Apple Seemingly Kills macOS Server, Deprecates Many Essential Services

Lucy holds the football for Charlie Brown, yet again

Apple announced what is seemingly the effective end to macOS Server. In a press release, Apple said:

Lucy holding the football yet again for Charlie Brown
TMO’s Dramatic Reenactment of Apple’s relationship with the enterprise

Just kidding, you can find the official announcement-via-support article on Apple’s site. Apple asks you, dear macOS Server user, to:

Prepare for changes to macOS Server

But it should ask you to prepare for pain. Many macOS Server services will be deprecated, according to the announcement:

A number of services will be deprecated, and will be hidden on new installations of an update to macOS Server coming in spring 2018. If you’ve already configured one of these services, you’ll still be able to use it in the spring 2018 macOS Server update.

These deprecated services will be removed in a future release of macOS Server, so those depending on them should consider alternatives, including hosted services. Deprecated services are listed below. Links to potential replacements are provided underneath each deprecated service.

The list of deprecated services is so long, one wonders what is left:











Apple’s Fits and Starts in Enterprise

This is yet another blow for those, particularly small businesses, that were relying on Apple for Enterprise/IT services.  Users of macOS Server will have to find other ways replicate those services since they will be removed in future versions. In some forums like Macs In Law Offices (MILO), users noted, for example, that “Apple’s push notifications[, …] calendar and contacts” might be difficult to replicate.

The Apple Enterprise line of products on the Mac side has been sustaining a long drawn out drowning. This goes back to Apple discontinuing Xserve RAID and XServe hardware, and numerous macOS Server “upgrades” that have resulted in reduced functionality. This is, currently, in contrast to Apple’s increasing inroads to the enterprise market with iOS.

One wonders why Apple simply doesn’t pull the plug on the product line all together.  In the support note, Apple claims:

macOS Server is changing to focus more on management of computers, devices, and storage on your network.

Perhaps Apple wants to ensnare a new group of Charlie Browns, because this time, this time Apple is tote’s serious about the enterprise. In the mean time, folks in forums have pronounced that “[b]asically…macOS Server [is] dead”.

9 thoughts on “Apple Seemingly Kills macOS Server, Deprecates Many Essential Services

  • It makes sense after killing off X-Server but it’s still painful and IMO stupid. I work in IT; Windows is horrible; implementing and supporting Windows makes my job hell; drains all the fun out of IT. It was so nice to know that small business or even big business which choose to use Mac’s, had a solid server product from Apple that they could build their office network on, and which would have been a joy for their IT Pro to support.

    I’d have thought as well that OS X Server probably influenced more than a few people to move over to Mac and or iPhone due to the halo effect of using good server software, especially if they were previously used to a Windows Server-based environment at a previous job.

    But that’s all gone now and Apple is happy to let Windows eat their lunch. Sad. Morons.

  • I think this is just another of Apple hating on its enterprise/professional customer base. There is no excuse not to maintain those services in macOS server.


    RIP Disk Utility (that once was) 😢

  • Really, this is disappointing. Why does Apple do this? If Apple is only about the bottom line, something they claimed over and over that it is not about then this makes little sense, to me.

  • Yeah, “folks in forums” are often looking for a reason to complain, or feel superior! I’ve had very few opportunities to use ANY of the services being removed. I’m guessing Apple did research, and their ROI just isn’t there. No biggie!

  • But hey, we at least still have WebObjects!


    Snarkiness aside, I was stunned to see that WebObjects still has an active community. Which makes me presume that the number of users of these services that Apple has given up on is far higher than I expected. Apple is undoubtedly a smart company, but as John Martellaro has eloquently argued many times here Apple’s withdrawel of the Enterprise market feels like a huge short-sited mistake.

  • Just another nail in the coffin of the “Professional” Mac User. Apple can spew all the platitudes it wants about how it cares, yet this is a shot right at my line of work. I have worked as an IT person for the last 25 years and all of these services are essential at times. Now people will have to look at Linux or AD solutions. Thank you for abdicating another market to the competition.

    1. Emoji & Animoji’s are now the top priority. The users of those things didn’t even heard of macOS Server. I have the impresion that some preteens entered Apple top managemet or maybe some variant of epidemical dementia is spreading in the top level.

  • Yes, irritating for those who already use those Server services, but I suspect that new deployment of those server services is pretty small.
    Organisations that really want to run those services in-house are more likely to be using other software (& possibly hardware) that has a better developed & supported set of features.
    For small businesses who now have solid internet the use of shared hosted services, where somebody else worries about maintenance & updates, is far more common…. mail, calendars, contacts, messaging, wiki, web sites.

    And I believe that the roots of many of these services in macOS are on a common license which possibly imposes extra workload for doing any real development?

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