When a large publishing company replaces old Mac OS 9 workstations and servers in a mixed-platform environment, it typically chooses between Windows and Mac OS X. The Las Vegas Review Journal,a company with 1,600 networked users in multiple locations, chose the latter.
“We had to stay with Macs because we used software from [Harris &] Baseview that is available only for Mac,” said Steve Olson, infrastructure manager for the Review Journal.“Also, our users didnt want to go to Windows.”
Unfortunately, the decision created integration challenges for Olson. Out of 80 servers, 30 percent run Mac OS; the others run Windows and Unix. Most of the users have Macs.
One of the biggest challenges was the backup of 6 terabytes of Mac-based publishing and advertising data.
When the company was running Mac OS 9, backup was decentralized, running Retrospect from Dantz Development Corp. EMC Corp. acquired Dantzlast fall.
“Retrospect was limited in what it could do,” said Olson. “It would just back up everything. We wanted to back up certain types of files at different times. I was [also] interested in automating everything we could.”
Retrospect also lacked the drivers and tape libraries that the Review Journalneeded. With the move to Mac OS X servers and workstations, the company decided to test other backup solutions.
“Our initial plan was to use EMC [Legato Networker] at our remote sites,” said Olson, who had been using EMC at the main Las Vegas site to back up Windows. “The problem was that there was no stand-alone version for Mac servers.” The Mac version could only be used with a Legato Windows server.
The company was also using Computer Associates Inc.s BrightStor ArcServe Backup to back up some Sun servers in the main office, but BrightStor didnt support Macs at all.
Olson said the company then asked for recommendations from Apple Computer Inc. and from Overland Storage Inc., which makes the tape library systems the company was using. Both companies recommended BakBone Software Inc.s NetVault, which supports Mac OS X servers and workstations as well as Windows, Unix and Linux.
Olson said that BakBone NetVault works well for remote sites, which are tied together with a wide area network, but which mostly dont have IT staff on site.
“Its fast, and completely automated. We can control all the backups from one location,” Olson said. “It takes the responsibility out of the control of the local personnel, allowing us to have a single administrator.” He added, “All the local staff has to do is to take last nights tape, pull it out and replace it. [NetVault] allowed us to reinforce our backup policy.”