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New Macs, new versions of Mac OS X, new software, and new college years flawless translate to 1 thing for Mac IT team of workers: selecting the premiere mode to roll out the new computers, software, lecture rooms, or configurations. Ryan Faas offers you an profile of the diversity of materiel attainable from Apple and third parties, and tells you the course to roll out with less bother and fewer headaches.Like this text? They recommend
Deployments are portion of being for IT staff, live they deployments of new workstations, new functions or different configuration adjustments, or deployments of complete new labs and networks. these working in schooling often disburse the times before a school 12 months or new college semester readying school rooms and computing device labs by doing desktop cleanup and updates (virtually, wiping the difficult drives of workstations and then deploying a new system configuration onto them). unluckily, deployments can either live trouble-free or riddled with headaches devoid of each redress planning and the commandeer equipment. this article makes a speciality of the commandeer tools for Mac IT team of workers charged with planning and managing deployments and rollouts.
There are a number of materiel and techniques that are, by means of this aspect, considered tried and actual, together with the venerable Apple software repair in both community and indigenous disk diversifications (along with several GUI entrance ends to ease the deployment technique), Mac OS X Server’s NetInstall characteristic, Apple far flung desktop, and the open source Radmind utility. additionally protected are computer administration tools equivalent to FileWave and NetOctopus. We’ll look to live briefly at every option, its methodology, and its professionals and cons for a lot of sorts of deployments.
Apple software repair (ASR) has been a device for Mac directors and technicians for almost twenty years. In Mac OS X, ASR is a command-line tool that is portion of every Mac OS X liberate. ASR uses disk photographs created with the Apple Disk Utility (or the very tool) as a supply of goal workstations. it could possibly overwrite an present disk with a precise picture. because disk images comprise a totally configured system (Mac OS X, apportion in software, system configuration, and so on), ASR allows you to straight away set up read-to-use workstations. It isn't, although, a particularly first rate tool for making employ of software updates or rolling out a sole or restricted amount of purposes.
ASR can employ a disk photo stored on a local disk (such as a tough power or CD/DVD) as a source for deployments or it could actually employ a disk vivid it is saved on a server. Being a command-line software, it is feasible to stir ASR operations remotely. youngsters, since the target difficult drive or partition could live overwritten as portion of the ASR method, workstations exigency to live flawless started from an alternative Mac OS X boot disk (customarily an exterior challenging pressure or alternate partition).
to achieve employ of a disk vivid as a supply for ASR, the photo own to first live "scanned" with the ASR application. The scanning process optimizes the picture to live used with ASR and may reorder parts of the image for faster copying. counting on the size of the picture, this manner could elect some time.
About checking out
Surrounding each MacTech Boot Camp, Apple Certification assessments will live available. view inescapable metropolis guidance for dates and instances as some testing takes vicinity prior to MacTech Boot Camp in a metropolis. best MacTech Boot Camp attendees may likewise elect portion during this examination software, and you must live pre-registered for checking out. No onsite testing registration.learn. community. salvage licensed.
space is restricted so act now!
(Disclaimer: while terribly helpful, MacTech Boot Camp sessions nor the checking out study community don't look to live meant to prepare you certainly for Apple Certification tests. examination Proctor/coach can likewise or can likewise now not own potential concerning your specific exam. explore at session is intended greater as a explore at community or final minute explore at period. there will handiest live ample time to allow for one examination.)
PricingFor $199 (apart from the MacTech Boot Camp registration charge), you can elect a proctored certification examination and elect half in a bunch examine session (value $299). Registration is sunder for each and every city as indicated under.
ScheduleYou own time for a sole examination. Any of the tests obtainable at the time from Apple licensed testing centers will likewise live taken. live sure you select the commandeer metropolis for your registration.San Francisco Boot Camp
checking out with the aid of their associate at this location:Registration Closed v.2 Consulting, Inc.a hundred and fifteen Sansome highway, Suite 1150San Francisco CA 94104415-989-9889
There are two time slots for trying out (which takes plot on Tuesday, January twenty fifth). You might likewise elect either on a primary-come, first-served basis. There is limited skill for testing, so please achieve your selections rapidly for most useful selection:
trying out Session 1:9am: verify-in9:10am-10:30am: explore at session10:30am-11am: exam login and setup11am-1pm: examination
trying out Session 2:2pm: investigate-in2:10pm-3:30pm: anatomize session3:30pm-4pm: exam login and setup4pm-6pm: exam
The testing will elect area at v.2’s workplaces. It’s a ten-15 minute stroll, or a short cab journey, from the MacTech Boot Camp SF venue. please recognise that there's security in the constructing foyer where v.2’s offices are located, and you should live on the listing of registered exam takers to inch to the v.2 workplaces.Dallas Boot Camp
testing by using their associate at this area:Registration Closed MacAmerica Dallas / toes. price:2300 Valley View, Suite 205Irving, Texas 75062972-823-4000
trying out takes vicinity the day in forward of the event, on Tue, April 26th:5:15-5:30pm: determine in5:30-6:30pm: Proctor “moderated” anatomize group6:30-7:00pm: salvage individuals registered for on-line testing, checks chosen7:00-9:00pm: test taken
The checking out will elect location at MacAmerica’s places of work. It’s a 10 minute force, or a short cab ride, from the MacTech Boot Camp Dallas venue (Hyatt Regency DFW). in case you conclude not exigency a motor vehicle, taxi service will likewise live referred to as for both instructions.Boston Boot Camp
trying out by their confederate at this area:Registration Closed Future Media ideas – BostonOne Kendall SquareBldg 300, 2nd FlCambridge, MA 02139Phone: 617-621-1155
checking out takes region the day in forward of the adventure, on Tue, may additionally 17th:2:00-2:15pm: examine in2:15-three:30pm: Proctor “moderated” study group3:30-4:00pm: salvage americans registered for online checking out, exams chosen4:00-6:00pm: check taken
The testing will elect area at FMC’s places of work. It’s a 5 minute power or 20 minute walk from the MacTech Boot Camp Boston venue (Royal Sonesta lodge). Taxi provider can likewise live called for each instructions.los angeles Boot Camp
For numerous scheduling and logistical explanations, testing is not accessible at the side of this event. That talked about, MacTech recommends that you just check into artistic resources (in Costa Mesa) or v.2 Consulting in Studio metropolis for his or her certification offerings.no longer purchasable. Chicago Boot Camp
testing via their confederate at this location:click on to Register MacSpecialist – Chicago500 N Wells St.Chicago, Illinois 60654Phone: 312-755-0000
trying out takes vicinity the day ahead of the event, on Tue, August thirtieth:2:00-2:15pm: investigate in2:15-3:30pm: Proctor “moderated” study group3:30-four:00pm: salvage people registered for online testing, exams chosen4:00-6:00pm: check taken
The trying out will elect location at MacSpecialist’s places of work. It’s approximately 1.5 miles (cab ride or stroll) from the MacTech Boot Camp Chicago venue (Allegro hotel).accessible Apple Certification assessments:
At each and every region, here tests can live found. remember, customarily explore at community dialogue surrounds the “essentials” tests.
Mac Integration fundamentals examination [9L0-406]Mac OS X aid necessities v10.6 [9L0-403]Mac OS X Server essentials v10.6 [9L0-510]Mac OS X Deployment v10.6 [9L0-623]Mac OS X listing features v10.6 [9L0-624]Mac OS X protection and Mobility 10.6 examination [9L0-625]ACTC v10.6 Recertification examination [9L0-511]Xsan 2 Administration [9L0-622]
further tests may live accessible. Contact us for greater assistance.
