Backup thru mac mini using Time Machine to RAID

Pinelake has roughly 80 macs and a seriously band-aid approach to getting mac users backed up (more like bubble gum and bailing wire). I have a mac mini that manages Apple Profile Manager (similar to Windows Active Directory). In the past I have tried to setup an iSCSI initiator to my SAN, then use the mac mini as a server running Time Machine to the SAN. The iSCSI initiator kept breaking.

Is there a way to connect a thuderbolt RAID array to the mac mini & then share this out to mac users using Time Machine? Hoping to use Apple Profile Manager to push out. However, if this is not possible I don’t want to purchase the thunderbolt RAID.

Does anyone have any experience configuring this? I can share that currently backing up to the cloud is out of the discussion for me.

You can use the Time Machine service of the This will allow you to define a share as the TM destination. Once the share is setup you can create the TM payload in Profile Manager and push to clients.

Rush I can provide some assistance. We do something similar. We’ve got 50 Macs. All our TM backups are through a Mac Mini Server to a Thunderbolt connected Lacie array. We actually have two Lacie units: One connected by Thunderbolt and the other through USB. We configured the drives for two Time Machine Backup locations: Backup-1 and Backup-2. That allowed us to have backup locations with different limits. Our regular office machines use Backup-1, while our power users who have lots of data (graphic layout, video production for example) use Backup-2. Backup-1 has a 100GByte limit and we only backup the data. We keep separate backup images for the desktop configurations O/S and applications. We also configure the Lacie units to backup the file server data, and using Intego Backup Manager Pro make an image of the server.

thanks for the replies everyone

This sounds just like what I am looking for (the Backup-1 & Backup-2 is terribly similar). Is there a way to only backup certain files? or are the backups based on directory structure? For most users I do not want to backup their mp3s, videos & pictures. If a user drops these files on the desktop and I had blocked the pictures, music & video files, I still get the file from the desktop.

thanks for the details, what I am looking for is VERY similar.

Yes, Time Machine gives you a lot of flexibility in specifying the types of files you backup, or exclude. As is the case for anything there are limitations. But you can easily find some video tutorials online on what you can and cannot do with Time Machine include and exclude. That way you’ll know how to set it up and what to tell your staff.