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354 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 17, 2013 1:54 AM by John Lockwood RSS
ajm_from_WA Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 15, 2013 5:22 PM

I have setup a pair of mac mini servers

#1 runs DNS, OD, and hosts my network user accounts

 

#2 runs DNS and does file sharing

 

Does #2 need to run its own DNS?  Can i have that all done by #1?  Should I?  How would I add the entries.

 

It seems like it would make sense to make #2 and OD replica of #1 in case #1 fails. Anyone have good recommendations of how I could backup all the user folders from #1 and make them available to #2 if #1 croaks?

Mac mini, OS X Server
  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2013 8:01 AM (in response to ajm_from_WA)

    In theory Server #2 does not need to run DNS. If you did run two separate DNS servers for the same domain (even a private internal one), you would have to be very careful to make sure they contain exactly the same records.

     

    Either you would run just one DNS server, or another option is to make the second server a 'Secondary' DNS server, the first one would be the 'Primary' DNS server. With this setup the Primary would automatically send changes to the secondary, and if the primary failed the secondary would still work.

     

    With regards to Open Directory, yes it would be a good idea to make the second server an Open Directory replica of the main server.

     

    If you want to setup a system so home directories are still available then unfortunately Apple do not make this easy (some would argue not even possible). However an approach you could consider would be as follows.

     

    Note: This requires having a server acting as the 'spare' but until it becomes active it is not doing anything itself. Therefore in this case you might need to think about buying another one.

     

    • Setup first server as planned to run OD and home directories
    • You need however to use an external FireWire or Thunderbolt drive, or if you have a bigger budget go for a full-blown SAN setup for the storage
    • Clone the first servers boot drive on to a second identical Mac
    • Leave the second Mac turned off but connect it to the same storage as the first server that contains the home directories etc.
    • Get a managed power strip like this http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=AP7900 it can turn off the first server if it dies or crashes, and then turn on the second one

     

    A second slightly different but equally valid setup is to

     

    • Setup first server as planned to run OS and home directories
    • You need however to use an external FireWire or Thunderbolt drive, or if you have a bigger budget go for a full-blown SAN setup for the storage
    • Clone the first servers boot drive on to a second identical Mac
    • Boot the second Mac in Target Disk Mode and connect it to the first server via FireWire or Thunderbolt and to the storage used for the home directories etc.
    • Setup a task to periodically sync the first server boot drive to the second Mac
    • Get a managed power strip like this http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=AP7900 it can turn off the first server if it dies or crashes, and then reboot  the second one to take over its duties
  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2013 6:47 PM (in response to ajm_from_WA)

    If you have the second server on and running on the network at the same time as the first it cannot use the same IP address as the first server and therefore has to be configured differently so the answer is no.

  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 17, 2013 1:54 AM (in response to ajm_from_WA)

    The two methods I listed also require a restart and would make network user folders available after the restart but my methods mean the user data is always 100% up to date.

     

    Your method would also require a restart and would make network user folders available after the restart but in your case any changes after the last sync would be lost. You would also need twice as much storage space since you would have a full copy of the network user folders indepentently on both servers.

     

    I use an external Promise R4 Thunderbolt (RAID5) system to store the data and this could be connected as I described to both servers.

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