Apple shops are challenging-pressed to locate a better cloud e-mail capabilities option than office 365-hosted trade. Erik Eckel explains.
it's complicated to beat Microsoft's office 365-hosted trade e mail features. For $5.00 (USD) per person, monthly (paid yearly), you are going to live challenged licensing, installation, administering, keeping, and securing your own electronic mail server — inspite of platform — for much less.
Microsoft's workplace 365 business necessities plan, which scales to guide up to 300 users, is suitable with Microsoft workplace 2011 for Mac. The platform additionally works with fresh types of OS X's integrated Mail, Calendar, and Contacts applications.
Even older stores still running Entourage 2008 web functions edition may still discover the platform appropriate, however such places of labor should still anticipate to should achieve Entourage configuration adjustments, together with changing the alternate account settings, as described on Microsoft's office on-line website. That observed, i recommend relocating off Entourage to OS X Mail or Outlook 2011 for Mac. Apple groups can improve to Microsoft's office 365 marketing strategy for under $8.25 per person, per thirty days (again, paid yearly), and that includes wholly installed workplace utility licenses.
Microsoft suggests on its office online web site that Apple clients working Mac OS 10.6 or more recent can employ the built-in Mac Mail software with hosted change services. OS X clients caught on 10.four and 10.5 can nonetheless connect the built-in Mail app to trade capabilities as long as the account is related with out using IMAP or POP.
In my adventure, shoppers own been well served the usage of OS 10.6 and iOS 6 and newer with hosted alternate. Connecting new drugs, smartphones, and Macs to hosted exchange features typically proves to live an simple assignment that requires below five minutes, assuming the person knows the apropos server identify, username, and password for the account. And when Apple shops add home windows machines, it's very handy to connect Outlook to the hosted trade platform.
moreover commercial enterprise-category calendar sharing, Apple organizations imposing an workplace 365 business essentials objective obtain online conferencing capabilities, speedy messaging, and Skype connectivity, plus file storage, sharing points, and cell versions of notice, Excel, and PowerPoint. Outlook net entry performance is protected as neatly.
businesses needn't live anxious that individual e mail message attachments and mailbox size restrictions will witness artificially low. workplace 365 company necessities mailboxes can develop up to 50 GB, and attachments up to 25 MB are supported.
Does your corporation employ Microsoft's workplace 365-hosted change electronic mail services on Apple computers and contraptions? if so, what pros and cons own you ever experienced? let us know in the discussion thread beneath.
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Apple has just announced the latest version of OS X, 10.9 Mavericks, will live available as a free Mac App Store download today. In addition to the customary swear of increased hurry and efficiency, the update has a number of improvements over 10.8 Mountain Lion, including a more robust notification system (which includes inline replies), better champion for multiple monitors and full screen apps, a revamp of Finder, and the addition of iCloud Keychain for saving passwords.
A clip from Apple's keynote.
Many other apps own been updated, but although some are getting a boost in functionality, a lot of the labor done brings the overall aesthetic of OS X in line with Apple's iOS 7. Gone are the Contacts app's fake engage and pages, gone are Calendar's torn page marks, and gone is the Notes app's yellow legal pad. This is the first time Apple has distributed a major update fancy Mavericks without charging — 10.8 Mountain Lion was priced at $19.99, while 10.7 Lion was $29.99. The free update is available to everyone running OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and above.
It's worth noting that the discount doesn't extend to OS X Server. The latest Server 3.0 requires Mavericks and will live available as a $19.99 upgrade from the Mac App Store.
Apple has released a new beta of OS X Server 3.1 to developers. The update requires OS X 10.9.2 on the target machine and has a build number of 13S4090c. The previous build was released on January 21st.
This developer preview follows the release of iOS 7.1 beta 5, which came out earlier this morning. You can grab both betas on Apple’s Developer Center.
Release Notes OS X Server Preview OS X Server 3.1 Preview (Build 13S4090c) is now available for testing on OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 systems.
Minimum System Requirements To install OS X Server Preview, you exigency one of these computers:
Your Mac needs: • OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 • At least 2GB of RAM • At least 10 GB of available disk space (50 GB if you wish to employ Caching Server)
Installation Instructions Install OS X Server 3.1 Preview 13S4090c on a computer running OS X Mavericks 10.9.2.
This preview supports migrations from OS X Lion Server 10.7.5 and OS X Server 2.2.2 and updating from OS X Server 3.0.2 or later.
Noteworthy Changes and Areas to Test OS X Server 3.1 Preview 13S4090c is focused on universal Server and Profile Manger bug fixes.
Bug Reporting When reporting a bug, enter the following command in Terminal, then attach the output to the bug report. $ sudo /Applications/Server.app/Contents/ServerRoot/usr/sbin/ serverloggather
Known Issues! Profile Manager • When using a self-signed certificate, the Invalid Certificate sheet may not materialize after saving login credentials using Safari 7.0.2. The workaround is to navigate back, and then forward, in Safari.” • The “Enable VPP Managed Distribution Service” checkbox gets stuck in a the “Processing VPP information….” state. The workaround is to click the Refresh button in the bottom toolbar to oblige an update. Other • Updating to OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 disables WebDAV for Wiki Server. To restore Wiki share points on WebDAV clients upgrading, accelerate the following command in Terminal: sudo apachectl restart • In Xcode Server, automated logic tests accelerate in the simulator may fail with an error similar to: “Test target [test name] encountered an error (Test process exited with code -1). • In Caching Server following a migration OS X Snow Leopard Server to OS X Server 3.1 Preview 13S4090c, the data directory is not created. The workaround is to spin the Caching Server service on.
Update: We've covered the new features in updates 2.1 and 2.2 here.
Even long-time Mac users could live forgiven for not knowing anything about OS X Server, the business-oriented version of the operating system that has been developed alongside the better-known consumer version for as long as OS X has existed. For a long while, the software shipped only with the Xserve, Apple's enterprise-class server hardware. Standalone licenses for the unlimited client version of the software cost $1,000 flawless the course up until Snow Leopard, when the expense dropped to a still-imposing $500.
All this changed in early 2011 when Apple discontinued the Xserve and replaced it with repurposed configurations of the Mac Mini and Mac Pro. The former sold (and continues to sell) at the $1,000 expense so appealing to power users and tiny businesses, though the Mini lacks the Xserve's hardware monitoring features or expandability.
With Lion Server and now Mountain Lion Server, the software has followed the hardware in becoming cheaper and simpler, and in shifting its focus from large businesses to tiny ones. At $50, Lion Server cost only five percent of what Leopard Server did; at $20, Mountain Lion Server costs less than half of that. As the product has gotten cheaper and within attain of regular people, the tools used to administer it own become correspondingly less complex, both in terms of how difficult they are to employ and in how powerful they are.
Because of OS X Server's newly lowered price, because so much has changed since Snow Leopard, and because Ars Technica's lengthy OS X reviews own never touched on Server before (with the exception of a piece they ran in January about using Lion Server in the home), we've got a lot of ground to cover. This article should serve as an introduction to the software's capabilities, an evaluation of how those services labor compared to the competition, and a basic how-to guide for getting everything up and running. By the time you're done reading, you should own a decent working erudition of what this software can do, how to configure it, and whether it's privilege for you.Introduction and installation
Unlike Windows Server, which contains a huge number of under-the-hood changes that achieve it substantially different from the client versions of Windows, Mac OS X Server is and always has been more or less indistinguishable in operation from Mac OS X. The server OS is really just the client OS with the server bits tacked on, and flawless of the observations made in John Siracusa's characteristically thorough review of Mountain Lion also apply to the server product.
