c nerd blog — OS/X Server


I’m fed up.

I’ve tried OS/X server, again. I’ve given it a damn good chance. It’s just too unreliable, too brittle.

Basically, if you want to use it seriously, you need to spend an hour or so each day giving it special attention, stroking it and tarting it, to get rid of whatever errors have accumulated since its last ego–fest, to retune it, and to sort it out. The benefits are not worth the cost, for me.

Microsoft’s servers just work, usually. The difference is, of course, that Microsoft are in the server business. There’s a lot of the internet & a great number of companies that depend on Windows servers, so it’s worth Microsoft’s effort to make sure their products are solid and reliable. And they are, usually.

Apple are not properly in the server business. It’s not really worth their time to make their product perfect. OS/X Server seems to be a long old line of afterthought. But, even so, they do sell it, and they sell it specifically as a server product, so one expects server reliability. Apple just don’t deliver.

That’s the official line, and it’s bollocks. The other line of server software that I find to be humongously reliable and super solid is OpenBSD. This is produced by a guy in Calgary, with help from expert enthusiasts from around the world. How come a few guys living off donations can produce software that’s more reliable than a multi–billion dollar corporation?

I’d installed Apple’s OS/X Server to make sure I understand and can make my way around the current software ecosystem. Software is my profession, I like to make sure I know what I’m talking about. I’ve not installed it because it is necessary, I’ve installed it to get my head round it. So I’m going to drop it, again, but this time I won’t give it another chance.

I’m going to switch to investigating the capability of Linux. That’s the big hole in my knowledge of the server ecosystem that I really ought to address.

I now know that if anyone ever asks me for my advice on OS/X Server, I’ll tell them to forget it, go run Windows server.

And Windows server is more reliable running on Apple hardware inside a configuration of VMWare that’s supposedly so unreliable it’s not even supported. That sodding works. FFS.

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