Using Mac OSX Lion Server by Charles Edge jr.

Using Mac OSX Lion Server is one of those lovely, handy O’Reilly overview guides that take the place of manuals not supplied with products. In this one the Charles Edge Jr. aims his guidance towards relatively new server administrators – possibly even someone setting up a family server – and covers all the great basics of determining what hardware and software needs you might have and how these might be served with OSX Lion Server. The 200 page volume (it is definitely beyond a brief cover, but less than many of the exhasutive server admin manuals you might be used to) covers all the basic information and moves into some of the more specialised functions you might put an OSX-based server to such as working with streaming video or handling the backend on some of the glossy OSX’y tools such as iCal, or the Address book.
I appreciate that the author moves beyond the basics that I’d see on the screen. As he admits, the software is really designed to be very user friendly itself and guide most users through the intracies of server management, so much of the prose moves towards giving attention to the less than obviosu implications of making various decisions – looking behind the scenes at what choice may lead to and how the decisions pull together. Quite valuable and well presented in my opinion.
The challenge with all these version-based books is keeping them up to date. This is the first OSX server volume I have examined (and probably should have moved in this direction long before now – especially as we have a deployed XServe kicking around) and so I don’t have a feel for how this has transtioned from possibly earlier volumes on Leopard or Snow Leopard. As it is, the screen shots are (as always) a great boon and the book is clear and straightforward.
This is a recommended volume both for those called to upon to administer an exsting OSX server or similarly useful even if at the point of considering whether and OSX-based server will meet your needs. It is a superb reference manual foremost and specific topics of interest are esy to locate and helpful in isolation.

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