Installing Mountain Lion Server is done through the Mac App Store, just as Lion Server was. Downloading the OS X Server app (hereafter "Server.app") will spin any Mac running Mountain Lion into a server. Snow Leopard Server and previous versions of the software required you to accelerate the software on some sort of desktop, fancy an iMac or a Mac Mini or an XServe, but Lion Server dropped that stipulation and Mac laptops can now live used as servers, too. Once you've purchased Server.app, you can achieve as many Macs into OS X Servers as you want. You can likewise employ Server.app to remotely manage your OS X Server from an OS X client.Configuring a hostname is the most complicated determination you'll own to achieve when turning your Mac into a server.
When you first accelerate Server.app, its wizard will salvage your server up and running in a few uncomplicated steps. It first walks you through configuring your server for employ on a local network or with a domain denomination you've registered, setting up the server's host denomination and IP address, and enabling push Notifications. We'll talk more about how push Notifications in OS X Server labor a slight later, but flawless you exigency to set them up is an Apple ID (Apple recommends you employ a sunder Apple ID for your organization, not a personal Apple ID used to purchase apps), which will salvage you a push Notifications certificate that needs to live renewed yearly. Once those steps are complete, you're ready to configure your server.
Downloading and running Server.app prompts a few changes to the operating system itself: the Screen Sharing and Remote Login features are both enabled automatically to achieve remote administration easier, for example. A Lion server would likewise set itself never to travel to sleep while plugged in, and it would likewise change the About This Mac dialog to divulge you that you were in fact running OS X Server—but these changes aren't made in Mountain Lion.Lion Server would change the About This Mac dialog to let you know you were running server software. Mountain Lion Server makes no such changes.
The first issue is simple enough to redress if you exigency an always-on server. The second was only ever a shallow change, but it makes a point: "OS X Server" no longer exists as a sunder product. There's only OS X, which runs something called Server.app. OS X Server lives on in Apple's branding, but such a distinction is no longer made in the operating system itself. Depending on how Apple chooses to proceed, this could live the mount of an worry to sunder Server from the natural OS X evolution cycle, making it a version-agnostic app instead, but that's something they probably won't know for sure until they start hearing about OS X 10.9.Goodbye Server Admin Tools, hello again Server.app
The primary tools used to administer past OS X Server versions were called the Server Admin Tools. These tools—which included Server Admin, Workgroup Manager, and System Image Utility—were each sunder applications that gave users fairly comprehensive control over their server's settings. Server Admin, in particular, was the bread-and-butter administration tool that exposed the settings for most of OS X Server's features. (For you Windows Server admins out there, Server Admin in OS X is roughly analogous to Server Manager in Windows.)Server.app controls flawless of the available services in Mountain Lion Server, whether you fancy it or not.
Lion changed that with something called Server.app, which took some of OS X Server's services and greatly simplified their administration, to mixed effect. Server.app's role was to achieve the product more appealing to users and to novice server administrators, and it's no mistake that the services managed by Server.app in Lion were the ones of most employ to home users and tiny offices: file-sharing, mail, calendar, chat, Time Machine, VPN, podcast, the Web and Wiki servers, and basic user, group, and device management. And talk about simplicity—many of these services were reduced to gigantic On/Off switches and a brace of checkboxes. If you wanted to conclude anything more complicated, the GUI wasn't going to aid you much.
To unlock flawless of Lion Server's features, however, you still needed the Server Admin Tools, which were and still are available as a sunder download. Installing and running Server Admin granted access to some of the more advanced services (DHCP, DNS, NAT, the NetBoot service, the Software Update server, Open Directory, the firewall, and a few others) while exposing more advanced settings for the Mail service, while things fancy Workgroup Manager enabled more advanced user and computer management. Other services that had been present in Snow Leopard Server and older versions (Print, QuickTime Server, and others, most of which could safely live considered vestigial) didn't achieve the jump, and aren't present in either Server.app or Server Admin.
In Mountain Lion, though, the Server Admin Tools are dead with only a brace of exceptions. Server.app picks up most of the slack, adding DNS, FTP, NetBoot, Open Directory, Software Update, and Xsan to the list of things it could already do, but basic networking functions fancy DHCP and NAT are gone from the GUI, and are now handled through the command line and by Internet Sharing in the System Preferences, as is the server's software firewall. The Podcast service is gone entirely.
The inch to bury things fancy DHCP makes sense: most home users and tiny offices are going to own a router that already takes keeping of DHCP and NAT for them, while medium-to-large businesses will likely own Windows or Linux-based implementations already in place. Mountain Lion's subtractions should live harmless for many users, but if you relied on OS X Server for any of this before, you'll either own to re-learn the GUI or explore elsewhere to provide these services now.Notes for upgraders
When upgrading a computer running Snow Leopard Server to Lion from the App Store, the installer was brilliant enough to download and install Server.app along with it, transferring settings from Server Admin to Server.app. The Server Admin Tools were still a sunder download, but settings for services managed by Server Admin were still there.
The upgrade path from Lion Server to Mountain Lion Server is slightly less automated: Mountain Lion will hold Lion's version of Server.app (which won't accelerate in Mountain Lion), and you'll exigency to download the current version from the App Store separately. Happily, most of your Lion Server's settings remain intact (with the notable exception of File Sharing share points), and the settings from the eventual of the outmoded Server Admin services look to Come over into Server.app without any issues, but it's odd that upgrading requires a manual download of Server.app when Apple is clearly able to provide it automatically. Once you've installed the Mountain Lion version of Server.app, the Lion version can live trashed; if the Server Admin Tools were present on your Lion computer, they are uninstalled automatically during the upgrade.
One final recommendation for upgraders: I recommend patience even when upgrading OS X clients since the updates that fix the most stern bugs usually Come out quickly, and this recommendation is doubly prudent for OS X Server. Check out the release notes from the server version of 10.7.4 and compare them to the client version—OS X Server's updates accommodate major and far-reaching fixes for services, and the unreliability and inconsistency that new OS X versions often exhibit at first is much, much harder to tolerate in a server scope than on your desktop. If you're the sort to install new OS X versions on your Macs as soon as they're out, you should wait until at least 10.8.2 before you even umpire about upgrading a server. The fact that Mountain Lion Server doesn't drastically change or upgrade many of Lion Server's services should achieve this wait easier.Using Server.app
With the death of the Server Admin Tools, Server.app has become the heart of OS X Server: if it's not in here, you either 1) can't conclude it or 2) you will exigency to hack around in the command line to achieve it happen.
Server.app is used to:
You can launch the app directly from the server itself, or you can install it on any OS X client computer and connect to your Mountain Lion servers using their host names or IP addresses—just click Connect to Server from the Manage menu.You can download Server.app to client computers and administer your OS X servers remotely.
The outmoded Server Admin could live used to manage servers running the current version of OS X Server and the immediately preceding version, but Server.app can only live used to manage the very version of OS X. That is, Lion versions of Server.app can't manage Mountain Lion servers and vice versa. The Lion version of the Server Admin Tools likewise cannot live installed on a computer running Mountain Lion, and the Server Admin Tools will live removed during installation when upgrading from Lion to Mountain Lion.Configuring remote access and SSL certificates is flawless done from within Server.app.
The Hardware tab is, obviously, where you can view your server's tech specs, but it's likewise where you configure remote administration settings, network settings, and push notifications. push notifications are used with the Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Profile Manager services to alert your users when new events or messages occur and to push out new configuration settings, and they are likewise used to alert server administrators when new Alerts are generated—any Mac that has connected to your server using Server.app will receive these Alerts in its Notification Center.Server.app push notifications in the Notification Center.
Push notifications can live pushed from your server to any OS X or iOS client that it manages—you first exigency to salvage a push Notification Service certificate from Apple using an organizational Apple ID, as opposed to the personal Apple ID that you might employ in the Mac App Store or with an Apple Developer account. The certificate, which is used to encrypt the communication between your server and your clients, is free, but it must live renewed yearly.Creating a new self-signed SSL certificate with Server.app.
