It looks like Apple is trying to make server software that's really easy to use so consumers can set up their own servers in their home, but the Internet is a very dangerous place to run a server if you don't know what you're doing. It's even a greater risk if your server is on the same LAN as your home network. The server admin tools for Lion, from what I can tell, are just too simplistic to be taken seriously for business or professional use, and I fear that Lion Servers will just increase the number of zombies available for botnet service. I have to ask, what were they thinking?
I've been running a nice stable SLS for some time on a Mac Mini. By 10.6.8 it was nice and stable and for the main part easy to administer.
On release day I set up a test Lion Server. I also stupidly installed the supplemental update to SLS.
My view is that Lion Server will eventually come to the prime time but SLS is a much better option right now. The supplemental upgrade introduced a few glitchse however. It feels like the OS team are overworked at Apple and QC has suffered.
My major concern about Lion Server is that the tools are broken, server app is NOT an improvement over Server Admin and 10.7 Server with Server Admin is pitiful; functionality has gone, especially the powerful but easy to use Web services interface in SLS; the Directory Utility is a travesty; and overall Lion Server is glitchy. Sometimes services turn on, sometimes they say they do but they don't and sometimes they don't. Then sometimes they appear to crash or hang.
I'll keep exploring but my view at the moment is that this needs a few revisions and Apple need to review their approach to functionality, particularly the crippled Web functionality. Why would they take us backwards in that area of all areas?
One day 10.7 Server will be good....just not yet.
You guys do realize that you need to seperately download the server tools for Lion from Apple's support site?
I am also running snow leopard Server on an xServe, and I tried to migrate to Lion, but the server migration tool didn't seem to work AT ALL.
This left me with a Lion server that would need to be completely reconfigured from scratch (ie accounts, mail. websites, etc). This is too much work for no real gain. I am hopnig that they fix the migration tool at somepoint or someone posts a workable direction for it?
Anyhow, once you obtain the server tools I mentioned above from the Apple support site, Lion Server looks a lot more like the snow leopard server (from the GUI).
Anyhow, hope that helps,
After that, I noticed the followings.
1)Lion does not have "OpenMpi", but you can install it easly without any problem at least after installing gfortyran.
2)Lion has "vecLib". So Lapack, etc still work well.
3)Admin tool for Web, Wiki, .... is very poor.
So, SL server is much better.
We had to go with MacPorts on our web server to get it to pass PCI Compliance, which of course means that the Apple web "server admin" apps are useless because they don't point to the right places. It's not clear to me why to use os x server on a web server at all. (Well, ok, if you are going to run it as a VM under Parallels...)
A really useful product would have been server admin tools designed to work off of files placed in the standard locations. Or at least have to locations configurable, so that something like MacPorts could just create a .plist file with all of the locations that it was going to use. But no, the mac has to be "special" ::rolleyes::
I was very excited to upgrade to Lion Server, and had gone through all the pre-server-upgrade steps: backup, backup, schedule downtime, etc. Immediately after upgrading, I had issues with accounts not authenticating, some accounts having disappeared altogether, the diradmin account disappeared (yikes!), and I was not aware that Lion Server didn't support some protocols supported in SL (such as VPN over PPTP, FTP) out of the box. Embarrassingly, I had to send out multiple notifications to users that some protocols would be inaccessible. I ran Lion Server for about four days and restored from a backup.
It looks like Lion Server is much easier to configure (especially if using a Time Capsule or other Airport device) out of the box than SL, but since I already confiured SL to my liking, I'm not entirely sure I see an advantage to Lion. I'm patiently waiting for some updates to fix issues that I, and others, have had.
LION SERVER UPGRADERS BEWARE
First off, let me preface my response to this posting by saying that my position on Lion Server is based on running an online Web-based application service provider business.
A: What is bad, and what do you lose moving from Snow Leopard Server 10.6.x to Lion Seerver 10.7.x?
In short, lots! Here are a few items I know of (there are likely more):
- Thin documentation in LS. Unlike the detailed PDF documentation that came with SLS, LS has very thin documentation.
- Poor migration tools - Migrations seem to fail or provide only partial information for many of the services such as Mail, Web, and file sharing.
- No FTP server: I suppose this could be built as well or you will have to buy Apple Remote Desktop or simply use SSH to move files.
- Oversimplified admin tools: Server.app which allows only the most basic Web and email service setup. You can download the old-style Workgroup.app and Server_Admin.app software from the Apple support Web site, but even these tools - which were the bread and butter of server management - are watered down. For instance, in Workgroup manager there is no longer a "Mail" tab for managing advanced mail features of a user like forwarding (how basic is that) and whether or not to give a user access to iMap versus POP email. The Web service is completely missing from the old Server_admin.app and had been replaced by a very slimmed down Web site manager in the new Server.app. All those advancd Web site domain and realm panels, logging, multi-sub domains, forwarding, port 443 SSL and port 80 combined sites, etc. are all now missing or are only accessable through complicated command line tweaking.
