Mac OSX Server Requirements


Installing and Configuring Mac OS X Server

(quoted from Mac OSX Server Essentials – “A Guide to Using and Supporting Mac OSX Server 10.4” – Peachpit Press Books – with notes from the Blog author)

Minimum Hardware Requirements The basic installation requirements are as follows:

PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor

Built in FireWire
512 MB of RAM; at least 1 GB of RAM for high demand servers running multiple services (consultant reccommends: 2gb to 4gb for high traffic or A/V graphics storage) At least 4 GB of available disk space

You do not need a keyboard or display. As you will see later in this lesson, you can install Mac OS X Server using an administrator computer or another server.

NOTE: While the requirements are very similar, not all computers that could run Mac OS X Server vl0.3 are supported by Mac OS X Server vl0.4. Earlier computers that didn’t have built in FireWire, such as the Bondi Blue iMac computers, are no longer supported.

Additional Hardware Considerations Typical considerations when choosing server systems include network and system performance, disk space, and RAM. Networking Be sure to consider the speed of the network interface when making a server hardware decision. Many of Apple’s products support Gigabit Ethernet. You can also “combine” two Ethernet interfaces to act as one, to double network throughput. Computer Speed and Processing Power Although Mac OS X Server is supported on a wide variety of Macintosh comuputers, not all of them may be suitable for your needs. For a server that will only provide services for a few people, an iMac or eMac computer might meet your needs. For workgroups, you should use a PowerMac or MacPro (Intel) computer. For demanding server environments, you might consider using the Xserve. Xserve is a 1U rack mount server that offers the ability to stack 48 Mac OS X Server systems in a typical server rack.

Note: Dual processor Macintosh comuputers take full advantage of multiple processors for all OSX Server services. This may not be true of all third party applications. Consideration for the percentage of use any third party application should be taken into account. If said application is the dominant application (80% utliiization or more), dual processors would not benefit the performance of the application. On the other hand, an application such as Filemaker Pro Server will take full advantage of all processors dividing the load appropriately. A properly deployed OSX Server running Filemaker Pro Server may well satisfy the demands of up to 1000 concurent users without significant performance hits. If one is planning to deploy Open Directory[OD] Services, where user Desktop preferences and data are to be available to any machine that is part of the networking environment, or laptop computers requiring data sync; only the following machines should be considered: Recommended machines for a multiuser [OD] environment (minimum): Powermac G4 MP Dual 1.25/1.4ghz, Powermac G5 MP 1.8/2.0ghz, any Macpro with Core 2 Duo Intel single or multiple processors. Open Directory environments should include a second machine dedicated to User Desktop and Preferences backup which is called a “replicant”. This machine can be a significantly less powerful machine as it only backs up preferences, roles, passwords, mail and not the full user’s directory. It can also be used as a regular critical data backup, providing it has enough disk space to handle the task. A server should be a dedicated machine and should not be used as a workstation. It should be stored in a secure location with adequate ventillation and cooling, isolated electrical circuitry, and sufficient battery backup provided. Laptops, Mac Minis, and iMacs can support OSX server. However, because of the bus speed, ram, hard drive, networking and expansion limitations, are generally not recommended by this consultant, because of these machine’s limitations and lack of upgrade capablility.

NOTE: Xserve, Power Mac G5, and any Macintosh Server G4 or Power Mac G4 released February 2000 or later include special hardware to detect an unexpected system shutdown and automatically restart the server machine. This feature works in conjunction with Mac OS X Server’s ability to detect and restart an error in server service.

Those of you familiar with Mac OS X Server vl0.3 may be familiar with the watchdog process used to launch server daemons. In Mac OS X Server vl0.4 this process has changed. Mac OS X Server now uses launchd to handle auto¬matic restarting of server processes. launchd is the Tiger process management daemon; more info can be viewed on the launchd man page by opening the Terminal application located in the /Applications/Utilities folder, typing man Iaunchd, and pressing the Return key. Planning Your Mac OS X Server Deployment A server administrator should follow certain steps when setting up Mac OS X Server. The first step is to review your organization’s server needs. Will the server be used mainly for web services, QuickTime streaming, file and print services, or something else? Will it be a dedicated server or will it have multiple uses?

After reviewing the intended uses of the server, fill out a server worksheet detailing the following information: Server Worksheet General information

Server/Xserve hardware serial number
MAC address(es) Mac OS X Server software serial number
Administration account information
Administrator long name
Administrator short name
Networking information
Computer name
Bonjour (local) name
Ethernet port information
Whether TCP/IP will be active on various interfaces
Whether AppleTalk will be active on one interface (AppleTalk can be active on only one interface) lP address (for each interface to be used
Subnet mask (for each interface to be used)
Router address (for each interface to be used)
DNS IP address (for each interface to be used)
DNS search domains (for each interface to be used)
Automatic or manual Ethernet connection speeds
lPv6 configuration Directory information how this server uses or provides directory information

    Local only
    Obtained from another server
    Provided to other server (see Open Directory Services)

After completing the server worksheet, you can proceed with the installation.

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