Mailing List SIMS@mail.stalker.com Message #15436
From: cb <cb@mythtech.net>
Subject: Re: end of an era
Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2007 23:25:03 -0500
To: SIMS Discussions <SIMS@mail.stalker.com>
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.752.3)
On Feb 7, 2007, at 9:19 PM, Christopher Bort wrote:

If you're only running 'internet' services (mail, web, ftp), then you are
absolutely correct. OS X Server is not worth the premium price. It _is_
worth it, however, if you are in an environment where you need the other
services included with Server (file services, 'collaboration' services,
etc.) and you need them to be integrated through Open Directory.

You are correct. In my case, I was only referring to using it for the mail services. I have 3 OS X servers that I run. One is for file services to Mac and PC. This one also acts as a VPN server and does light duty web hosting for a few internal pages. This one is well worth the money for OS X Server and I love it (although I have to admit, Windows 2000 Server with Services For Mac was a little easier to keep using, although it was a little trickier to get up and running the first time... OS X Server is very particular with permissions, so there is some tweaking that needs to be done when using folders that are for publicly shared files... Win2k was easier as it didn't really pay much attention to file permissions and by default assumed if you had access to a folder, then you should have access to everything inside the folder... less secure, but easier for the common person to deal with).

I have a 2nd that acts as my primary web server, and does occasional duty as a Quicktime Streaming Server. I also find this one to be worth the money, as the Server Admin does make 99% of the web services easier. I migrated to this server from NetBSD running Apache where I used to have to do everything by hand, and I find OS X Server's Server Admin much much easier for managing the web services.

My last one is acting only as a mail server (web services are also on so I can use webmail), and it is the only one where I feel if I had paid for OS X Server just for these mail services, I'd have been very unhappy. Server Admin really falls short of being good for anything more than basic mail setup, and is actually of no use to getting things like ClamAV and SpamAssassin working properly despite the fact that there are settings for them available in the Mail component of Server Admin. In my case, I had the license available as it had previously been in use for a stand alone Quicktime Streaming Server... so I'm not out any money for having turned it into a mail server, so I'm happy with the setup as it does work quite well and is pretty solid once it is up and running. But seeing how little I use the actual "Server" features for this machine, I'd have been just as well off going with one of the setups that converts regular OS X into a mail server (possibly better off as many of them use MySQL and a web interface for user management, whereas right now I'm doing much of that via an SSH connection and vi to directly edit the config files).

Certainly if someone plans to do more than just mail with their server, then OS X Server is worth checking out. I'd only say skip it if they were planning on just doing mail services. And this only applies to versions up to 10.4. I've not tried 10.5 Server yet as it hasn't been released, so it's mail services interface may turn out to be much better. (that last comment is more for historical purposes... I hate to think a year or more from now someone finds this thread in an archive and skips looking at some future version of OS X Server thinking my comments still applied)

-chris
<www.mythtech.net>


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