Lighting the Mac-Signal
January 19, 2011 9:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm a sysadmin for a small nonprofit. It's a mostly-mac shop, about 30 users and 4 servers. It's a pretty nice gig, but I'm largely flying solo on a lot of things, so I come to the hive mind asking what other "Mac Guys" are doing.

I've got two big questions:

1) With apple's discontinuation of the Xserve, is everyone stocking up on them before the end of the month, or have they resigned themselves to using Mac Pros despite the lack of LOM (and larger space requirements)?

2) We used Dantz (then EMC, now Roxio) Retrospect as our backup solution for years because it offered some features ( mainly, searching across backup sets) that we thought were necessary. We're still on version 6, which had been working well until about 10.6.5 or so, but now are considering upgrading to version 8, or working on a new solution altogether. We have a relatively new LTO3 drive that's fine for what it does, and ideally, we'd like to leverage that into whatever our new system is. So, what are you using for backups? If you're using Time Machine on a server volume, how do you handle keeping a set offsite?
posted by Oktober to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mac Mini Server and learn to live without LOM. Time Machine for backups to a server volume, and rsync-over-ssh offsite in a cron job at night. You can be somewhat more clever than that if you need archival copies of your backups (week, month, year, etc) but it's pretty straightforward.

That, and Apple Remote Desktop is an absolute, no-questions must-have.
posted by mhoye at 9:44 AM on January 19, 2011

1) I've never used an Xserve at work. It's not LOM, but I can still access my servers via SSH and use top/whatever if necessary or use vnc remotely, from home if necessary.

2) We use Carbon Copy Cloner to backup 2 Mac Pros (our servers for 400 clients) at work. I can do nightly differentials with a weekend full to some external hard drive(s), which I take off site. Part of this depends on what you're backing up- do the clients sync or save to your Xserves? If not, CCC might be cumbersome to back up each of your 30.
posted by jmd82 at 9:47 AM on January 19, 2011

Response by poster: Yeah, ARD is a live saver, no question.

We have the budget (and the room) for Mac Pros, so I may go that way instead.

As far as the backup goes, we do need to archive it periodically. We used to do it monthly, but seem to have settled into an every-two-months rotation. We could probably push it to quartery if needed.
posted by Oktober at 9:48 AM on January 19, 2011

Response by poster: Most of our 30 users work remotely at least some of the time, so the ideal is to have their user folders backed up as much as possible, so in the event of a catastrophic loss I can NetInstall an image on a new machine and then drop their user folder on it.
posted by Oktober at 9:50 AM on January 19, 2011

Response by poster: Also, we do backup a couple hundred gigs of data off of our main file server nearly daily, so there's a lot of "I overwrote document X, can you restore a copy of it for me from before Sept. 18?" and such.
posted by Oktober at 9:53 AM on January 19, 2011

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