Let me start by saying that I am no server administrator, but was convinced that setting up a Mac Server on a MacMini would be relatively straightforward due to Apple's history and claims...
Server app. Your own mini IT department.
The Mac is famously easy to use, and so is Mac mini withOS X Server. That makes it perfect for people who’ve never run a server before, or for overtaxed IT departments. The Server app will walk you through the setup process step by step. And if you want help at any stage, just choose the Help menu or click the Next Steps button.
Well, it's not really working for me...
After two weeks of internet research and changing setting on the server (a 2011 Mac Mini with RAID 1 1TB drives - I upgraded myself) and the later Server app running on top of 10.8.2 (installed from software recovery on new drives) I have been able to get my Mac computers (a MacBook Pro and an iMac both running 10.8.2) to connect to the server and have it operate as a file server.
Several users now have their own log in details and home directories (on the server) and iTunes is operating using 'Home Share' from the server to all clients.
I've been trying to set up the Software Update Server and have, I think, successfully set up the server with the correct address and turned on the service. (I'd post a screen shot, but there is little to see: the 'button' is on and the settings are on 'Automatic'. All updates now show as 'Enabled' after about 3 days of the service running.
I am using address: http://myservernamehere.local:8088/index.sucatalog in Profile Manager on the server under 'Software update' in 'Device Groups' (I have added the computers to the group). I cannot find any other settings to adjust on the server, and have had little luck following Apple support documents.
Can anyone explain in simple terms why the App store on the clients keeps showing an update available (Java for OS X 2013-002 1.0) and when I click on 'Update' I get the error 'Could not connect to the server.(-1004)'
I'm totally confused by this and will dispute Apple's claims that "It is perfect for people who have never run a server before".