How to Create an Open Directory Archive Using Lion’s Server Admin

The directory service is one of the most critical elements of Lion Server network or any network for that matter. If the directory crashes, you will need an archived back up copy from which to restore.

Start by reviewing the options for archiving and restoring Open Directory domains in Server Admin. Work on the Open Directory master — you can’t create an archive from a replica server. To create an archive:

  1. Open Server Admin and connect to the Open Directory master.

  2. Click the triangle next to the server to expand the list of services and select Open Directory.

  3. Click the Archive icon in the toolbar.

  4. Type a folder path or click the Choose button next to the Archive In field and select a location to save the archive.

    You’re browsing the file system of the server regardless of where you run Server Admin.

    You can see the archive options in Server Admin, with the archive being stored in a directory on the server’s local hard drive. You may want to consider storing it instead on another drive or partition, for reasons of safety.

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  5. Click the Archive button, enter a filename and password for the archive, and then click OK.

    Be extremely careful when you enter the archive’s password. No confirmation field exists in the Server Admin interface; a mistyped password could leave you with a useless backup.

    After you complete the archive, you may want to verify the password by opening the archive disk image in the Finder. When you double-click the image, the Finder prompts you to enter the password you used to create the archive. Secure the image again by unmounting the disk image.

    After you click OK, a progress bar indicates the archive progression.

    If you haven’t configured Time Machine, a dialog now appears, asking whether you want to use the another mounted hard drive to automatically back up the server’s boot drive.

  6. Click Decide Later, Don’t Use, Use as Backup.

After the backup archive is created, you can look inside at the data, files, and certificates stored inside. Double-click the image to have it mount in the Finder. Archive disk images always mount with the name ldap_bk.

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After you create the archive, it’s a good idea to copy the archive to another drive, server, or location where the archive will be safely stored. Many administrators also use their backup software to make historical backups of the archives and for offsite storage.

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