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toddfx

Viable alternatives to Multi-Server?

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It seems like Multi Server on windows has become abandon-ware. The linux client, shaky to begin with, hasn't been updated for over two years and is a bit of a struggle to wedge onto modern distributions. The windows client is almost as dusty and problematic. The server software itself eats its config files, throws asserts and corrupts catalogs with frightening regularity.

 

I'm wondering what other multi platform backup systems people are looking at that support Windows (Desktop and server), MacOS and Linux.

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It is a bit of irony that you write your post the same day Retrospect 8 for Windows is announced:

http://www.retrospec...uk/products/win

 

Just a bit. :D

 

Hopefully this isn't a "show a pulse" upgrade where they just bump the version number, slap in a new splash screen and issue a press release. If they've fixed even a couple of the long standing issues I'll be a happy camper.

 

Cautious optimisim rules the day, though.

 

Edit: The fact that the linux client has disappeared from http://retrospect.co...pport/downloads is kind of tempering my excitement.

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The linux client is still available as a download from the updates archive page. It is also included with all Retrospect 8 product downloads.

 

The trial download issues should be fixed now.

 

A list of changes in version 8 for Windows can be found at: http://kb.retrospect.com/articles/en_US/Retrospect_Article/Retrospect-8-for-Windows-Release-Notes/

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Two additional questions (to the release notes):

- does Retrospect Windows 8 Server run as a "Service"

- are the Preference fixed (not a single file anymore, but seperate, transportable, readable files)?

 

Fulco

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Interesting how proper delta backups are not mentioned at all - still file-based de-dupe? Until that is build into the tool there's no point in us upgrading Retrospect 8 as we need to be able to handle PST file backups better.

 

Also no mention of any VMware backup features.. again, a must for us.

 

Richard

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Well I'm happy about one fix in it:

 

2413: Fixed a bug that caused repeat occurrences of Grooming error -2241 even after catalog rebuilds

 

This one kills me every couple of months.

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2413: Fixed a bug that caused repeat occurrences of Grooming error -2241 even after catalog rebuilds

 

Our server suffers from this same bug for years.

When I bought Retrospect some years ago I reported this bug, and a few others, to Retrospect.

No fix has been aviable for years.

 

Now they seem to have fixed the bug, but ask more then Euro 600.00!!!

 

Fulco

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Interesting how proper delta backups are not mentioned at all - still file-based de-dupe? Until that is build into the tool there's no point in us upgrading Retrospect 8 as we need to be able to handle PST file backups better.

Why do you need to backup PST files? Isn't it enough to backup the IMAP or Exchange mail server? I can't imagine you still use POP3.

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Two additional questions (to the release notes):

- does Retrospect Windows 8 Server run as a "Service"

- are the Preference fixed (not a single file anymore, but seperate, transportable, readable files)?

 

I installed Retrospect 8, and checked:

NO, Retrospect still doesn't run as a Service!

NO, Retroespect still has the old, problematic preference file!

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I installed Retrospect 8, and checked:

NO, Retrospect still doesn't run as a Service!

NO, Retroespect still has the old, problematic preference file!

 

Blurg. The more I read about this and the lack of a linux client you can install on a contemporary system without a hammer and tongs makes me think this is just a slap dash "show a pulse" upgrade (that costs > $1000). The fact that after all these years it's still a monolithic binary config file that's going to eat itself every few weeks is pretty bad news. I guess the original question still stands.

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Why do you need to backup PST files? Isn't it enough to backup the IMAP or Exchange mail server? I can't imagine you still use POP3.

 

No, it's not enough to just backup the Exchange mailbox - there is finite space available and staff need to archive some of their emails, yet keep it on their local machine in case they need to reference it (i.e. for projects/client info). With delta backups in place, this PST hit (and storage space!) would be significantly reduced.

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In response to the original question, we have been looking off and on for the last two years for a Multi-Server replacement and we keep coming back to Retrospect. No one else really seems to care about backing up Mac, Windows, and Linux at a reasonable price point. We also require Exchange backups. So, we have checked ArcServe, BackupExec, Bacula, AppAssure, MS Storage Server Essentials, and a host of others. They either cost too much or don't support backup for MacOS X or Exchange. If you don't need advanced virtual machine backups and you need multiple platforms backed up then Retrospect is still the best one out there for the price. Yes, you could get a backup solution that has more features and is more reliable, but you will pay a lot more for it. You could also get cloud backup that does just as much and pay a monthly fee for it. But we still find that the majority of companies do not have the Internet bandwidth to spare to back up everything to the cloud.

