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Moving Data and Third-Party Solutions

Although the preceding options are appropriate to configuring Mac OS X Server itself, they don’t address issues regarding server data or third-party server solutions. Most server data can be safely moved or restored to another server regardless of platform because user files, Open Directory data, logs, and other forms of data are stored as nonexecutable files on a server (they can be accessed by processes running on the server or clients, but they themselves do not run on the server).

However, moving certain types of files might not be as simple as just copying them. Many files need to ensure that they have the proper permissions, for example. Another issue is that some files, such as security certificates, need to be recognized or registered with specific services or processes to be accessed correctly.

To deal with these issues, you might find that the easiest solution is to install and configure the Intel version of Mac OS X Server and to selectively restore files from previous backups after it is properly configured. This can be tedious because you might have to go directory by directory to ensure that you don’t accidentally restore files that differ between the two platforms. This also requires that you restore your Open Directory configuration first (either by joining the new server to the appropriate domain or, if it is replacing the Open Directory master, by restoring the Open Directory data manually). How difficult and cumbersome this process is depends on which built-in services and third-party solutions you have implemented on your server.

Third-party solutions can pose a significant challenge. There are thousands of additional tools and server products out there that can be added to Mac OS X Server to enable a vast range of features—and they include tools designed specifically for Mac OS X Server as well as offerings that will run on any Unix server. Third-party solutions can run the gamut from web and application servers and add-ons to print and design server products, to database solutions, and to anything in between.

If you have any add-ons running on servers in your network, you need to do some homework to find out whether they are available in a universal or Intel-native form. In the case of many Unix solutions, you might be able to simply recompile the existing code. Also, because you might need to copy or restore data to these tools, you’ll need to investigate any issues that doing so might introduce.

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