When Apple recently announced that shut down macOS Server, this move did not come as a big surprise. Apple has been withdrawing and removing its core services for a while and moving others – such as the caching service – to macOS itself.

But let’s take some time to say goodbye and think about what we will do without him.

MacOS Server has a long and rich history. It predates Mac OS X by one year, initially launching in 1999. One of its main features was Open Directory, which launched on Mac OS X Panther Server. This was Apple’s response to Microsoft’s Active Directory and was a powerful solution for managing Macs, user accounts, and any Mac settings associated with it. It also integrates well with Active Directory, making it a solution for mixed Mac and Windows environments.

Open Directory was one of the latest services on macOS Server.

At one point, this was a complete solution – especially for small and medium-sized organizations – since the release of Leopard Server in 2007, which included a simplified setup option. In fact, as Apple killed several enterprise hardware products (xServe and xServe RAID), the focus of macOS Server shifted from a large enterprise product to a product that better serves small businesses centered around a Mac mini server (although any Mac can start macOS server).

While lower-end Macs as servers could reliably power smaller organizations, their hardware limits their use in large enterprises. Mac Pro was the only remaining Apple product capable of functioning as a true enterprise server.

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