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Mac Thread, Mac Server... why should I get one? in Technical; Originally Posted by stevehp While we are on the subject of a Mac server I'd like to ask the "Mac ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevehp View Post
    While we are on the subject of a Mac server I'd like to ask the "Mac experts" a question or two. We are getting our Mac server in July so I'd like to clear some things up in my head before then. The main question being about AD. I've read about and I'm interested in Likewise Open. Though I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts on the matter. How stable is the AD connection using the included AD plugin in 10.6? Would it make much sense to use Likewise over the included AD software in OSX?
    We just use the OSX AD plugin, and don't have any problems. Unless there's a particular function the software you're looking at offers and the OSX plugin does not, then I vote for saving your money. The need for "helpers" was most definitely present in older versions of OSX but has got much better with each version, aside from a few bugs.

    Remote desktop capabilities with Windows. In other words what software can I use? I know I can use VNC, but I'd rather not mirror the desktop on the server. I have my own Macbook, but I'm booted into Windows 7 on it most of the time as our main infrastructure is Windows based. So that's why I'd like a Windows app for that purpose.
    Apple's "Remote Desktop" technology is based around VNC. It's either use VNC or go home empty handed. If you use a mac client to connect to other mac clients/servers then you get a fancy wrapper around this which makes the experience much better. But it's still VNC under the hood.

    From my understanding and research the software updates functionality built into OSX server will not schedule or do automatic installs of updates it sends to clients. Am I misunderstood or not. If I'm not, is their anyway around that?

    That's all I can think of right now. I might have some more later down the road.
    Not sure if Software update can do this, it certainly isn't up to the standards of WSUS.
    Apple Remote Desktop can do this sort of thing - scheduled tasks and updates.

  2. Thanks to Roberto from:

    stevehp (17th June 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto View Post
    We just use the OSX AD plugin, and don't have any problems. Unless there's a particular function the software you're looking at offers and the OSX plugin does not, then I vote for saving your money. The need for "helpers" was most definitely present in older versions of OSX but has got much better with each version, aside from a few bugs.



    Apple's "Remote Desktop" technology is based around VNC. It's either use VNC or go home empty handed. If you use a mac client to connect to other mac clients/servers then you get a fancy wrapper around this which makes the experience much better. But it's still VNC under the hood.



    Not sure if Software update can do this, it certainly isn't up to the standards of WSUS.
    Apple Remote Desktop can do this sort of thing - scheduled tasks and updates.

    Thanks for answering those questions for me. The remote desktop functionality being based on VNC isn't show stopper by any means. I will get used to it. That will make it much easier for me as I'll be able to use readily available VNC viewers.

    Thanks again.

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    Once you start to use ARD you will see that it is perhaps one of the best remote management applications around. There is no other better way to manage multiple Mac machines IMO. It is perhaps one of Apple's best pieces of software.

    As for scheduled software updates, you could use ARD to schedule an update on the clients. You would just add the group of machines you want to update to a Unix task, choose the softwareupdate -i command (or whatever it is) and then schedule that command for daily, weekly, monthly whatever. You could in theory use a task server to enhance this setup.

    A task server is basically a separate install of ARD that holds the tasks that are run. This then runs on machines that are either not on or connected to the network. As soon as these machines come up or on to the network the task is run against them. This is how i think it works anyway. I haven't done it this way myself though so shouldn't be taken as 100% guaranteed to work

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    Right... I've got my nice shiny new Mac Mini server - now what?

    I want it to be AD integrated, but do I need to setup OD first?

    Is there a nice guide for Mac simpletons like myself to follow?

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    3rd Sticky down at the top of the mac forum, there is a thread titled new ad-od integration paper. It should still be relevant to OS X 10.6.

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    Ah... ta!

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    Before you do anything though it is always best to update the server to the latest release. Generally bugs are fixed in the directory util on each release. I know from experience with 10.5 -10.5.8 and 10.6.0 -10.6.3 that it was always best to update before even attempting this sort of integration. Also I usually forgo the standard setup and jump right into the advanced. In the end it makes setting up your mac server simpler. This is due to the fact that you don't have to mess around with disabling DNS on the mac server since you will be using the AD DNS anyway, well usually you would.

    Also before starting the process make sure your AD DNS is spot on and then add the forward A record for your new Mac Server's FQDN name and don't forget to add the reverse pointer too. Also of note is to disable IPv6 when going through the configuration process, that's only if you don't use IPv6 though I've had issues with IPv6 running.

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