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despite the fact I’ve been helping Macs due to the fact they came out in 1984 (when i used to breathe in towering college), I haven’t bought any “formal” working towards. It has ordinarily been gaining information of by course of doing, analyzing the occasional bespeak and now of course, TheAppleBlog. Does formal certification really invent a change as a technician? You narrate me.commercial
these days I acquired into an controversy with a dealer that in some course concept a technician who first begun repairing Macs sixth months ago trumped my 25 years adventure. Did certification invent this person an improved technician? Having carried out reasonably a bit of of hiring myself, I’ve too frequently discovered that certification best verifies your skill to recall a test and may no longer Have mien in the true world.
Now that the market has changed and everybody appears to breathe competing for scarce materials, in outright probability a certification would breathe an further aspect? What’s the commerce approach for independent Mac technicians wanting greater? The reply took lots of analysis — even Apple wasn’t in a position to reply my questions — so breathe trained from my experience.
credit goes to both Brian better of BestMacs and Doug Hanley of MacTEK practising, because without them I wouldn’t Have in mind the alphabet soup of ACSP, ACMT, ACTC, ACSA, AASP, ACN and more. Didn’t outright of us become Mac clients to avoid inscrutable phrases? As lots of you breathe watchful of, the convenience of the Apple person interface is equalled best by course of the frustration of making an attempt to breathe watchful Apple’s certifications classes. deciding this course was a friendly deal harder than any video video game I’ve ever performed, however a “online game” could breathe the top of the line metaphor to account for the method.The video game
You commence the “online game” as a generic Mac user. The three worlds you’ll frequently observe in the online game are IT, pro Apps, and income. As an IT person probably you Have got expertise, perhaps you don’t. Nothing stops you from without problems repairing Macs for your own, until you achieve issues that primarily void the warranty and moreover you acquire caught doing so. You will not Have consent per se from Apple to labor on Macs. Many individuals are satisfied at this stage collecting cash one after the other, however you could’t proceed any further until you acquire a certification — the key that unlocks the next stage in the game.
the first certification most travel for is Apple certified champion skilled (ACSP) which used to breathe referred to as an Apple licensed champion Desk specialist (ACHDS). This certifies your means to recall note the working device and is earned according to the OS version. therefore, you are an Apple licensed aid professional in 10.5 (or quickly 10.6). each and every OS requires certification, but your certification does not expire. for this reason, if you're a ACHDS in 10.3, that you can convoke yourself certified without figuring out 10.5 in any respect. Your can recall the check with out working towards (many do), self-examine by means of materials from Peachpit, or attend an instructor-lead course at an Apple approved training hub (AATC). MacTek is a nature of centers. You’ll recall the check at a Prometric checking out middle and pay around $200. The peek at various takes about 90 minutes or so and moreover you acquire the results automatically.Apple Consultants community
while certification is the means, the conclusion you may well breathe reaching for is the potential to relate the Apple Consultants network (ACN). becoming a member of the ACN requires any Apple certification, such because the ACSP discussed above, or any number of other certifications (described below, notwithstanding one supply says no longer outright certifications are valid, so watch out). preserving with the video online game analogy, the ACN is relish a complete unique area of the video online game you requisite to discover, but the boss that ought to breathe defeated first is Apple, and your weapon is a certification!
After getting a certification that you may then drill to breathe Part of the ACN. The utility cost is $60 and the genuine fee to breathe Part of is $395 as a sole proprietor. the entire requirements are here. You’ll acquire lots of advantages comparable to product discounts as neatly as the capability to community with different Macintosh consultants. As an ACN, Apple shop employees may additionally hand out your card to valued clientele in the save. Now your commerce can definitely extend as every Apple store consumer is a potential customer for you.
ACN membership is wonderful and many live at this degree of the “online game” the usage of the ACN membership as a multiplier for his or her revenue. however, you silent can’t achieve hardware repairs beneath warranty nor order Apple components. As with the video video game, you’re stuck at this plane unless you learn extra and try to vanquish the next boss. Apple outright the time controls the rules. settle for it as Part of the game. Fail to settle for it and you’ll acquire slapped lower back to the birth of the video game sooner than which you could click on the domestic button.Server Administration Certification
From this element, you've got a pair directions that you can go. which you can focus on restoration and repair, or you can focal point on server or superior utility administration (many individuals will achieve both). i'll focus on the server administration certifications and the hardware capabilities certifications. that you could mediate of every of these as two separate worlds within the video game. you could select one or the different, or explore them both.
the primary plane server administration certification is one more four-letter acronym: ACTC: Apple licensed Technical Coordinator. apart from passing the test for ACSP, you’ll physiognomy the Server essentials verify. This extends your workstation abilities to servers. an even better degree of certification within the server realm is an ACSA — Apple certified methods Administrator. For the ACSA, you’ll deserve to circulate four tests: Server necessities, directory services, Deployment, and Mobility and safety for 10.6 (or superior device Administration for 10.5).
