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Do You Need to Back Up NetInfo Domains?

This leads us to the question of whether or not you need to actively back up NetInfo data and how you can do it. In many networks, the ability to back up and restore NetInfo data is actually not critical. If you have a modern Open Directory infrastructure, the role of NetInfo is somewhat minor. If workstations rely solely on shared user accounts in an Open Directory domain for authentication, the local user accounts and related information are much less important. This is particularly true if your users rely on network storage for their files, and you use disk image deployment tools as you can simply restore a problem workstation using the standard image to resolve a problem.

In some situations, however, NetInfo backup is worth consideration. Most important is, of course, a situation in which you have a legacy shared NetInfo domain (particularly if you are planning to migrate that domain and upgrade the infrastructure). If you have standalone servers, this can also be a concern because the NetInfo domain is the sole source of user account management for anyone who accesses the server. NetInfo backup can also be worth consideration if you have workstations with multiple local accounts in your network or if you manually make changes to a workstation or server’s NetInfo structure (although you shouldn’t usually need to do this).

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