Apple’s SMB problem

Posted by on July 24th, 2019 | 1 Comment ยป


In the Mojave 10.14.5 update, Apple broke reliable SMB file sharing. Organizations found that the SMB service would stop responding after a few hours of uptime. Apple addressed this problem in 10.14.6.

Apple has another SMB problem. In this case, I’m talking about Small and Medium-sized Businesses. Apple has gradually been moving away from server technologies that small businesses rely on. File sharing is one of these critical services. It’s surprising that Apple performed little or no QA on such a basic service for 10.14.5. With the recent simplification (to put it mildly) of the macOS Server product, Apple is sending a strong message that it wants to get out of the on-premises service business. I would argue that there’s a limit to how far it can go in this business endeavor. There are legitimate reasons why businesses want locally-hosted services, such as performance and security.

Apple’s timeline for addressing its SMB problem is completely unacceptable. Here are the release dates:
10.14.5 – May 13, 2019
10.14.6 – July 22, 2019

Companies that use macOS file sharing had to resort to rolling back their OS or using AFP. I believe that any other mainstream operating system would have been fixed in a few days given a major failure of basic functionality. Apple’s timeline speaks volumes about how it values its SMB customers.

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1 Comment

  1. MagnumX says:

    They didn’t fix anything in 10.14.6. It’s much worse here than in 10.14.5 even (it worked OK for me in El Capitan on the same Mac Mini server). Using KODI on a FireTV 4K, it would hardly ever freeze or have issues with playback with El Capitan. I upgraded to Mojave after replacing my dual Raid 0 setup with a 2TB SSD and it would freeze every few videos/movies in 10.14.5. Since upgrading to 10.14.6 (and hoping it would fix the issues for good), instead now it freezes 2 out of 3 times with small 20-22 minute TV Shows even and worse yet, it doesn’t recover (it would usually pause and then catch up before; now I have to manually kill the SMBD process to get it working again or KODI just says, “Connection timed out” and won’t do anything.

    I suppose I could move the database over to NFS (huge PITA, but I already did it to test against 10.14.5 issues), which is ridiculous since it’s more of a pain to setup (Apple used to support NFS in the server app, but ditched it many moons ago) and technically isn’t as fast as SMB3 is capable of being, but broken is no good either.

    I still have El Capitan on external backup. I may just go back to it. Apple is getting ready to move to 10.15 and that will kill all 32-bit apps (most old games, older versions of Photoshop and Office, etc. that I don’t use enough to warrant buying a cloud subscription, etc.) and so I won’t upgrade to it at all. Apple might as well have told me to move back to Windows after 13 years of using Macs.

    In fact, I already set up Boot Camp with Windows 10 Pro on the same machine and installed MacDrive and it can serve my same shares and KODI doesn’t know the difference (other than not locking up). Most of my games (all the Steam ones for example) can work in Windows 10 and I think I have an even older version of Photoshop from like the year 2000 that reportedly still works in Windows 10 so Apple is pretty much slitting their own throats with these crappy OS updates that NO ONE WANTS except fanatics who think everything Tim Cook does is GREAT, but their opinion means jack to me. I just remember how awesome OS X was (when it was still called OS X like it should be) with Tiger (on my PowerMac G4 Digital Audio upgraded to 2GHz) and then Leopard and Snow Leopard on my first Intel Mac and then Mavericks on my MacMini. Even El Capitan ran OK, but then I read horror stories about Sierra and High Sierra and avoideed them like the plague, but then I read Mojave was quite good. Well, I guess I missed that working version of 10.14.4…. Really, I think it is ONLY SMB that is having any serious issues here.

    It’s sad, really that something so important is so broken. Why Apple doesn’t just license SMB3 from Microsoft instead of trying (and failing) to write their own is beyond me. I think they did license it for one version (was it Mavericks? It seemed like it worked the best since Snow Leopard here), but then they go CHEAP (despite being RICH) and rolled their own. How they can have so many programmers and so much money and make such a crap product these days is beyond me. And here I thought Windows sucked (well they do too; Windows 10 wiped out people’s files last fall…crazy). At least Apple doesn’t FORCE updates, but that doesn’t get a working version going here again).