Apple moreover offers the ACMA (Apple certified Media Administrator) which contains Server essentials, Xsan, terminal reduce Server and as an alternative, assist necessities, Deployment, directory services, or final reduce plane 1. other certifications don't look to breathe necessarily IT related and are application-concentrated. That’s a realm I’m no longer exploring as they chose the IT tune at the start of the video game.Hardware restore Certification
moving on from server administration to precise Apple hardware fix, the primary certification you will win is the Apple certified Macintosh Technician (ACMT), previously the Apple certified transportable Technician (ACPT) and Apple certified computing device Technician (ACDT). This certification capability you're theoretically certified to achieve warranty repairs on Apple Macintosh machine. The skills required for ACMT are those of hardware restore and application troubleshooting. You don’t requisite an ACSP to breathe an ACMT, but many americans win each. The tutorial technique for hardware restore is greater extreme and it’s less likely you’ll pass the peek at various with out some working towards. At this stage, you could moreover travel to an AATC and pay about $4,800 for each the hardware and utility elements of the path, or your should buy self-analyze substances from Apple known as “Apple suffuse Technician practising” for $299.Apple authorized carrier issuer
comparable to how passing the ACSP permits you to relate the Apple Consultants network, passing the ACMT permits you to enter the realm of an Apple authorized carrier company (AASP). You might moreover not instantly become one even though, and simplest AASP’s acquire repayment from Apple for warranty work. youngsters, being an ACMT is very valuable in case you wish to acquire a job as an AASP. You may additionally additionally drill to achieve guarantee repairs to your larger company of over 50 Macs by the expend of the Self-provider program. if you want to develop to being capable of achieve guarantee repairs for any one, you’ll physiognomy that same boss once again, Apple. notice that becoming an ACMT will no longer necessarily win you any further funds than an ACSA or ACTC. dealing with the next boss could breathe too expensive and too proscribing, but if you achieve requisite the subsequent stage, study on.
attending to that AASP plane is truly the terminal stage of the video game. You’ll deserve to Have an ACMT on team of workers and comply with stricter requirements than becoming a member of the Apple Consultants network. generally you’ll want a honest store entrance and never breathe a one-adult operation. Apple promises exceptions (doesn’t each video game Have cheat codes?), but don’t signify on it. upon getting your AASP you can breathe listed with Apple as a provider company and acquire reimbursed for warranty repairs.
So I’ve loaded the video game and pressed start. Is certification value it? What about ACN or AASP? Which practising should i'm going for? Is instructor lead practicing value it? Any practising providers inclined to sponsor me? What in regards to the self-study courses? share with me your experiences in the video game and let’s strengthen a definitive sheperd together with “cheat codes.”Apple-authorized companies
ACN (Apple Consultants network)What it is: community on Apple gurus, receives coupon codes and assistance from Apple, and may breathe referred from Apple retail stores.necessities: Any certification.
AASP (Apple authorized carrier provider)what is it: commerce this is accredited to achieve Apple assurance repairs for reimbursement and order constituents from Apple.requirements: Have an Apple certified Macintosh Technician on team of workers, among other necessities.Certifications
Apple certified assist professional: simple understanding of the client Mac operating device and troubleshooting.
Apple certified Technical Coordinator: Deeper knowing of the Mac OS, including the Mac OS X Server and Server essentials.
Apple certified methods Administrator: Even greater technical understanding of the Mac OS X Server, including passing assessments on Server essentials, directory functions, Deployment, and Mobility and protection.
Apple certified Media Administrator: here is a sister music of the “Apple certified methods Administrator” with a spotlight on the wants of media administration, and contains training in XSan or closing cut.
Apple licensed Macintosh Technician: that you can achieve Apple hardware repairs, both in and out of assurance. Required to start (or acquire a job with) an Apple approved service issuer, or self-service your massive organization.
related elements: Books
skill stage: basis fame: active
comparatively cheap: $400 (shortest song)
summary:For Mac OS X technical coordinators and entry-stage system administrators who've a basis in Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server core functionality and an potential to configure key services and operate simple troubleshooting of the fundamental Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server capabilities.
initial requirements:You should flow two checks ($200 each and every). the first exam is Mac OS X champion necessities (passing this examination alone will win you an Apple licensed aid expert certification aka ACSP). The second exam is Mac OS X Server necessities. working towards is available however no longer required.
carrying on with requirements:None certain
Offline substances:Apple iServices presents teacher led courses to aid you prepare.
See outright Apple Certifications
dealer's page for this certification
New Macs, unique versions of Mac OS X, unique software, and unique school years outright translate to one component for Mac IT workforce: determining the gold touchstone technique to roll out the brand unique computers, software, lecture rooms, or configurations. Ryan Faas gives you a top plane view of the diversity of tools accessible from Apple and third events, and tells you a course to roll out with less hassle and fewer headaches.Like this text? They advocate
Deployments are a Part of actuality for IT team of workers, breathe they deployments of unique workstations, unique functions or other configuration changes, or deployments of complete unique labs and networks. these working in schooling regularly expend the days earlier than a school yr or unique college semester readying school rooms and computing device labs with the aid of doing desktop cleanup and updates (practically, wiping the challenging drives of workstations after which deploying a unique gadget configuration onto them). unluckily, deployments can either breathe bother-free or riddled with headaches without both proper planning and the remedy tools. this article focuses on the suitable tools for Mac IT staff charged with planning and managing deployments and rollouts.
There are a pair of tools and methods that are, by using this factor, considered tried and actual, including the venerable Apple software restoration in each network and local disk adaptations (along with a pair of GUI entrance ends to ease the deployment manner), Mac OS X Server’s NetInstall feature, Apple far off desktop, and the open supply Radmind utility. additionally protected are workstation management tools corresponding to FileWave and NetOctopus. We’ll look in brief at each and every choice, its methodology, and its professionals and cons for quite a few forms of deployments.
