Join Sean Colins for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know before starting, part of Learning OS X Server App.
There are many things you should know before you start with your server setup. The first of which is pretty simple. What's it for? If you don't understand what your server is going to do and how it's going to do it. You'll have a very hard time setting up services to accomplish your goals. Know your goals ahead of time. Who will use it? So who is going to be accessing your server? Once you know who they are, write down their names. Organize them into groups. And write down the names of the groups. Figure out whose going to use your server ahead of time. Because that will also assist you with the first question about what it's for.
Next, know if devices on the internet will initiate a connection to your server. Your server will connect to the internet, that's for certain. But will devices on the internet be able to initiate a connection to your server? If so, you need a static IP address from your internet service provider to use on your router's LAN connection. IOS devices like IPhones that need to always be up to date with the latest calendar and contact information are very good examples of this. But something as seemingly unrelated as a remote programmer who needs access to your Xcode service would be a very good reason to get a static IP address and possibly, even a publicly registered, fully qualified domain name for your server.
Do you know who controls your domain on the internet? If it turns out you do need a fully qualified domain name registered, you'll need to know who has the authorization to control your domain on the internet. Are you going to control the port forwarding in your firewall or on your router or is someone else responsible for your network? If it's someone else, definitely have that person's phone number handy while you're getting your server set up so they can make changes if necessary. And I would recommend having a lengthy conversation about your server and what its needs will be before you start setting up.
That way the network can be in place before you get started. So, to get started with your server specifically, you'll need a few more pieces of information. The first is, what is your servers IP address going to be? The IP address and subnet mask are going to work together to define the network that is the Local Area Network for your Server and all the clients that work on it. Next you'll want to know what is the servers name. All servers have a name, in fact all computers have names these days, but you'll need to know what yours is so you can set it before you set up the server app.
Next you're going to need to know, will your server host DNS or is that being covered by somebody else? If there's already a DNS server on your network you'll need to know who that DNS server administrator is and you want to ask them to put an A record and a PTR record for your servers, fully qualified domain name and its IP address into the DNS server. If you're going to be hosting DNS, don't worry, we're going to show you how to set that up on your OS X Server. Have you covered your server's needs for power? Is there gigabit ethernet near where you're going to be placing the server? And, wherever your server's going to live, is there a stable temperature that falls within the hardware manufacturer's published acceptable temperature range? It's very important for your equipment to not overheat.
Placing a Mac Mini server, even though it's small and generates little heat, into a closed cabinet may be the kiss of death over time as the heat build up may degrade the hardware's performance and eventually kill it. So, know where you're putting it and make sure that you have enough power that you've got gigabit ethernet, and that there's a stable temperature there. Speaking of power, you may want to purchase a uninterruptible power supply, or UPS. You can get these from any local office supply store or electronics store, and make sure that you get one that has enough power capacity to run your server for a while.
if there is a power outage or a power spike or a drop in power that could damage your equipment. Also, go out and purchase an external hard drive. Something that's as big as your budget can withstand. You need this because we will be setting up a Time Machine backup drive to connect to your server later on in the title. And if you don't have an external hard drive you won't be able to do that. In the next movie we will talk in more detail about networking and port forwarding.
- Configuring your network
- Setting up Xcode, the developer's best friend
- Creating users and groups
- Connecting to shared folders
- Backing up clients
- Collaborating with web services
- Managing mobile devices
- Building a master image to deploy to new Macs
- Enabling a group calendar and contacts
- Keeping chats private
- Securing remote access