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Part: VI Server/Network Administration > User Management and Machine Clustering

Chapter 24. User Management and Machine Clustering

In This Chapter

As has been mentioned several times already, Mac OS X, being based on Unix, is designed from the ground up as a multi-user operating system. Where previous versions of Mac OS have supported some types of multiple user functionality, internally only a single user could be using the machine at once, and the separation of data and resources between user accounts was not particularly strict. With OS X, a nearly unlimited number of users can be simultaneously logged in to a single machine, and from the point of view of each user, the machine is essentially devoted to his own use. One of the consequences of this type of multiple user operating system, and of the Unix notion of abstraction, is that it is natural to do away with the personal computer notion of one machine keeping each user's data, when there are several users, and several machines in proximity to each other. Instead, in the Unix world, it is traditional to set the machines up so that all the users can use all the machines, and to distribute the user account information and contents via the network. A collection of machines cooperating in this fashion is called a cluster. In a cluster, any user with an account on the cluster can log in to any machine in the cluster and be presented with his account just as if it were his own personal machine.

In the previous chapter, you learned almost all the techniques necessary to implement a cluster with OS X. This chapter covers some of the management details that you will need to keep in mind to manage a cluster successfully, and provides the details needed to actually put a cluster together.


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