Apple software restoration (ASR) has been a implement for Mac administrators and technicians for pretty much twenty years. In Mac OS X, ASR is a command-line implement that is a component of every Mac OS X unlock. ASR makes expend of disk pictures created with the Apple Disk Utility (or an analogous tool) as a source of goal workstations. it might probably overwrite an present disk with a circumstantial graphic. as a result of disk photos comprise a fully configured device (Mac OS X, installed application, gadget configuration, etc), ASR permits you to right now install study-to-use workstations. It is not, despite the fact, a particularly first rate implement for making expend of utility updates or rolling out a lone or restrained volume of functions.
ASR can expend a disk graphic saved on a local disk (such as a tough drive or CD/DVD) as a supply for deployments or it will possibly expend a disk image that is stored on a server. Being a command-line utility, it's possible to rouse ASR operations remotely. youngsters, since the goal difficult drive or partition might breathe overwritten as Part of the ASR technique, workstations requisite to breathe outright started from another Mac OS X boot disk (typically an exterior complicated drive or alternate partition).
to expend a disk picture as a supply for ASR, the photograph Have to first breathe "scanned" with the ASR software. The scanning routine optimizes the graphic for expend with ASR and might reorder parts of the photograph for faster copying. depending on the measurement of the graphic, this routine may recall the time.
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Apple this week seeded unique Client and Server betas of OS X Mavericks, the company’s upcoming desktop OS revision scheduled for debut this fall. This report takes a peek at the changes and known issues of OS X Server Preview Build 13S357e (Beta 7).
According to people close with the software, OS X Server Preview must breathe installed on a computer running OS X Mavericks.
Testers running Snow Leopard Sever (v.10.6.8), Lion Server (v.10.7.5), or OS X v10.8.3/v10.8.4 can migrate to OS X Server Preview without a problem.
Notable additions in OS X Server Preview involve champion for Xcode Server, described as “a unique continuous integration service for teams using Xcode 5.”
The industry touchstone SMB2 file sharing protocol is now supported, and Caching Server 2 is used to hurry up the download and delivery of software and caching of files for iOS 7 hardware.
Future users of OS X 10.9 Server will breathe able to employ Profile Manager for managing OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 (complete with software distribution) and Time Machine quotas in order to confine the amount of storage available to each backup.
In the latest seed (13S357e), Apple reportedly mentions a few known issues which currently obviate the software from reaching Final status.
According to one developer who is close with the seed notes, “Database restores from Time Machine during migration may not breathe dependable in this seed.”
Affected services involve those that depend on PostgreSQL, such as Calendar, Contacts, Wiki, Xcode, and Profile Manager.
To upgrade or migrate Xcode Service, users will requisite to Have the previous seed of OS X Server Preview installed (Build 13S341g).
Also noteworthy, the Server app may launch with more than one window, with Apple instructing developers to immediate any extra windows that open and carry on with their labor normally.
Dragging Server.app to the Trash may or may not prompt a warning dialog explaining that services Have been stopped, so that’s moreover a bug in requisite of fixing.
Developers must bethink to enable device management prior to starting the Profile Management service in this seed, while changing a Shared Calendar from Read/Write to ReadOnly may require a relaunch of the Calendar app, to observe any changes.
Update: We've covered the unique features in updates 2.1 and 2.2 here.
Even long-time Mac users could breathe 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 outright the course up until Snow Leopard, when the cost 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 cost so appealing to power users and minuscule 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 great businesses to minuscule 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 compass of regular people, the tools used to administer it Have become correspondingly less complex, both in terms of how difficult they are to expend 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 Have 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 sheperd for getting everything up and running. By the time you're done reading, you should Have a decent working information of what this software can do, how to configure it, and whether it's right for you.Introduction and installation
Unlike Windows Server, which contains a huge number of under-the-hood changes that invent 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 outright 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 revolve any Mac running Mountain Lion into a server. Snow Leopard Server and previous versions of the software required you to rush the software on some sort of desktop, relish an iMac or a Mac Mini or an XServe, but Lion Server dropped that stipulation and Mac laptops can now breathe used as servers, too. Once you've purchased Server.app, you can invent as many Macs into OS X Servers as you want. You can moreover expend Server.app to remotely manage your OS X Server from an OS X client.Configuring a hostname is the most complicated conclusion you'll Have to invent when turning your Mac into a server.
When you first rush Server.app, its wizard will acquire your server up and running in a few uncomplicated steps. It first walks you through configuring your server for expend on a local network or with a domain name you've registered, setting up the server's host name and IP address, and enabling shove Notifications. We'll talk more about how shove Notifications in OS X Server labor a tiny later, but outright you requisite to set them up is an Apple ID (Apple recommends you expend a separate Apple ID for your organization, not a personal Apple ID used to purchase apps), which will acquire you a shove Notifications certificate that needs to breathe 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 invent remote administration easier, for example. A Lion server would moreover set itself never to travel to sleep while plugged in, and it would moreover change the About This Mac dialog to narrate 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 facile enough to remedy if you requisite an always-on server. The second was only ever a superficial change, but it makes a point: "OS X Server" no longer exists as a separate 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 breathe the birth of an application to separate Server from the common OS X progress cycle, making it a version-agnostic app instead, but that's something they probably won't know for certain 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 separate applications that gave users fairly comprehensive control over their server's settings. Server Admin, in particular, was the bread-and-butter administration implement 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 outright of the available services in Mountain Lion Server, whether you relish 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 invent 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 expend to home users and minuscule 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 august On/Off switches and a pair of checkboxes. If you wanted to achieve anything more complicated, the GUI wasn't going to assist you much.
