While bullet-proof Unix and Linux server systems may now also sport GUI layers for easier configuration, Apple's Mac OS X Server, like it's popular client version, has a very forward-facing and friendly graphical user interface. But if you want to roll your sleeves up and use a Unix terminal, OS X While the upgrade to Apple Mac OS X And it also scales up well to corporate installations. Like the client version, it majors on bit performance to improve security and address huge amounts of memory. Installation is straightforward, with an easy step-by-step wizard guiding the initial setup immediately after the OS software completes its installation.
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In fact, Apple is now even selling Snow Leopard Server pre-installed on a new optical-drive-free Mac mini. Administration can be made with a headless setup, using either Macs' built-in Screen Sharing app, or the separate Apple Remote Desktop 3.
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- A review of the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server | Ars Technica.
- Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server.
Or you can simply use an open-standard VNC application. The Mac server can be sited behind an internet modem router; or using the Mac server as an internet gateway, assuming you have at least two ethernet interfaces, taking advantage of the Mac's firewall and DHCP functions.
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We logged into our router and manually edited the Mac server's DNS name, and were then happily back on track. Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.
Apple has such a product, Mac OS X Server, but has been weak at exploiting this niche despite the server's long history.
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Apple has focused instead on support for large corporations' enterprise networks, data center and cluster use, and academic deployments. Releases before version Further, OS X Server was often too focused on providing services for networks mostly comprised of Macs; a lot of lip service was paid to Windows support, but it's only seemingly fully matured in But what makes OS X Server In this review, I look at a few specific aspects of the Mac mini server model and OS X Server as they relate to sub-enterprise-scale networks, especially where IT staff help isn't assumed.
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I also offer you two key tips for fixing problems in OS X Server that tripped me up during testing. This is not a full review of OS X Server, which would take many tens of thousands of words and months of testing, much like John Siracusa's in-depth OS X client reviews. The Mac mini server—its full name is the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server —brings together two separate developments: a substantial price cut for OS X Server and increasingly powerful Mac mini models that have the gumption to work as servers. Before The user limit, however, applied only to simultaneous logins for certain kinds of services, including AFP Apple Filing Protocol , Apple's native file-sharing service.
The There's one version of OS X Server OS X Server since Until an update in March , the Mac mini was too underpowered to handle multiple server tasks, although the mini was often found in data centers.
If you're weren't racking your server, then an iMac or Mac Pro could serve, but both models can be overkill. The March Mac mini update gave the tiny desktop real performance, bringing it reasonably close to iMac system specs. The October Mac mini update bumped specs and made the server pricing work with Mac mini server.
Apple made only two missteps on system specs. First, a server nearly always does better with more memory, and while 4GB isn't unreasonable, an 8GB top limit would have been better if it were possible.
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server
Several Mac tech sites have tested putting in 8GB without any trouble, but Apple doesn't support such a configuration, which means future versions of Snow Leopard could unintentionally cause trouble. The second stumble is by limiting the Mac mini to rpm drives, the same as are used on the low end in laptops, instead of widely available rpm drives. The issue of RAM and drive speed are interrelated. More RAM would increase caching and reduce disk accesses; a faster drive would make a system with less RAM work more efficiently.
When I spoke to Apple about drive performance, product managers noted that the unit includes a FireWire port. Several of my colleagues who have tested similar configurations say that external FireWire drives could outperform an internal drive.
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