Configure a remote Task Server

A dedicated remote Task Server acts as an always-on, automated administrator.

The Task Server installs packages and changes client settings without direct control from the Remote Desktop app. It also lets you install packages and change settings on clients that aren’t currently available on the network by holding the task in a queue until the client computer becomes available.

The Task Server also collects data from Remote Desktop clients and acts as a central repository for cached report data.

Plan for using the remote Task Server

Before you use a remote Task Server to automate administration, make sure that the network settings and infrastructure are configured properly.

  1. Check the network settings on the server.

    The server should have a static IP address.

  2. Check the firewall settings on the server.

    The firewall should allow communication between the server and the client IP address groups on TCP and UDP ports 3283. Also, if you open TCP port 5900, you can control clients.

  3. If you use a Network Address Translation (NAT) router, forward TCP and UDP ports 3283 and 5900 to the Task Server computer. Forward other unique port pairs to clients located behind the NAT router.

    For information about using NAT, see NAT router guidelines.

  4. Ping the server from the clients and make connections on the correct ports. Or you can use the Network Test report.

  5. From the server, scan the IP address range of the clients and get network ping results from a sampling of them.

Set up the remote Task Server

To use another Remote Desktop administrator computer’s database, you must configure it to allow data access to other Remote Desktop administrators. The default Task Server is the computer on which you installed Remote Desktop.

Determine where the data will be located: on the administrator computer or a remote computer. By default, the database is stored on the administrator computer, but you can change the data collection location and set up a dedicated remote Task Server. Make sure it is always on and does not go to sleep.

  1. Install Remote Desktop on the server.

  2. After the installer finishes, open Remote Desktop and configure it using the setup assistant.

  3. When the setup assistant asks if you’re going to use another computer as a Task Server, make sure to leave the default, which indicates you’re not using a different Task Server.

  4. When the setup assistant is complete, configure this server’s Task Server.

    1. Choose Remote Desktop > Preferences > Task Server.

    2. Select “Use Task Server on this computer” and “Allow remote connections to this server.”

  5. Select a scanner and scan the network range of your client computers to verify that this computer can find the client computers.

  6. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sharing, click Remote Management, then turn on remote management. Click Options and select the “Generate reports” access privilege for the Task Server administrators.

    This allows the Task Server to operate even when Remote Desktop isn’t open.

    For information, see About access privileges.

  7. To make this server the exclusive Task Server for your clients, add this server to the clients’ Task Server whitelist.

    For information, see Restrict clients to a specific Task Server.

Set up an administrator computer to use the remote Task Server

Use an administrator computer to query the remote Task Server. Back up report data on the Task Server, not the administrator computer.

  1. On the administrator computer, choose Remote Desktop > Preferences.

  2. Click Task Server, select “Use remote Task Server,” then enter the fully qualified domain name or IP address of the Task Server.

  3. Click Reporting, then choose what types of report data to generate and when to generate it.