To unlock outright of Lion Server's features, however, you silent needed the Server Admin Tools, which were and silent are available as a separate 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 relish 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 breathe considered vestigial) didn't invent the jump, and aren't present in either Server.app or Server Admin.
In Mountain Lion, though, the Server Admin Tools are extinct with only a pair 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 relish 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 stride to bury things relish DHCP makes sense: most home users and minuscule offices are going to Have a router that already takes suffuse of DHCP and NAT for them, while medium-to-large businesses will likely Have Windows or Linux-based implementations already in place. Mountain Lion's subtractions should breathe harmless for many users, but if you relied on OS X Server for any of this before, you'll either Have to re-learn the GUI or peek 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 knowing enough to download and install Server.app along with it, transferring settings from Server Admin to Server.app. The Server Admin Tools were silent a separate download, but settings for services managed by Server Admin were silent 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 rush in Mountain Lion), and you'll requisite 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 terminal of the conventional Server Admin services look to compass 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 breathe 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 long-suffering even when upgrading OS X clients since the updates that fix the most ascetic bugs usually compass 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 hold major and far-reaching fixes for services, and the unreliability and inconsistency that unique 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 nature to install unique OS X versions on your Macs as soon as they're out, you should wait until at least 10.8.2 before you even mediate about upgrading a server. The fact that Mountain Lion Server doesn't drastically change or upgrade many of Lion Server's services should invent 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 achieve it or 2) you will requisite to hack around in the command line to invent 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 conventional Server Admin could breathe used to manage servers running the current version of OS X Server and the immediately preceding version, but Server.app can only breathe used to manage the same 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 moreover cannot breathe installed on a computer running Mountain Lion, and the Server Admin Tools will breathe removed during installation when upgrading from Lion to Mountain Lion.Configuring remote access and SSL certificates is outright done from within Server.app.
The Hardware tab is, obviously, where you can observe your server's tech specs, but it's moreover where you configure remote administration settings, network settings, and shove notifications. shove notifications are used with the Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Profile Manager services to alert your users when unique events or messages occur and to shove out unique configuration settings, and they are moreover used to alert server administrators when unique Alerts are generated—any Mac that has connected to your server using Server.app will receive these Alerts in its Notification Center.Server.app shove notifications in the Notification Center.
Push notifications can breathe pushed from your server to any OS X or iOS client that it manages—you first requisite to acquire a shove Notification Service certificate from Apple using an organizational Apple ID, as opposed to the personal Apple ID that you might expend 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 breathe renewed yearly.Creating a unique self-signed SSL certificate with Server.app.
You moreover 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 unique self-signed certificates and import signed certificates. You can choose to expend one certificate for outright services your server offers, or apportion separate 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, arduous drive S.M.A.R.T. status, and network configuration changes. Processor, memory, and network usage graphs can breathe viewed in Server.app. Each service running in Server.app generates its own log, which can breathe viewed (and searched through) here.
Server.app has two major shortcomings: the first is that while its extreme simplicity is remarkable for consumers, almost every service here has fewer options than it did in the conventional Server Admin. Some things can silent breathe changed via the Terminal, but the GUI has become far less sophisticated.
The second problem is that Server.app can breathe 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 same lag problems, but I don’t undergo many crashes with it, so I’d expect at least these problems to breathe ironed out as Mountain Lion point updates commence 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. relish Microsoft's lively Directory, it allows your users to log in to computers and services using one username and password, and administrators can expend it to invoke preferences and security settings on Macs and iOS devices, which we'll acquire 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 breathe creating a unique Open Directory domain for their testbed, but note that you can moreover 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 Have multiple Open Directory servers, you can expend the Locales feature to apportion different servers to different network subnets to assist with load balancing.
While setting up a unique Open Directory, you'll breathe asked to set up a directory administrator account that's separate 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 breathe named anything you want. Once you've finished this step, you're basically done with setup; you can revolve to the Users and Groups sections to commence building your directory.Users and Groups Creating a unique Open Directory user.
Users and user groups used to breathe configured using a Server Admin implement called Workgroup Manager, which was silent doable in Lion if you didn't relish the unique controls in Server.app. Workgroup Manager is silent available as a separate download in Mountain Lion, but the Users and Groups panes in Server.app Have been tweaked to involve the most primary of the conventional 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 invent expend of your server's services, and network service accounts that can only breathe used to access services. You can view and create outright 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 moreover enter an e-mail address for them—the Contacts service pulls from Open Directory to autofill names and e-mail addresses, so breathe certain to input the information just as you'd relish to observe it. The Home Folder drop-down menu is where you choose whether to invent this a touchstone 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 moreover choose whether to let your network users Have their profiles stored on the arduous 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 breathe a bit slower due to network latency, but outright of the user's files and settings are automatically available no matter what computer they're using.
Using the Disk Quota field, you can confine 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 outright services—Mail accounts Have their own quotas, and the Time Machine service doesn't issue to respect any quota settings at all.
