So I just did my first roll out of Leopard server to a client (one server, six iMacs), and I've run into most of the problems everyone's been having (AFP connection issues, iCal server issues, etc.). Due to the wonderfully large brains that visit this site and the Apple discussion boards, I've got it working together finally. So I felt it was time for me to contribute some of my hopefully good wisdom and share what I did for Time Machine.
Of course I was seduced by the ease of Time Machine (TM for short) and the interface that would let the users recover files simply without harassing IT. But reality set in and I quickly realized that Time Machine does not back up well over the network, even to Leopard Server, which supposedly is made to support it. On top of that, I, like every other sane server admin worth his salt, wants a rotating backup that can be taken off site. For small offices, the best option is usally two external FireWire drives rotated weekly. During Tiger, I used rsync
on all the client machines in an office and had them back up directly to the external drive on the office server. When they were swapped out, rsync
would keep on backing up as long as the drives and backup destination folder were named the same.
I had hoped that Time Machine would be intelligent to handle this too, but obviously it can't. If the drive is swapped out, the next time TM tries to connect, it fails and I have to manually go to each workstation and tell it to choose the network share I created on the server as a TM destination again. Obviously going around to every client on a weekly basis to do this would suck. So I started my thinking cap and tried to come up with a solution that would give the user the awesome Time Machine interface, but back up over the network to my external drive that gets rotated.
After reading on this site that you could point TM to a partition on your main drive as a backup destination after getting past the "if your drive fails" warning, I figured it out. My clients had new iMacs with 250GB drives, and since they were storing their data on the server, they didn't really need much storage. So using Disk Utility, I added a second partition and shrunk the main partition (thank you Apple for giving us the ability to do this non-destructively in 10.5), so that I had a 150GB main partition and a 100GB backup partition.