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Mac Thread, Mac Backup in Technical; Hi all, I have a 1tb portable hard drive that i'd like to use to do a full system backup ...
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    Mac Backup

    Hi all,

    I have a 1tb portable hard drive that i'd like to use to do a full system backup of my x server. I'd like to be able to restore straight from this hard drive in the event of a systme failure.

    How's the best way to do this? Can time machine suffice?

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    Three words. Carbon Copy Cloner.
    Carbon Copy Cloner - Home
    I wouldn't trust Time Machine for this, it's probably improved but our local Apple rep lost loads of data when his MBP failed to do a full restore from Time Machine.

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    hmm ok, i've just carbon copy before for deployment of os but then stopped. i will have a look again.

    thanks

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    Hi

    Time Machine is not recommended as an option by Apple themselves for Servers configured as Advanced. Strictly speaking this only really applies if the Server is a fully fledged OD Master with all that that entails and/or a Mail Service. Backing up any 'live' database - LDAP and/or Mail - is going to be risky without first stopping the services. Not so much of a problem with Mail but with LDAP it could become a problem? Sometimes Kerberos stops and never starts again. Although there are ways around this that works sometimes. It's not so much the backup that's the problem. It's the restore - as already mentioned. What's the point of backing up if all you ever recover when disaster strikes is useless?

    In an Active Directory environment I doubt this would be the case? Most mac servers in such environments probably don't have more than 2-4 services running in any case? What little there is of the LDAP database would only contain OD Groups nesting AD Users and/or Groups. Any Policies would be associated with those Groups as well as any OD Computer Groups. There are no passwords to worry about either and neither is there anything 'live'. MCX or mac-style Policies once applied are 'static' settings and only change when a policy is updated or added.

    To be honest the only thing worth 'backing' up, apart from any pertinent data - which you should be backing up in any case - would be those OD Groups/Computer Lists. You don't need to do anything special in that case as you could simply export them from WorkGroup Manager. Archiving the LDAP Database would achieve the same thing. If the worse happens and the server dies for any reason it's sometimes quicker to reformat/reinstall and re-import or restore after successful 'bind' to AD and promotion to OD. Both processes are not exactly time consuming are they?

    Having said all that Apple's 'Best Practices' suggests using DU when booting from the Installer Disk and saving the server's 'state' as a .dmg to a share or externally connected drive. For a vanilla server you're probably talking about 8-12GB? This should take roughly 30-40 minutes.

    There's nothing wrong with using CCC either. With CCC you can even scheduled cloned backups and what's more it will do it (successfully) whilst the server's 'live'.

    Another solution you could look at is SuperDuper which does have a price tag.

    Hope this helps?

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)
    Last edited by AntonioRocco; 10th December 2009 at 10:19 PM.

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    mbrunt (11th December 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioRocco View Post
    Hi

    Time Machine is not recommended as an option by Apple themselves for Servers configured as Advanced. Strictly speaking this only really applies if the Server is a fully fledged OD Master with all that that entails and/or a Mail Service. Backing up any 'live' database - LDAP and/or Mail - is going to be risky without first stopping the services. Not so much of a problem with Mail but with LDAP it could become a problem? Sometimes Kerberos stops and never starts again. Although there are ways around this that works sometimes. It's not so much the backup that's the problem. It's the restore - as already mentioned. What's the point of backing up if all you ever recover when disaster strikes is useless?

    In an Active Directory environment I doubt this would be the case? Most mac servers in such environments probably don't have more than 2-4 services running in any case? What little there is of the LDAP database would only contain OD Groups nesting AD Users and/or Groups. Any Policies would be associated with those Groups as well as any OD Computer Groups. There are no passwords to worry about either and neither is there anything 'live'. MCX or mac-style Policies once applied are 'static' settings and only change when a policy is updated or added.

    To be honest the only thing worth 'backing' up, apart from any pertinent data - which you should be backing up in any case - would be those OD Groups/Computer Lists. You don't need to do anything special in that case as you could simply export them from WorkGroup Manager. Archiving the LDAP Database would achieve the same thing. If the worse happens and the server dies for any reason it's sometimes quicker to reformat/reinstall and re-import or restore after successful 'bind' to AD and promotion to OD. Both processes are not exactly time consuming are they?

    Having said all that Apple's 'Best Practices' suggests using DU when booting from the Installer Disk and saving the server's 'state' as a .dmg to a share or externally connected drive. For a vanilla server you're probably talking about 8-12GB? This should take roughly 30-40 minutes.

    There's nothing wrong with using CCC either. With CCC you can even scheduled cloned backups and what's more it will do it (successfully) whilst the server's 'live'.

    Another solution you could look at is SuperDuper which does have a price tag.

    Hope this helps?

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)

    I have 3 sites running timemachine for backups of the server & data, should i be looking to stop and use CCC for the server backups then? (there currently about 125gb's in size)

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    Hi Boon72

    To clarify:
    If your server is in an AD environment and is not a Mail Server and/or 'full' OD Master - ie: KDC and providing user homes - there's no reason why you can't use Time Machine. I would always build into any backup 'strategy' test restores. You don't really have a backup 'strategy' otherwise do you?

    If you're running a separate OD environment use Time Machine at your own risk.

    In either case archiving the LDAP database (which can be scripted and scheduled) and/or exporting Users/Groups/Lists etc is always a good idea in addition to a live clone of the Server either using CCC or SuperDuper or a non-live clone using Disk Utility.

    Assuming your hardware supports it I would supplement all of the above with a UPS (separate ones for an XServe) and mirrored drives or better still a Hardware RAID.

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)

  8. Thanks to AntonioRocco from:

    mbrunt (11th December 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioRocco View Post
    Hi Boon72

    To clarify:
    If your server is in an AD environment and is not a Mail Server and/or 'full' OD Master - ie: KDC and providing user homes - there's no reason why you can't use Time Machine. I would always build into any backup 'strategy' test restores. You don't really have a backup 'strategy' otherwise do you?

    If you're running a separate OD environment use Time Machine at your own risk.

    In either case archiving the LDAP database (which can be scripted and scheduled) and/or exporting Users/Groups/Lists etc is always a good idea in addition to a live clone of the Server either using CCC or SuperDuper or a non-live clone using Disk Utility.

    Assuming your hardware supports it I would supplement all of the above with a UPS (separate ones for an XServe) and mirrored drives or better still a Hardware RAID.

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)
    all 3 sites have the same setup, Mac Pro with 1 x 320gb OS X drive and 2 x 1tb raid 0 all the data is saved on the raid ( user files etc ) each machine is on a UPS with a 1tb external backup drive which i had timemachine save to, but ive now made a CCC dmg of the OS X drive, just need to set up a schedule rather than me manually doing it once a week

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