AppleShare IP 6.1: Remote Administration

AppleShare IP 6.1 supports remote administration. Using a standard Web browser, the server administrator can perform most tasks remotely, such as creating new users, changing passwords, or starting or stopping mail or print services.

This article contains the following sections:
  • Setting Up Remote Administration
  • Remote Admin interface
  • What tasks cannot be performed remotely
  • Remote Admin Security
  • Troubleshooting Tips
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Setting Up Remote Administration

Remote administration of the ASIP 6.1 server requires the following:
  • The Web & File Server must be running. Although you can start and stop other services (mail and print) remotely, the Web & File Server must be running to do any remote administration.
  • Both Web access and Web Plug-Ins must be enabled. Set appropriate privileges to the default Web Folder (the administrator needs at least read access). If you change the Default Web Folder, be sure to move the Plug Ins and Errors folders to the new location.
  • Remote Web Administration must be enabled; this is done in the Web & File Server Settings window, under "General". It is set to enabled by default.




Figure 1, Web & File Server Settings window

  • You will need TCP/IP access to the server from the client machine. This can be over a LAN, WAN or a dialup connection. If using TCP Filtering (or a firewall), make sure that no filters are set up that would prevent the client machine from accessing the server on the Web Admin port (311).
  • The Web browser used must be Netscape Navigator 3.0.1 or greater, Netscape Communicator 4.0 or later, or Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) 3.0 or later. Apple strongly recommends Netscape Communicator 4.0 or later, or MSIE 4.0 or later. Other web browsers that support frames and Java might work, but they have not been tested and are not supported.
  • To access Remote Administration, use the following URL:


http://your.server.com/.admin

You will be prompted to enter the administrator name and password.



Figure 2, Remote Server Administration log on window

  • Read the ReadMe files for any late-breaking news about known issues or compatibility problems.

Remote Admin Interface

If you are familiar with performing administrative tasks at the server itself, you'll have no problem following the Remote Admin interface. (And if server administration is still unfamiliar to you, review the appropriate sections of the ASIP 6.0 training module, or on-line help files, to become familiar.) The Remote Admin interface is intuitive and mostly self-explanatory.

This toolbar appears on every page, and allows you to move easily between the different server components. The Status section will show you what services are enabled and running, and allow you to start or stop mail and print servers. (Web & File Services must be running at all times in order to access Remote Administration.)




Figure 3, Remote Server Administration toolbar


The screenshot below shows the interface for managing users.




Figure 4, Remote Server Administration interface


This screenshot shows the options for managing Web Server Settings. As you can see, they closely mirror the options as they appear in the AppleShare IP Web & File Admin program.




Figure 5, Web Server Settings options


One nice feature that Remote Administration adds is the Usage History graph. This can be especially useful in troubleshooting; for example, if users reports that they found the server slow in the morning, you can use this chart to see how busy the server was at that time.




Figure 6, Web & File Server Activity Window

What tasks can't be performed remotely?

Some tasks still require you to be at the server itself; these are listed below:

AppleShare IP Manager
All of the AppleShare IP Manager functions are available in Remote Admin except launching the server-based administrative applications. See the Status page of Remote Admin.

Users & Groups
The following functions are NOT available in Remote Admin:

  • Import Users and Export Users & Groups
  • Duplicate User and Duplicate User Multiple features
  • Batch attribute setting feature.

Web & File Admin
Start is NOT available since Remote Admin requires the Web service to be running at all times.
User and groups names must be typed in for setting access privileges.
Other functions NOT available are:
  • Duplicate Folder
  • Unmount Disk
  • Web & FTP Mime Settings
  • Reset cache
  • Serialization Setting
  • Send Message to Connected Users

Mail Admin
The following functions are NOT available in Remote Admin:
  • Date & Time Modification on server
  • Viewing and Managing mail messages on the server (NOTE: you can use IMAP Admin Access Port for this functionality)
  • Attempt outgoing connections to Mail Hosts.
  • Show pending messages for Mail Hosts. (NOTE: you can use IMAP Admin Access Port for this functionality)

Print Admin
The following function is NOT available in Remote Admin:
  • Clear all Logs
  • Remove a printer from a queue

Remote Admin Security

Every server administrator should be concerned about security. Remote Administration can be secured in the following ways:
  • Password security: The client must provide the name and password of a server administrator to gain access.
  • Automatic LogOut: The Remote Admin connection will close after a short period of inactivity; this will prevent unauthorized use if you are unexpectedly called away from your workstation.
  • TCP Filtering: Using the TCP Filter Admin program, you can create a filter that would allow access to the Remote Admin port only from your own workstation, or from certain networks.
  • Disable Remote Administration: You also could simply disable the feature altogether.

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some general guidelines on how to troubleshoot problems accessing the server for remote administration:
  • Review the steps listed under "Setting Up Remote Administration" above to verify configuration. In particular, confirm that Web service or Plug Ins have not been disabled due to an error, such as bad IP configuration or a low memory situation.
  • Try accessing the server's default Web page; this will let you know whether its Web services in general, or remote administration in particular that is causing the problem.
  • If the problem appears to be with accessing Web Services in general:
    • Try pinging the server, to test IP connectivity.
    • Try connecting from another workstation, to determine if the problem is at the client or the server. If possible, try connecting from a device on the same LAN as the server itself.
    • See if TCP Filtering is enabled, and carefully review the filters. You can also try disabling TCP Filtering at the server.
    • If Multi Domain support is enabled, test connections to the various domains.
  • If the problem appears to be specifically with Remote Administration:
    • Verify the URL being used. It should be the domain name of the server, followed by "/.admin", without the quotes:

http://www.company.com/.admin

    • Verify that the name and password being entered are correct, and that the user is set up as a server administrator.
    • Verify that the Plug Ins folder is within the default Web Folder, that it contains the Remote Admin Folder, and that access privileges to all of the folders allow the administrator at least read access.
    • Verify that Plug Ins have not been disabled.
    • Verify that there's enough free RAM on the server to accommodate the Remote Admin.cgi.
    • If Multi Domain Settings file has been configured, the first domain listed in that file will be the default for Remote Admin. View the Plug Ins Messages file (found in Preferences:AppleShare IP Preferences:HTTP Logs:) to see what path is being searched for the Remote Admin cgi, and edit the Multi Domain Settings file if needed.
    • Verify that you're using a tested Web Browser; check that Java is supported. If using Internet Explorer, check to see if it is set to use Apple MRJ (Mac OS Runtime for Java), rather than Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine.
Published Date: Feb 20, 2012