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Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

The Time Machine service in macOS Server 5.2 hasn’t changed much from the service in previous operating systems. To enable the Time Machine service, open the Server app, click on Time Machine in the SERVICES sidebar. If the service hasn’t been enabled to date, the ON/OFF switch will be in the OFF position and no “Backup destination” will be shown in the Settings pane.

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Click on the ON button to see the New Destination screen, used to configure a list of volumes as a destinations for Time Machine backups. The selection volume should be large enough to have space for all of the users that can potentially use the Time Machine service hosted on the server. When you click the Choose button, a list of volumes appears in a standard Finder selection screen.

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Here, click on the volume to save your backups to in the sidebar. In most cases the Backup destination will be a mass storage device and not the boot volume of the computer. Once selected, click Choose and then if desired, limit the amount of storage on the volume to be used for backups. Click Create and a share called Backups is created and the service will start. Don’t touch anything until the service starts. Once started, add a backup destination at any time using the plus sign button (“+”) and defining another destination.

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Time Machine Server works via Bonjour. Open the Time Machine System Preference pane and then click on the Select Backup Disk button from a client to see the server in the list of available targets, much as you would do with an Apple Time Capsule.

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Under the hood, a backup share is creating in the file sharing service. To see the attributes of this share, use the serveradmin command followed by the settings option and then the sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:, so for a path of /Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups use:

sudo serveradmin settings sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups

The output indicates the options configured for the share, including how locking is handled, guest access disabled, generated identifiers and the protocols the backups share listens as:

sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:name = "Backups"
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:smbName = "Backups"
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:nfsExportRecord = _empty_array
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:afpIsGuestAccessEnabled = no
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:isTimeMachineBackup = yes
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:dsAttrTypeNative\:sharepoint_group_id = "F4610C2C-70CD-47CF-A75B-3BAFB26D9EF3"
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:isIndexingEnabled = yes
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:mountedOnPath = "/Volumes/New Volume 1"
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:dsAttrTypeStandard\:GeneratedUID = "FAB13586-2A2A-4DB2-97C7-FDD2D747A0CD"
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:path = "/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups"
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:smbIsShared = no
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:smbIsGuestAccessEnabled = no
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:afpName = "Backups"
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:smbDirectoryMask = "755"
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:afpIsShared = yes
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:smbCreateMask = "644"
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:ftpName = "Backups"
sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:timeMachineBackupUUID = "844A1C43-61C9-4F99-91DE-C105EA95BD45"

Once the service is running, administrators frequently fill up the target volume. To move data to another location, first stop the service and then move the folder (e.g. using mv). Once moved, use the serveradmin command to send settings to the new backup path. For example, to change the target to /Volumes/bighonkindisk, use the following command:

sudo serveradmin settings sharing:sharePointList:_array_id:/Shared Items/Backups:path = "/Volumes/bighonkindisk"

Another way to see the share and attributes of the share is through the sharing command:

sharing -l

Which should show output similar to the following:

List of Share Points
name: Backups
path: /Shared Items/Backups
afp: {
name: Backups
shared: 1
guest access: 0
inherit perms: 0
}
ftp: {
name: Backups
shared: 0
guest access: 0
}
smb: {
name: Backups
shared: 0
guest access: 0
}

There’s also a Bonjour service published that announces to other clients on the same subnet that the server can be used as a backup destination (the same technology used in a Time Capsule). One major update from back in Mavericks Server is the addition of the timemachine service in the severadmin command line interface. To see the command line settings for Time Machine:

sudo serveradmin settings timemachine

The output shows that share info is displayed as with the sharing service, but you can also see the GUID assigned to each share that is a part of the backup pool of storage:

timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:dsAttrTypeStandard\:GeneratedUID = "FAB13586-2A2A-4DB2-97C7-FDD2D747A0CD"
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:smbName = "Backups"
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:afpIsGuestAccessEnabled = no
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:smbDirectoryMask = "755"
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:afpName = "Backups"
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:smbCreateMask = "644"
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:nfsExportRecord = _empty_array
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:path = "/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups"
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:smbIsGuestAccessEnabled = no
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:name = "Backups"
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:ftpName = "Backups"
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:smbIsShared = no
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:afpIsShared = yes
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:timeMachineBackupUUID = "844A1C43-61C9-4F99-91DE-C105EA95BD45"
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:isTimeMachineBackup = yes
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:backupQuota = 0
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:dsAttrTypeNative\:sharepoint_group_id = "F4610C2C-70CD-47CF-A75B-3BAFB26D9EF3"
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:isIndexingEnabled = yes
timemachine:sharePointList:_array_id:/Volumes/New Volume 1/Shared Items/Backups:mountedOnPath = "/Volumes/New Volume 1"
Additionally you can also query for the service to verify it’s running using full status:
sudo serveradmin fullstatus timemachine
Which outputs something similar to the following:
timemachine:command = "getState"
timemachine:state = "RUNNING"

