Another server upgrade – Part 2

And here comes magical day – Friday, May 20th. All planning is done, hopefully, and we are ready for servers’ upgrade, update and reconfiguration.

So first let’s see what we have, then we’ll see what we want, and then we will see what we get…

Our current setup is:

3 XServes and one VMWare OS X Server all working very hard and therefore one XServe, which acts as Open Directory Master (ODM), AFP, SMB, DNS, DHCP and Netboot server, works very hard every day and hangs ocasionally. During those ‘hangs’ “hard reset” is required, which does the number on the server. Single sign-on process is not working anymore and every time server ‘hangs’, since it’s running DHCP and DNS services, none of the users can access Internet. So back to set-up:

  • XServe 1 – Mac OS X 10.5 Server, AFP, DNS, DHCP, SMB, ODM
  • XServe 2 – Mac OS X 10.4 Server, AFP, FTP, Mail, Web and FileMaker Server
  • XServe 3 – Mac OS X 10.5 Server, AFP, ODR (Open Directory Replica)
  • VMWare Server – Mac OS X 10.5 Server,AFP, FileMaker Server

Now in order to free up XServe 1 and ensure it’s stability and no-impact on Internet, I’m bringing MacMini into the picture, running 10.6 OS X Server which will be DNS, DHCP and ODM. XServe 1 would then be AFP, SMB server – file server.

Plus, all servers, except VMWare server, will be running 10.6 Server software to increase performance of existing hardware and utilize latest Mac technologies.

First, my newly created Mac Mini ODM must have same name as XServe 1 used to have. In order to do that, I need to retire XServe 1, setup MacMini Server and then rebuild XServe 1. Here are the steps for the conversion:

  • Setup new DNS, DHCP services on VMWare Server to perform OD replica promotion and transition
  • Turn off XServe 1 and promote XServe 3 to become ODM
  • Install new OS X 10.5 Server on MacMini and give it a name of XServe 1. Turn it into ODR, turn off XServe 3 and promote MacMini to ODM
  • Upgrade MacMini server to version 10.6, update, and transfer DNS, DHCP settings from VMWare Server for a final state
  • Install new OS X 10.6 on XServe 1 and make it ODR of MacMini. Setup AFP, SMB and Netboot services. Change all file permissions to make sure they match existing setup

So that’s the plan for OD setup. By around 10:30pm, I had all kinks worked out with my challenges re: promoting ODR to ODM and chasing broken DNS records. Now Mac Mini server is installed, updated and ready for next step – upgrade to 10.6.

But, before that happens, promoting MacMini to ODM ended up more challenging than it should be. For some strange reason, even when my XServe 3 was turned off, MacMini still though that ODM is only and therefore refused promotion.

After playing with it for hours, around 2am I’ve decided to go home, sleep on it and see if servers need some time off as well.

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