Setting up a mac mini server for small business

Hi, Brilliant work. First of all let me say I have over 30 years of computing experience with Windows and a little Linux. However over the past 15 years we have had several attempts at setting up an OSX server but little success.


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Parts of the OSX server has worked but mostly it has not. It has simply been too unreliable and the human local support does not exist. The Apple business staff cannot help and refer you to their 3rd party business partners.


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  • ALL of their partners recommend that you avoid OSX server and they offer you a Windows, linux or own brand alternative! However after reading your article I am going to give it another go at home! Thank you. It is tough to find people with OS X Server experience. But those who point you to other products are doing so based on their -lack of experience- with OS X Server. If you know how to configure a Linux server, a bit of time with the OS X Server documentation for the command line should be sufficient.

    A records, reverse DNS, etc. Anyone who can configure a Linux server should be fully conversant with that. First off, great article! I gave it a go, about a year ago, but wiped my drive clean and put regular Mac OS back on the machine. His hostname is with No-IP. With the DNS turned off, I could reach it just fine. Any idea why that would be? Also, let me get this straight. If I do need to contact my ISP, will I need to give them my new domain name to set up the pointer record? There is at least one website out there that will evaluate DNS servers and recommend a set of servers with best performance.

    Thanks for the reply. In my previous attempt, I believe I used Googles name servers 8. Will I need to tell, either my registrar, or Cloudflare, my name server, or do you just let Server set up DNS, like it does, during initial setup, then tweak that as needed?

    Apple's New Mac Mini Is a Small Business Server Too | PCWorld

    Most can do this quickly, although it can take up to 4 hours or so for the entries to percolate through the internet. That is not correct. This will be your Internet Service Provider. Thank you for the clarification and you are absolutely correct. If Apple were to update the Mac mini, I might buy a new one depending on what features it offers.

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    Here's what's interesting. The Mac mini could be a very different Mac from what is currently available. Apple might choose to offer what many people call the "mythical mid-sized tower Mac" - a small, upgradable Mac that can be opened as easily as the "cheese grater" Mac Pro of yore. With that computer, you could easily swap hard drives, add PCI cards, and even add a second optical drive. The side popped off easily, making upgrades simple.

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    Imagine a Mac mini that you could upgrade, or at least add RAM to as in previous models or switch drives. Or not.

    Apple's New Mac Mini Is a Small Business Server Too

    A lot of people are skeptical about the idea of Apple ever releasing a Mac that is upgradable like that again, instead depending on external devices for upgrades, using Thunderbolt and USB-C connections, and collecting the Apple tax for extra RAM on build-to-order models. But there's another possibility for the Mac mini: a new type of macOS server. As a result, Profile Manager probably won't be an option for enterprise environments. This could be a big deal, because right now there is no centralized file-sharing tool for iOS.

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    Apple's primary method is to rely on iTunes syncing, which is clunky at best. The company does offer an app that pairs with the iDisk feature of Mobile Me, but it has severe limitations and is really only useful for copying files to an iPad or iPhone. The best existing options are third-party services like Dropbox, though again there are limitations because iOS lacks a user-accessible file system. Apple's file-sharing system will be based on WebDAV in Lion Server and will allow users to natively access and share documents from the company's iWork apps.

    While this will boost the usability of iWork, it's hard to say whether Lion Server plus iWork on the iPad will be a broad solution. It has the most potential for the small-business market that Apple appears to be targeting, along with home users who want a simple way to share files between a Mac and an iPad.

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    Apple's answer to file sharing will have to compete against third-party apps and services that are already available and may provide a smoother overall workflow. Providing the basics is fine, but what about going beyond them? Apple is mum on the topic of what if any more-advanced features will be bundled with Lion Server as a component of Lion.

    However, published screenshots of a Lion Server installation indicate that it will include all of the standard Mac OS X Server administration tools found in current and previous releases. The features of Mac OS X Server that require more-advanced configuration and administration offer a wide range of services, some of them extremely powerful and scalable -- though scaling them would be easier on dedicated hardware, like the now-discontinued Xserve. Most of these features go well beyond the needs of individual users setting up a home server or small business.


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    However, many are employed in Mac-only and mixed environments at schools and larger organizations. The fact that Apple continues to make them available indicates that the company isn't fully abandoning the enterprise capabilities of its server platform; in fact, by making them essentially free, Apple might actually encourage more widespread adoption. Given the price, many organizations may well explore these features, perhaps first as pet projects and later for daily real-world use.

    As with Snow Leopard Server, Apple is likely to make it easy for organizations needing basic services to become familiar with Lion Server through its simpler administration tools, while at the same time opening the door to expanded use if needed or desired. Apple's decision to build Lion Server directly into the Lion install process could be brilliant. This could easily appeal to small businesses -- certainly compared to the licensing and expense of alternatives like Microsoft's Small Business Server -- and it might even appeal to individuals.

    This could mean home users or educators, who could easily create classroom servers of their own. This could lead to further adoption of both Lion Server and related Apple technologies.