New To Server Admin, Taking Suggestions

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by HMayes, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. HMayes macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2008
    Hi Folks,
    I have never administered a server before, but my small company is considering it. Our company consists of about eight people all running iMacs or MBPs. I'd like some advice regarding my current plan of attack. First I'll just lay out why we would like (or think we would like) a server.

    iCal: we all use iCal HEAVILY. Many folks publish their calendars on Mobile Me so colleagues can subscribe to them. This has improved efficiency a lot for us, especially when collaborating, but it would be even better if multiple people could view and EDIT certain set(s) of calendars. Can iCal server accomplish this?

    Address book: right now we e-mail a lot of vCards around, it would be great to have a set of shared address books that anyone (with the appropriate credentials) could view and modify. Can address book server accomplish this?

    File Serving: Currently we have one iMac (OSX 10.6 Client) set up with all of the company files. You either have the credentials to it or you don't. I haven't had much luck trying to set permissions based on different usernames/groups. It'd be great to restrict and grant access for specific users and groups. For example, our manufacturing staff needs to get to product formulas and QA docs, but has no need to view company financial files. Can file server accomplish this?

    I am planning on installing OSX 10.6 Server on a mid-2009 24" iMac (fairly well-equipped). I know this isn't a good long term solution, but we can't afford an XServe right now. I am hoping an iMac will be robust enough for what we are doing and the amount of people we have. I would imagine no more than 5-8 people would be using the server simultaneously. I don't plan on implementing ARD right now.

    I don't know anything about administrating a server, but I am quite tech savvy (my formal background is programming). I understand the basic principals behind things like DNS and Open Directory, but have zero experience setting these things up. Any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance,

  2. bradleys83 macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2009
    Have you taken a look at the new MacMini Server version?

    That would probably do everything you'd need, readily set up, and keep that iMac on someones desk where it could be productive.

    I don't think an Xserve is really a requirement for a workgroup of your size, that would be a whole lot of cost and power that you'd never end up using but would have to fork out for.

    iCal Server, Address Book Server, Wiki Server will tackle most of the information management you're after - though Daylite from Market Circle would possibly also be a good fit there (Customer Relationship Manager for small workgroups)

    Snow Leopard server will also let you implement security on your file shares easily to keep documents restricted from certain groups of people.

    I'd definitely say check out the Mini Server Edition though!
  3. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    I agree with the previous poster. By the time you've bought 10.6 server, you're more than half way to the cost of a Mac Mini Server, which comes with the OS already installed.

    OS X Server will accomplish what you're asking for, although I agree with the previous poster that some kind of CRM system may be a more elegant solution to your calendaring needs.

    As your network is entirely Mac based, you don't really need to get involved with OpenDirectory (which is an open-source version of Microsoft's Active Directory). It's there if you want to use it (and there are advantages to using it) but it's not required. OS X server is remarkably easy to admin - you'll be doing most of the work from your own desktop using the admin tools suite and whilst there is a learning curve, it isn't that steep provided you're reasonably au fait with the basics.

    I'd suggest picking up a book on 10.6 server which will help you get to grips with some of the more advanced features.
  4. ingenious macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    Do you have a recommendation on a good SL Server System Admin title?
  5. pdjudd macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    None of them are out quite yet, but anything in the Peachpit series will work great - Apple recommends them as part of their certification program.
  6. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    Apple's documentation is quite good. That would get you started until the Peachpit 10.6 series is released.

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