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Any rock-solid bare metal backup/restore solutions for mac using iSCSI target?

I need to improve my backup process for my macbook, running snow leopard.  I want a solid bare-metal restore mechanism that won't skip over files (updated since last backup, of course). I also dare to hope to perform this feat via something that is reasonably automated each evening.

I currently boot the mac to an external HDD running linux, that runs a simple shell script which performs a raw block copy (I also have some partitions which contain solaris, windows and some more operating systems), to insure I have a bootable backup and the virtual machines are copied.  Then when the backup script completes, it issues a reboot which then goes back into OS X.  Time machine then handles the rest.

To restore, plan is to do a raw dd volume copy from the latest image backup, then let time machine perform a restore on top of it.  This won't cut it. Much to my surprise, time machine

This doesn't cut it, first it is a pain, secondly, time-machine doesn't back everything up to begin with.  So what I would like to do is carve out an iSCSI target on a RAID protected server (running solaris), and backup to that.  I can script something that can handle the raw partitions as the virtual operating systems will be shut down before they are backed up, so no risk of missing anything or dealing with open files.

Any suggestions on a commercial product, or a URL to a how-to that addresses configuring apple's time machine to get raw partitions, use iSCSI, and providing control to get it to back up files that it normally skips?
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DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

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Commented:
FYI - here is thread that discusses what time machine skips, and what to do about.
http://forums.macosxhints.com/showthread.php?p=584871

Commented:

simple...

boot to the Clonezilla-Live CD:
http://clonezilla.org/

Store the image to the USB drive. Used it a million times.  Superb tool.

Commented:
I have also read that Mondo/Mindi work on MacOSX (has FreeBSD support) but I've never tried it.  
http://www.mondorescue.org/

If you can get Mondo working in Darwin then you can make the backup image while the machine is running.  if you want to store it to iSCSI target then you'll just have to figure out how to mount an iSCSI target in MacOSX and choose that path to store your image when backing up.  (Sorry, I'm not a Mac guy or I'd give you pointers.)
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Author

Commented:
Sean .. I am already effectively doing this now, I want to backup to my RAIDZ2-protected (think of it as RAID6, but a little better) iSCSI target.
Commented:
Ok... but you want to backup the entire system as an image right?  So you need an imaging tool like Mondo, Clonezilla, etc.  (I looked briefly but did not see a version of Acronis out for Mac).  As to storing that data on the iSCSI volume, well, you just need to have that iSCSI volume mounted and then use that path as your image storage location.  The backup software does not initiate the iSCSI target, this is a function of the OS.  Of course it could be scripted to mount the iSCSI target, run the backup, then dismount.  Once mounted though, you can store anything you want there.  And for the record, both Clonezilla and Mondo should be much superior to straight dd if for nothing else than compression, capturing the MBR and partition tables, and offering a boot disk for easier restoration.  You may also make a custom Clonezilla boot cd which passes all variables for the backup as a kernel line at boot meaning that it will boot up and backup the volumes without any user intervention.

But I'll bow out of this conversation now as it seems that perhaps your seeking a solution in another direction.
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Author

Commented:
I ended up going with retrospect