How to backup data on 15 MacBooks?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by flyfish29, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #1
    I am helping a group of people open up a new elementary charter school here in NH and we will be Mac based.

    I will have:
    15 macbooks- five with DVD superdrives
    1 airport extreme base
    HP all in one printer/fax/scanner

    The teachers will be taking digital video on a JVC HD video camera, taking plenty of digital pics, etc so I will want to devise a simple solution to back up all the video data not to mention all the word/powerpoint/excel files that will be created by students, teachers, and administration.

    I am the volunteer tech person and am fine setting up everything for the wireless through aiport and maintaining the macs.

    How can I easily back up data from all 15 macbooks automatically. I don't want to have to manually back them up as I won't be working at the school except to do basic maintenance. What are my options. Please recommend different options of varrying costs please. However, I have quite a bit of grant funding if necessary to pay for a system that will automatically backup all those computers easily.
     
  2. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #2
    Hmm... I'm not that knowledgeable about networking and such, but have you considered a separate server to store all the data, or network hard drives? You could use something like SilverKeeper or Carbon Copy Cloner to have the data automatically backed up at a set time.

    I dunno, that's what I'd do, but again, I don't know much about this kind of thing... just gettin' the ball rolling!
     
  3. EvilDoc macrumors 6502a

    EvilDoc

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Location:
    Circumventing the multi-verse...
    #3
    Im going out on a limp here but wont Apple Remote Desktop work for maintaining all the Macs?
     
  4. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #4
    Since its a school you are going to want to set up a server. As the school will only grow. I volunteer and assistant the on staff IT person at my school. We have windows, but still have started off when we were smaller with a single server that did everything. And we had a tape drive for backups. The server sat under the secretaries desk.(bad for dust)

    So you should probable start off with some type of xserve.

    Someone with more knowledge of xserves would be able to tell you what type. I am unsure, as i only use windows servers. But you will want either RAID 5, or RAID 1. Our data server is RAID 5, and our other two new servers are RAID 1 as they are just domain, email, and webserver. You may also want to upgrade to 10,000RPM drives as it is a server......

    Another thing you may find helpful if you need a firewall. You could use m0n0wall http://www.m0n0.ch/wall/ This way you could set up remote login to your server for yourself via ipsec VPN. It will run on any PC that you can find. We run it for 75 clients and its only on a 600mhz machine and thats over kill. I have a friend who ran it on a 233mhz machine and he never maxed it out.
     
  5. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #5
    I have the latest versions of OS X Server and Remote Desktop.

    Remote desktop - won't help you for what you want, honestly. you want OS X Server.

    it can maintain everything from dock position to where they can go and whatnot.

    definitely OS X Server.

    mine's running on a G4 iBook 1.42 that's broken (screen) and you could just set it up on a 500MHz G3 iMac or something, getting an actual XServe is a bit rediculous.

    just my opinion. :)

    Any more questions, pm me or IM me. :)
     
  6. flyfish29 thread starter macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #6
    This is a start- keep the ideas coming. I forgot to mention that the school is only 35 students and will grow to no more than 90. We will add computers in the future at some point. I guess for student work to be saved it would be nice to have server hard drive space for the student to save work on and then just have the teachers save their work on their laptops so they can easily work from home. But do I really need X-Serve to do this for such a small school? I really need this system simple to set up and simple to manage.

    thanks for the great thoughts so far!
     
  7. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #7
    My opinion would be to get a network attached storage drive that is probably 500GB or 1 terrabyte (or more if you expect a lot of data) and just have all the macbooks attached to that drive and backup their data to in daily using like backup 3 or something and then you would have all the data in one place and it would be easy to access.
     
  8. 61132 Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    #8
    I would also recommend a program called deepfreeze. It "freezes" your systems at a set state, so if a student screws the computers settings up, or deletes system files, you can just reboot and all is back to normal.

