Jump to content
derek500

Thanks Retrospect, for working in awful conditions!

Recommended Posts

I just wanted to say thanks, and offer a few words of advice. I have been having a lot of issues with Retrospect since moving from v6 to 8/9 and newer. I back up about 75 machines with a mix of Mac and Windows, clients and server OSs on both platforms, about 3TB overall. At the same time we "upgraded" the server hardware from a G5 PowerMac to a 2007 Xeon Mac Pro. Still used an ATTO ULD5 SCSI card to AIT-5 tapes on both systems.

 

When I decided to use the Mac Pro we had (it was a spare unit) I "generously" increased the RAM to 6GB. No retrospect system I'd ever run needed this much RAM, and watching the sometimes deceptive Activity Monitor, it never seemed to use all of the RAM at once, so I figured we were in good shape there. Yet performance was challenging to say the least. Retrospect has been slow, buggy, crashy, somewhat unreliable for years since I upgraded to v9 (I waited out v8 I think) and the big Mac Pro.

 

Recently I had been about to give up completely, but decided for a few hundred bucks I'd try throwing 16GB of RAM at the system to see what happened, sort of a last ditch effort. I also installed the v12 update at the same time (mistake, I know).

 

HOLY ****. Retrospect is fast, responsive, error free, ...  I can't say for sure if it was the RAM or the v12 update, but I do wish I had upgraded the RAM a long time ago to find out.

 

I recently had to restore some files from our biggest file server (millions of files), and instead of 45 minutes to run the search it took about 3. The restore of 80 files took under a minute.

 

I also switched to block level backups. Windows client backups now take on the order of 4-5 minutes instead of 30-40 minutes. This I had been attributing to the new block level backups, and maybe the 'new faster creating snapshot' of v12, but this is amazing. Our backups fly, restores and searches snap, opening the management console is no longer a drag...

 

So thanks, Retrospect team, for helping me through so many error messages over the years, and continuing to improve your product. To anyone who isn't using v12 yet, don't wait. If you think you might not have enough RAM, by all means GET MORE RAM. LOTS MORE. If you aren't using the "block level backups" option, USE IT!

 

Thanks for listening to me rant and praise! I am really glad things are working so much better now. I do wish somebody had suggested a RAM upgrade for us a long time ago.

 

-Derek

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use only 4GB of ram for about 20TB of data mixed by Win/Linux/MacOS with Disks, Tapes and Clients

 

Retrospect uses most CPU, not RAM fyi.

 

And I have invested time to make a good backup policy, that's IMHO you should think 1st

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Retrospect uses most CPU, not RAM fyi.

Indeed, this is what I've been telling myself for years. But what a difference, I wish I had upgraded sooner. I know there were a lot of 'performance improvements' in v12, but that much? I find that the system keeps 'active' 9-11GB of the 16GB I made available to it, so clearly it's happy to have the extra RAM (the system only runs Retrospect). When the catalog files are 4-8GB or more, it seems obvious to me now that the system will work much better having at least the same amount of RAM to hold it, especially if there is any grooming happening. Of course I can't speak to exactly how Retrospect has been designed to use RAM vs disk when it comes to working with catalog files, but I'd love to hear from a Retrospect engineer on the topic. I'm sure there is a good mix of disk/RAM usage since catalog files can often exceed the size of system memory.

 

I've been using Retrospect for over a decade and yes, a good strategy is crucial to any business (or home). The only 'flaw' in our backup strategy is that the hardware is a bit outdated and in a true disaster I would probably have to source it from ebay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed, this is what I've been telling myself for years. But what a difference, I wish I had upgraded sooner. I know there were a lot of 'performance improvements' in v12, but that much? 

You can test that by going back to 6GB of RAM for a day just to test.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×