Once created, you can manage users' access to individual services on your server—allowing them to expend Mail, for example, without using Time Machine or the VPN. Within the users pane, you can moreover set password policies (including things relish minimum length and expiration dates), and the Edit Mail Options realm allows you to set up mail forwarding for individual accounts if you won't breathe giving them access to their own e-mail account on your server.Managing great numbers of users with Groups is more convenient than managing them individually.
If you Have a great number of users, splitting them up into groups and managing their settings that course may breathe more convenient. While you can't set disk quotas and home directories according to group, you can concede and screen groups' access to services, and you can moreover give each of your groups a file share, a Wiki page, a group mailing list, and automatically invent group members buddies in the Messages application if you Have 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 moreover much simpler than it was in the conventional 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 requisite to depend on Apple Remote Desktop or a third-party product relish 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 ability 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 august 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 breathe 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 implement called Profile Manager, which manages the same settings for Macs and moreover 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 Have installed one of your configuration profiles, you can moreover shove out updated settings automatically if you Have a shove Notifications certificate enabled on your server.
Profiles are created in the form of .mobileconfig files, the same sort of files that are created by the iPhone Configuration Utility and the Apple Configurator, but they can moreover breathe used to manage Macs. Once you've enabled the Profile Manager, enable Device Management and enter the settings it wants—an organization name and e-mail address and an SSL certificate—and you'll breathe ready to start managing devices.
The default profile is called "Settings for Everyone" and can breathe 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 facile course to invent certain everyone connected to your network can at least Have access to those services. If you requisite more granular options, click the Open Profile Manager link in Server.app, moreover accessible by typing <your server name>/profilemanager into your browser of choice.Enlarge / Profile Manager profiles can breathe distributed to users, user groups, devices, and device groups.
Once in Profile Manager, you can view outright of the users and groups they created in Open Directory earlier. They can moreover observe fields for devices and device groups, but they aren't populated yet. To invent things account for up there, we'll requisite to navigate to the Profile Manager login page at <your server name>/myprofiles from each of the devices you want to manage. I'll breathe using an iPad in outright of my examples here, but iPhones, iPod Touches, and Macs running OS X 10.7 or 10.8 are outright handled pretty much the same way. Older OS X versions are not supported by Profile Manager, but can silent breathe managed with Workgroup Manager, which we'll discuss momentarily.The ability to remotely lock and wipe both iOS devices and Macs in the event of theft, included with Profile Manager, is moreover available through iCloud and Exchange servers, but this is a remarkable fallback if you don't Have the latter and don't trust your users to set up the former.
Once you've signed in using a network user account, you'll breathe presented with a august blue button that will let you enroll your device. Once enrolled, it will account for up in your administrator's Profile Manager, where you can view, edit, and shove out unique settings as desired. If you're working with a self-signed SSL certificate, you may moreover requisite to install the trust Profile for your organization from the Profiles tab before your devices will breathe 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 moreover lock and wipe devices on their own without intervention from an administrator.Enlarge / Grouping many devices that requisite to share the same 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 breathe controlled using the .mobileconfig files generated by Profile Manager. Click Edit and you'll observe outright of the settings you can configure. Some, relish Mail, VPN, security certificates, and wireless network settings can breathe configured for both OS X and iOS, while others are restricted specifically to iOS (device restrictions relish the expend of iCloud backups or in-app purchases) or OS X (Dock icons, Gatekeeper settings, roaming profiles, printer settings, and others). You can moreover 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 implement for directory administrators, and it's moreover usable if you Have a great number of OS X and iOS devices at home (or if your children Have their own iOS devices and you'd relish to breathe able to set universal restrictions on them)—you'll just Have to choose 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 implement silent available from Apple as a separate download. If the Users and Groups options in Server.app aren't to your liking, it can breathe used to expose more advanced options, but where it's most useful in Mountain Lion Server is in its ability 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 breathe able to view outright users and user groups in your directory, as well as outright of the Macs that you've bound to Open Directory. These Macs can moreover breathe 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 expend to configure your Macs' docks, network settings, login window settings, and more. You can already achieve outright of this for Lion and Mountain Lion-equipped Macs using Profile Manager profiles, but Workgroup Manager enables management of outright settings for both Leopard and Snow Leopard, and management of some settings for Tiger as well, in the event that you silent Have any computers that conventional silent in lively service.File Sharing
The file-sharing service in Mountain Lion is unchanged from Lion. It's silent 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 screen (SMB) protocols supported by the client version of the operating system. You can moreover add custom greetings to your AFP share points here, and you can view the IP addresses, protocols, and usernames of outright users connected to one of your share points. The AFP protocol moreover 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, outright of which can breathe edited or deleted as needed. Click the plus button to add a unique 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 concede users read-only access, read and write access, or no access; allow or disallow guest access for a particular share; and choose to invent 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 rush any executable on a Windows computer from a Mountain Lion-hosted SMB share will result in an mistake 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 moreover introduces some quirks. For example, I organize running Windows executables from an SMB share on my test server to breathe impossible, a problem I moreover had with Lion Server. In both cases, running files required me to first copy them from the share to my arduous drive.Sending a message to an AFP user. The message will issue on their screen once it has been sent.
WebDAV sharing isn't as flaky in its operation, but it is particular about who can expend 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 moreover requisite the precise URL for every share point you'd relish to access; the format is http(s)://<your server name>/webdav/<case-sensitive share point name>. Once I was doing outright 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. bethink to involve the "https" for SSL-enabled servers, and moreover the case-sensitive share name.