 

For small businesses, Retrospect is still our recommended backup product. It's a shame that development has been hampered by company acquisitions over the last 5 years. However, there really seems to be some progress being made now that Retrospect is its own company. I really hope they keep it that way and can give some badly needed attention to the Windows server product. Retrospect 8 is a step in the right direction, but it still has a long way to go to be a rock solid backup product. Here's my top wish list for 8.1:

1. Fix the myriad of Exchange mailbox backup issues.

2. Separate the server and console so you can launch the console and see what is going on even while the server is backing up under another user session. Use ArcServe as an example of how this should work.

3. Make it play nice with SBS 2011. There are still DCOM errors on the server from MacOS X clients, and Exchange Cmd-Let errors generated by Retrospect all the time.

4. Fix whatever causes the config76.dat file to get corrupted over time.

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A few years ago, I did a similar test.

I found, there are a few good Backup programs around.

Most of them gave excellent support, even for their trail version.

 

However I used Retrospect since the '90, and have a large set op LTO tapes.

Switching from one backup program to another, is a huge undertaking.

That was the main reason to stay with Retrospect. I hoped Retrospect would finally (Dantz -> EMC -> Roxio) revive, after almost two years of "rest".

This didn't happen!

 

In August 2010, I bought "Windows Retrospect SBS Premium 7.7", with "Add-on Value Package SBS", and one year support.

Directly I contacted support with a lot of important issues (Grooming failure, UAC issues on Windows Clients, Firewall issues on PowerMac Clients, ....). None of the issues could be fixed!!

I also suggested two important changes for Retrospect: running as a SERVICE and a NORMAL preference structure, which make (yes, also version 8) Retrospect a potential unstable and a dated program.

 

Now, November 2012 finally, at least according to the release notes (version 8.0), SOME of the issues are fixed. If this is the case, only an extensive test will tell.

 

Acquiring this upgrade, which should be called an UPDATE and Retrospect 7.8, would cost me almost €700!?!

The fact it took TWO years to produce this update, is bad enough!

Calling the product 8.0 is only a marketing ploy! Even the two main shortcomings are still not fixed!

 

So I ask Retrospect for a free update from 7.7 to "8.0".

Which they refused.

 

 

My conclusion, based on all software I use:

Support, which includes fixes, patches, and continued development of a program, IS the most important feature!

 

 

Fulco

 

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Don't be too fast with trying 8.0, I think it messed up my Exchange 2007. I also rushed to check it out. After I added the client (Exchange 2007 server on Win2003 R2 x64), in Volumes when clicking on Exchange Server it asked me the standard question about using the add-on license. After accepting, it never reads the databases (they never show) or the mailboxes.

 

Further more, since then, this is the second day that I couldn't see the databases or mailboxes even from 7.7.620 any more. All that I have tried, failed.

 

The mailserver is working fine, but no Retrospect version can see the databases or mailboxes any more.

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According to other posts on the forum the solution for Retrospect 8 seeing Exchange 2007 on a Windows 2003 64-bit server is to install .Net 4.0 on the Exchange server. This worked for us.

 

Don't be too fast with trying 8.0, I think it messed up my Exchange 2007. I also rushed to check it out. After I added the client (Exchange 2007 server on Win2003 R2 x64), in Volumes when clicking on Exchange Server it asked me the standard question about using the add-on license. After accepting, it never reads the databases (they never show) or the mailboxes.

 

Further more, since then, this is the second day that I couldn't see the databases or mailboxes even from 7.7.620 any more. All that I have tried, failed.

 

The mailserver is working fine, but no Retrospect version can see the databases or mailboxes any more.

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We are addressing the issues in phases, along with new features that the market is demanding. Will share more as we get closer to releasing batches of significant improvements over time.

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HI David, a config file repair tool would be a good starting place... I have features 'missing' which apparently are caused by config77 corruption, requiring a full RS Backup server rebuild to resolve (which I have done more times than I care to remember already)

 

Richard

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a config file repair tool would be a good starting place

 

Understood. This is one of the most frequently raised issues and high on our priority list to address.

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