You likewise manage your server's SSL certificates from Server.app—one self-signed SSL certificate is created automatically for you, but clicking Edit will allow you to create new self-signed certificates and import signed certificates. You can elect to employ one certificate for flawless services your server offers, or apportion sunder certificates to different services.
The Status section is where you can view service logs, resource usage information, and alerts about your server's status.Enlarge / Customizing Alerts settings in Server.app. Alerts allow for some light hardware monitoring, including disk space shortages, difficult drive S.M.A.R.T. status, and network configuration changes. Processor, memory, and network usage graphs can live viewed in Server.app. Each service running in Server.app generates its own log, which can live viewed (and searched through) here.
Server.app has two major shortcomings: the first is that while its extreme simplicity is powerful for consumers, almost every service here has fewer options than it did in the outmoded Server Admin. Some things can still live changed via the Terminal, but the GUI has become far less sophisticated.
The second problem is that Server.app can live a bit unstable. In the weeks I’ve spent with the Mountain Lion version, I’ve had it crash on me a number of times, normally while trying to change settings. At best, it’s a bit laggy—Lion Server has some of the very lag problems, but I don’t undergo many crashes with it, so I’d anticipate at least these problems to live ironed out as Mountain Lion point updates originate to filter out.Open Directory The Open Directory service is Apple's version of Microsoft's lively Directory.
Open Directory, one of the core services of OS X Server, is an LDAP-based directory system that allows you to create and manage user accounts and groups of user accounts. fancy Microsoft's lively Directory, it allows your users to log in to computers and services using one username and password, and administrators can employ it to implement preferences and security settings on Macs and iOS devices, which we'll salvage into when they talk about the Profile Manager.
Open Directory creation and administration is handled completely within Server.app—open the service and switch it on to trigger the configuration wizard.Enlarge / Creating a Directory Administrator account for Open Directory.
We'll live creating a new Open Directory domain for their testbed, but note that you can likewise bind one Open Directory server to another to create a replica server which will provide redundancy in the case of server failure. If any of your servers travel down, your client computers should automatically fail over to one of the working replicas until the borked machine comes back up. If you own multiple Open Directory servers, you can employ the Locales feature to apportion different servers to different network subnets to aid with load balancing.
While setting up a new Open Directory, you'll live asked to set up a directory administrator account that's sunder from the administrator account used to manage the server itself. We'll stick with the default "diradmin" username for their purposes, but the account can live named anything you want. Once you've finished this step, you're basically done with setup; you can spin to the Users and Groups sections to originate building your directory.Users and Groups Creating a new Open Directory user.
Users and user groups used to live configured using a Server Admin tool called Workgroup Manager, which was still doable in Lion if you didn't fancy the new controls in Server.app. Workgroup Manager is still available as a sunder download in Mountain Lion, but the Users and Groups panes in Server.app own been tweaked to involve the most primary of the outmoded options.
Three different kinds of users can live on your Open Directory server: local user accounts that can only log into the server itself, network user accounts that can log into computers bound to your directory and achieve employ of your server's services, and network service accounts that can only live used to access services. You can view and create flawless these types of users in the Users pane.
When creating network users, you must give them a full name, a short name, and a password, and you can likewise enter an e-mail address for them—the Contacts service pulls from Open Directory to autofill names and e-mail addresses, so live sure to input the information just as you'd fancy to view it. The Home Folder drop-down menu is where you elect whether to achieve this a yardstick network account or a service account.
If you set up a file share to store user Home folders in the File Sharing service, you can likewise elect whether to let your network users own their profiles stored on the difficult drives of Macs they log into, or whether the profile is saved to the server. The second option is Apple's version of Microsoft's Roaming Profiles—logging in and working with files can live a bit slower due to network latency, but flawless of the user's files and settings are automatically available no matter what computer they're using.
Using the Disk Quota field, you can circumscribe the amount of server space a user's profile is allowed to consume. It's worth noting that this quota amount doesn't apply to flawless services—Mail accounts own their own quotas, and the Time Machine service doesn't materialize to respect any quota settings at all.
Once created, you can manage users' access to individual services on your server—allowing them to employ Mail, for example, without using Time Machine or the VPN. Within the users pane, you can likewise set password policies (including things fancy minimum length and expiration dates), and the Edit Mail Options territory allows you to set up mail forwarding for individual accounts if you won't live giving them access to their own e-mail account on your server.Managing large numbers of users with Groups is more convenient than managing them individually.
If you own a large number of users, splitting them up into groups and managing their settings that course may live more convenient. While you can't set disk quotas and home directories according to group, you can vouchsafe and block groups' access to services, and you can likewise give each of your groups a file share, a Wiki page, a group mailing list, and automatically achieve group members buddies in the Messages application if you own the service turned on.Comparison with lively Directory
Open Directory is without a doubt simpler to configure than a full-blown lively Directory implementation. Configuring users and groups in Server.app is likewise much simpler than it was in the outmoded Workgroup Manager, while not being as useless as it was in Lion's Server.app.
That simplicity comes at the cost of features, however. Most notably, Open Directory lacks any of the software installation features of lively Directory—administrators will exigency to rely on Apple Remote Desktop or a third-party product fancy the Casper Suite for the installation and patching of third-party applications.
Another missing feature (one that has been missing since Snow Leopard) is the skill to bind Windows computers to an Open Directory server. For mixed networks of Windows and OS X computers, Apple now tells server admins to bind Macs to both an lively Directory server and an Open Directory server, a configuration it calls a "magic triangle"—the lively Directory server handles authentication and settings for the Windows computers and authentication for the Macs, while the Open Directory server controls settings for Macs. It's a pretty gigantic feature to lose, though in drill most businesses aren't going to notice. lively Directory is more or less ubiquitous in the enterprise, so it's usually enough for OS X Server to live able to integrate with those existing directories rather than trying to supplant them.Profile Manager
In previous versions of the software, Mac settings were managed centrally with the Workgroup Manager app. Lion Server introduced a tool called Profile Manager, which manages the very settings for Macs and likewise allows you to manage iOS devices.
After Open Directory, Profile Manager is probably the most valuable service included in OS X Server—with it, you can create and disseminate configuration profiles to your Macs and iOS devices, automatically configuring everything from e-mail accounts to passcode requirements to Dock icons. Once clients own installed one of your configuration profiles, you can likewise push out updated settings automatically if you own a push Notifications certificate enabled on your server.
Profiles are created in the configuration of .mobileconfig files, the very sort of files that are created by the iPhone Configuration Utility and the Apple Configurator, but they can likewise live used to manage Macs. Once you've enabled the Profile Manager, enable Device Management and enter the settings it wants—an organization denomination and e-mail address and an SSL certificate—and you'll live ready to start managing devices.
The default profile is called "Settings for Everyone" and can live configured or replaced by using the Web-based Profile Manager portal. For services that you've configured—Mail, VPN, Calendar, and a few others—checking the "Include configuration for services" box is an simple course to achieve sure everyone connected to your network can at least own access to those services. If you exigency more granular options, click the Open Profile Manager link in Server.app, likewise accessible by typing <your server name>/profilemanager into your browser of choice.Enlarge / Profile Manager profiles can live distributed to users, user groups, devices, and device groups.
Once in Profile Manager, you can view flawless of the users and groups they created in Open Directory earlier. They can likewise view fields for devices and device groups, but they aren't populated yet. To achieve things witness up there, we'll exigency to navigate to the Profile Manager login page at <your server name>/myprofiles from each of the devices you want to manage. I'll live using an iPad in flawless of my examples here, but iPhones, iPod Touches, and Macs running OS X 10.7 or 10.8 are flawless handled pretty much the very way. Older OS X versions are not supported by Profile Manager, but can still live managed with Workgroup Manager, which we'll dispute momentarily.The skill to remotely lock and wipe both iOS devices and Macs in the event of theft, included with Profile Manager, is likewise available through iCloud and Exchange servers, but this is a powerful fallback if you don't own the latter and don't reliance your users to set up the former.
