Mac OSX Snow Leopard Server Back up software

Posted on 2010-11-16
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi Experts,

 I have a Mac Pro  with 4 slots of hard drives, 1 hard drive is used for the operating system and the rest of the drives are only used for shares. Does anyone know of a good back up software out there that can back up the hard drives seperately? Im doing this in case one of the data drives that will be containing the shares go bad I can restore it to a new drive. The osx server Im running is 10.6. We were thinking of getting the raid card and doing a raid 5 but its over our budget. If more info is needed please let me know.


Question by:pfranco14
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Assisted Solution

woolnoir earned 1000 total points
ID: 34153695
You have a number of options , http://macos-x-server.com/wiki/index.php?title=Backup_options

AT the top of the page it highlights a number of good options - retrospect is a particularly good one. http://www.retrospect.com/products/software/retroformac/ it offers a client/server system so you can backup clients to with the same system if the need should arrise.
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Accepted Solution

nxnw earned 1000 total points
ID: 34155406
Even Superduper can be configured to do timed, incremental backups of individual volumes. It can do a straight clone to another volume or even rotating clones to a series of disk images. For a more fine-grained and sophisticated package I would look at chronosync.  Both of the above, according the what I have read, duplicate mac metatdata perfectly.

I hesitate to recommend Retrospect. Loved version 4.x - one of the best things I have ever bought for a computer - but 5 and 6 were buggy and unreliable. There was no 7 and I decided not to buy 8 when the initial user reports tore it to pieces (see http://scottworldblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/chronosync/ for instance). LET ME ADD, HOWEVER, that the decline and fall of Retrospect took place when it was owned by EMC, which recently sold it to Roxio. The current version, 8.2, was shipped by Roxio. If Retrospect is fixed, it would be the most powerful and flexible option (that is not stratospherically expensive).

Your post indicated that your objective is to back up the shares, but since the title talks about backing up the and OS X server, the following caveat is important. For backing up the startup volume (i.e. LDAP data used for OD; mail and other data stores, etc), I do not know if any of the above will do a reliable backup while the server is running - additional measures may be required.

Author Comment

ID: 34156564
I plan on doing a time machine back up for the server os and the shares I would like to be backed up by another program. Thanks for the recommendations for back up software, I will try both and see which one will work the best. I tried to up our budget but it was a no go, I really would like to do a raid 5 but the mac pro raid card is so expensive it puts us way over the budget. Thanks for the help experts!
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Expert Comment

ID: 34157863
Time machine is not suitable for a server backup. From The OS X 10.6 "Advanced Server Administration" manual:
Time Machine is a limited tool for data backup and restoration of Mac OS X Server v10.6. It can back up some server configuration settings and the service state. Time Machine does not back up service data.
For example, Time Machine doesn’t back up user and group directory records, email, DNS records, Address Book shared groups, iCal Server calendars, and so forth. It only saves the settings made in Server Preferences and Server Admin, and whether a service is on or off.

The same manual has useful info on backing up a server (but doesn't actually tell you what to do). It would be nice if Apple provided a nice batch file template that includes the commands to shut down services as required for a good backup and the rsync command to back up the required data and settings.

Author Comment

ID: 34158517
Thanks for the info nxnw, I will just use one of the recomended back up software to back up the OS. By the way is anyone in here ACSA? I'm thinking of persuing that certification but I'm wondering if it would be beneficial to take. I'm ACMT certified but its all on end user products and nothing server or network related.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 34189670
Recommendations from both experts helped me out.
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Expert Comment

ID: 34189852
Please note that, even with superduper or chronosync, you have to be mindful of issues respecting backing up a running server. I apologize that I can't provide more direction at the moment, but you should keep this in mind and address it sooner than later. In, any event, if you post a specific question (i.e. backing up a running OS X server), there are people here who are better qualified to explain than I am.

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