View Full Version : OSX Server to manage multiple Macs in an office?

Jun 17, 2011, 10:40 AM
Hi all,

Just to prefix this a bit - I work in IT, in very large windows environments. Done a lot of work with networks, domains, forests, and of course always windows PCs and servers.

I'm setting up a new office, all computers are going to be Macs (mostly iMacs, a few MBPs - about 10 now and growing up to 20-25) and one thing I've been unsure about is centrally managing these computers similar to how one would on a windows domain. Things like security, users, profiles, policies, updates, backups, etc...

Just recently thought about checking out OSX Server - it looks good, easy almost, but is this something that would be possible or is a good idea, maybe using a Mac mini server? Could it take care of things such as centralizing backups, updates, etc? I guess this really is one of the purpose of using OSX Server, but just looking for some clarification or confirmation..


Jun 17, 2011, 04:43 PM
Are you looking to create separate logins for these Macs or are you planning on using existing Active Directory logons?

You configure them to using the existing AD logons and home directories, you then wouldn't need to backup the computers. A Mac Mini server is perfectly capable of imaging/deploying (I use one myself running DeployStudio), Workgroup Manager is perfect for preference management (client profiles/lockdown/preferences), user management etc.

Also plenty can be achieved with Server Admin (software updates, additional services like iCal, Mail, Sites etc if you want to use them).

Hope this helps.

Jun 18, 2011, 12:27 PM
Thanks for the feedback :)

There won't be any Active Directory or Windows based servers in this office at all. AD/Windows is what I'm used to day to day, but considering the whole office is going to be Mac, I figured there was no point in Windows or AD.. unless there is?

From reading around a bit it looks like a lot of what I want could be accomplished with Server Admin and Apple Remote Desktop (didn't realize how much was included with ARD, I figured it would have solely been some remote connection type software).

Jun 18, 2011, 01:21 PM
I wasn't sure if this 'new' office was linked to an already existing AD, that's why I enquired. If not, then no, there is no reason to use AD servers at all.

Setup a Mac Mini Server for all services required, use WGM for users and Preferences if you need to, and ARD for administration. Simples ;)