Apple Computer's AppleShare IP (ASIP) 6.1 offers useful administration and security enhancements that will ease the workload and minds of network administrators. ASIP now also supports Mac OS 8.5 Sherlock technology, multiple Web sites (as many as 50 sites per server), and Internet Messaging Access Protocol (IMAP)-based shared folders.
The addition of browser-based administration is particularly welcome. After I supplied log-in information, a well-designed interface let me navigate through a series of pages where I could view settings, current status, start and stop servers, and more. The useful online help explained how to perform each task.
Unfortunately, the performance of the browser-based administration was particularly slow and there are still many tasks that cannot be done remotely, such as unmounting shared disks, viewing the Web and file server log, and using the TCP filter software.
With this release, it is now possible to secure ASIP servers using TCP filters and parts of IP addresses. The new TCP filter component acts as a software-based firewall and is simple to use. Although the capability to create filters with the TCP Filter Admin tool isn't integrated with the other components in ASIP, you won't need to access it often once you have created your filters.
From a helpful pop-up menu, I could select from 14 common TCP ports and create wild-card IP addresses that let me restrict or allow access to my server.
In the event that I knew only the domain name, a handy function let me query the domain name server for the IP address.
ASIP 6.1 adds support for Mac OS 8.5 Sherlock technology - an improvement to the Mac OS Find function. Find enhancements include two additional tabs that let you perform searches on indexed volumes or on the Internet by selecting from a list of standard search engines.
AppleShare IP should suit companies looking for a manageable solution for mixed environments. ASIP 6.1 improves upon Version 6.0 and mostly succeeds in delivering a well-rounded package for a good price.
The Bottom Line
AppleShare IP 6.1
This update to Apple's suite of server software addresses includes important new capabilities, such as browser-based administration and better security.
Pros: Browser-based administration; enhanced security; improved search capabilities; low price.
Cons: Slow performance on browser-based administration; lacks some remote management features.
Platforms: PowerPC G3, 604e, 604, or 601 CPUs; Mac OS 8.5.
Price: $2495 (unlimited licences); 10 client version - $795; 50 client version - $1595.
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