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 Post subject: Buy or Build?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Bit of context - I started researching my options for consolidating and backing up my media library last Nov when my HTPC HDD crashed. I considered DLink DNS321 (NAS with RAID1), DROBO and a backup server. Ultimately I realized MSS is probably the best option I have. Thanks for the posts on this forum in general for some pointers. :mss:

Unfortunately, by the time I decided to buy, HP and NewEgg were out of stock and I did not want to spend more than $600 on MSS from other vendors. Ultimately, I decided to buy a HP Proliant ML110 G6 and install WHS myself. Its been doing a great job for last few weeks and I am able to automatically backup my Windows machines. I still have a lingering issue... :roll:

We have couple of Macs at home and I have not been able to successfully backup Macs (even with iTimeMachine). Maybe because I always partition my machines with at least two partitions - one for the OS and other for the data.

I need bit of advise - Does it make sense to just buy a MSS instead of tinkering with DIY machine? I have an option to return the HP Proliant. :-k

Thank you in advance.

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 Post subject: Re: Buy or Build?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:17 pm 
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Even the HP MediaSmarts, which have built in Mac support, only support one Mac at a time :(

You can manually configure your Mac's to backup over a network - and it will support more than one!

There are many guides out there, this one seemed to be quite well done:

http://safalra.com/other/time-machine-network-drive/


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 Post subject: Re: Buy or Build?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:32 pm 
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EricE wrote:
Even the HP MediaSmarts, which have built in Mac support, only support one Mac at a time :(


I've never heard of this limitation and see no reference in the HP help files, can you point me to where this is documented? :-k I've only got one Mac in the house so can't test, but I know of no technical limitation that would limit the MSS to a single Mac and believe I've heard of other users in these forums with more than one Mac.

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 Post subject: Re: Buy or Build?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:34 am 
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EricE wrote:
Even the HP MediaSmarts, which have built in Mac support, only support one Mac at a time :(


If by that you mean simultaneously, that might be true. I can't say I have ever attempted to trigger simultaneous TM backups from my two Macs in order to test this. I do have two Macs and their TM backups are both hosted on the same MSS box. If they have ever collided in the 14 months that my server has been up and running, they have not done so in a way that made me aware that there was ever a collision.

WHS and HP's TM driver have a number of limitations, but as far as I know this is not one of them.

Manually configuring TM backups is unreliable, and a bit of a PITA. I have not been able to make it work at all on a Server 2008 machine I am running. I have not tried it with WHS v1 (no need thanks to HP), but WHS v2 appears to support it enough that it's simply a PITA and not unreliable. I place an extremely high value on reliability when it comes to backups.

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 Post subject: Re: Buy or Build?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:47 pm 
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Cliff wrote:
I do have two Macs and their TM backups are both hosted on the same MSS box. If they have ever collided in the 14 months that my server has been up and running, they have not done so in a way that made me aware that there was ever a collision.


Hmm, whenever I go to set up a second Mac, it erases the "volume" of the first Mac.

I haven't found anything in the HP documentation that speaks to the issue one way or the other. If I am missing something that is obvious, I would love to know a way around it. When I try to create a backup disk via the HP Media Smart System preference, it always prompts me to Delete and Continue since a backup disk already exists.

EDIT: Ah, I just skipped the prompt to Delete and Continue and "started" the backup disk in the Media Smart system preference and it's letting be back up a second Mac to the same backup disk now. My bad! Of course, my backup disk is now too small :( So I'll have to resize it to support multiple Macs - but at least I can do that now! Ack, now I will run the risk of needing a backup disk larger than the largest hard drive I have in my WHS. Well, it's not perfect but it will cover my portable Mac's nicely.

At least that point of confusion is cleared up. I stand corrected! Thanks for prompting me to try again. I was assuming I would need one backup disk per computer. Which would be more desirable since I wouldn't run into issues of having a Mac backup disk larger than my largest hard drive. So, it will support multiple Mac's, but it still won't replace the Drobo on my Mac Pro with it's large internal RAID array.

Pretty nice. More disappointed than ever now that HP dropped WHS :(


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 Post subject: Re: Buy or Build?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:00 pm 
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EricE wrote:
EDIT: Ah, I just skipped the prompt to Delete and Continue and "started" the backup disk in the Media Smart system preference and it's letting be back up a second Mac to the same backup disk now. My bad! Of course, my backup disk is now too small :( So I'll have to resize it to support multiple Macs - but at least I can do that now! Ack, now I will run the risk of needing a backup disk larger than the largest hard drive I have in my WHS. Well, it's not perfect but it will cover my portable Mac's nicely.


It still sounds like you're doing something wrong. Viewing the share directly, you should have one file for each computer on your Mac share. The file name corresponds to the serial number of the computer to which the backup belongs and the extension is macbackup. If you look at it through HP's driver (via the TM mount) then it looks like a normal TM backup.


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EricE
 Post subject: Re: Buy or Build?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:31 am 
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Cliff wrote:
It still sounds like you're doing something wrong. Viewing the share directly, you should have one file for each computer on your Mac share.


That is indeed the case! The only thing I did wrong was over-analyze it :) I hope Vail offer similar functionality with it's "Mac Support" or I'm going to really be missing HP having an entry in the WHS market :(


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