Only a few years ago, have one Server version of OS X It was something relegated mostly to exclusively for SMEs and companies that they could afford a payout of almost 500 euros on an OS X Server unlimited users license. But the approach of Apple made this product has changed radically over the years, to the point that OS X Mountain Lion Server costs only €15,99 (with unlimited users).
Being a system, rather useful thinking for companies or organizations, now, has some sense a user to install such “ extension ”?
As in many cases if you think that OS X Server is actually a extension of the services of your operating system and what you actually get is to amplify the options already built into your Mac. If you are an advanced user or not, you may find these five reasons more than enough to pay for those 16 euros extra.
OS X Server, a way of expanding the options of your operating system
The server version of Mountain Lion, once installed, It boils down to a new application that brings together all the options of the system. The look & feel is very similar to the Preferences Panel of the system and performance is also similar. The panel includes multitude of utilities, some advanced and complicated to set up, but here you give some very simple and that can bring about a radical change in how you use your computer.
- VPN. Do you know what is a VPN connection? To summarize it in a very simple way I will tell you that it is simply a system by which you can connect remotely to your computer from anywhere in the world. Very similar to services that Apple attempted to integrate into MobileMe or iCloud (which rarely work) or even to those of companies like LogMeIn Ignition. The great advantage of having your own VPN is that we forget to rely on any external service, if your House works and the remote you are using does not have blocked ports, You can seamlessly access your local file system, control your computer, connect to your iTunes library and even sync your iPhone remotely (the iPhone includes support for VPN connections). To all this must be added that is, logically, a free service and for which there is no pay nothing per month. Settings can become quite complicated, but the truth is that LT2P connection requires only about 5 click of the mouse and is also compatible with any computer with OS X, iOS, and most versions of Linux and Windows, so your connection will be compatible with virtually any platform on the market.
AFP + file server. OS X preferences Panel allows, without excessive complications, create a system of shared files on your local network. Thanks to the ease of this system any user can share a hard drive or folder in your network. But if you are looking for more options, a full file system, layers of security or simply access and even the possibility to share a hard drive as a destination for Time Machine for the rest of your team the most sensible option is to use OS X Server. Like the previous service, create a system of file sharing only requires activate the service and a couple of mouse click to set the file permissions. The management system is very similar to the integrated in the system preferences, the only difference being the greater number of options that will allow you a user on your network can perform backups in a HDD using Time Machine, but do not have any access to your files. This service is the ideal complement for a VPN connection.
Create remote users and user accounts. The two former services are really easy to set up, but actually rely on a third party: a service called OpenDirectory, this service is no more than the integration of Apple in a system similar to Windows AD, in short a list of users who work along the network and not only locally on a computer. This means that if you create a user in this administration service, included in OS X Server, it can be used from any computer connected to your network (previous configuration) and not only locally on a computer. If in addition to configure accounts “ mobile ” be able to access your desktop and your files from any of your computers, although this can be somewhat excessive for most users. The real reason for this system, in our case, is the possibility of having a user account for our network which will not give, or no, access to the VPN connection and then the file system and our access (user-customized) layer.
Configuring your network to the next level. The three services that we discussed earlier are quite sensitive to how your network works internally. And is that if accounts with a simple modem/router (given by your telephone operator) the best you can do, if you like to mess with these options is disable all the same services, create a static IP for your main computer and manage the rest from your OS X Server. The first thing you will need to activate is a DHCP server, the configuration is simple only you must define the IP address of your Gateway (router), servers to use DNS and the IP range you wish to. From this service we can also configure our OD server and VPN connection options. You have to think that we are talking about a server that can serve relatively large companies, so you can complicate your life as much as you want, but here the interesting thing is to expand possibilities without dying in the attempt, and this OS X server is great (click, click, click Next). Another service you will have to configure is a local DNS so that you can resolve the internal IP of your server into something more comfortable as server.local.
Your own cloud computing at home. You’ve followed all the steps above? In other words: do you have a network configured to your needs, with a server for accounts of OD network, an AFP file system and a VPN connection for remote connections? Congratulations! You just created your own server’s “ cloud computing & #8221;. As you can see now you can connect to your computer and network from anywhere in the world, share files with your iOS devices, synchronize your iPhone remotely, configure remote users … in summary: the same offering other cloud systems by only 16 euros and fully configured to your needs.