10 Tips for Getting Started at MacStadium
Are you a software developer interested in a dedicated Mac server from MacStadium? For new subscribers looking to trial the service, planning ahead is an effective way to take advantage of the full 24 hour free trial period and get set for future development.
Whether you’re just testing the waters with a free trial or setting up your first server for development and testing, below you’ll find some tips for taking advantage of the service right from day one.
Where do I start?
Step one is to create an account with MacStadium. Using the subscription configuration tools, you’ll likely already decided on a MacStadium product that works for your development environment before purchasing. With an account you’ll be able to complete that subscription and begin developing.
If you’re stuck when setting up a subscription, don’t hesitate to open a support ticket or get in touch with live chat. Our engineers can help configure a product for you and get you connected quickly. For complicated solutions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our support team to discuss both early hardware and network design as well as to plan for long-term growth and deployment of stable, production environments.
How do I manage my account?
Once you’ve created an account at MacStadium, you’ll have access to the Dashboard. Here, you can manage any and all subscriptions plus setup billing, open support tickets, view network utilization, remotely control the PDU of your server, and view the configuration where component changes are made and the server name is set.
Make sure you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service before creating any subscriptions. We’re able to offer great service and support to our customers because they stick to our terms when utilizing resources at MacStadium.
How should I prepare before subscribing to a server?
Before starting your server subscription, begin by collecting any necessary digital resources to be transferred over the internet. You’ll want to have all of your data available when the server is accessible. Using FTP or SFTP, you can quickly setup transfers of important data to get started developing on your Mac server.
Depending on the amount of data and whether you choose Pro or Elite hosting for your subscription, the time to copy data can affect your available usage time. We recommend reviewing our FAQ's for useful information like turning off sleep and changing the power settings.
If you’re colocating servers, view and follow our configuration guide before packaging up your server. This will allow us our engineers to attach your server to our network with less difficulty and prevent future issues for you as well.
What are the free trial restrictions?
With a MacStadium account, you’re able to create as many subscriptions as you need. Only the first Mac mini subscription on your first account is valid for a free 24 hour trial, though. We can’t offer you a second trial several months after your first one. If you create a second Mac mini while trialing, your trial will remain but the second subscription will be billed immediately.
Due to the advanced setup required for a Mac Pro, we cannot offer trial subscriptions for Mac Pro servers. When applicable, MacStadium works with enterprise teams to provide lab environments to test the service over a long period so don’t hesitate to get in touch with engineering to discuss your requirements.
When will my server be ready?
If you chose a Mac mini with Instant Activation, you should receive in email in the next few minutes with instructions to access your server. If not, or your subscription requires hardware changes, special network configuration, or a different operating system than OS X, expect setup to take a bit more time, maybe 1-2 hours, before you’re server is accessible.
How do I access my server?
When you receive your activation email, it will include details on how to log into your server. Save this information! Without these details you'll have to get in touch with support to get another copy—losing access to your server temporarily. Also, if you change the user and password to the server and then lose that information, we can’t recover data without that access.
With login details, our team will also include a set of instructions for recommended best practices connecting to your server. Depending on how you plan to use the server, the instructions may not fully apply to you so read carefully.
For most users, an operating system-specific remote desktop client like Screen Sharing or Remote Management built into most Mac’s, Apple Remote Desktop. Third party alternatives are also available including basic VNC-centric tools like RealVNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC plus several other advanced tools like TeamViewer and Splashtop. Be aware that while many third party clients offer free versions of their tools, some features may be blocked for users without a paid license. Advanced users looking for simple shell access can use SSH via their preferred client to access the device and get right to work.
Are there any changes I need to make immediately?
Start off by updating the sleep settings on your Mac mini. If you haven’t read through it yet, our FAQ offers new users tips on setting up the sleep and power settings of the Mac mini so your server reboots automatically on power cycles and does not go to sleep, effectively cutting off your network access.
Make sure you keep track of your Mac mini’s administration username and password if you change it. MacStadium does not offer direct software support for your machine. If your operating system is corrupted or misconfigured and you are locked out of the network, our support staff will need administrator access to make any corrections.
You have full root access to your server and can reconfigure any settings or install any software you wish. If you need to change operating systems or have VMware ESXi installed, our support staff can take care of those requests quickly.
All MacStadium subscriptions include a static IP address, and a wide open (non-firewalled) connection to the internet to allow for maximum flexibility. We suggest you research software firewalls for the Mac (like Murus) or consider subscribing to either our managed firewall solution or a dedicated firewall for ingress traffic control, VPN, and site to site tunneling at up to 650Mbps.
Don’t forget you can add SAN, NAS, or external USB storage for backups and redundancy if you didn’t at signup.
What speeds should I expect over the internet?
We suggest all customers move to the Elite hosting plan to utilize Gigabit internet if they plan for any network-intensive activities on their Mac server. Mac Pro users will have a quad gigabit connection.
If you experience slow network speeds and are on Pro hosting, consider upgrading to the faster Elite hosting plan to take advantage of Gigabit speeds. Please continue to test your Mac mini to confirm any issues before getting in touch with us. Our engineers are standing by 24/7 to support requests for hardware upgrades, network changes, and any other infrastructure updates needed.
I subscribed to the wrong product, what can I do?
Did you make a mistake with operating system choice or hardware configuration at the time of subscription? Get in touch with our support staff through live chat or support ticket immediately to correct any issues before you start trialing the service. Our support staff works with customers to fix mistakes but any changes made after a user has been trialing the subscription for a substantial period of time close the trial period and begin the billing period.
I’m ready to get started!
Great, we hope you enjoy and find it suitable for your development needs on Apple hardware. Our support team is available 24x7 to assist you with any issues so don’t hesitate to find us on live chat or open a support ticket. If you haven’t yet, check out our top 10 posts and videos over the past few years to learn a few more tricks and don’t forget to browse our support knowledgebase for frequently asked questions.