While I found plenty to ramble on about in this article, Mass deployment is still the same, as is client side configuration.

October 15th, 2016

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Time Machine

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We covered using Time Machine Server previously. Here, we’re going to look at backing up the settings of an OS X Server. To do so, we’re going to install a little app called Bender from the great folks at Robot Cloud. You can download that from http://robotcloud.screenstepslive.com/s/2459/m/5322/l/94467-bender-automated-backup-of-os-x-server-settings.

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Once downloaded, run the package installer.

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At the Welcome to Bender screen, click Continue.

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Agree to the licensing agreement by clicking the Continue button.

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Click Agree again (assuming of course that you agree to the license).

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Choose who you wish to install the software for and click Continue.

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I’d go ahead and install Bender at the default location, so click Install. Once the installer is complete, you can view the installed LaunchDaemon at /Library/LaunchDaemons/net.robotcloud.bender.plist. Note that it calls the /usr/local/robotcloud/bin/bender binary when run at 22:00 every day. If you edit this file, the following settings are available:

host=$(hostname)
macOS=$(sw_vers | awk ‘/ProductVersion/{print substr($2,1,5)}’ | tr -d “.”)
macSN=$(system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | awk ‘/Serial Number/{print $4}’)
date=$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H%M)
pass=$(system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | awk ‘/Hardware UUID/{print $3}’)
logPath=”/usr/local/robotcloud/logs/bender.log”
pipPath=”/usr/local/robotcloud/bin/scroobiuspip”
pipTitle=”Bender Backup Error on: $macSN”
backupDestination=”/Backups/$date”
keepUntil=”14″
version=”2.3″
versionCheck=”$1″

The most important of these is the backupDestination. You can set this to be the /Backups folder as it is above, or set it to be an external drive. Either should be backed up using your standard backup software.

October 8th, 2015

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security

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There’s a quick and easy IT Business Edge slideshow at http://www.itbusinessedge.com/slideshows/the-5-mobile-apps-you-really-need-for-smb-success.html that I helped with about 5 Mobile Apps You Really Need for SMB Success.

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Hope you enjoy!

August 10th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel, iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment, Network Infrastructure

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Yay, podcasts! Chuck Joiner was kind enough to have me on MacVoices. We did a show, now available at http://www.macvoices.com/macvoices-14223-charles-edge-helps-take-control-os-x-server

Or if you’d like to watch on YouTube or inline:

http://youtu.be/AeccoRqIrgc

November 26th, 2014

Posted In: iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security

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WIndows Server’s ntbackup tools have become easier and easier to use over time. But there’s no more ntbackup. Well, there’s wbadmin, which is very similar. You can still restore data by downloading ntbackups restore tool at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=974674. 

Windows Backup is now capable of backing up a system with the same ease of use that Apple brought to automated backups with Time Machine and Time Machine Server. In fact, providing access to only a few more options Microsoft’s tools provide access to some pretty nice options, easily configured.

To get started, you’ll first need to install the Windows Backup Role. To do so, use the Add Roles and Features Wizard in Windows Server 2012 to add the Windows Backup role. Once added, open Server Manager and then click on the Tools menu, selecting Windows Server Backup.

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From Windows Server backup, you can enter the name of an Azure account to configure cloud based backups. However, in this walkthrough we’re going to choose local backups, which really for us means to a network share rather than the cloud, although we could back up to a USB drive or some other internal drive as well. Click Local Backup, then click Configure. Click on Backup Schedule… to bring up the Backup Schedule Wizard. At the Getting Started screen, click on the Next button.

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At the Server Backup Configuration screen of the Backup Schedule Wizard, choose whether to back up all the data or perform a custom backup, which allows you to define only certain files to back up. I like to back up all the data for the most part, so we’re going to go with the full server and click Next.