Once you've signed in using a network user account, you'll live presented with a gigantic blue button that will let you enroll your device. Once enrolled, it will witness up in your administrator's Profile Manager, where you can view, edit, and push out new settings as desired. If you're working with a self-signed SSL certificate, you may likewise exigency to install the reliance Profile for your organization from the Profiles tab before your devices will live able to install your profiles.
After devices are enrolled, administrators can view them, lock or wipe them, and arrange them into groups for easier administration. Users can likewise lock and wipe devices on their own without intervention from an administrator.Enlarge / Grouping many devices that exigency to share the very settings—like Macs in a computer lab, for example—can simplify administration.
Almost every setting available in the iOS Settings app or OS X's System Preferences window can live controlled using the .mobileconfig files generated by Profile Manager. Click Edit and you'll view flawless of the settings you can configure. Some, fancy Mail, VPN, security certificates, and wireless network settings can live configured for both OS X and iOS, while others are restricted specifically to iOS (device restrictions fancy the employ of iCloud backups or in-app purchases) or OS X (Dock icons, Gatekeeper settings, roaming profiles, printer settings, and others). You can likewise upload custom .plist files to apply to your OS X computers to configure third-party apps not accounted for in the Profile Manager, and deploy volume licensed iOS apps.
Profile Manager is a powerful tool for directory administrators, and it's likewise usable if you own a large number of OS X and iOS devices at home (or if your children own their own iOS devices and you'd fancy to live able to set universal restrictions on them)—you'll just own to elect if managing the devices centrally is more of a hassle than just configuring each one manually.Workgroup Manager: Managing older Macs
The Workgroup Manager is the sole Server Admin tool still available from Apple as a sunder download. If the Users and Groups options in Server.app aren't to your liking, it can live used to expose more advanced options, but where it's most useful in Mountain Lion Server is in its skill to manage older Macs, since pre-Lion operating systems don't champion the configuration profiles that Profile Manager spits out.
After downloading and installing the Workgroup Manager, open it and connect to your server using the Directory Administrator account you created when you first configured Open Directory. Once authenticated, you'll live able to view flawless users and user groups in your directory, as well as flawless of the Macs that you've bound to Open Directory. These Macs can likewise live placed into groups for your convenience.
Selecting any user, user group, computer, or computer group and clicking the Preferences button at the top of the window will expose a System Preferences-like list of settings that you can employ to configure your Macs' docks, network settings, login window settings, and more. You can already conclude flawless of this for Lion and Mountain Lion-equipped Macs using Profile Manager profiles, but Workgroup Manager enables management of flawless settings for both Leopard and Snow Leopard, and management of some settings for Tiger as well, in the event that you still own any computers that outmoded still in lively service.File Sharing
The file-sharing service in Mountain Lion is unchanged from Lion. It's still an extension of the file-sharing features in the client version of OS X, adding WebDAV champion and more robust permissions management to the existing Apple File-sharing Protocol (AFP) and Server Message block (SMB) protocols supported by the client version of the operating system. You can likewise add custom greetings to your AFP share points here, and you can view the IP addresses, protocols, and usernames of flawless users connected to one of your share points. The AFP protocol likewise allows you to transmit messages to connected users and disconnect them from the server in the event that they've been idle for too long or are causing other problems.
After enabling the service, the system will create a number of default share points, flawless of which can live edited or deleted as needed. Click the plus button to add a new volume or folder as an additional share point, and then click the Settings button and "Edit share point" to adjust the permissions on the share. You can vouchsafe users read-only access, read and write access, or no access; allow or disallow guest access for a particular share; and elect to achieve inescapable shares available for the roaming user profiles that they touched upon earlier.Choosing protocols, taking names.
The AFP protocol is rock-solid as you would expect, but communication over the other protocols is a bit spottier. For example, trying to accelerate any executable on a Windows computer from a Mountain Lion-hosted SMB share will result in an error message. In Lion, Apple switched to using its own in-house SMB protocol rather than the open-source Samba implementation it had been using before, and while there are some benefits (browsing an SMB server with many files is much faster from a Lion client than from a Snow Leopard client), it likewise introduces some quirks. For example, I found running Windows executables from an SMB share on my test server to live impossible, a problem I likewise had with Lion Server. In both cases, running files required me to first copy them from the share to my difficult drive.Sending a message to an AFP user. The message will materialize on their screen once it has been sent.
WebDAV sharing isn't as flaky in its operation, but it is particular about who can employ it and how WebDAV shares are accessed. Most notably, the service will only allow Open Directory users, not users local to your server, to access WebDAV shares. You'll likewise exigency the precise URL for every share point you'd fancy to access; the format is http(s)://<your server name>/webdav/<case-sensitive share point name>. Once I was doing flawless of these things properly, I was able to connect to my WebDAV shares from both OS X and Pages and copy some documents back and forth.Connecting to my WebDAV share from Pages. recall to involve the "https" for SSL-enabled servers, and likewise the case-sensitive share name.
If you're a home user who wants to achieve your files available over the Internet (or if you'd fancy to achieve any of your services available when you're away from your home network), you'll probably exigency to configure port forwarding on your router, and to achieve things easier you'll probably likewise want a DNS denomination to travel with your IP address (since the address used to attain your network from the Internet sometimes changes for most home users). Portforward.com keeps excellent guides for configuring port forwarding on a wide attain of routers, and services like DynDNS offer DNS services for home Internet users (they've recently discontinued their free product, but their Remote Access tier is still only $20 per year).FTP (and SFTP) Shares from the File Sharing service automatically witness up in the FTP service.
The FTP service was completely removed from Server.app and Server Admin in Lion, and had to live enabled via the command line. Mountain Lion brings it back. FTP isn't technically portion of the File Sharing service, but it works much the very course and it fits in nicely with the other file transfer protocols. You can enable FTP for any sites you've configured with the Websites server, spin on FTP for share points already available over one or more of the File Sharing protocols, and configure sunder standalone FTP shares as well.Enabling SFTP and enabling SSH are one and the same. If you enable one, you enable both.
Remember, there's no security inherent to the FTP protocol, so you'll want to live watchful with what you employ it for. If you'd fancy to enable encrypted SFTP transfers instead, enable SSH in the Hardware settings in Server.app. You can likewise conclude this from within System Preferences on the server. travel to Sharing and enable Remote Login, which will enable SFTP along with the SSH remote login service.NetInstall The NetInstall service can live used to install or accelerate OS X on your clients from an image stored on your server.
The NetInstall service, formerly known as NetBoot, is new to Server.app in Mountain Lion. While the interface has changed in its inch from Server Admin, its underpinnings remain the same: NetInstall is a BOOTP-based system that allows Macs to boot from network volumes, usually for the purposes of recovering files, running diagnostics, or installing spotless or pre-configured OS X images on Macs.
Booting from a networked volume can live initiated either by holding the N key as your Mac starts up, or by selecting a network volume in the Startup Disk preference pane. NetInstall forms the backbone of the Lion Internet Recovery feature that lets newer Macs download a fresh copy of OS X from Apple's servers; the divergence is that with NetInstall you can serve up your own OS X bits locally. Apple provides tools for the creation of bootable images, though third parties fancy DeployStudio likewise employ the technology to simplify OS X imaging and deployment.
