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How to create a single backup of workstations?


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#1 jishnutr4u

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:45 AM

Hi all,
 
First of all I am new to this forum and I am not sure how to ask things. Well here is my issue.     
 
I am looking into how to do central backups of all our workstations here at the office. Maybe as a Hard Drive Server
I want to store my itunes library also on the same drive.
 
I have been told Synology and Drobo are good options. 
 
I am thinking that currently I have 6 workstations and two laptops. 
So that would mean somewhere around a 3TB backup option plus another another 1TB for the images, music and movies. 
So what drives to buy and what system to use and how long for configuring and installation?
Might also be a good idea to backup the server once more on that drive too but really it is a budget issue for me how many HD you want to buy and how to arrange the RAID option. 
 
Please research the options and make suggestions on cost and your help to configure this at our office. 
 
Regards,
 
Jishnu T R


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#2 smax013

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:04 AM


Hi all,

 

First of all I am new to this forum and I am not sure how to ask things. Well here is my issue.     

 

I am looking into how to do central backups of all our workstations here at the office. Maybe as a Hard Drive Server

I want to store my itunes library also on the same drive.

 

I have been told Synology and Drobo are good options. 

 

I am thinking that currently I have 6 workstations and two laptops. 

So that would mean somewhere around a 3TB backup option plus another another 1TB for the images, music and movies. 

So what drives to buy and what system to use and how long for configuring and installation?

Might also be a good idea to backup the server once more on that drive too but really it is a budget issue for me how many HD you want to buy and how to arrange the RAID option. 

 

Please research the options and make suggestions on cost and your help to configure this at our office. 

 

Regards,

 

Jishnu T R


Are all the workstations and laptops Macs?

You mentioned a server towards the end. Are referring to a server you already have or this proposed new central backup "system"/server? If the former, is the existing server a Mac as well? Are you already backing it up right now and, if so, how are you currently backing it up?

#3 jishnutr4u

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:35 AM

Thank you for your time and reply.

 

Yes all the workstations and laptops are Mac. Yes the existing server is a Mac. I am currently backing up my server  with an external Hard drive using time machine. I now need a centralized back up of the clients too. 

 

Regards,

 

Jishnu


Edited by jishnutr4u, 12 June 2014 - 02:36 AM.


#4 smax013

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 04:38 PM

Sorry that I did not reply sooner.  I just started a new job, which has kept me busy, and then went out of town for a wedding.

 

There are at least two ways to go about what you are after.

 

The first would be to buy some sort of TimeMachine-compatible (not necessary are there are other backup programs out there), multi-drive (i.e. RAID) NAS (network attached storage) device such as a Synology, Qnap, Netgear ReadyNAS, etc.  The ones that I mentioned I KNOW are TimeMachine-compatible…I am sure there are other options that also support TimeMachine.  Then, you set up each machine to do TimeMachine backups to the NAS (in theory, this could include the server as well…and still maintain the first TimeMachine backup on the external drive…just depends on which version of the MacOS you are using as using TimeMachine with multiple drive requires at least Mountain Lion…aka 10.8.x).  With going this route, you then would only need to select which brand and model to go with.  I personally don't like making hard recommendations unless I have actually used a product myself.  I can say that I personally have a 4 bay Netgear ReadyNAS device.  I cannot say how it compares to a similar Synology or Qnap device.  From some of the reviews that I have read, it seems that Synology and Qnap might generally be a little more "Mac oriented" or "Mac friendly" (I have seen more reviews of them in Macworld and MacLife than Netgear ReadyNAS).  I mainly went with a Netgear ReadyNAS because I knew someone with a couple of them and he was happy with them.  It works well for my needs.  I use it for both some "normal" file storage and as a TimeMachine backup drive for two Macs…on one computer the TimeMachine backup runs once a daily and for the other I only manually engage the backup (there is some issue with it running automatically that I have not had a chance to figure out…I will note that laptop only connects to the network wirelessly).  I would recommend at least a 4 bay device based upon what you describe as your storage amount needs and overall usage….but you might even want to consider a 6 bay option.  Generally, you can buy such NAS devices either with some drives included (if you buy a 4 bay device, it will come with 4 drives general if you buy it with drives…but there will be different drive size options) or in a "diskless" configuration where then you buy drives to put in it yourself (You will definitely want at least two drives, but likely at least three drives so that you can get to a RAID 5 type array).

 

Setting up an NAS is generally not that hard.  Generally, the main time consuming part of it is the testing of the new drives that are added to the array (an argument to buy with drives already installed)…and then some minor settings configuration things.  From there, it will mainly be going to each machine to setup Time Machine and then initiating the first backup.  FWIW, if you go this route in combination with Time Machine, I would setup one machine and let it complete the first backup (which will take a while) before setting up the next machine.  Initial Time Machine backups over the network will likely "clog" up your network, so doing more than one at a time likely will bring your network to a screeching halt for other tasks.  I would likely also suggest getting TimeMachineEditor or something similar to set times for backup or you set the normal backup interval rather than use Time Machine's standard settings/intervals.

 

I will note that you can also use other backup programs with an NAS drive…you don't HAVE to use Time Machine.  The biggest reason to use Time Machine is that it is free.  It also has a nice interface.  But, there might be more efficient options…Time Machine can be a resource hog on the workstations/laptops, especially if you use the standard settings/intervals. 

 

The second option would be to attach some sort of drive to the server (likely a Firewire or Thunderbolt RAID drive depending on what types of ports the server has).  Then you could use a central backup software program (such a Retrospect…the main backup program runs on the server and you install "clients" on each workstation/laptop) or you might even be able to direct Time Machine on each computer to use the drive on the server for backups…I honestly don't recall if this is supported with Time Machine…I believe it is.

 

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you have any specific questions.






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