Grow­ing a small busi­ness net­work

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

Our busi­ness cur­rently runs five Macs and we need a se­cure, shared net­work drive with a backup so­lu­tion. We also need re­mote ac­cess to files and back­ing up with Time Ma­chine. We also have a por­ta­ble drive as an al­ter­na­tive for two Macs that con­tain crit­i­cal data.

I’m think­ing of re­plac­ing the old Time Cap­sule with the lat­est Air­port Ex­treme. The lo­cal Ap­ple busi­ness team hinted at the pos­si­bil­ity of run­ning OS X Server on one of our Macs and con­nect­ing that Mac with a USB or Thun­der­bolt ex­ter­nal drive.

To add to the fun, we’d like a way to au­to­mat­i­cally ar­chive emails from Out­look for Mac to the shared drive and be able to search th­ese archived emails us­ing Spot­light. Ken de Boer

You’re mak­ing this much more com­pli­cated than it needs to be, by treat­ing the backup for your Macs and the backup for the shared net­work drive as con­cep­tu­ally the same thing. They are ac­tu­ally quite dif­fer­ent.

A Time Cap­sule is the eas­i­est way to back up all five Macs but its no good for net­worked drives. Net­work At­tached Stor­age (NAS) drives are ac­tu­ally com­pact com­put­ers that share their hard disks on the net­work. Time Ma­chine will back up to cer­tain NAS drives but this is sim­ply treat­ing the NAS as an off-brand Time Cap­sule.

The only way to back up the NAS us­ing Time Ma­chine would be to pe­ri­od­i­cally take the NAS off the net­work and mount it lo­cally on one of your Macs. This would pre­vent oth­ers ac­cess­ing the NAS un­til it is re­con­nected to the net­work. It’s bet­ter to let the NAS han­dle its own backup. Many NAS drives can back up to ei­ther a drive di­rectly con­nected us­ing USB, or over the net­work to an­other NAS. Sea­gate’s Busi­ness Stor­age range can do this, for ex­am­ple, and you can ad­min­is­ter the backup process re­motely through a web browser.

To ar­chive your emails, you need a bit of lat­eral think­ing. You can cre­ate a rule in Out­look for all in­com­ing mes­sages and set the ac­tion to ‘print it’. If you in­stall the CUPSPDF driver (http://bit.ly/mf_cups­driver), you can set the de­fault printer to out­put PDF files, and put th­ese on the NAS. Spot­light ought to search their con­tents for you.

The CUPS-PDF driver lets you de­fault to sav­ing PDF files in­stead of pro­duc­ing pa­per print­outs.

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