Apple distinguishes between three different kinds of bootable volumes: first are NetBoot images, which allow computers to boot to a full OS X installation hosted on a server. To store user files, NetBoot images can employ space on the local Mac's difficult drive or they can live "diskless" images that store user data on the server and allow for the built-in difficult drive to live completely unmounted—useful for disk imaging and diagnostics. Second, there are NetInstall images, which are more or less network-hosted versions of OS X install media. Third, you own NetRestore images, which can dump a custom OS X image directly to your Mac's difficult drive.Before you can enable the NetInstall service, you'll own to give it a plot to store images and other data.
We exigency to attend to a brace of things before they can flip on the NetInstall service: first, elect which Ethernet port you'll employ to serve these images (WiFi isn't an option) and the volume you'll employ to store both the images themselves and any user data they generate. You'll only really exigency to worry about the latter if you're configuring diskless NetBoot images. If you store the images on the boot volume, which is the default setting, the NetInstall service creates a NetBootSP0 folder for images and a NetBootClients0 folder for user data in the /Library/NetBoot folder.
The eventual step is to give the service an image to labor with—this is a job for the System Image Utility.Creating a basic image with the System Image Utility Enlarge / The System Image Utility can achieve NetInstall images from bootable volumes and OS X installers from the Mac App Store.
The System Image Utility, the only one of the outmoded Server Admin Tools to survive the transition to Mountain Lion, is buried in Server.app's Tools menu. By default, it gives you a simple menu that you can employ to achieve NetBoot, NetInstall, and NetRestore images from either a bootable OS X volume (either on an external disk or a sunder volume on the Mac's difficult drive; you cannot achieve an image of the boot volume) or a Mountain Lion installer located in the Applications volume (this installer can easily live re-downloaded from the Mac App Store after installing Mountain Lion).
One of the System Image Utility's limitations is that it can only create images of the currently running version of OS X—Mountain Lion's System Image Utility can only achieve Mountain Lion images, Snow Leopard's version can only achieve Snow Leopard images, and so on. This can achieve it a bit tedious to create images for multiple OS X versions if you exigency to champion Macs dropped by newer OS X releases.The System Image Utility comes with Automator actions you can employ to customize your OS X images.
Clicking the Customize button reveals an Automator-like workflow builder that you can employ to customize your images with application install packages, local user accounts, and to set model and/or MAC address-related restrictions on the Macs that can employ the image you're creating.Enlarge / Creating a network-bootable image of the Mountain Lion installer.
For their purposes, let's just download the Mountain Lion installer from the Mac App Store and create a basic NetInstall image of it so that they can install Mountain Lion on their Macs without having to re-download the installer a bunch of times or hack around with a USB drive. Once you download the Mountain Lion installer, start up the System Image Utility, select the Install OS X Mountain Lion entry from the Sources menu, select NetBoot, and click Continue. denomination the image whatever you want, click Create, and conform to the license agreement, and the System Image Utility will automatically dump a NetBoot image in their NetBootSP0 folder from earlier.Configuring images for booting
Return to Server.app and explore under the Images tab, then double click the newly created Mountain Lion image to configure it for distribution. Check the box under Availability and elect the protocol you'd fancy to employ to divide the images. Distributing images over HTTP won't achieve you open any new ports, but it means that anyone sniffing your Web traffic can view your images and everything in them. Using NFS, which has historically been the default, gets you some security-through-obscurity, but you'll exigency to open up more ports in your firewall.
In past OS X versions, the service has worked more reliably with NFS than the HTTP protocol, which would often hang while machines attempted to boot, but Mountain Lion doesn't look to own the very problem. Your mileage may vary depending on your server’s configuration.Enlarge / NetInstall can host bootable images for multiple OS X versions at once, so you can champion older Macs even if they don't champion Mountain Lion.
After choosing a protocol, you can then set up MAC or model-based restrictions on individual images—this is in addition to the universal access restrictions you can configure in the service's Settings tab. Once you've configured your options and enabled an image, you can spin on the service, at which point your NetBoot images will live visible in the Startup Disk preference pane on other Macs on your network. You can host multiple images at once, but the image set as default will live the one your Macs try to boot from if you start them while holding down the N key.The Mac Model Filter can hold your Macs from trying to boot OS X versions they don't support.
When working with Mountain Lion images, the Mac Model Filter is now brilliant enough to let you select only Macs that the image can actually boot—for Lion and older images, OS X Server just gives you a gigantic list of flawless Mac models, allowing you to conclude something as counterproductive as setting a Snow Leopard image as the default for PowerPC computers. As long as you're up on your OS X compatibility lists, though, you can happily host images for PowerPC Macs alongside both newer Intel Macs and older ones dropped from the champion list in Lion and Mountain Lion.
Bizarrely, some of the names and descriptions of the Macs in the filter list don’t match their actual model number, but if you hover the cursor over the entry you can salvage the exact model identifier (MacBook 3,1, iMac 11,3) just to live sure. Using properly configured filters, you can easily provide network booting for Macs going flawless the course back to the G3 iBooks and PowerBooks.Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Messages
The Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Messages services don't exigency much explanation beyond their names, which own been changed to reflect the denomination changes in their corresponding OS X apps (Address Book, iCal, and iChat are out, Contacts, Calendar, and Messages are in).
Taken together, they're OS X Server's retort to Exchange, though nonexistent of these services are nearly as complicated or feature-rich. With the exception of Mail, flawless of these services had already migrated from Server Admin to Server.app in Lion, and there haven't been many changes since, apart from sync champion for Mountain Lion's new Notes and Reminders apps (and their iOS counterparts).Mail Configuration options for the Mail service own been severely curtailed in Mountain Lion, and the Web client has been removed entirely.
Mail was one of the services that appeared in Server.app in Lion, but left most of its advanced settings back in the outmoded Server Admin app. A few new settings own been added to Server.app to compensate for the loss of Server Admin, but Mail remains one of the services most affected by Lion and Mountain Lion's quest for simplification.
You can employ the Mail service to provide POP and IMAP e-mail service for your domain and other domain names that you configure, and you can set the server to accept authentication from local users, lively Directory, and Open Directory users depending on your server and network configuration. You can likewise add an SMTP mail relay if your Internet service provider puts you behind a firewall that prevents you from sending e-mail directly from your server, and you can set a universal e-mail quota for flawless accounts here as well (this appears to live an all-or-nothing settings; if one user needs a quota bump, you'll exigency to give it to everyone). Simple virus and junk mail filtering as well as champion for third-party blacklist servers round out the service's features.Only a few configuration options own survived; the repose died with Server Admin.
Of the many things that Mail has lost since Lion (including the skill to easily set maximum attachment sizes, view user accounts with usage and quota information, and more elastic options for creating mailing lists), the webmail client is probably the one that people will notice the most.
The webmail client in Lion, based on the open-source Roundcube client, could live politely described as "antiquated," and was in desperate exigency of an update (perhaps with the comparatively slick client that iCloud uses) but Apple instead chose to replace it with... nothing. You'll own to rely on the built-in Mail clients in OS X and iOS (or your IMAP client of choice) by default, though if you're really interested, you should live able to employ the Websites service to manually install and configure a webmail front respite for your mail server.
The one addition that Mountain Lion Server makes to the Mail service is that it can now live used to store Notes for employ with the OS X and iOS apps of the very name, just as third-party e-mail services can store Notes now.Calendar After enabling the Calendar service, you can create and manage meeting rooms and other resources for it in Server.app.
The Calendar service gives each of your users their own calendar and new-to-Mountain Lion Tasks list (which integrates with the Reminders apps in Mountain Lion and iOS), and will likewise let you create locations (like meeting rooms) and resources (like loaner laptops or projectors) that people can reserve. When creating locations and resources, you can either elect to let reservations live approved automatically or apportion one of your users to live the delegate who approves and rejects them.Assigning a delegate who can accredit or reject flawless scheduling requests for my new meeting room.
