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Network backup for 10 users... How would YOU do it? Server? NAT? TimeMachine?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: May 29, 2018 12:58PM
Well... I have an OWC four drive RAID (a Mercury Rack Pro) that has been attached to an old G5 XServe as a TimeMachine backup point for 7 users. It's been working very well - until a power "flicker" last week. Now the XServe works fine, but the drive is dark, and silent, and won't power on.

So... I'm looking for a "Solution".
I want to target enough storage and user capacity for 10 users. That's three more than I actually have (these are "administration" computers only).

So I'm trying to figure out what the best plan is.
I have a Windows 2016 Server, but don't know jack about configuring it (it's kind of a one-trick pony at the moment... ), in a Server with plenty of empty drive bays. But, from what little I've read, it can be very difficult to get TimeMachine to "see" a Win 2016 server.

I am happy to convert to Carbon Copy Cloner, if it's as transparent to the Users as TimeMachine.

I am equally happy to look at a solution involving an NAS.
I'd RATHER not keep that old G5 XServe in this loop, if I can help it. It's day is done. It's storing some disk images for me, but once I get that "moved over" to another server, it's going away. Dang thing sounds like a Dolphin helicopter...

So - suggestions for a backup "solution" on a sub $600 budget (ideally!) are welcomed! Likewise if anyone can diagnose or repair a Mercury Rack Pro...



Paul F.
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A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Network backup for 10 users... How would YOU do it? Server? NAT? TimeMachine?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 29, 2018 01:34PM
If these are laptop computers, any old router or NAS that supports Time Machine backups (my Asus does this and my old Buffalo NAS did it) will do the job.

If these are desktop machines then I'd use local time machine backup drives. If there's concern that someone might walk off with the drives then enable encryption.

If you can't trust the users with little 2.5-inch external drives and a NAS is too much trouble then yes, you can use Carbon Copy Cloner to do scheduled backups to disk images on a Windows server. I do this for a few small workgroups. Make sure to set the pref's to disable notifications and hide the CCC menu bar icon.



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Re: Network backup for 10 users... How would YOU do it? Server? NAT? TimeMachine?
Posted by: Bixby
Date: May 29, 2018 01:45PM
I use a homebrew FreeNAS that I back up about the same number of Macs to via TimeMachine.

Any modern NAS architecture will support TimeMachine. FreeNAS needs pretty beefy hardware. QNAP or Synology or even Netgear would get the job done.

The one thing about all of this is TimeMachine: if the hard drive really goes down and you can't boot the local machine, you're talking about having to put in a new HD and recover from the TimeMachine backup. So for critical machines I also use a local hard drive and CCC to make a bootable backup so we can be up immediately if need be.
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Re: Network backup for 10 users... How would YOU do it? Server? NAT? TimeMachine?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: May 29, 2018 01:53PM
Well, in this case, it's not a matter of trust of the users, etc. This backup is part of a "hedge" against disaster (having the backup drive in a different building than the computers... not quite "off site" storage, but at least in a different physical building!).
I will look into some NAS drives.

Quote
Sarcany
If these are laptop computers, any old router or NAS that supports Time Machine backups (my Asus does this and my old Buffalo NAS did it) will do the job.

If these are desktop machines then I'd use local time machine backup drives. If there's concern that someone might walk off with the drives then enable encryption.

If you can't trust the users with little 2.5-inch external drives and a NAS is too much trouble then yes, you can use Carbon Copy Cloner to do scheduled backups to disk images on a Windows server. I do this for a few small workgroups. Make sure to set the pref's to disable notifications and hide the CCC menu bar icon.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Network backup for 10 users... How would YOU do it? Server? NAT? TimeMachine?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: May 29, 2018 01:54PM
I "built" a FreeNAS quite a few years ago... at that time, I found it to be a pain in the arse to get it to enable TimeMachine on. But, as I said, that's been a lot of versions ago now.
In this context, what is "pretty beefy" for required hardware?
I will look into freestanding NAS's.
Thanks!

Quote
Bixby
I use a homebrew FreeNAS that I back up about the same number of Macs to via TimeMachine.

Any modern NAS architecture will support TimeMachine. FreeNAS needs pretty beefy hardware. QNAP or Synology or even Netgear would get the job done.

The one thing about all of this is TimeMachine: if the hard drive really goes down and you can't boot the local machine, you're talking about having to put in a new HD and recover from the TimeMachine backup. So for critical machines I also use a local hard drive and CCC to make a bootable backup so we can be up immediately if need be.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Network backup for 10 users... How would YOU do it? Server? NAT? TimeMachine?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 29, 2018 02:03PM
How much data? and a lot of backup per day? or just a few MB here and there?



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Network backup for 10 users... How would YOU do it? Server? NAT? TimeMachine?
Posted by: Bixby
Date: May 29, 2018 02:03PM
FreeNAS likes lots of RAM. Or at least more than you probably have in any older unused machines lying around.

TimeMachine setup on FreeNAS is a breeze these days. The interface isn't as pretty as QNAP or Synology, but not a biggie.
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Re: Network backup for 10 users... How would YOU do it? Server? NAT? TimeMachine?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: May 29, 2018 02:36PM
Quote
jdc
How much data? and a lot of backup per day? or just a few MB here and there?

A reasonable question! These are "office" type users, whose files are mostly word docs, excel, etc, and so 1 Gb per day of changed files would typically be the maximum (and in reality, quite a bit less).



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Network backup for 10 users... How would YOU do it? Server? NAT? TimeMachine?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: May 29, 2018 02:37PM
Try Bacula:
[blog.bacula.org]



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