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PC’s and Windows Server – migrating to Mac – Best approach and backup?

Posted on 2014-03-11
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Last Modified: 2014-04-03
Hi,
We have a PC network running Windows Server 2008 (not exchange as they have hosted exchange) who want to go Mac.

On the PC network we used folder redirection, so all of their actual user accounts and folders are stored on the server, and all the content on this server is backed up to a cloud backup provider.

With them all changing to Mac’s this changes this. They still need to keep the server as they run some Windows only software and will have Parallels installed to interface with that, however my initial concern  is, what is the best way to handle backup?

The backup service we have on the current windows server, is a cloud one that backs up the entire contents of that server.
Unless we make users manually copy files to a network drive (which is rubbish) as far as I know they won’t back up.

My specific questions:
1)      What is the best way to handle the backup?
2)      Is there an option to have Time Machine backing up reliably and supported by Apple, to a Windows server. So for each user we could just allocate a small bit of space? (would this then work with a cloud backup service that backs up files on that server.
3)      Generally for a PC Domain to Mac migration, what other things should we be considering?
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Question by:afflik1923
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serialband earned 500 total points
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There is no Time Machine support for OSX to a Windows file server.  Time Machine supports specific hardware only.

Having come from a budget sparse environment, I've used a lot of free and open source tools to do backup.  You can use the built-in rsync to make backups from the user's system.  It can be scheduled, but there will be only one copy.  You can set up a script and rename it to back.command so that the user can manually click on the command icon to start rsync.  You can also do a poor mans time machine with rsnapshot.  Install Homebrew from http://brew.sh/.  Then run brew install rsnapshot and then set the snapshot schedule to make daily and hourly copies to the remote mount.

Macs have permissions and connectivity issues with Windows servers.  Sometimes the permission settings haven't "caught up" and you need to remount the drives to get access.  Sometimes you have to log into the server as Administrator to fix the ownership and permissions.  You'll need to mount the filesystem using SMB 1 to prevent a lot of issues.

Macs can "join" Active Directory, but that only really allows you to sync up account credentials and allow domain accounts to log in on the Mac.  You don't get Group Policy and you don't get file or folder sync.

Office on the Mac is really 1/2 to one generation behind the Windows version.
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by:afflik1923
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Thanks for the insights on this.
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