BACK UP HELP NEED!! (external hard drive)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jecodob, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. jecodob macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2009
    Hello all!

    I need some advice here on external hardrive back up.

    My small business is going through a transition from pc to macs, it is taking longer than i hoped for due to funds and users learning the new format of OSX.

    Currently i run macs and pcs and we have to servers one of which runs Microsoft server or exchange...

    Before i started the switch everyone's computer backed up through the exchange server.

    I would like to continue something similar with the macs, keep in mind ounce we switch the office to macs will still use the exchange server since all our emails, calendars and out office will still rely on it.


    What is the best option for data back up wth my given circumstances, i was thinking using a drobo or similar device where i can freely take out and replace hardrives.

    I want the macs to have no problem finding these hard drives and same with the pcs. Should i have separate external hardrives for the macs and separate external hard drives for the pcs?

    I would love to be able to have all the macs use the time machine capabilities, any input is greatly appreciated.
  2. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    What's your budget?

    Have you given any thought to some form of off-site redundancy (either cloud or physical)?

    How many people will be making use of this solution?
  3. jecodob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2009
    Security is not a problem, budget is $500 or so?
  4. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    I would recommend a nice enclosure with proper cooling, raid 1 capabilities, and with an interface that won't cripple you (i.e. eSATA).

    I would then add a "3rd" layer and look into perhaps getting a Rev drive and only back up mission critical data. You can have your secretary/book keeper/controller take the Rev back-up disk home nightly/weekly to ensure that you always have an offsite back-up in case of fire/flood/etc.
  5. jecodob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2009
    Can macs and pc back up to this rive through a exchange server?

    What is esata and how does it work?
  6. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    If you don't know what eSATA is, you are going to have a LOT of trouble trying to do this with your budget and skillset.

    The Drobo is a device that can work with your limited IT skillset, but you will have a hard time fitting it inside your $500 budget if you don't already have drives for it. Keep in mind that it will completely erase any drives you stick in it if they are not already formatted to work with the Drobo (by another Drobo).

    Drobos go for around $400 (give or take $50) for the Firewire version (Firewire 800 + USB). You will either need a computer to hook it up to, or a $200 DroboShare, which will turn the Drobo into a NAS and even allow your Macs to backup directly to it (with Drobo apps).

    If you only need USB (most Windows machines don't do Firewire), go for the first generation Drobo. You will save yourself a some money, but you will be going back to a slightly older product and you will be having to buy a second-hand product.

    As far as I'm aware, Leopard has no native Exchange backup feature. Leopard handles all backups with Time Machine. This may change with Snow Leopard, but with Leopard you will need Leopard Server to manage your Macs. Apple's server offering (especially the upcoming Snow Leopard Server) closely rivals Microsoft's Exchange, and seeing how you are migrating to an all-Mac environment, you really should go ahead and change protocols. Macs just won't integrate as well with Exchange as PCs, but they integrate seamlessly with a Mac Server.
  7. jecodob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2009

    I was leaning towards the Drobo!

    I have though about using the mac server but my IT guy says to stay away from the apple server that they are horrible and can not do half of what an exchange server can do.

    I would like an apple server but the xserver are crazy expensive! I don't know if i can afford one right now. Does the apple server run on any other machine?

    My only other issues is i still need to provide email and calenders to out office pc users.
  8. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    This is partially true as the current Leopard server is lacking in a few features that exist in Exchange (although usually just implemented differently). What they are wrong about, is the fact it has many more features than any Exchange server has, it runs on a much lower powered machine for the same or greater quality of service, and even a complete newbie to IT can use it effectively. Don't forget the fact that you don't have to pay ANY recurring license fees, so it is drastically cheaper to maintain, even if the upfront cost may be higher.

    As long as your Mac meets these requirements (link for Snow Leopard Server)

    As Apple uses open standards (IMAP and CalDAV), there should be plugins for Outlook if it doesn't already support them.
    You will lose backup capabilities for them with the Exchange server gone, so you would have to use another utility.
  9. jecodob thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2009
    What if i kept pc users on the exchange server and only had mac users which would be the entire office use the apple server. WOuld that work?
  10. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    You can't deliver email to two different places or have the two servers work together. Each OS would be completely isolated.

    You may want to do some research about using PCs with Mac OSX server. As I don't own it or have PCs to try and integrate with it, some of my facts may be slightly incorrect as there may be workarounds for the problems that originate with integrating PCs. The best method is still to move the entire company to Macs.

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