If you're a home user who wants to invent your files available over the Internet (or if you'd relish to invent any of your services available when you're away from your home network), you'll probably requisite to configure port forwarding on your router, and to invent things easier you'll probably moreover want a DNS name to travel with your IP address (since the address used to compass your network from the Internet sometimes changes for most home users). Portforward.com keeps excellent guides for configuring port forwarding on a wide compass 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 silent only $20 per year).FTP (and SFTP) Shares from the File Sharing service automatically account for up in the FTP service.
The FTP service was completely removed from Server.app and Server Admin in Lion, and had to breathe enabled via the command line. Mountain Lion brings it back. FTP isn't technically Part of the File Sharing service, but it works much the same 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, revolve on FTP for share points already available over one or more of the File Sharing protocols, and configure separate 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 breathe watchful with what you expend it for. If you'd relish to enable encrypted SFTP transfers instead, enable SSH in the Hardware settings in Server.app. You can moreover achieve 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 breathe used to install or rush OS X on your clients from an image stored on your server.
The NetInstall service, formerly known as NetBoot, is unique to Server.app in Mountain Lion. While the interface has changed in its stride 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 antiseptic or pre-configured OS X images on Macs.
Booting from a networked volume can breathe 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 dissimilarity 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 relish DeployStudio moreover expend 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 expend space on the local Mac's arduous drive or they can breathe "diskless" images that store user data on the server and allow for the built-in arduous drive to breathe 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 Have NetRestore images, which can dump a custom OS X image directly to your Mac's arduous drive.Before you can enable the NetInstall service, you'll Have to give it a spot to store images and other data.
We requisite to attend to a pair of things before they can flip on the NetInstall service: first, choose which Ethernet port you'll expend to serve these images (WiFi isn't an option) and the volume you'll expend to store both the images themselves and any user data they generate. You'll only really requisite 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 terminal 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 invent NetInstall images from bootable volumes and OS X installers from the Mac App Store.
The System Image Utility, the only one of the conventional 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 expend to invent NetBoot, NetInstall, and NetRestore images from either a bootable OS X volume (either on an external disk or a separate volume on the Mac's arduous drive; you cannot invent an image of the boot volume) or a Mountain Lion installer located in the Applications volume (this installer can easily breathe 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 invent Mountain Lion images, Snow Leopard's version can only invent Snow Leopard images, and so on. This can invent it a bit tedious to create images for multiple OS X versions if you requisite to champion Macs dropped by newer OS X releases.The System Image Utility comes with Automator actions you can expend to customize your OS X images.
Clicking the Customize button reveals an Automator-like workflow builder that you can expend 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 expend 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. name the image whatever you want, click Create, and agree 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 peek under the Images tab, then double click the newly created Mountain Lion image to configure it for distribution. Check the box under Availability and choose the protocol you'd relish to expend to distribute the images. Distributing images over HTTP won't invent you open any unique ports, but it means that anyone sniffing your Web traffic can observe your images and everything in them. Using NFS, which has historically been the default, gets you some security-through-obscurity, but you'll requisite 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 Have the same 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 revolve on the service, at which point your NetBoot images will breathe 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 breathe 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 knowing 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 august list of outright Mac models, allowing you to achieve 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 acquire the exact model identifier (MacBook 3,1, iMac 11,3) just to breathe sure. Using properly configured filters, you can easily provide network booting for Macs going outright the course back to the G3 iBooks and PowerBooks.Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Messages
The Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Messages services don't requisite much explanation beyond their names, which Have been changed to reflect the name 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 respond to Exchange, though no one at all of these services are nearly as complicated or feature-rich. With the exception of Mail, outright 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 unique Notes and Reminders apps (and their iOS counterparts).Mail Configuration options for the Mail service Have 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 conventional Server Admin app. A few unique settings Have 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 expend 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 moreover 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 outright accounts here as well (this appears to breathe an all-or-nothing settings; if one user needs a quota bump, you'll requisite 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 Have survived; the rest died with Server Admin.
Of the many things that Mail has lost since Lion (including the ability to easily set maximum attachment sizes, view user accounts with usage and quota information, and more resilient 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 breathe politely described as "antiquated," and was in desperate requisite of an update (perhaps with the comparatively slick client that iCloud uses) but Apple instead chose to replace it with... nothing. You'll Have to depend 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 breathe able to expend the Websites service to manually install and configure a webmail front terminate for your mail server.
The one addition that Mountain Lion Server makes to the Mail service is that it can now breathe used to store Notes for expend with the OS X and iOS apps of the same 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 moreover 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 choose to let reservations breathe approved automatically or apportion one of your users to breathe the delegate who approves and rejects them.Assigning a delegate who can accredit or reject outright scheduling requests for my unique meeting room.
Unlike Mail, the Calendar service's Web client remains intact in Mountain Lion as long as you've moreover 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 breathe added (or even viewed once they're added in the OS X and iOS applications). If you've used calendar software in the terminal few years, you won't breathe surprised by any of OS X Server's Calendar features.Contacts There's not much to achieve for the Contacts service.
There's very tiny to drawl 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 breathe displayed when you fulfill 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 relish plane or Google Talk. The service's only options allow you to archive outright 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 separate directories on different servers.Connecting to your server
In OS X and iOS, the easiest course to acquire 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 expend of well-supported protocols in outright 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 issue automatically. Click Continue, enter your user credentials, and then select the services you'd relish to use. Only Mountain Lion supports the syncing of Reminders and Notes, but older OS X clients can silent connect to and expend the older services.
