Worksheet - Mac Server

Christopher Cole -

A server is an important tool and a significant investment that will (with proper care) last at least 3 years (the length of the AppleCare warranty). Planning and preparation is recommended (see our Buying Tips article) to ensure you get an appropriately configured server. Below are questions we ask our clients prior to building a recommendation.

  • Why are you considering a server?
  • Who will be using this server? Will it be all Mac users, or a mixture of Mac and PC users?
  • What will this server be used for? Some uses are:
    • File Server for Data (text, images, video)
    • Font server
    • Database
    • Backup
    • Streaming media
    • Email Hosting
    • Web Hosting
    • other?
  • Where will the server reside? Will it have appropriate temperature regulation and electrical power?
  • What date does the server need to be fully operational?
  • Will the server be administered by Forget Computers, or will corporate IT take over administration responsibility after setup?

Additional

Servers are not just old computers that have File Sharing turned on anymore. They require a little more planning, but that planning will pay off in many ways. Here are some additional things to consider:

  • Server hardware:
    • Xserve vs. Mac Pro vs. Mac mini
    • OS X Server 10-user vs. Unlimited (pre Snow Leopard)
    • How much RAM?
    • Backup plan (software, onsite storage, offsite storage)
    • Data storage (external vs. internal; inexpensive JBOD vs. enterprise-level RAID)
    • other?
  • Server software:
    • If purchasing a Mac Pro, be sure to order Mac OS X Server software along with it (and get the correct license for your office).
    • What other software needs to be purchased (font server, database server, backup software, asset management)?
  • Authentication: Active Directory or Open Directory? If using Open Directory, provide a list of users for server configuration (and usernames/passwords if desired, plus groups and sharepoints — management, graphics, accounting, etc.).
  • We will need DNS information for server configuration (if DNS is not managed by Forget Computers.)
  • Confirm the network which the server wil be connected to is Gigabit-ready.
  • Do users need offsite access? Does the office need a more robust VPN/firewall?
  • Server Training for users, or server administrators?
  • Are there specific security considerations?
  • Do we have clean power for server? We recommend using an APC UPS with AVR.
As always, please contact us with ANY questions or concerns.
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