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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

DNS stress test

If you’re just dabbling with Server rather than setting up a dedicated Mac for the task, there’s one small ass-biting ‘gotcha’. As standard, Server will set your Mac’s DNS to 127.0.0.1, as you’re now providing DNS to yourself as well as others. If you go back to using your test machine for regular work – and move Server to a dedicated Mac, as I did – your trusty sandbox will be left with no Internet access, which is unnerving to say the least. Hit up System Preferences > Network > Ethernet > Advanced > DNS and remove the numeric localhost entry. Making dumb mistakes so you don’t have to – no need to thank me.

Mac OS X Server for Mountain Lion

File sharing includes iOS support

File Sharing (also on by default) is an evergreen server standard that’s been made simpler over the last two major Server versions. You get AFP (Apple Filing Protocol – preferred for Mac users) and SMB (Server Message Block – more common on Windows and Linux), and the option to host data on the same Mac or on some other server. Sharepoints can also be set up with WebDAV for iOS users, which is the biggest new trick up this feature’s sleeve.

FTP is off by default, but if you need this somewhat antiquated service it’s just a click away. Me, I prefer to steer clear of serving FTP in favour of more secure protocols, but it tests out fine. Mail services are also off by default, and if you’re new to this level of functionality take some time out with the on-line documentation before diving into this.

For old hands, I’m pleased to report that Mountain Lion Server offers the simplest, clearest implementation of mail serving that I’ve seen. The server-managed Time Machine backups for Mac clients is a blessing too and I'd recommend activating this – end users can ever be relied upon to manage their backups.

Also available is web site serving with optional PHP goodness and, for the seriously depraved, Python support as well. I’m using the former but not the latter; I never moved onto anything more hardcore than PHP. Redirects take just a few clicks to set up, although the option to redirect when users visit a URL matching a specific regular expression stopped me cold. Regex is awesome voodoo that makes my head hurt, so I’ve stuck to my traditional URL path-based redirect triggers.

Wiki support isn’t new, but it’s almost ridiculously easy to get a collaborative workgroup wiki up and running. Team communication FTW! The Users and Groups administration section is self-explanatory, along with the Status functions that keeps data freaks well fed with access logs, stats and the like.

Mac OS X Server for Mountain Lion

Mmmh, stats – yum yum...

Indeed, if you’re like me, Server’s Status section will give you enough feedback to keep you happy and help pin down possible problems. If you want more detail you’ll have to turn to dedicated analytics logging and comparison tools – take a bow, Google Analytics – but this is a useful everyday overview of the server’s performance.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: Ghost protocol

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.