To connect with other operating systems, you'll just Have to plug your server's name 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 invent them even less competitive now.
Whatever their feature set, I don't observe most users getting much mileage out of them: individuals and minuscule businesses will breathe better served by Google Apps or Office 365, and enterprises could acquire 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 terminate is supplied by Apache 2.2.22—not, you might notice, the most recent version, which is 2.4—and you can moreover rush 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 requisite 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 observe if you nature 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 unique sites as you Have space and bandwidth for.
You can create unique 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 Have storage space (and bandwidth) for. Configuring advanced settings requires going into the Apache configuration files, a process which is partially circumstantial in Apple's advanced server administration documentation and moreover 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 faultfinding problems with one service but an included PHP update breaks a bunch of your code, there's not an facile course to separate 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 acquire your users doing something useful with Websites. If you've got any undergo with Wikis of any kind, the Wiki service doesn't Have many surprises in store for you—they're simple websites that you can expend 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 moreover has more than a tiny in common with Microsoft's SharePoint (though that software is both more tangled and more capable than what's on panoply here). Using this Wiki software, you can edit and observation on pages, associate pages with other, related pages, observe revision history, and acquire 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 breathe 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 facile enough to install something relish MediaWiki to your Websites server and expend that instead—OS X Server already includes Apache and PHP, so you'll just Have to set up some database server software and you'll breathe friendly to go.Everything else
The aforementioned services are the biggest pieces of the software, and the ones with the most moving parts to talk about. The rest of the offerings compass from the practical to curios—by the terminate of their guide, you'll know about every service OS X Server has to offer, august and small.VPN With proper port forwarding, OS X Server's VPN service provides a fairly cheap, facile 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. outright you requisite to achieve is select the protocols you want to support, your VPN server's hostname (which is separate from your server's regular hostname, a feature unique to Mountain Lion), and your shared clandestine password.
If you'd relish to provide VPN settings to clients without handing out information relish the shared clandestine password, you can deliver a standalone .mobileconfig file right 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 compass that VPN-connected clients will use—by default it uses 31 addresses in the 200-range, so most home users won't rush into any catastrophe there—and set separate DNS settings for VPN-connected clients. unique to Mountain Lion is the ability to define routes for your clients as well.
The VPN service is considerably easier to set up and configure than something relish OpenVPN, and L2TP and PPTP are both widely supported protocols that can breathe 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 invent things a bit less messy for users who requisite to acquire on the corporate network from remote locations. While not a requirement for a decent VPN solution, it's too putrid that Apple hasn't compass up with its own attempt to "fix" the VPN problem.Time Machine Enabling the Time Machine service is as facile as choosing the volume you'd relish to expend 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 expend for your backups, and outright 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 minuscule businesses network-attached storage devices at this point, but if you don't Have one, the Time Machine service is especially useful for home users with multiple Macs and some free arduous 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 issue as an option when choosing a Time Machine drive on your Mac clients. Local and network users or service accounts allowed to expend the Time Machine service will breathe able to authenticate and expend the drive as they would any local Time Machine disk.Two Time Machine servers are available on my network, and my OS X client organize both of them without issue.
What's frustrating about the Time Machine service is its complete requisite 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 Have any mien 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 Have no ability to invent 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 suggest looking into a third-party alternative relish 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 acquire their updates from you instead of from Apple, saving Internet bandwidth and increasing the hurry of great downloads.
When set to Automatic, the service will automatically publish unique 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 outright of your clients. Anyone who has ever installed a unique 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 outright but the most faultfinding security updates for at least a few days makes some sense if you're trying to reduce champion calls.OS X clients outright the course back to Tiger can breathe kept updated with the Software Update service (though if you silent Have Tiger clients in requisite of updates in 2012 I'd drawl you've got bigger problems).
The Software Update service can update outright of the same 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 outright the course back to 10.4. A full copy of Apple's update catalog is going to require several gigabytes of arduous drive space.
The ability to download and distribute iOS updates from your local server silent isn't included, however.
There are moreover a few other limitations here compared to something relish WSUS—while you can hold updates back from your users, there's no course to shove them out. Once you've approved an update, your users can tug it down through the common Software Update process, but you can't mandate that the update breathe installed and there's no course to check update compliance throughout your organization. If your users choose to postpone the updates, there's really not much you can achieve about it. There's moreover 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 tense lively Directory integration.DNS
Of the networking services that used to breathe 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 minuscule businesses making expend of OS X Server are usually going to Have both of these functions handled by their routers, and larger businesses will already Have 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 wield requests that your OS X server can't wield (which can either provide redundancy or allow you to expend OS X for some DNS requests but not others), choose the computers for which your server should fulfill 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 outright 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 felicitous more configuration options in a less confusing course than this screen from Lion:Enlarge
Despite this simplification, you don't lose options in the stride from Lion to Mountain Lion, though that's not immediately obvious. Click the Settings button and then clicking account for outright 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 stride 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 recall 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. Part of the implement lives in Server.app, and the other Part can breathe organize 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 pair 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 theme is fairly extensive. Suffice it to drawl that most homes and minuscule businesses won't requisite 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 breathe a decent alternative right 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 requisite to mount Minis in a rack, mounts for them are pretty facile to compass by. One of my favorites is Sonnet's awesome RackMac Mini 1U enclosure, which can felicitous two of the aluminum Mac Minis with ample scope for ventilation. There's moreover 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 birth 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 cost 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 sturdy market for Apple. As ZDNet's David Chernicoff observed in an Xserve post-mortem, Apple didn't even expend 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 Have considered it before because of its cost and complexity (i.e., unique customers), and minuscule 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 acquire is a snitch at $20, and the product can silent achieve most of the primary stuff it could achieve in previous versions.
