Friday, November 03, 2006

Replacing a Windows Fileserver

We have been using an elderly Pentium II with an ancient install of Windows NT Server as our primary backup and file server for quite some time now. I was considering simply retiring the box, and replacing it with a newer machine with Windows Server 2003 (some variation thereof), when it occurred to me that reading about the open source alternative, Samba, has been on my to do list for quite some time.

Why make Microsoft any richer, when there is a free alternative out there?

This would also give me a chance to try out rdiff-backup, a rather nifty open source back up solution with point-in-time recovery (i.e. restore this file/directory/whatever to the condition it was last Tuesday at 11:23 AM). That would be very, very helpful in my line of work.

The Goal: use existing hardware and free software to create a fully functional Windows compatible file server and turf the elderly NT server solution. At the same time, design and implement a set-and-forget, point-in-time recovery capable backup strategy that will regularly poll live servers and our internal network and back everything up.

I'm going to start reading now. I'll keep you posted.