Join Sean Colins for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know, part of OS X Server Essential Training: Yosemite Edition.
- Before we get started with this course, there's a few things that I want you to research and look into. First thing I'd like you to know is you're going to be enabling the caching service. I know you may have come into this. Expecting to do file sharing or some other great service here in OS X Server. But you are going to enable to caching service because it's amazing, it's easy, and it's going to benefit you. So, I definitely want you to do that. Just know it's gonna happen. Also, know the names and starting passwords for your user accounts. That's really important because you're going to be entering the names and passwords for users and it's better if you're not fumbling around for them later.
So, know if the internet is going to be a place where your clients are going to be. If your employees are going to be connecting from the local Starbucks, that means they're coming in across your internet connection and that will have some unique impacts on your configurations. For example, you're going to want to know your internet-based domain name administration information. This includes the provider, so you could be with Domains.com or GoDaddy or Network Solutions or any of a number of different domain name providers.
You're also going to want to know the username and the password that you need to log in to those services. Because if you need to make changes to your internet-based DNS, you're going to need to log in to do that. So, just get that gathered up now. If you're going to make connections like that you're going to make port forwarding changes on your network and you're gonna probably need to open up some firewall ports if you have a hardware or software-based firewall on your network. So, you're either going to be controlling that yourself or you're going to be finding the person who set up your network in the first place so they can do it for you.
The last thing on this internet connections bit here, I really think you should know which services you intend for your employees or your family members or whoever it is wherever you're setting your server up. Whatever they're gonna use locally versus what they're going to use from the internet. Because if they're gonna be sitting in a Starbucks trying to use file sharing and your internet connection is really, really slow, that's gonna be painful for them. And maybe you don't even want to set that up as a port forwarding thing. Also, if they're going to be using something like the calendar server with you in order to do delegated appointments.
Those appointments may change while they're not on site along with your server. So, you may really want to set up that kind of port forwarding for your calendar server to enable them to be at home or a local coffee shop and be able to get those updates to their schedule. So, for your server specifically, I need you to, in advance, choose an IP address that you'll set up statically or manually on your server. You're going to choose a name for your server, know what you want it to be called, and then you're going to have to figure out your DNS situation.
The situation with your DNS inside your organization. If you're a large organization and your company has an IT department, you almost certainly have internal DNS. And you want to talk to those administrators so that they can help you out. If you're setting up your server inside an organization that's big enough to have an IT department, you probably want to be talking to those folks rather than just setting up your server on your own. They're there to help you. Please ask for their help. If you're a smaller organization and you don't have an IT department, you very likely do not have a DNS server on your network, which is great for you because that means your OS X Server can be your DNS server.
And you're going to need to know which of those two cases applies to you because it will change what you do during your setup. Lastly, be sure that whatever computer you're using for your OS X Server has enough power to run the server and that it's safe power, that it's a grounded power outlet, that you have a gigabit ethernet connection that goes back all the way through to a gigabit switch that's connected via gigabit to all of the other devices that you want to make a connection to.
That gigabit word, if you're not accustomed to that, that just means a thousand megabits per second and that means fast and we want to be sure that it's just as fast to your server as it is out to your clients' systems. Also, be sure that you're setting your server up in a place with a stable controlled room temperature. Lastly, I want you to buy a UPS or an uninterruptible power supply. These things are fantastic and the more expensive ones even have things like active voltage regulation that will smooth out the bumps in the power provided by your local power grid.
If you're in a small city or a place where there's manufacturing, there maybe times during the day or the evening when local factories spin up and really affect that local power grid and it maybe happening at times when you're not even there and you don't know about it. But your server is on because your server is always on. So, it's a great idea to be hooked up to that uninterruptible power supply. Also, a lot of those things come with a USB cable that you can connect between the power supply and your server. If that's the case, go ahead and plug it in. It will almost always be a USB connection to the back of the computer.
And then, once you plug that in you can go into system preferences, energy settings and there'll be a special tab just for the UPS where you can configure your server to shut itself down when it's been on battery power for a number of minutes or amount of percentage of time or whatever. Showing you that is beyond the scope of the class here but it is certainly a great idea. I'd also like you to purchase a backup hard drive in order to have your local server Time Machine backups happen. And I also think that it's a great idea because we do talk about this during the class.
If you want to go out and grab a USB 3 or Thunderbolt hard drive for either locating your file shares if you're gonna be doing file sharing to put a Time Machine network destination folder on for doing network-based Time Machine. I'm gonna show you how to do that. Also, you can relocate your cache if you're using your cache and server to an external drive. If you had those three additional things all plugged in via USB, that would be great. On a new Mac Mini, you've got just a handful of USB ports and if you plug all of those things in, you're not gonna have any ports left for anything.
So, I think that's more than enough to ask you to go out and grab. Certainly, none of those of things are absolutely necessary. If you're just watching this to learn, you can simply keep watching these movies and move along and I hope you'll learn a lot regardless. But if you're setting your server up for a real environment, these are great things to grab.
- Planning your installation
- Setting up the network
- Addressing and naming the server
- Setting up network folders
- Administering file sharing
- Serving shared calendars
- Enabling a wiki
- Setting up messages
- Setting user and group access controls
- Working with DNS
- Configuring port forwarding
- Administering users with Profile Manager