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Using Network Services

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Lesson Files

Time

This lesson takes approximately 2 hours to complete.

Goals

Use Server Admin to configure one or more valid DHCP subnets
Use Server Admin to configure the DNS and LDAP information that a DHCP subnet will provide
Use Server Admin to configure and monitor usage of DNS services on Mac OS X Server
Use Network Utility to troubleshoot DNS record issues
Set up Mac OS X Server to download software updates from Apple and then serve the updates to computers on the local network

This lesson explains why you need a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server and a domain name system (DNS) server. You'll also learn how to configure DHCP services on Mac OS X Server to provide address, lease and renewal, and directory information. You will then change settings on the client computer to access Internet Protocol (IP) information via DHCP.

In addition, you'll learn how to use Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server tools to troubleshoot DHCP issues on the network. From the client computer, you will review what information can be gathered to assist you in trouble shooting. From the server computer, you will monitor DHCP activity and review log file entries.

For DNS, you will create a basic zone file allowing your server to provide DNS. You'll also learn about the various types of DNS issues, such as problems related to end users who misunderstand your DNS hierarchy and typographic problems within your DNS aliases. A system administrator must be able to determine authoritatively where a DNS entry is being resolved.

Understanding the Different Servers

Like any resource, network resources are limited. When an organization signs on with an Internet service provider (ISP), the ISP provides a limited number of IP addresses and a set bandwidth or maximum amount of network traffic allowed to the organization. To prevent extra charges, the organization must use the allocated addresses and bandwidth intelligently.

A company with unlimited resources could purchase an IP address for each computer on its network. However, this is inefficient because every company has intermittent network users, such as those who use portable computers and visitors. A more efficient approach is to purchase fewer IP addresses and allocate them dynamically as needed using a DHCP server.

Hosting an internal DNS server can reduce network demands and improve performance by locally caching hostname lookups. It can also be used to supplement and extend the domain name that the company purchased.

Another way to reduce bandwidth needs is to host a Software Update server. This allows updates to be served on the local network instead of each computer having to download the updates directly from Apple's website. This also enables a system administrator to make updates available only after they have been tested and qualified.

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