Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Time Machine backups in a Microsoft & VMWare World.

We’ve been faced with the challenge of supporting a couple of iMacs on our corporate network due to the requirement of delivering iPhone apps internally and to the Apple App Store via Xcode.  Lately, the demise of the Time Capsule had us scratching our heads about where Apple’s direction is going. My local “business” Apple guy keeps asking me why we don’t add more macs to our network and the answer is really simple – Apple doesn’t support the environment. He had zero thoughts or recommendations expect to buy some one-off NAS.

Our corporate network is very typical: Microsoft servers virtualized with VMWare and a bunch of PCs running windows. Very simple. Add in some Rapid Recovery backup / snapshot / replication software and we’ve got a great solution for day-to-day as well as disaster recovery (which was implemented successfully during hurricane Irma in 2017.)

I came across this post link and used it as a starting point.  

Here’s what we did:
1)    Follow the post to setup a 1 TB sparse bundle (virtual drive) on my local mac.  It was timing out due to the size, so I made it local first.
2)    Spool up a new Windows 2016 Server VM (SMB 3 support by default) with a shared folder. We started with a 1 TB capacity just to handle the new sparse bundle.
3)    Once #1 was complete, we copied the SMB file to the windows share.
4)    Following the post, I added the new SMB -on-the-share to the Time Machine list of drives
5)    Start using it.

As a test, after a couple of backups we booted a mac into recovery mode and successfully attached to the windows share from the recovery tool using the "other server" button. 

1)    No cost
2)    Cradle to grave integration – works from backup to recovery
3)    Solution is based in VMWare so all of the inherent redundancy and performance is built in
4)    Since the server is in VMWare, the backup, snapshot and replication offsite is already built in. This means that if our building burns down, I can recover a new mac 1000 miles away just like it was in my old office.

Note: Apple business dude had ZERO participation in this. The path was blazed by Anthony Casella

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I blame my Dad

Growing up, my Dad taught me how to drive at an early age.  By 15 we were already driving our vintage, multi-colored black VW bug around the church parking lot and on occasion, he’d let us drive the mile home thru the neighborhood. There were really two basic rules from my Dad: (1) get out of the left lane and (2) get your foot off the clutch.  Here we are 40 years later and the same rules apply.

Sarasota Florida is one beautiful place with a high percentage of retired folks.  Sprinkle in the unattended, unschooled and uncultured snowflake generation and we’ve got a flood of people that have either forgotten, or are ignorant to my Dad’s most-awesome teachings. Now in the state of Florida (and 44 other states) obstructing traffic in the left lane is against the law. Most states follow the Uniform Vehicle Code and require drivers to keep right if they are going slower than the prevailing speed of traffic, regardless of the speed limit.

Just this morning I was stuck behind a Bud Light truck sitting in the left lane, driving under the speed limit.  Now the guy in the right lane is awesome.  Dude you go any speed you want. But Bud Lite guy - get out of the left lane. Stop blocking rush hour traffic. 

My challenge is this: I have to learn to give up control to the person driving 37 in a 45 on a single lane road… during rush hour. My character flaw is that I love to be in control. I love to teach, direct and love on my family.  I like having responsibility in the office by virtue of some level of control. I like controlling my eating, exercise, mouth and anything else that gets me in trouble but I am challenged to not get upset with this person. 

You have the right to drive the speed limit.  I applaud that right and will never give you a hard time for it.  But… under the speed limit while you’re enjoying your retirement, is not great for the people trying to get to fuel the economy. Bud Lite guy: you're an idiot. Maybe avoid rush hour? Maybe be aware of your surroundings? Snowflakes – please get a clue. Get off your phone, let me pass and more than anything, get out of the left lane.