OS X Server & Airport/TimeCapsule

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by arkmannj, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. arkmannj macrumors 65832


    Oct 1, 2003

    I manage a small network for home/a home Business. I like keeping good tabs on who has access to the WiFi so I use the Timed Access Controls (based on MAC addresses) and Assign IP addresses to folks through the Airport Utility (I still lament the death of Airport Utility 5.x.. but for another thread) I do however hate rebooting my Base Station every time I need to add someone or make a change. I have a Mac Mini and was thinking I could install Server onto it. would that allow me to manage access controls more dynamically? Could I setup the Airport to essentually forward the authentication requests to the server so that the airport doesn't nee dot go down?

    hopefully I'm explaining myself properly.

    I have:
    * Airport TimeCapsule 802.11n (3rd Gen)

    * Airport Express 802.11n

    * Mac Mini Server (Mid 2011) 2GHz Core i7, 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3, 2 internal HDDs (500GB each)
    -- Running Mac OS X 10.9 Client (Was running 10.8 client without server tools also)

  2. eschw95458 macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Which airport express do you have? (one or two ports )
    Is your airport express your primary gateway?
    Are you using the time capsule wired or wireless?
  3. arkmannj thread starter macrumors 65832


    Oct 1, 2003

    *Time Capsule
    -- AirPort Time Capsule 802.11n (3rd Generation)
    -- Running 7.6.4
    -- Connected via Ethernet to Mac Mini and other devices
    -- Currently is the primary gateway offering DHCP, Access Control, Port Forwarding, etc...

    *Airport Express:
    -- AirPort Express 802.11n (1st Generation)
    -- 1 port
    -- Running 7.6.4
    -- Set to "Extend a wireless network"
    -- Ethernet is connected directly to /Gbit switch for Printer and desktop computer in basement
    -- Wirelessly connects to Time Capsule

    * Mac Mini Server (Mid 2011)
    -- Mac OS X 10.9 Client (Was running 10.8 client without server tools also)
    -- Ethernet Directly connected to Time Capsule
    -- Some external Hard drives hooked up.

    Here is a quick and crude diagram of my network layout as it is presently setup. I am not opposed to changing the layout/ setup or making reasonable purchases (within a few hundred dollars) to improve the network.

  4. arkmannj thread starter macrumors 65832


    Oct 1, 2003

    Has Applre gotten rid of the ability to look at the logs (SNMP, etc..) ? from the airport/TC's
  5. eschw95458 macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Yea, you can't look at the logs or anything useful anymore.
    I was going to suggest that you could use the radius server in os x server. And you could if you were just going to use the TC. It's easy enough to setup in ML and probably the same in Mavericks, however it has a few caveats. Just like airport utility, they (Apple) have been trying to make os x server easier to setup, which I suppose is a good thing, however in the process they have taken out a ton of useful functionality (like the logs in AUtility )
    In order to setup radius you HAVE to be running TC, or Airport Extreme as your primary gateway. If if isn't it won't show up on the server to be configured.
    BUT............. in your setup with the airport express going wirelessly to the TC it just won't work. (I was trying to go to WPA2 Enterprise and radius on my bridged network in about the same setup) I tried this exact same setup a while ago and had no luck. I think the problem is the the airport express needs to get to the server to authenticate before it can gain access to the TC (in my case Airport Extreme)
    If there is someone out there who knows how to make that work I hope they let us know.
  6. markfrautschi macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    Rockville, MD
    OSX Server and TimeMachine/TimeCapsule

    I just wanted to add a warning.

    In 2011 I upgraded my Mini Server from Snow Leopard Server (10.6) to Lion Server (10.7). One of the many under the hood changes was the switch from keeping the various service instances (WebDAV, Wiki, Podcasts, ...) as separate MySQL instances to a unified PostGreSQL instance. I believe that this change has persisted through Mountain Lion and Mavericks Server, both of which I have run.

    A few weeks after the Lion Server upgrade, something happened and the Wiki, the only service I was actively using, it had completely disappeared.

    After researching and contacting Apple support, I finally decided I needed to restore from my TimeCapsule backup.

    At this point I learned that Time Machine, by design, does not back up the PostGreSQL database.

    There was no hope. I lost it all.

    Apple support, who were just getting up to speed on these under the hood changes themselves, spend a number of detailed e-mail messages and phone calls with me over the next week or two, but it came to nothing.

    So, always keep multiple backups 3-2-1:

    • 3 copies (1 original and two backups)
    • 2 formats (a clone and perhaps Carbonite)
    • 1 offsite
  7. unplugme71 macrumors 68030

    May 20, 2011
    You can't use the Airport Express - but you can use the Time Capsule device and enable RADIUS.

    Basically, instead of having one password to log onto WiFi, you use your username/password that you log into the Mac.

    This way, you can simply log into the server and disable the user from logging into the network. No more waiting to reboot the WAP and losing network connectivity.

    If you need to extend your network, you need to use another Time Capsule or Airport Extreme.

    You'll need to setup Server.app to get this going. It'll require one reboot of your TC to make changes.

    If you have questions let me know over PM. I can guide you.

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