My panic in this gallant unique world is that OS X Server will suffer the same kismet as Apple Remote Desktop, another enormously useful implement if you're trying to manage a great number of Macs. Remote Desktop's terminal major update, version 3.0, was introduced outright the course back in 2006. Though it is silent technically being maintained and sold in the Mac App Store—its current version is 3.6—most of those point updates Have served only to add compatibility with unique OS X versions and add incremental feature improvements relish IPv6 support.
There's silent some good, low-hanging fruit that Apple could harvest to invent OS X Server better for the kinds of users they're gunning for—things relish centralized FileVault management, the ability 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 observe 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 Have never tried it, OS X Server's unique $19.99 cost point makes it a tempting proposition. That's a pretty reasonable cost even if you only intend to expend 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 expend at home. If you were on the fence at $50, buying Server at $20 is an easier call.
It's no longer a grave 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 unique features in updates 2.1 and 2.2 here.
Macs running OS X 10.9 Mavericks will automatically default to using SMB2 when talking to each other, and tumble back to AFP when file sharing with Macs running previous versions of OS X or when working with Time Machine backups.From AFP to SMB2
Apple has maintained and enhanced its own AFP file sharing since it was first introduced in the late 1980s as Part of the original Macintosh's easy-to-use AppleTalk networking system (below). The company then transitioned AFP from its own proprietary AppleTalk transport to the Internet's TCP/IP, where it has remained the default protocol for Mac to Mac "personal file sharing" on OS X.
SMB ("Server Message Block") originated at IBM, but was popularized and greatly expanded by Microsoft as the default Windows File Sharing protocol. relish Apple, Microsoft transitioned its SMB file sharing protocol from its original NetBIOS transport to TCP/IP.
In the late 90s, Microsoft attempted to rename SMB as CIFS (the "Common Internet File System") in an application to invent it sound more relish a cross platform standard, although the unique name and the expend of SMB as the Internet's file sharing protocol never really took off.
While proprietary to Microsoft, the SMB protocol was transpose engineered to create the Samba open source project to allow Unix-like operating systems to share files with Windows PCs. Apple incorporated Samba into OS X 10.2 to champion file and network directory services with Windows PCs, resulting in the simple option to enable Windows File Sharing on Macs.
With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft greatly revamped SMB to limpid out conventional legacy complications and enhance its performance, capabilities and security. This resulted in SMB2. Microsoft further enhanced its SMB2 protocol with version 2.1 in Windows 7 and a 2.2 version for Windows 8 that is moreover referred to as SMB 3.0. Apple doesn't distinguish between these variants in its own documentation.From Samba to SMBX
Samba didn't initially champion Microsoft's unique SMB2; additionally, the project decided to stride its future progress (including champion for SMB2) to the more strict GPLv3 license. That prevented Apple from realistically using the software commercially.
For OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple wrote its own software for Windows File Sharing under the name "SMBX" to replace Samba, adding initial champion for Microsoft's SMB2 at the same time.
Rather than maintaining both AFP and SMBX in parallel, Apple is now consolidating its future efforts in its own implementation of Microsoft's SMB2 protocol. Macs running OS X 10.9 Mavericks will expend SMB2 as their default file sharing protocol when connecting to each other or to PCs running Windows Vista, 7 or 8.
In a public technology overview, Apple says, "SMB2 is superfast, increases security, and improves Windows compatibility."SMB2 is superfast, increases security, and improves Windows compatibility.
The company moreover outlines that "SMB2 features Resource Compounding, allowing multiple requests to breathe sent in a lone request. In addition, SMB2 can expend great reads and writes to invent better expend of faster networks as well as great MTU champion for blazing speeds on 10 Gigabit Ethernet. It aggressively caches file and folder properties and uses opportunistic locking to enable better caching of data. It’s even more reliable, thanks to the ability to transparently reconnect to servers in the event of a temporary disconnect."
Apple will continue to champion AFP for file sharing with Macs running previous versions of OS X and with Time Machine backup systems. OS X Mavericks moreover includes champion for NFS v3 and v4, which are commonly used on Linux and Oracle's Solaris for automounting file shares.Support for Windows ACLs; NTFS remains read only
Apple's progress of OS X has similarly incorporated other technologies from Microsoft's Windows, including champion for Windows-style ACLs (Access Control Lists), a more robust and fine-grained system for implementing file-based permissions that offered a variety of improvements over the existing BSD Unix-style permissions used in prior versions of OS X.
Support for ACLs, introduced in OS X 10.4 Tiger in 2004, helped enhance connectivity between Macs and PCs and Windows lively Directory services.
In terms of file systems, OS X Mavericks continues to expend HFS+, with champion for file system journaling. OS X continues to champion Microsoft's basic FAT32 file system and includes read-only champion for Windows' default NTFS.
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