Apparently my previous blog article "Don't Let Apple Cripple Your BDR Business," which describes MSP Remote Technology Management's (RTM's) experience backing up Apple laptops and desktops hit a raw nerve with some of our readers. I received several emails from MSPs that believe there are several viable solutions available for tackling this problem. Following are a couple of highlights from the responses:
"There are a number of solid backup solutions from traditional to CDP [continuous data protection] for the OS X platform and almost all are cross platform including Windows, Linux, and Solaris. These products include PresSTORE from Archiware and CrashPlan Pro from Code 42 Software. There are others too easily found with a little Googling," says Ben Greisler, Certified Apple Consultant and President of Kadimac.
Greisler goes on to say that, "Apple explicitly supports virtualization and says so in its EULA [end user license agreement]. You can virtualize OS X as long as the host computer is an Apple computer."
Greisler's comments were corroborated by David Gillam, owner of Gillam Data Services, who adds, "I have multiple OS X systems being backed up by both Time Machine and CrashPlan Pro. This gives me both local and off-site backup copies, with version control. It works like a champ and is very reliable. I also have CrashPlan Pro backing up a Win7 VM [virtual machine] via VMware on a Macbook Pro. Again, this works perfectly."
I followed up with Eric Brown, CEO of RTM to get his response: "Here is what VMware says in its knowledge base: 'You cannot create a Mac OS X Client virtual machine for OS X 10.6 and earlier. Apple does not allow its Client OSes to be virtualized. With Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) onwards, Apple has changed its licensing agreement in regards to virtualization.'
You cannot virtualize a Mac OS client under any circumstances on any hardware except Apple branded hardware. We are not saying it's impossible, just more challenging."