level server software installations and using the open source options can still save them money. Everything doesn't have to run on an overpriced Windows installation.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 17 of 41
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,432member
    The only people using these features anyways are hobbyists in my opinion. Any company who was relying on most of these services that are being discontinued is playing with fire. 
    That's pure "Monday morning quarterbacking".  Going forward, users of Server will naturally migrate away.  The job won't be easy or cheap though, which is why many people still haven't made the move despite the signals Apple has been sending for a couple years already.  If you'd made the investment years ago, you wouldn't want to abandon it for something else soon either.
    edited January 2018 dysamoriafastasleep
  • Reply 18 of 41
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,730member
    MacPro said:
    "

    being stripped out in spring, including Calendar, Websites, Mai..."

    I'm trying to work out what's actually left!  Oh I know, FTP!
    Honestly, we only use server where I work for Netbooting and file sharing. If Apple were to include Netboot support into macOS, I don't really see any reason to run Server anymore, at least for us. At one time, I did have a wiki server running, but we've since moved everything on that over to an Office365 SharePoint site. I guess some may use Open Directory for user accounts and such, so it will be interesting to see how Apple manages that going forward. Not everyone uses Active Directory for their user management. 
  • Reply 19 of 41
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,763member
    cpsro said:

    For 10 years, I've managed many services* in macOS Server.  While I'm technical enough to manage them on UNIX/Linux as I had before, I'd much rather put that time toward earning $$$.  This is a HUGE loss.

    Cloud and privacy do not go together. Furthermore, cloud-based services are not as responsive as locally maintained services.  Business-critical, proprietary information has no business being in the cloud (sitting on someone else's systems), and neither does sensitive personal information.

    Apple can't say it cares so much about privacy or security when it takes away Server.  Apple does stand to make more money by offering cloud services replacements, though--it cares about its shareholders more than privacy/security, and Apple management doesn't have the vision to make Server better.

    *IMAP, SMTP, HTTP/S, CalDAV, CardDAV, WebDAV, DNS, DHCP
    Apple doesn't like to support services or products that are not mainstream consumer items. Almost no one uses macOS server however you can maintain virtually all of those services that you mentioned all by yourself on just about any platform you want because they are standard open source protocols. If you really want to focus on earning $$$, I would suggest you bail on macOS server -- it is obsolete, just like Xserve.
  • Reply 20 of 41
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,432member
    volcan said:
    Apple doesn't like to support services or products that are not mainstream consumer items. Almost no one uses macOS server however you can maintain virtually all of those services that you mentioned all by yourself on just about any platform you want because they are standard open source protocols. If you really want to focus on earning $$$, I would suggest you bail on macOS server -- it is obsolete, just like Xserve.
    Duh, Server is obsolete.  Duh, it's all (and always has been) open source protocols.  But Apple's involvement in both client and server guaranteed compatibility.  Standardizing on one platform (macOS) in house for servers and workstations also reduced management costs.

    Server isn't mainstream (and is obsolete), due to lack of vision and neglect.
    edited January 2018 bonobobtokyojimudysamoriafastasleep
Sign In or Register to comment.