- No MySQL - this comes as no surprise after Oracles acquisition of MySQL. Postgre SQL is now standard. I have nothing against Postgre, as its a great database, but for folks deeply entrenched with MySQL its simply not an option. You can install MySQL yourself, but smooth integration into the Lio Server startup and shutdown process aren't going to be built-in requiring more work for the administrator.
- No Java - What? This just seems silly to me. Again, you can install this as an end-user, but be prepared for some deep Unix knowledge for installing, configuring, and testing.
- No Tomcat Server - Again, a head sratcher. This is another critical piece of software for anyone doing advanced Web-based applications. You can build and configure this yourself again, but be prepared to know how to manually configure it and incorporate it with Apache.
- Different Launch Daemon process for jobs. If you were using CRON, or had migrated to how 10.5 and 10.6 use the new LaunchDaemons and LaunchAgents will cause you headaches for your batch jobs.
- Mail Server - Oversimplified to the point of ridiculousness as a mail server administrator. Not enough front-end control over individual users and how they interact with the system.
- Web Server - Again, massively oversimplified interface in Server.app and no access to the advanced configuration that we used to have in Server_admin.app makes this unuseable by all but the simplest Web site hosting.
B: What is good about Lion Server?
If you are a mom-and-pop business that basically just wants to set up a simple email server, file sharing, and a simple Web site server, I suppose the new Server.app makes it very easy. But if you need anything beyond the bare bones basics, you will quickly become frustrated.
C: Thoughts and Comments
Overall, the biggest issues I have with Lion Server all stem from Apple dumbing down the tools, eliminating the most useful technologies, dropping the ball on documentation, and generally trying to more Lion Server into the realm of a server OS only useable to companies like "Bob's Local Real Estate".
What Apple should have done with Lion Server is taken Snow Leopard Server, with all its granular tools and front-end GUI management software, and simply made it better. What they did was the opposite. They made this as unappealing now as possible for the thousands of small but tech savvy businesses that need all of those tools to run their businesses without having full-time UNIX folks on-hand to build and manage all the tools that used to just exist and "work" on Snow Leopard Server. Sure, they could have included the simplified Server.app for those businesses wanting a basic solution, but why make everyone else pay the price for that simplicity. Lion Server was a fantastic OS.
I would love it if Apple were to re-release Snow Leopard Server and make it compatible with the Mac Mini Server and the latest Mac Pro's. That would solve all our problems for the next 5 years or so.
After the demise of the Xserve (luckily we stocked up before they were gone), I knew Apple would be gradually shutting down their presence and support for enterprise level business. Lion Server just cements that thought in my head. Apple has decided loud and clear they are a consumer facing business. They no longer want to work with or support the enterprise level businesses that so fell in-love with their great server products.
Sadly, with new product like the Mac Mini server, Apple tells me they are basically "hardware incompatible" with anything but Lion Server. I guess it's time to start learning Windows Server (Aaaarg!) or go with an all-Unix server solution.
*cry's* I miss Snow Leopard Server...
One way to configure a new mac mini or a new mac pro is to run Parallels and then run Snow Leopard Server (or Leopard Server, for that matter) inside. Virtuallization has some real advantages (you can reboot one virtual machine while all the rest of them hum contentedly along...) anyway, and as a way to run Snow Leopard Server inside of Lion inside of Lion-only hardware, it is a nice, slick solution. A little pricey at $500 per SLS license, but if you already were running lots of SLS machines you may already have unused SLS licenses around.
Don't forget to add that TIMEMACHINE has been reduced and you can now only have one disk on the server for timemachine. huh?
Looks like Apple is getting out of the enterprise server market and going toward the home user with very little disk space needs. (ie: 2 - 4TB rather than 36 - 80TB)
On my snow Leopard server I have three storage arrays connected and used as timemachine disks.
I wasn't fool enough to upgrade that server (too many people rely on it) so I did a new test server -
The only word that comes to mind for the new Mac OSX Lion server to me is: Disaster
(So many things would have broken that rely on MySQL, etc..)
First Xserve goes away, now a reduced server product...
OK, after a very frustating week struggling to find work-arounds for the crippled services, I just UPGRADED back to 10.6.8. This is the first time I really had to do this. The Timemachine limitaten finally killed the Lion Server for me.
What do they expect me to do with my 2 RAID crates, 16 disk each, around 40 TB worth of laptop backups ?
Since new hardware will require Lion, Apple really want us to run SL in virtual machines when my XServer finally dies ?
I do think that the Lion Server can be a good home server, and it's probably worth the 50$ for some.
Can the rest of us PLEASE have the REAL Lion server now being released ?