Setting up or managing a server is not something the average Mac user is used to doing, but with
Panther Server, the tools are very easy to use for local and remote management.
Unix command line experience is always helpful when digging into the innards of Mac OS X, but it’s not really needed to get the basic services up and running. Apple did a good job of streamlining the admin interface in Panther Server, combining several applications into one — the Server Admin.
The Server Admin gives the admin access to the most accessed services including Web, VPN, Mail, FTP, Firewall, DNS and others. Personally, I don’t like the GUI DNS configuration in Panther Server and choose instead to use the command line. The importance of DNS and the problems it can cause if not properly setup should not be underestimated.
Workgroup Manager is another application that you will get a lot of use out of as an Admin. This is where you configure the individual users and their access to services on the server, such as FTP access, whether they have a Mail account etc.
Both of these applications can access the server for remote management, allowing the admin to make changes very easily. The third server tool that I have found useful is the Server Monitor, which allows you to get information on the drives, power, network, temperature, blowers and security. You can also Get System Profiler Information, as well as restart and shutdown the server.
Overall management of a Macintosh server is getting much easier as Apple continues to push into the market.