The ARCHICAD BIM Server has a very useful built-in backup function, if configured correctly. Find below some considerations regarding a proper backup strategy.
1. On Mac OS X we find that people tend to choose Apple’s TimeMachine as their preferred backup option. Although this is a perfect solution for your regular desktop, this is problematic on a server level as it is not easy to control, e.g. the time it runs or what to include or exclude – we use the excellent Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) instead;
2. We typically adjust CCC to backup after hours, with a preflight script to stop and post flight script to start the ARCHICAD BIM Server;
3. We also adjust the BIM Server backup settings to typically only do PLN backups, to ensure that in case of catastrophic failure, you at least have PLNs that you can use temporarily without a BIM Server (unless you have a few spare BIM Servers flying around)… note PLN backups are typically bigger in size than BIMSERVER backups;
4. We also choose to run backups after hours (not all at once at 1600h – not sure how Graphisoft determined that that might be good time to have all TW projects backup at the same time…);
5. Depending on your BIM Servers capacity and the number / size of your typical project files, carefully monitor that you do not run out of space (and risk corruption of the bimservers mongo database) – unfortunately there is no way to globally adjust the default backup settings easily, i.e. it is a manual process that requires regular checking to ensure that nobody has shared a few 4GB files with the default backup settings;
6. Offsite backups are essential but depend on your willingness to rotate backup drives / tapes offsite (we do it daily) or your internet connection bandwidth for cloud based backups. Do think twice about cloud backups though, although convenient restoration / download times for several GB of BIM Server data might be prohibitive (we only do tapes and hard drives to avoid massive downtime);
One last thing to keep in mind regarding the frequency of BIM Server backups:
If your practice works in large teams and you need to restore or roll back a project file (e.g. if a single user gets detached), we find that hourly backups are not really that useful, as you typically loose as many man hours as there are team members if you reset the project for the whole team (rather than just forfeiting a single users work for the last couple of hours).
apple has improved, extended (unlimited client version only) and reduced the price to AUD 699.-
john c. welch @ macworld.com on 10.6 server…
If Apple had only cut the price in half, and kept the core OS improvements for Mac OS X 10.6 Server, it would be an OK upgrade. But that’s not the case by a long shot. Apple has added quite a few brand new features that move this from an OK upgrade to an excellent one. There are some minor issues that keep it from being outstanding, but those issues won’t affect everyone.
for the rest of his review of the most important features in mac OS 10.6 server head here.
apple has on tuesday (20/10/2009) released a new server version of the mac mini for AUD 1399.- incl. GST making it an extremely affordable solution for small business.
the mac mini server ships with:
- snow leopard server, 10.6
- storage: 2 x 500GB (no optical drive)
- processor: 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
- memory: 4GB (2 x 2GB) RAM
- communications: 1 x gigabit ethernet, wifi 802.11n
- peripheral connections: 5 x USB 2.0, 1 x firewire 800
more information available here.
please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to learn more about what’s involved with setting up and operating your own server.
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