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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worthwhile, 28 July 2013
By 
Iain (South West England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Apple Pro Training Series: OS X Server Essentials: Using and Supporting OS X Server on Mountain Lion (Paperback)
I had delayed purchasing this based on a negative review of the book when it came out for a previous version of Mac Server. That was my mistake. This is a good book that provides a great deal of information actually not available anywhere else.

Authoritative descriptions of the behaviour and interfaces of the current Mountain Lion incarnation of OS X Server hardly exist online. Apple's own online documentation is best described as poor and of course much of what you find online relates to previous incarnations of Mac Server and, even the two or three very useful and trusted individuals' websites (e.g. Krypted and Coded Memes) can only cover those topics they have had the time to research and write up their experiences. I have bought Kindle and printed versions of popular books on OS X Server that do little more than reproduce Apple's online information and, because of the task of researching, understanding, experimenting, and writing in an. Informative style is so great, these other books, at best, do not throw any light onto what's going on behind the deceptively simple interfaces of OS X Server and, at worst, merely serve to confuse he reader with poorly understood and badly written advice.

So, it was a relief; an unexpected surprise to find this book under review. OK it's not cheap; it does not claim to be a reference but don't be put off by its narrowly claimed purpose to prepare the reader for the Apple Certification for OS X Server. The author is privy to the intentions of the interfaces' designers as well as having a real understanding of what goes on behind those interfaces which hardened administrators find worryingly simple but experienced administrators will welcome once they gain some faith in them.

My own bad experience with the early unready version of Mountain Lion OS X Server (i.e. before the Server App 2.2 which I can recommend); having some experience building and administering our Linux servers; together with having to deal with a new Mac Mini server which uncharacteristically failed and had to be replaced; and migrating from Lion's OS X Server ... all this severely dashed my confidence in what Apple put together. So I've had to find out far more about the workings of OS X Server than we had intended when we chose the Apple solution for our company. I have to mention that the Apple Discussion Forums for OS X Server have only ocasionally proved helpful, being inhabited by a number of quite unhelpful and time-wasting trolls alongside the rare helpful soul with the time and knowledge and goodwill to offer any real help.

Now that all this has settled down I can report a gaining confidence; indeed a gaining admiration for the benefits of OS X Server and am consolidating a lot of this newly gained insight with the help of this book under review which I recommend with 5 stars. It's helping to smooth out the rocky road of our initial experience.

In an ideal world you would have the luxury of playing with an OS X Server and following the self-paced excercises in this book and even gaining insights vicariously through the experience of fellow course members. In the real word this is often not possible but the book does provide knowledge that I have not been able to find anywhere else and has helped consolidate knowledge gained by necessity when troubleshooting and solving earlier issues with OS X Server.
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