Manage 20 Macs? Need Server?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jng, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007
    I have a question and a unique challenge.

    I work (part time) at my old high school and we have 20 macs:
    10 G4s, about 10 G5s, and a G3.

    The issue is managing all of them. Before it was relatively easier because most of the people working them actually went to the school and we'd do os updates regularly and update software etc. But now we're all alums at local universities so the computers don't get as much maintenance.

    We have 3 types of users:
    Admins, Students, and Web Designers (part of an extracurricular) and the problem is that the desktops of the latter two are ridiculous, not to mention that kids try to install stuff on them (which they don't have permission to do but there's nonetheless software installs everywhere).

    What's the easiest way to manage all of them? I'm guess we need to buy Tiger Server? Or is it remote desktop?

    There also needs to be automatic maintenance:
    periodic cleaning of desktops
    software updates

    Any recommendations?
  2. Allotriophagy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2006
    I think you can do it all with Remote Desktop. You should do a bit of Googleing and look on Apple's site to see what it is capable of. I am pretty sure it can push updates and run scripts.
  3. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Well, OS X Server would be good for managing users (via Open Directory) and delivering OS updates.
  4. andrewag macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2005
    A Mac OS X server would be your best bet. There are very complicated ways to get Active Directory to manage the user environments of Mac OS X clients but a Mac OS X server with workgroup manager/open directory would be stacks easier.

    Prices are resonable to education.
  5. tinthehouse macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2007
    Remote Desktop 3.0 would be a good one, because it can run .term on all computers, and if you have an admin computer/the computer users would connect to you could creat a file sharing network. That way you don't need to bye mac os x server.
  6. slooksterPSV macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
    I recommend Remote Desktop for the teacher and a server for Open Directory so the users can have their own stuff, a few problems:
    1 HDD space, the server, that can be a hassle
    2 Login headaches - sometimes AFP goes down and you can't find out why, at my HS when I managed it, we found out it was directly linked to the DHCP Server (running Netware 6.5), when it would go down AFP would go down.

    Remote Desktop, you can schedule all of them to do what you need, do updates, etc. have it install software and BAM! you're good to go, set it to restart at certain points. Now if there was a way to pool all the OS X's HDD together via the server via network wise that would be awesome, I think XSan can do that, but the server does not, I'm currently aware of. I love the Tiger Server... hmmm maybe I'll get leopard server just to have, sounds fun lol.

    Anyways, there's my 2 cents. Remote Desktop would be good. But if you want to control what the kids can use and what not, get the server as well.

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