Greetings from Amsys Training HQ!
Following on from Hugo’s blog announcing the exciting news that Mavericks has come to town, I was the lucky trainer given the pleasure of delivering our very first OS X Server Essentials 10.9 course!
As Hugo explained, the OS X Server Essentials 10.9 course continues in much of the same format as the previous 10.8 version, but Apple has added some nice changes.
Our first Mavericks 201 OS X Server Essentials 10.9 course kicked off this Monday in our Soho training centre, and followed this structure, as all of our OS X Server Essentials courses do.
The students were introduced to the course and were rather excited about being the first class to get to grips with the new Server.app version 3 and OS X 10.9!
We then delved into the first chapter on Configuring & Monitoring Mavericks Server. As everyone had previously completed their OS X Support Essentials 10.9 they were now entering new territory by exploring the server side of Apple.
I’m pleased to say that everyone successfully configured their very first Apple server, even configuring DNS records successfully!
We introduced the more common services of a Mac Server that companies use to supplement existing Windows services when Mac devices have been introduced into their environment.
We kicked off with an explanation on Apple’s Directory Service: Open Directory.
Those familiar with Microsoft’s Active Directory service find this lesson useful, as they find out how they can use a Mac Server to assist Active Directory with network services for their OS X users, plus how an OS X server can handle global password policies.
Profile Manager version 3 was up next. Certainly a big selling point of Mavericks Server.
Profile Manager is Apple’s own native management solution to configure OS X and iOS devices so that you can use your company or school’s resources and have all the settings, apps, and books that your organization requires.
In Mavericks Server, Apple has added some new features, as well as streamlining the service. The most notable addition is the support for the App Store and VPP integration.
Profile Manager is one of the main areas where students start to think about their own environments, especially where employees or students in education bring in the own device, (commonly known as BYOD).
After lunch, we then took a look at File Services and permissions. There has been some significant changes to file sharing in Mavericks, and the course gets the students to have hands-on practice with these changes.
Day two ends with Deployment Solutions & Caching Services.
This is usually the other chapter that offers the most benefit to technicians who will be implementing Macs into an existing network.
The NetInstall service is explained with some great exercises to allow students to get to grips with how to create, and deploy system images to OS X computers.
Next up is the Caching Service.
Mavericks Server, includes the updated version 2 of the Caching Service, along with some extra features as well as more content available to be cached.
This service is such a useful tool to have, as it allows OS X and iOS devices to efficiently download and install new or updated content distributed by Apple through the Internet.
The final day encompasses two areas: Network Services and Collaborative Services.
These chapters cover some services that may already be configured on an existing network such as DHCP, VPN, Web and Mail, but it’s certainly useful to see how these work on an OS X server.
You never know, you may have to setup a Mac Server as the primary server in a new installation whereby everything is Mac!
Day three is especially useful for organisations who are not already using Microsoft’s network suite of services such as Active Directory and Exchange or similar services. Students learn just how a Mac Server can help manage and secure company data sent via ethernet or Wi-Fi, whether it’s as an email, a calendar event, instant message and more.
By the end of day three, all my students could successfully navigate their way though the various of scenarios, such as configuring Mavericks Server and testing the results on a client test server.
We also spent some time where my students could throw real world questions at me to see how the theory and tools we just covered in the class can be used to tackle and resolve their own environment situations.
Now my students were ready for the dreaded exam! Rarely do these moments bring any form of joy to the examinees, especially when it comes to clicking the submit button at the end of the test to see the resulting score!
Prior to the test, my students refreshed their memory using the official student book and Amsys Revise IT iOS app.
And, I’m pleased to report, all the students successfully passed their exam, making me a very proud trainer! They are now the first, of hopefully many, to achieve the acclaimed Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) 10.9 certification!
The benefits of the ACTC
All of my students, both past and present, tell me that the Apple’s Technical Coordinator certification provides the fundamental knowledge and therefore confidence to start configuring and supporting Mac devices in their environments.
If this journey to Apple certification and knowledge of Apple’s new Mavericks OS is something you’d be interested in, please feel free to contact one of our helpful and friendly training team or take a look at our collection of Mavericks Training courses on our website.