How Time Machine Operates

You are likely familiar with Time Machine, Apple’s excellent built-in backup program designed to make backing up your Mac and restoring information straightforward and safe. However, unless you have an Airport Time Capsule, it is likely that you simply just think of Time Machine as a way to back your Mac up to an external hard drive connected to your own Mac.

What you may not know is that the macOS Server app offers a way for you to back up all the Macs in your house, small office, or your entire enterprise environment.

How Time Machine operates

There is very little configuration crucial to get Time Machine ready to go on a Mac. If you’ve ever stopped up an external hard drive into your Mac without Time Machine running, you’ve likely seen Time Machine open and ask if you want to use that drive for backing up your Mac.

First backups copy most of the contents of your hard drive and after the initial backup Time Machine wakes up every hour, looks at a catalog of changed files, keeps the files it initially backed up and adds the transformed files for your backup.

The advantage of Time Machine is that you simply get a deep historical record of all of your files and can restore several variation of just one file. The Time Machine preference in System Preferences supplies the specifics of what Time Machine keeps and how long each back-up is kept.

Moreover, you are able to use Profile Manager to enforce a back-up policy, so you don’t have depend on your users to make sure their information is being backed up.

Turning on Time Machine

The Time Machine service needs little configuration, but you are doing have to pick a location for backups to be stored, set constraints on back-up sizes if you want them, and turn on the service on.

You will need to make sure that Guest sharing isn’t on the Time Machine file share so unauthorized users in your network won’t have access to your backups or be able to back up to your server.

Use Time Machine on your server

Using Time Machine on your server is as easy as it would be to use Time Machine with a locally connected disk.

  • Open System Settings.
  • Click the Time Machine preference
  • Click Select Back-Up Disk.

Select the back-up disk hosted on your server and choose the “Encrypt backups” if you need to encrypt your network back-up.

Check that Time Machine is working

Once your backup is complete you will need to check that it is functioning properly and that Time Machine is functioning properly.

  • Select Time Machine in Server’s sidebar.
  • Click the Copies tab.
  • Doubleclick your back-up.