After you have installed Mac OS X Server and performed the basic configuration, you will
use a few utilities to perform additional configuration and maintenance of your server.
This section introduces eight key utilities:
Network preferences pane
Server Status Dashboard Widget
System Image Utility
Xgrid Admin (not covered in this book)
Later lessons will introduce additional utilities, such as Directory Utility.
You can run Mac OS X Server Admin Tools v10.5 only on Mac OS X v10.5
Network Preferences Pane
When you are hosting a heavily used server, such as a high-demand file server, you may
find that the amount of data that the server can send or receive is limited not by the
speed of the server but by the speed of the network interface. Simply adding a second
interface does not solve the problem, because the network traffic is targeted toward a
specific network address, which is tied to a single interface.
Mac OS X v10.5 supports the 802.3ad specification, or network link aggregation, the ability to
link two or more Ethernet interfaces together with the same IP address and have them appear
as a single interface on the network. This allows network traffic to be shared between the two
interfaces, in essence doubling the server’s network throughput. Keep in mind that no single
62 Installing and Configuring Mac OS X Server
client will get more than the speed of one single interface. However, the total aggregate
throughput will be the sum total of all interfaces that you have configured in this fashion.
To take advantage of link aggregation, you must have two or more Ethernet interfaces
installed on the server. Each of these interfaces must be connected to a network switch
that supports link aggregation control protocol (LACP).
To combine the interfaces, create a new network link aggregation configuration in the
Network pane of System Preferences.
When you choose New Link Aggregate for the new interface, a sheet appears asking you to
specify which interfaces should be combined. (In the illustrated example, the server is being
configured to use the Xserve’s two Built-in Ethernet interfaces). After you create the link
aggregate configuration, you add it as a regular interface and configure the interface as if it
were a regular Ethernet interface.
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As with any network interface, there will be times when you need to troubleshoot issues
related to the linked interfaces. To learn the status of the linked interface, choose the link
aggregate configuration from the Services pane in the Network pane of System Preferences.
The Status pane lists the information on the aggregate interface along with its speed,
duplex setting, and status.
64 Installing and Configuring Mac OS X Server
After installation and setup are complete, you can update your server locally or remotely.
Locally, you would use the Software Update preferences pane of System Preferences or select
Software Update from the Apple menu. You should choose to show the details of the updates
and select which updates you wish to install, or you can choose to install all updates. Next,
authenticate as your local administrator to begin the update process.
Alternately, you can run Software Update remotely by using the Server Admin tool to update
your Mac OS X Server. Software Update uses the server’s Internet connection to check for the
latest software updates for the server. You can also have Server Admin alert you to the pres-
ence of software updates by setting an email address and checking the box requesting notifi-
cation of such updates. This is done under the Settings tab of Server Admin. Regardless of the
method, Software Update provides updates for both the base Mac OS X operating system and
Mac OS X Server.
Plan for software updates. As updates to the server software become available
from Apple, you will want to apply them to your servers. This should be done care-
fully. Your installation may contain third-party software or custom installations that
have not been fully qualified with the updated software. Always preflight updates on
nonproduction servers before rolling out the changes. Updates from Apple are impor-
tant and will add value to your implementation. You need to evaluate the updates
according to your customer’s needs and apply the updates when appropriate—not
just because they are available.
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