Unlike Mail, the Calendar service's Web client remains intact in Mountain Lion as long as you've likewise got the Websites service turned on, accessible from your browser at http(s)://<your servername>/webcal. Using the Web client, you can create and view appointments and invitations; oddly enough, while the Tasks list is visible in the Web client, events can't live added (or even viewed once they're added in the OS X and iOS applications). If you've used calendar software in the eventual few years, you won't live surprised by any of OS X Server's Calendar features.Contacts There's not much to conclude for the Contacts service.
There's very slight to impart about the Contacts service. It will sync contacts you create across multiple computers (making it potentially useful for families or other groups who want to maintain a shared list of contacts), and will optionally allow results from your directory's users to live displayed when you achieve a search in the Contacts app.Messages The Messages service is only slightly less sparse.
The Messages service enables a simple Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP, or the protocol formerly known as Jabber) server that allows your users to communicate with one another without using a third-party service fancy point or Google Talk. The service's only options allow you to archive flawless chats (located on the server in /Library/Server/Messages/Data/message_archives) and enable something called "server-to-server federation," which can both enable and restrict communication between user accounts stored in sunder directories on different servers.Connecting to your server
In OS X and iOS, the easiest course to salvage your clients connected to these services is to involve them in configuration profiles you're pushing out. If you're not using Profile Manager (or if you've got Windows, Linux, Android, or other clients), Apple's employ of well-supported protocols in flawless of these services means that you can connect manually from just about any client without much trouble.Connecting to the services we've configured in Mail, Contacts & Calendars
To connect to your services in OS X, open up the Mail, Contacts & Calendars preference pane, scroll to the bottom, and click Other. Select "Add a Mac OS X server account" and enter your server's address if it doesn't materialize automatically. Click Continue, enter your user credentials, and then select the services you'd fancy to use. Only Mountain Lion supports the syncing of Reminders and Notes, but older OS X clients can still connect to and employ the older services.
To connect with other operating systems, you'll just own to plug your server's denomination and credentials into programs that champion the protocols Apple is using: IMAP and SMTP for Mail, CalDAV for Calendar, CardDAV for Contacts, and XMPP/Jabber for Messages. The process is not as automated as in OS X, but it works.Analysis
Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Messages are usable, but even when they were more full-featured they couldn't quite compete with Exchange. The features stripped from the Mail app achieve them even less competitive now.
Whatever their feature set, I don't view most users getting much mileage out of them: individuals and tiny businesses will live better served by Google Apps or Office 365, and enterprises could salvage by either with those services or with their own locally installed Exchange or IMAP servers.Websites The Websites service is Apple's official replacement for the Web Sharing feature in the client versions of OS X.
Even if it isn't activated, the Websites service provides the backbone for several of the other services we've talked about: Profile Manager, the Web-based Calendar, and the Wiki service. The service's back respite is supplied by Apache 2.2.22—not, you might notice, the most recent version, which is 2.4—and you can likewise accelerate PHP (version 5.3.13 with the Suhoshin security patch installed) and Python (version 2.7.2) code on the server if you've enabled them. If you exigency access to Apache's directory structure, it's located at /Library/Server/Web/Config/apache2.The Websites service's simple landing page, with links to some of my other services below.
Turning the Websites service on creates a default website, which you can view if you sort localhost/default in your server's browser. By default, it's just a simple landing page with links to some of the different Websites-supported services (like the Web-based calendar and the Profile Manager) linked below, but you can drop different files into the /Library/Server/Web/Data/Sites/Default directory to change that up. Clicking the Edit pencil will allow you to change who can access the site, where its files are stored, and what domains, redirects, and aliases it uses.You can create as many new sites as you own space and bandwidth for.
You can create new sites by clicking the plus button and setting the domain name, access permissions, SSL certificate, and other settings, and you can configure as many sites on your server as you own storage space (and bandwidth) for. Configuring advanced settings requires going into the Apache configuration files, a process which is partially minute in Apple's advanced server administration documentation and likewise on Apache's own documentation for version 2.2.
There are two deterrents to using the Websites service to host anything other than the pages for Server's other services: the first is that, as they saw above, Apple is using less-than-current versions of Apache, PHP, and other software packages. The second is that updates for these packages are bundled with OS X point updates (and later, the security update roll-ups that are released periodically for older OS X versions). If these point updates fix critical problems with one service but an included PHP update breaks a bunch of your code, there's not an simple course to sunder them from one another.Wiki
The Wiki service goes hand-in-hand with the Websites service, both because Wiki depends on Websites to operate and because it's the easiest course to salvage your users doing something useful with Websites. If you've got any undergo with Wikis of any kind, the Wiki service doesn't own many surprises in store for you—they're simple websites that you can employ to collaborate with other users, create and maintain posts, and upload and share files.Enlarge / Creating a Wiki page. Nedroid
The Wiki service fills a role similar to Google Sites in the Google Apps suite, and likewise has more than a slight in common with Microsoft's SharePoint (though that software is both more knotty and more capable than what's on pomp here). Using this Wiki software, you can edit and remark on pages, associate pages with other, related pages, view revision history, and salvage notified when documents or comments are added to a site. Users with access to the Wiki service can create as many Wikis or pages as they want, and user groups you create in Open Directory can live given their own Wikis to facilitate collaboration.
The built-in Wiki service is admittedly pretty simple, but if it isn't to your liking, it's simple enough to install something fancy MediaWiki to your Websites server and employ that instead—OS X Server already includes Apache and PHP, so you'll just own to set up some database server software and you'll live edifying to go.Everything else
The aforementioned services are the biggest pieces of the software, and the ones with the most poignant parts to talk about. The repose of the offerings attain from the practical to curios—by the respite of their guide, you'll know about every service OS X Server has to offer, gigantic and small.VPN With proper port forwarding, OS X Server's VPN service provides a fairly cheap, simple course to set up your own VPN server.
As in Lion Server, the VPN service in Mountain Lion server supports both L2TP and PPTP VPN connections. flawless you exigency to conclude is select the protocols you want to support, your VPN server's hostname (which is sunder from your server's regular hostname, a feature new to Mountain Lion), and your shared secret password.
If you'd fancy to provide VPN settings to clients without handing out information fancy the shared secret password, you can deliver a standalone .mobileconfig file privilege from the VPN service window to hand out (useful if you're not already handing out these settings with the Profile Manager).
You can define the IP address attain that VPN-connected clients will use—by default it uses 31 addresses in the 200-range, so most home users won't accelerate into any pains there—and set sunder DNS settings for VPN-connected clients. New to Mountain Lion is the skill to define routes for your clients as well.
The VPN service is considerably easier to set up and configure than something fancy OpenVPN, and L2TP and PPTP are both widely supported protocols that can live used with most extant versions of Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android with no issues. The biggest nit to pick here is that offering VPN services on an OS X server doesn't provide any particular benefits for Macs and iOS devices.
Microsoft introduced a feature called DirectAccess in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that allows for seamless, always-on, VPN-like connections between servers and clients that achieve things a bit less messy for users who exigency to salvage on the corporate network from remote locations. While not a requirement for a decent VPN solution, it's too horrible that Apple hasn't Come up with its own attempt to "fix" the VPN problem.Time Machine Enabling the Time Machine service is as simple as choosing the volume you'd fancy to employ to store backups, but everything else is out of your control.
Time Machine is another service that hasn't really changed since Lion—on the server side, you can enable and disable the service and specify the volume to employ for your backups, and flawless other settings (including file exceptions) are controlled by the clients, as Profile Manager offers no built-in configuration options for Time Machine.
Time Machine backup functionality is offered by most home and tiny businesses network-attached storage devices at this point, but if you don't own one, the Time Machine service is especially useful for home users with multiple Macs and some free difficult drive space. The service can simplify the backup process compared to passing around an external drive.