    Just remember to remind everyone, if they save a word document on the computer, instead of the server, it goes "poof" after a reboot :)
     
  9. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #9
    If its going to be that small, even a imac could probably handle it just fine. But then you don't have much room for hard drives. So then you could go with a refurbished tower. But I would suggest getting a server. I am not sure how that would work if you want them to take there computer home. Someone with more experience would have to say how that would work.
     
  10. flyfish29 thread starter macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #10
    This sounds great- but isn't Backup only for .Mac users? Should I just use retrospect?

    I like the idea of having all students save work to an external hard drive- that way if a student has a different computer to work on the next day they can always access their work.

    What about this set up:
    Students save to a big fat hard drive.
    Teachers save to their macbooks.
    I have retrospect back up teacher computers to the hard drive weekly. Then I just have to back-up the student work to a DVD off the hard drive every month or so.

    How do I tie that hard drive into a network- do I simply hook up the hard drive into the administrative assistant's Mac and have all the computers back-up to it throught he wireless? Does anyone have any links to a web site that will help me set up a basic network system like I am describing?
    Thanks for all your help so far.
     
  11. flyfish29 thread starter macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #11
    I like the idea of Deepfreeze- Just curious- because I don't think it would work for what I want, but is it possible to partition the hard drives of the student Macbooks, put the OS and deepfreeze on one partition and have the second partition to save student work on?
     
  12. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #12
    Why don't you just have the students run as normal users? They can only mess up their own user accounts.
     
  13. flyfish29 thread starter macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #13
    We are talking K-8 eventually, the school opens up K-4 and will add grades each year. I don't want a student to not be able to do a project because they mess up their account or move things. Also, students will need to work on different machines at different times since not every student will have a computer- we don't have room yet for a computer lab. We are putting three or four laptops in each of the three classrooms, then will gather them up to create a "lab" when a teacher wants to do a larger project with more students.
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #14
    Well the thing is that DeepFreeze is Windows only. Nice program but it's kinda necessary for a Windows lab. On a reboot it just switches back to it's frozen state. If there's a power outage you can have it cross check with the old users authentication and have a safe folder that isn't wiped. It'll wipe itself if someone else logs in though.
     
  15. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #15
    At my school they just have a server there and all the data gets stored on that and it's attached to the network. You could do the same thing by making them save the files onto the server and nothing onto the macbooks.
     
  16. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #16
    Yeah it makes life so much easier. Like at our school someones computer dies we just swap it with a new one. DONE. Someone bashes in a tower. Suspend them replace computer. No data lose.
     
  17. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #17
    That's a network mounted home directory. (a.k.a. Roaming Profiles in Windows)
     
  18. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
  19. supremedesigner macrumors 6502a

    supremedesigner

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Gainesville, Fl
    #19
    I was going to say retrospect but we stopped using it :eek: We use xserve but that's probably out of question though. Retrospect is a good program BUT not sure if it will run OK on Intel Mac under rosetta.

    EDIT: You can use Retrospect and harddrive but not sure about tapebackup since the tape can messed up easily. IMO.
     
  20. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    I'm still very sucessfully using Retrospect and an ATL SDLT-I.
     
  21. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #21
    I'd say get a G5 tower (you can get a used one off eBay...it doesn't have to be that fast), load it up with RAM and hard drives 2-3 GB of RAM and 500-1000 GB of hard drive space should do it.

    Designate a space in the school for computers/tech stuff, where you'll have the internet, routers, Airport, etc. Set up the G5 there, wired into the network. RAID the hard drives together for contiguous storage.

    Install and set up Retrospect on each of the MacBooks to backup their /Users folders to the G5. You can even schedule them to turn on late at night, back up, and turn off again.

    If you want extra data security, set up a tape drive on the G5 and have it back itself up to that every other day.
     
  22. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
  23. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #23
    Yeah...

    Computer $750

    500 GBHard Drives x2 $290x2

    2gb RAM $282

    Retrospect

    Then you're covered for quite a while. Should work very well.
     

Share This Page