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At the Specify Backup Time screen, choose the appropriate times of the day to back the server up and click on the Next button.

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At the Specify Destination Type screen, choose where you’d like to back your data up to and then click on the Next button. As mentioned, we’re going to back data up to a network share.

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At the Specify Remote Shared Folder screen, provide a path to the network path that you’d like to back your files up to.

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The backups should then be tested and validated before putting a system into long-term production. The command line tool used to manage backups is wbadmin. The wbadmin has the following verbs available to it:

  • enable backup – modifies existing backups or makes new schedules
  • disable backup – disables a backup schedule
  • start backup – starts a one-time backup job
  • stop job – stops running recovery or backup jobs that are currently in progress
  • get versions – shows the details of backups for recovery
  • get items – lists the contents of a backup
  • start recovery – runs a recovery job
  • get disks – shows online disks
  • get virtualmachines – shows Hyper-V VMs
  • start systemstaterecovery – recovers the system state backup from a valid system state backup
  • start systemstatebackup – makes a system state backup
  • delete systemstatebackup – deletes a system state backup
  • delete backup – deletes a backup
  • delete catalog – used if a catalog gets corrupt usually, to delete a catalog of backups
  • restore catalog – only use this option to attempt to fix corrupted catalogs, restores a catalog

Note: In addition to these options, there are even more commands available to Powershell. These are pretty well documented at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee706683.aspx.

So while you will still need a 3rd party tool if you wish to backup to tape or you need very complex features, there’s now a very easy to use tool, that integrates cloud and local storage backups for Windows Server and is just about as easy to manage and configure as Apple’s Time Machine is on OS X or OS X Server.

June 13th, 2013

Posted In: Active Directory, Windows Server

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Arek Dreyer and Ben Greisler have been at it again. The latest editions of the Apple Training Series books are now out, providing a guide to getting certified with OS X Server. I haven’t gotten mine yet, but I suspect that the book, as with the previous books, will be excellent.

To quote the book description:

The only Apple-certified book on OS X Server on Mountain Lion, this comprehensive reference takes support technicians and ardent Mac users deep inside the server for the latest operating system, covering everything from networking technologies to service administration, customizing users and groups, and more. Aligned to the learning objectives of the Apple Certified Technical Coordinator certification exam, the lessons in this self-paced volume serves as a perfect supplement to Apple’s own training class and a first-rate primer for computer support personnel who need to support and maintain OS X Server on Mountain Lion as part of their jobs. Step-by-step exercises reinforce the concepts taught through practical application. Quizzes summarize and reinforce acquired knowledge. The Newest version of OS X is more business-friendly than ever, making it simple to get a network up and running quickly, and IT professionals will need Server Essentials to integrate Macs into their organizations.

The Apple Pro Training Series serves as both a self-paced learning tool and the official curriculum for the OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Server on Mountain Lion certification programs.

The Apple Support Essentials book is out as well (thanks, Mr. White!). Its description is as follows:

The only Apple-certified book on OS X Mountain Lion, this revised best-seller will take you deep inside the latest big-cat operating system–covering everything from installation and configuration, customizing the operating system, supporting applications, setting up peripherals, and more. Whether you’re a support technician or simply an ardent Mac user, you’ll quickly learn and master the new features in OS X Mountain Lion. Following the learning objectives of the Apple Certified Support Professional exam, this self-paced book is a perfect guide for Apple’s training and a first-rate primer for computer support personnel who need to troubleshoot and optimize OS X Mountain Lion as part of their jobs. Step-by-step exercises reinforce the concepts taught through practical application. Chapter review sections and quizzes summarize and reinforce acquired knowledge.

The Apple Pro Training Series serves as both a self-paced learning tool and the official curriculum for OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Mountain Lion Server certification programs.

January 8th, 2013

Posted In: certifications, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment

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I’m often asked what I think of upgrading the firmware on servers and storage.  My answer there, if it’s a production box and it isn’t broken then don’t fix it…  What if you’re upgrading the firmware on a RAID or RAID card and the device becomes unresponsive?  There’s usually a reason to upgrade, but if you are not experiencing problems then why risk a potential outage if you do not need to?

August 22nd, 2007

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server

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July 20th, 2007

Posted In: Mac OS X Server

Tags: ,