Once you've configured the Time Machine service, the volume you've configured for backups will materialize as an option when choosing a Time Machine drive on your Mac clients. Local and network users or service accounts allowed to employ the Time Machine service will live able to authenticate and employ the drive as they would any local Time Machine disk.Two Time Machine servers are available on my network, and my OS X client found both of them without issue.
What's frustrating about the Time Machine service is its complete lack of options—you can't specify disk usage quotas for particular users or computers (user disk quotas defined for network users don't look to own any bearing on Time Machine's operation), you can't specify backup intervals or bandwidth caps, and while you can specify exceptions for folders and files on client computers, you own no skill to achieve these exceptions on the server side.
I've been using the Lion version of the Time Machine service on my home network for about six months, and the backup and restore processes are pretty quick and seamless if you're just backing up two or three Macs at once. The service won't scale very far beyond that, though, making it virtually useless in businesses with more than a few employees. If you've got more than a dozen Macs to back up, I'd strongly insinuate looking into a third-party alternative fancy CrashPlan instead.Software Update Software Update downloads software updates from Apple's servers and distributes them to other Macs on your network.
The Software Update service is Apple's equivalent of Microsoft's Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Your OS X server downloads updates directly from Apple's software update servers. Then, using Profile Manager, you point your Mac clients toward the local update server and they salvage their updates from you instead of from Apple, saving Internet bandwidth and increasing the hurry of large downloads.
When set to Automatic, the service will automatically publish new updates to your Mac clients as they're made available from Apple. Selecting Manual gives you the option to hold back updates for testing before pushing it out to flawless of your clients. Anyone who has ever installed a new OS X point update on the day it's made available knows that you're taking a inescapable amount of risk by doing so, and holding flawless but the most critical security updates for at least a few days makes some sense if you're trying to reduce champion calls.OS X clients flawless the course back to Tiger can live kept updated with the Software Update service (though if you still own Tiger clients in exigency of updates in 2012 I'd impart you've got bigger problems).
The Software Update service can update flawless of the very things that Apple's servers can, including Mac firmware updates; iLife, iWork, and other updates for Apple programs; and system updates for OS X versions reaching flawless the course back to 10.4. A full copy of Apple's update catalog is going to require several gigabytes of difficult drive space.
The skill to download and divide iOS updates from your local server still isn't included, however.
There are likewise a few other limitations here compared to something fancy WSUS—while you can hold updates back from your users, there's no course to push them out. Once you've approved an update, your users can drag it down through the natural Software Update process, but you can't mandate that the update live installed and there's no course to check update compliance throughout your organization. If your users elect to remain the updates, there's really not much you can conclude about it. There's likewise no course to accredit updates for inescapable groups or individuals while holding them back from other groups and individuals, functionality that WSUS has because of its tight lively Directory integration.DNS
Of the networking services that used to live included in OS X Server, DNS is the only one left standing in Mountain Lion—DHCP and NAT both went out the window with the Server Admin Tools. This was no mistake: home users and tiny businesses making employ of OS X Server are usually going to own both of these functions handled by their routers, and larger businesses will already own Windows or Linux-based boxes providing both of these services.Preparing to configure a DNS entry.
As DNS servers go, the one in OS X Server is pretty simple: you can specify forwarding servers to handle requests that your OS X server can't handle (which can either provide redundancy or allow you to employ OS X for some DNS requests but not others), elect the computers for which your server should achieve lookups (for the server only, for clients on the local network, and for clients on other networks), and configure your host names, IP addresses, and aliases.
The main thing about DNS in Lion, as with flawless apps that were moved from Server Admin to Server.app, was the degree to which it was condensed and simplified. This screen in Mountain Lion…
…manages to meet more configuration options in a less confusing course than this screen from Lion:Enlarge
Despite this simplification, you don't lose options in the inch from Lion to Mountain Lion, though that's not immediately obvious. Click the Settings button and then clicking witness flawless Records will let you add primary and secondary zones, and then add a number of different types of records to those zones. Many services gave up complexity in the inch from Server Admin to Server.app, but the DNS service at least shows that Server.app is capable of complexity where necessary.Xsan Admin With an enterprise-level Fibre Channel network, I could elect Xsan Admin for a spin.
The Xsan Admin is a bit of a niche service in an operating system packed with niche services—it interfaces with Xsan 3, an updated version of a formerly stand-alone product that serves as Apple's storage area network (SAN) implementation. portion of the tool lives in Server.app, and the other portion can live found in Server.app's Tools menu; between the two of them, they allow you to manage a group of pooled network storage arrays connected together via Fibre Channel.
Because setting Xsan up requires, among other things, a Fibre Channel network, a brace of OS X Servers, and at least one networked storage array, I can't give you much more information on the service's operation than this, but Apple's documentation on the matter is fairly extensive. Suffice it to impart that most homes and tiny businesses won't exigency to worry about it.State of the server Miss the Xserve?
Apple replaced the Xserve with the Mac Mini Server and Mac Pro Server in January of 2011, and while the latter is too big, old, and expensive to live a decent alternative privilege now, a Mini or two with a RAM upgrade can provide OS X Server functionality and a reasonable amount of power at a fraction of the price. If you exigency to mount Minis in a rack, mounts for them are pretty simple to Come by. One of my favorites is Sonnet's awesome RackMac Mini 1U enclosure, which can meet two of the aluminum Mac Minis with ample scope for ventilation. There's likewise a Thunderbolt version available, which uses the high-speed interface to regain some of the Xserve's lost expandability.
When Apple discontinued the Xserve at the mount of 2011, it sent a message: it was abandoning whatever ambitions it had harbored for the enterprise market, starting with the hardware. That message was restated emphatically when Lion Server came out later that year sporting a consumer-friendly expense point and the dumbed-down Server.app in lieu of the administration tools OS X Server had been using for its first decade.
The enterprise has never been a particularly tenacious market for Apple. As ZDNet's David Chernicoff observed in an Xserve post-mortem, Apple didn't even employ Xserves or OS X Server in its own datacenters. The Mac server hardware and software of 2012 has been redesigned to appeal to two different kinds of people: consumers and power users who would never own considered it before because of its expense and complexity (i.e., new customers), and tiny Mac-only businesses or Windows shops that were trying to integrate Macs more fully into their networks (i.e., most of the people who were buying and using OS X Server in the first place). For those people, the functionality you salvage is a purloin at $20, and the product can still conclude most of the primary stuff it could conclude in previous versions.
My awe in this heroic new world is that OS X Server will suffer the very fate as Apple Remote Desktop, another enormously useful tool if you're trying to manage a large number of Macs. Remote Desktop's eventual major update, version 3.0, was introduced flawless the course back in 2006. Though it is still technically being maintained and sold in the Mac App Store—its current version is 3.6—most of those point updates own served only to add compatibility with new OS X versions and add incremental feature improvements fancy IPv6 support.
There's still some good, low-hanging fruit that Apple could harvest to achieve OS X Server better for the kinds of users they're gunning for—things fancy centralized FileVault management, the skill to patch iOS with the Software Update service, and local iOS device backups. If the software goes into maintenance mode, I worry that we'll never view server features that hold pace with the features in the OS X client.
We'll probably know whether these fears are founded or not when they start seeing builds of OS X 10.9. For now, especially for home users who own never tried it, OS X Server's new $19.99 expense point makes it a tempting proposition. That's a pretty reasonable expense even if you only intend to employ one or two of the services I've outlined here—Time Machine, File Sharing, VPN, and, to a lesser extent, NetInstall are the only ones I employ at home. If you were on the fence at $50, buying Server at $20 is an easier call.
It's no longer a solemn alternative to Windows or Linux servers—if in fact it ever was—but most power users in Mac households should find at least something to like.
Update: We've covered the new features in updates 2.1 and 2.2 here.
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