Feeds
85%
Apple Mountain Lion Server

Apple Mac OS X Server for Mountain Lion review

Playing god with an £14 app

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

The cost of Mountain Lion Server is a fraction of what Apple charged for its server software just a few years ago, especially if you look at the old 'unlimited client' editions of Mac OS X Server. Then, the software alone cost as much as a new Mac. Now, it costs as much as a Hollywood blockbuster on DVD, and it’s far more useful.

Mac OS X Server for Mountain Lion

Got Mountain Lion already? Download Server from the App Store and away you go

It is also far easier to implement than older Server versions: as with last year’s Lion Server, rather than being made up of a collection of separate applications wrapped up inside a special version of the Mac OS, this release comes in the form of a single application. Known prosaically as 'Server', it features a simple front-end management system for configuring the services you care to activate.

Best of all, it runs happily on a stock installation of Mountain Lion – no special server OS or arcane system alterations are needed to run Server. Replacing the old Server Admin application from previous versions, the Server app can be used to manage the host Mac or another Mac running Server elsewhere.

Mac OS X Server for Mountain Lion

Some basics

Beyond machine admin choices, one of the first things you’re asked when you run the Server app, is whether you want to enable push notifications so you’re kept updated with system alerts and similar info. These are sent through Apple's servers and, to bypass possible user misconfigurations, relies on the use of an Apple ID. You can even use your own personal me/mac.com email address although it's advisable to set up something dedicated to this task, if you’re undertaking as a serious server implementation.

The setup process offers various configuration options including local network only (no Internet); 'private network' (VPN but no regular Internet services) or connect with the 'entire Internet' to provide various online services. A few more bits of information and you're up and running – almost before you know it. If you want to serve your own named domain from home I’ve found that services such as No-IP.com are useful, but it’s not what I’d recommend for something mission-critical; speak to your ISP if you need help here.

Mac OS X Server for Mountain Lion

VPN and other stories...

Server’s single window has an expandable ‘Next Steps’ pane with friendly (and also helpful) messages that prompt you for things you may need to check or just tell you that all’s golden in server-land.

The range of server features that you get is a bit of a shopping list, so bear with me as I trot through some of them: Calendar and Contact provides central management of appointments, invitations, address book and so on. DNS (on by default) gives managed lookup services for the client computers on your network, and this can be extended to other named networks if you want to spread Server’s DNS wings further.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Next page: DNS stress test

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.