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Another server upgrade – Part 3

After 3 hours of sleep, around 6am on Saturday, I came back to the office to fiddle around with server one more time. No matter what I did, ODR still thought that ODM is on the network, and I’ve decided to move to the Plan B.

Plan B was to export our current OD structure via Archiving, install new OS X server on MacMini and restore from there. Little I knew how corrupted LDAP was on the original server, after all ‘hard reboots’ throughout it’s lifetime.

By around 10am, I clearly understood that Plan C is my only solution – which was exporting users from original OD and re-importing them into brand new installation of OS X. The only positive from this approach was that our users would have to change their passwords upon initial login anyway, to comply with recent implementation of IT Sec Policy, so loosing user’s passwords was not a big deal.

By around 11:30, I had all my users imported and passwords reset, but one more hiccup was waiting for me…

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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.

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Another server upgrade – Part 1

There comes time, when Apple releases new OS X Server version and existing server is acting up. And that time is perfect for spring cleaning, updates and upgrades.

So this time came. Apple has OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Server for quite some time now, with bunch of possible bugs and kinks worked out, with skinnier footprint and increased performance on existing hardware. Our existing server, which hosts DNS, DHCP acts as Open Directory Master and on top of that serves files via AFP and SMB, after multiple “hard resets” is not performing how it once did. It also, for some reasons, lost it’s “single sign-on” capabilities via AFP (while it’s OD Replica works just fine). And, on top of that all, time showed that having DHCP and DNS on the server that every now and then “freezes” and requires “hard reset” is not a practical idea – once server is “hung”, users cannot access network at all.

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Fun “Long Weekend” – Part 2

Saturday, Oct 25th – I just had to order extra shot in my Americano from Starbucks. No, no,  it wasn’t a bad hangover – coming to office at 8am on Saturday is not what I’m used to. I’ve met my friend Igor at Starbucks, two triple Americano with extra shots and we are heading to the office.

First thing first, Igor looked at the network setup and just shook his head, yep I’ve expected that. DNS transfer was initiated, and assuming that it went fine, I’ve started server installation. I have to mention that we actually had extra xServe harddrive, so it wasn’t re-install, as I had old system drive safely on the table while doing fresh install of 10.5. Getting closer to 10am, server is setup (yep with prime.local DNS zone, we will find out that it was a mistake later) and updates are running. We’ve stepped out for early lunch.

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Fun “Long Weekend” – Part 1

Last weekend (Oct 25,26) I’ve decided to fix our network setup that was done by some outside contractors. I don’t know why people would do something improperly and then overload it with patches, workarounds etc. But wait a second, there is a company that does exactly that – MS.

Anyway, the setup we had was: 2 servers – one file server, one FileMaker Pro server which is also web server that serves registration pages. We have Cisco switch which routes all traffic and internal and external DNS set up (NS server for domains we own) on our servers.

First item on the plan was to remove DNS hosting for domains to company that does just that – eNom. Than I would rebuild internal DNS with separate local zone (what’s the point of having internal .ca zone?). In addition to that, I would upgrade server to 10.5 from 10.4. Helping me with all that was my old time friend Igor.

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