What would OS X Server do for me?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by smoked, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. smoked macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    #1
    I'm wondering if I should plan on OS X server or not, when SL comes out in September. I'm not sure what the Server does or what the $499 would "get" me. Can someone please enlighten me?

    My wife has a MBA. She runs Windows XP on it in Parallels 100% of the time.

    We have 2 minis, and will probably add more in time. One mini is at the home office. The mini at the real office is also considered the main "file server".

    We have a network laser printer, and a few deskjets that are USB.

    We'll have a SonicWall TZ210 in the office to allow VPN access from both home and while the MBA is on the road. We'll also have a Time Capsule there for backups.

    We have a number of outsiders we work with that need varying levels of access to data, and would access the file server through a VPN client.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    I think the better question is "What can Server do for you that the standard Mac OS X can't?"

    Not a lot. Maybe nothing. It has some tools for managing a large number of user accounts. But you will have likely less than a dozen. Most stuff to make life easy if you have a large number of Mac computers and users and you don't come close to that

    Also these tools or one like them are mostly available for free as Open Source

    The service you might want to set up, web servers and the like are already there with "normal" Mac OS or you can get them free

    In any case you are going at this backwards. What you should be asking is how to solve some problem you have not "what problem does this solve"

    FOr most people with multiple computers the most useful addition to the network is storage. If you want storage then you need to know (1) how much do you need now and in 3 to 5 years and (2) how fast does it need to be? IS WiFi fast enough or will you need gigabit ethernet to each client. Next you can select a server. (You will not need Server OS for this either) Likely a "Drobo" box will be fine.
     
  3. wustudybreak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    Saint Louis
    #3
    Server

    I have not yet look into the new coming SL Server, but I'm just speaking from my experiences with Leopard Server.

    VPN access is pretty easy to configure. I frequently access the LAN at work from home to do a few things. All the macs has build in VPN client, so make it easy to configure clients too. All local resources will be available for you, including the printer. So, watch out what you print out and which printer you are using. You might print something to work accidentally. (It works in theory, I never tried)

    Wiki Server is great and easy to configure. You can create different users and let them contribute to wiki. For example, you want to download a PDF of "how to do....", and it is on work place's wiki site. You can first VPN into the server, (obtaining the local ip address you assigned to it during configuration), and go to the wiki site and download it. You can also upload any important documentation on the road too by using VPN. Just a few use case. Sure, you can also host your own website too, but you can do the same thing on a linux machine or a regular mac.

    Again, there are so many other features worth trying, but I found no particular depend on it. If you know enough how to get around a mac, and have some experiences in remote, networking, you probably found most of the features on the server can be done differently just using a regular mac. I think Server is just for better integrations if you want to add XRaid and other apple tools. The price can be hard to take.
     
  4. smoked thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009

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