Another possibility is that Apple makes macOS Server a tool for home users to easily manage the multiple Apple devices they own. A family of four, with a couple of Macs, a few iPhones, an iPad or two, an Apple TV, and perhaps even a HomePod, find it difficult to manage all these devices. It's a hassle to control your kids' devices; you have lots of software to download every time there's an update, and an easy-to-use backup solution for all the devices could be practical.
Bring an Old Mac to Life with OS X Server | The Mac Security Blog
There are also other features that home users could benefit from, such as a shared photo library, a master iTunes library for those who have large music collections, and easier ways of sharing contacts and calendars. It's possible that Apple is finally going to create a true "digital hub" for its many users who find it confusing to manage multiple devices. This change will affect the dwindling number of users who run macOS Server. For them, the best solution might be to not upgrade until they're sure they have alternate means of doing what their server does for them.
For others—notably businesses, and, perhaps, home users—the updates to Server could be positive.
No matter what, this marks a change in Apple's direction, the point where they full acknowledge that Macs aren't made for heavy lifting as severs any more. If you do depend on macOS Server, you may want to not upgrade the Mac you use as a server; neither the Server app, nor the operating system, as new versions may require an update to the Server app itself. Do you still use macOS Server or are you in the camp that believes it is no longer needed?
Have something else to say about this story? Share your comments below! As I opined when this was first mentioned, I think this is a terrible retrograde step for Apple.
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No wonder they cannot break into the enterprise market when they keep pulling the carpet from under the feet of those who were actually using Macs for serious stuff. Ha, just like Apple using linux for their own servers which says it all really. I suppose you live out in the woods?
Just like that, your Mac is a powerful server.
Thanks for the thoreau rundown. I do live in a rural area, but Walden has long been a touchstone for me. The book, not the place.
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Apple is abandoning the SOHO user by this move. Server should be part of an initiative for both multi-user households and SOHO users, as well as for device management for larger communities. No data, but an impression. Earlier on in life, when I was still a web developer, I spent time setting up test environments on my personal machine.
macOS Server: A little history
There were packages to easily install tools like the mySQL database in addition to the existing personal web hosting services that Apple originally included in OS X. But more complex tools were a bit beyond my knowledge. With relatively little command-line intervention, I was able to set up a secure tunnel back to my home network for when I was on the road. The same goes for other tools that can be complicated to manage, such as web servers and DNS support.
Now that these tools are on their way out, what next? After all, why invest in the market if Apple itself is selling the functionality for cheap?
Meanwhile, some of the tools that used to only be available as Server—such as Content Caching, which tries to prevent you from having to download the same data multiple times for multiple devices—have moved into the consumer-level OS. On the upside, though Apple has deprecated the tools, they will continue to work for the foreseeable future if you have them enabled. And you know what? It probably is.
The good news is that for as long as the macOS relies on UNIX-based underpinnings, such tasks will still be possible—just not in as friendly a manner. To paraphrase the late, great Douglas Adams: So long, macOS Server, and thanks for all the cache.
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