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we have round about twenty Macbooks (mixed Snow Leopard and Lion) in our Company and thinking about a backup solution. Now we can buy a lot of time machines and make backups or we want a Storage System which is compatible with the time machine deamon.

Anyone have any experience with mac os backups in professional use?

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I think I would look at something like Crasplan Enterprise, instead of time machine. – Zoredache Jan 3 '12 at 18:27
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can set up an OS X Lion server hooked up to a decent Promise or Active Storage Array. That will probably be your best bet for a 100% OS X Time Machine supported solution.

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Yes, but no one of our Server are a Mac and I think its not the best way but its looks very interesting. – Dennis Wisnia Jan 3 '12 at 17:05
That's part of the problem. Time Machine is proprietary & any software company other than Apple that claims their product is 100% compatible is lying. At best, they've just found a way that "kinda works", but it is definitely not supported by Apple & can break with any update from Apple. Netatalk is good, but again, not supported. The Netatalk devs just reverse engineered AFP the best they could. If you want to use Time Machine, an OS X Server is the best way. – churnd Jan 3 '12 at 17:27

Instead of backing up individual client machines (bad!), you should be doing a couple of things.

1) Network home folders w/ offline cache enabled (OS X calls this a Mobile Account, I believe). This will alleviate the need to backup a bunch of individual client machines. You just back up the single server and all of their data will be there.

2) Automated deployment solution. Something like ASR or Deploy Studio so that when a machine craps out, you can reimage it quickly and to a known configuration so that the users can be back up and running and accessing their network home folder immediately.

The combination of these two things will both simplify your backup and make you more agile in the event of a client laptop failure.

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Enterprise Backup software that supports Mac OS X exists. TSM comes to mind, which will install an agent on the end device and will then pull accordingly to TSM server. Also a central time machine server (running on Mac OS X Server) in front of your favorite storage.

Another option is to provide central NFS (or even CIFS shares) with TM enabled on non AFP export/share via:

defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

Be ware that backing up mobile devices is hard, and questionable to do anyways!

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yes, it works. But I think its not for professional Usage. I remember that these workaround doesnt work always and that is not the best practice for an uncomplicated backup... – Dennis Wisnia Jan 3 '12 at 17:11

You could look into backuppc, or just use a smb backup with rsync.

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no, its a solution for Geeks but not for the normally user. – Dennis Wisnia Jan 3 '12 at 17:06
I don't know why you've come to such a conclusion. We use it with no issues at all, assuming you're pulling backups from clients and allowing them to restore they need no skills at all. – Sirex Jan 4 '12 at 12:18

Lion doesn't like SMB or NFS for time machine. Check if your Linux/Unix box has a recent version/package of Netatalk available, works like a charm for "network" time machine capsules.

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recent Linux/UNIX version of AFP? There is no such thing in this universe ... – pfo Jan 3 '12 at 14:19
@pfo I think he means netatalk. – MDMarra Jan 3 '12 at 15:18
@MDMarra you are correct. – Tim Jan 3 '12 at 15:20
@Tim You should edit your post to reflect this. – MDMarra Jan 3 '12 at 15:50
Netatalk looks pretty good. I think I'll want to try it on a Unix Machine. I hope it works so good then it looks ;) – Dennis Wisnia Jan 3 '12 at 17:06

Excluding the question of "why don't the users backup their data on the network," I have used the rsync option as someone has suggested, the other option is cpio. It copies the data and keeps the folder structure, creates a bash script and makes a cron job to run at X time and it will copy the appropriate contents to the appropriate places.

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