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Server Management - Is this a Joke? Server Utilities? Hello?

6940 Views 27 Replies Latest reply: Nov 29, 2012 12:35 PM by Christopher Murphy RSS
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Jason Schroeder Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 25, 2012 9:03 AM

I'm an IT Professional who has a small cluster of xServes.


Mountain Lion has made my server admin software useless.


How am I supposed to manage my Snow Leopard Servers without using Apple Remote Desktop?


Is this some sort of cruel joke? Does Apple have this much hate for its enterprise users?

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion
  • Brian Dieckman Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    "...So, the article and it's information was 100% opposite of helpful..."


    The article explained exactly why you're experiencing what you are so it was helpful, you're just angry and probably a little embarrased.


    "...Release tools that aren't broken and can communicate with different variants of their server software."


    The tools aren't broken. Your understanding of them is. OSX Mountain Lion Server Tools are designed to work with OSX Mountain Lion Server. If you are administering OSX Snow Leopard servers then you should use OSX Snow Leopard Server Tools.


    You should always check software compatibility guides (which come out well before an operating system does) to ensure your critical applications are going to be compatible. Assuming they are because they "should be" is bad policy. An "IT Professional" should know this.


    This article: has been at the Knowledge Base since April, a full 3 months before the server was released.

  • Brian Dieckman Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    If you hate your Apple infrastructure so much, then replace it.


    If you're stuck with it, maybe you should stop making excuses for the gaps in your knowledge and learn to use it properly.

  • stephenberry Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)

    Well Jason, as Brian has implied here, if you don't like it, do something about it. You've posted in a public help forum where people spend a few moments of their time to help others and all you have done is rant and tear their replies to shreds.


    The people who have offered you help, are not Apple; they are not responsible for your frustrations. Before anyone had taken time to reply to you it seems that your mind was made up - reinfoced by you ranting that we are making excuses for Apple. I don't work for them - if they do something that works well, great, if not you find a solution. You don't sound off on a forum, then shoot down everyone that responds.


    I expect there was some very important reason to upgrade your machine to Mountain Lion on the day of release, that without testing, you could not wait for? Or perhaps now you are ****** at your experience you can roll back to whatever your set up was before from backup?


    Or just rip it out and stop being rude to people that were trying to help.


    <Edited By Host>

  • Pat Mullen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm sitting here wondering if Brian or Stephen live in perfect worlds where one can upgrade servers at will and have plenty of single-purpose (like running old Server Admin software) hardware lying around. I don't. I have to stay up to date with minimum hardware. That means installing Mt. Lion on my laptop and on the dev machine. Yet I also must manage a group of Xserves of various ages and OS versions. For several reasons, upgrading these to Mt. Lion is out. I must therefore agree with Jason. Apple is all too quick to leave enterprise professionals with tough choices. I have been a Mac manager for a long time and I am very disturbed at the many examples of this behavior I have encountered lately. The toughest choice has become a real possibility: Switching away from Apple entirely. Unthinkable two years ago. Now possible unavoidable if this sort of foolishness continues.

  • Brian Dieckman Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)

    I won't speak for Stephen but my world is far from perfect in that respect. I manage three different Mac Server OS's (none with compatible admin software) and half a dozen Windows, Unix and Linux servers. That's leaving out all the workstations ranging from G4's to brand new Intel Minis and Windows NT machines to Windows 7 64-bit systems. I manage them all from my desk whenever possible because it's easier to take notes, write documentation and get done what I need to without interrupting the users.


    For the Unix/Linux and Windows distributions I have a laptop with VMWare installed so I can boot into whatever I need to build distributions but for normal tasks, I usually use ssh or VNC when I need to interact with the GUI.


    For the Mac distributions I have a seperate laptop with a partitioned hard drive with three different OS's on it. When necessary I can reboot into whatever OS I need to when interacting with the servers, but mostly I use ssh or Remote Desktop when I need to interact with the GUI.


    I could do this all from ONE laptop if I wanted to. (And have in the past) but that gets a little cumbersome and takes a very powerfull computer. I, for one, feel the users deserve the powerful equipment; I get by on whatever I can find.


