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Old Feb 4, 2008, 11:51 AM   #1
corbywan
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Forest Grove, OR
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Looking for resources and interaction

Brief background. Mac head since 1991.
  • Learned LocalTalk and desktop support back in the System 6-7 days, all on the job. No servers.
  • Learned EtherTalk, FirstClass (in-house and internet email), network file server (as an option for users), and central Retrospect back-up back in the System 8-9 days. First exposure to server environment. Oh yeah, and Now-up-to-date and Calender servers.
  • After a time away from network admin stuff, came back to build web, ftp, and RealMedia server for live and archived stuff. (all of this experience was in a large church environment)
  • Eventually worked in support for a software house that developed its own front end for an Oracle back-end solution.
  • Earned CCNA, CCDA, passed MSCE-Networking test, and a couple of low-end Oracle certs.

I say all that just to communicate that I have a pretty good idea of how things work from the switch to the client side of things, but in-house servers and the services they provide in modern office/enterprise environments is outside of my comfort zone. For example, I don't know what Open Directory is for, LDAP, I'd like to learn. Back in the day, a file server was where you could story important stuff you wanted to make sure was backed up, while everything else lived on your local Bondi iMac.

I've always found OSX Server to look very cool and sexy, but I've never used it (Apple has a way of doing that). I'm well aware now of the problems and criticisms people have of it. I have the opportunity soon to be hired to learn what I need to learn, oder, implement, and administrate, all because I'm good friends with a rich benefactor. He is going to start a collection of companies and is also a Mac lover.

I'm hoping this forums will be a great and easy resource for me. It's already been a bit helpful. To spin-off from the get-a-mac commercial, "I need a server, now what?" So some of my questions are these:

If MacOS Server worked great, what would I use it for?
In small to medium businesses, what is a server used for? In other words, where does the local desktop's usefulness end and the network server's being?
The idea of NetBoot seems very cool in concept. Central admin of client's OS, software, instead of having to go from machine to machine to update/upgrade. Is this being used i the real world? Does it, in effect, make the local Mac a terminal?
Is the network server (regardless of OS) primarily and in-house appliance with the ability to be a gateway to the outside (or from the outside in)?
The question about an Xserve vs. a MacPro was good. I'd like some more on that. From a power perspective, MacPros seem much more beefy than XServes. I get the convenience and hot-swap stuff.

That's the kind of info I'm after.
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Old Feb 4, 2008, 12:20 PM   #2
corbywan
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I realize that I must sound like a total noob. In a way I kind of am and I might understand more than I realize. I guess I want to eliminate any old models that may be floating around in my head, ones that might get in the way of learning how things are supposed to work. In my previous environments, if you had enough duct tape and if it worked, that was the right way. But that isn't always the case.

I know about client server models when it comes to specific large-scale services (web, ftp, databases, etc.) It's the small business world I'm ignorant about.

I have done some basic reading on wiki and some other Apple sites/forums as well. Trying to glean as much as I can.

Thanks again my mac peeps!
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Old Feb 9, 2008, 11:31 AM   #3
esquire360
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http://movielibrary.lynda.com/html/modPage.asp?ID=373

worth the 25 bucks for 1 month....
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