When Apple recently announced that macOS server shutdown, the move came as no big surprise. Apple has temporarily denied and removed its core services, as well as moving others – such as the caching service – to macOS itself.

But let’s say goodbye for a moment and think about what we would do without it.

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

Open Directory was one of the last services that stood in macOS Server.

At one point, this was a complete solution – especially for small and medium-sized organizations – after the release of Leopard Server in 2007, which included a simplified setup option. In fact, when Apple destroyed 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 focused on a mini Mac server (although any Mac can run a macOS server).

While lower-end Mac platforms as servers could reliably power small organizations, their hardware limited their use in large enterprises. The Mac Pro was the only remaining Apple product capable of functioning as a truly enterprise server.

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