    Apple is moving forward, very quickly, towards a platform where the lines between a "workstation" and a "server" are as blurred as the lines between a "mobile OS" and a "workstation OS". It's going to leave a lot of people behind and that's by design. They will eventually leave me behind, too, and that's their perogative. I'm disappointed, of course; I love the XServe hardware and the Apple Server tools but that too must come to an end just as the age of the Motorola processor.


    You may call it foolishness, but it's foolish behavior by the most valuable and profitable company in the world. They didn't get there on Server platforms (or even desktops) so leaving those in the dust is probably in the cards.


    Jason's outburst was nonsensical because he made very dangerous assumptions about the affect of an upgrade and then came here to not only expose those foolish assumptions but to also complain about his ignorance. If he truly is the "IT Professional" he purports himself to be, then surely he's read everything he could get his hands on with regards to the upgrade. Surely he audited his servers, their services and their capability in accomodating the Mountain Lion clients. Surely he then built a plan for migration from Snow Leopard to Moutain Lion for his clients, understanding the challenges therein.


    But no, instead jason fired up the App Store, installed a new OS without any apparent knowledge of how it would impact is administrative tasks and then sprinted to this forum to scream at us about how he didn't know something. This is not the behavior of an "IT Professional" but of a n00b who has to have the shiny new toy before everyone else.


    An IT professional's entire existence is planning for obsolecense, reacting to rapid change and picking up the pieces when it all goes wrong. Jason somehow managed to ignore the obsolecense of his servers, idly let changes to the OS pass him by and then came here to find someone else to pick up his pieces.


    I'm sorry, but that's just nonsense and his outburst was uncalled for.

  • Christopher Murphy Level 2 Level 2 (470 points)

    I think it's hilarious because on the one hand Jason expects/demands enterprise class server OS tools, yet seems oblivious to how Apple long ago exited this market both in terms of hardware and software. Nor is this the first time. It's like yelling at a collapsed ocean wave to come back. Umm, just go find another wave.


    Apple also hasn't ever had the kind of enduring software and security updates one expects for stable, long term server deployment in enterprise. So I don't understand the exclamation as though the present situation is some big shock, and the idea that Apple is out to "get" IT professionals in order to make their lives miserable is likewise amusing.


    I actually think Mac OS X Server's most significant contribution was not itself, but the image it created for Mac OS X client being rock solid stable in an era where the previous version of Mac OS and Windows were anything but stable.

  • Mac Pioneer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Mac OS X Server has also brought to light the amount of understanding it requires to be a Server System Administrator.  Putting a pretty GUI on the front end of some very technical software packages can't 'make' an average user a network SysAdmin.  One needs to understand what is going on under the hood of a server or it is possible to make huge mistakes.  These mistakes can create security risks and cause poor server performance.  I think Brian made several good points about "IT Professionals" being required to plan upgrades and have foresight of upcoming changes in order to provide mission critical, enterprise class network/server services to their company.


    That being said, I also think an "IT Professional" who considers Mac OS X Server, in any form, current or previous, to be an Enterprise Class product completely destroys their own credibility.  I purchased my first Mac in 1984, in the first 100 days it was available.  I'm Apple to the core.  But, OS X Server IS a joke.  Jason's initial observations were correct in that sense.


    I have worked in a 100% Unix environment for almost 20 years.  Two years ago, the company I work for decided to move away from our legacy ERP system (Unix Based) and I was tossed into the world of Windows Servers.  At that time, I personally bought a MacMini with OSX Server installed and set out to 'prove' to the powers-that-be Apple could compete in the enterprise with OS X Server.  They can't.  Period.  As much as I HATE Microsoft Windows, you simply can not compare OS X Server to anything Microsoft has to offer in the Server market.  You will pay dearly for Windows Server 20XX and all the complicated licensing schemes that come with it.  It takes a lot of hardware to perform well.  I'm talking 10's of thousands of dollars in hardware and licenses.  BUT, they perform well and they beat Apple hands down.


    Apple, if you would step up and give a 'real effort' in the Enterprise, you could steal away big $$$.  People WANT an option to M$.  But, I know you simply don't want to mess with the enterprise.  That's OK.  Your stock price reflects you are doing what works for the bottom line and I'm fine with that.  However, Brian and Stephen, please don't pretend the problem Jason has with OS X Server is all his fault.  Apple failed to deliver on this product.  They know and we know it.


    Yes, OS X Server is, in fact, a joke.

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