Apple Enterprise Backup Solutions

Overview of OS X backup options.

The most frequent question that I am asked is how someone can protect all of the data that they store on their Xserves and Xserve RAIDs. It’s a good question, too!

Most of us may have other platforms on our networks as well, so how are all of these servers and clients going to play together?

Since I was faced with this question myself, I decided to write an extensive article, detailing some of the cross-platform solutions out on the market today, primarily IBM’s TSM, Atempo’s Time Navigator and Tolis Group’s new BRU release.

The document is housed in the Projects section on my site,, and on I hope this helps shed some light on a very important decision that we all must face with Mac OS X Server deployments.

Read more Backup Solutions Webcast

The group will be presenting a Webcast on Mac OS X Backup Solutions on Tuesday, February 15 at 1:00 pm EDT.

In this webcast, Thomas Weyer, a Senior Consulting Engineer at Apple, will show you how to look at your storage requirements and build a complete storage solution including tiered storage integrated into a SAN using Xsan. The session will also take you through how to size your backup solution.

For more information on how to watch this WebCast, please visit the website:

The broadcast ID needed to view the webcast is ‘macenterprise‘.

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Get Yer Updates!

Today, Apple released version 10.3.8 of its famed Panther platform, for both the Server and Client versions.

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Preventing Login Window burn-in

Keep your monitors happy and ghost free

We have a number of machines here with colour calibrated monitors, and to keep this colour as constant as we can it means that power to the monitor can never be turned off. While modern monitors are certainly better than they used to be in dealing with burn-in, we noticed this was becomming an issue for us, so, here’s a tip on how to run the screensaver over the login window.

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A better fix for the QuickTime Installer Dialog

Ed. Note: This is a rather clever way of defeating the dreaded QuickTime registration dialog. However it does require access to the package before deployment. It also is a good example of some of the things that pre and post-install scripts do within packages.

Here at my University I deploy the QuickTime updates not via SoftwareUpdate but with rsync, cron, and the QuickTime.pkg. You can edit the preflight script inside the package where you find the following text.

"# Marketing (aka Amy Fazio) sez we don't need to bring up the registration dialog anymore
# but let's just comment it out for now in case they change their minds. - duano! 3/16/04
# ... see, QT BRB did change their minds on this. Putting it back until Gibson - duano! 3/17/04
# Putting it back in again for Legal reasons (QT5Pro users need to know they're gonna lose functionality)."

Delete the dialog crap underneath and there you go.


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GeoCenter’s Xserve Cluster Setup Guide

GeoCenter has deployed a new 100 node Xserve G5 cluster that will be used for running distributed processing applications from GeoCenter’s SeisUP� seismic processing system.

We have published information on our website describing the tools and techniques we used to setup and manage the cluster, including Radmind for managing system images, Apple’s Server Assistant for auto-configuring each node, and a number of custom Perl scripts written by GeoCenter developer Michael Beam. We also provide information regarding the differences between Mac OS X and other Unix platforms that we encountered while porting our code to Mac OS X. The techniques we developed allowed us to reduce the deployment process to a short process of booting each system from an external hard disk, which then imaged and auto-configured the system. All of these item have been packaged into one disk image (compressed .dmg) download available on our website.

The website can be found at:

Some of the information is still under development and will be updated soon. Please contact me for more information or any questions.

We are already seeing some pretty impressive results from the cluster and hope to provide some performance numbers in the near future.

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Command to return currently used network interface?

Ed. Note: There are a number of ways of doing this, so I'm curious as to what people are using in their scripts?does anyone no of a terminal command that will reveal which network interface (built-in ethernet, AirPort, etc.) is currently in use? it can return en0 or en1. i'm not looking for whether the port is active, but the one that is currently being used.

thank you,


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Simple Print Accounting System for Mac OS X Server

A customer of ours needs to implement a simple accounting system for their printers. They are using a Mac OS X Server as a printserver for the users. That seems to work ok, but the problem is that there is no kind of accounting system. Neither the admin nor the users have any ideas of the users’ present quota situation.

Browsing the web we found two solutions; NINja seems to be overkill and PyKota doesn’t seem to be easy to implement.
Any ideas of easier solutions? A daily script thats gathers info from the appropriate logs and NetInfo records and puts it into a database would do fine.

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Logout Script

We have a client that uses a few apple computers as kiosks.

When a person logs onto the machine they want them to let it be active for 30 minutes then to have it logout. They also wanted the machine to warn them when they had 5 minutes left. I wrote an applescript that will do this. If anyone wants to use it your more then welcome to.

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Installing blojsom with Open Directory Authentication

You may have heard about the upcoming integration of theblojsom blog server in Tiger Server when it comes out.
I really like blojsom, and have been running it for a while now. It is far easier to administer for multi-user and multi-blog setups than anything else I’ve experimented with, and offers some awesome features.

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