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DavidHertzberg

PSA: Wikipedia article on Retrospect going away in current form

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Some other Wikipedia editors complained that "the article contains excessive detail, it's written more like an essay or exposition than an cut-and-dried encyclopedia article, and the sourcing doesn't really support a lot of the inferences and asides".  

 

DovidBenAvraham took care of the inferences and asides by essentially eliminating the "Documentation" section; it made inferences mostly by comparing current versions of Retrospect Mac User's Guides to past versions of the same UGs, to the same versions of the Retrospect Windows UGs, to buttons in the Retrospect Mac GUI, or to the Tutorials or Knowledge Base articles.  Those comparisons by editors are considered un-sourced "original research" in the Wikipedia world, but it's OK for an editor to report on such comparisons if they were made by a third-party reviewer.

 

However these other editors are now strong-arming DovidBenAvraham to rewrite the rest of the article, under the threat of doing it themselves if he doesn't.  That rewriting will be done over the next few days.  When it's complete and has passed muster with the complaining editors, I'll go through the posts on these forums and revise them so that they link to the new appropriate sections in the article.

 

Here's a permanent link to the article in its old form.

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Here is a table of terminology differences as of Retrospect Windows 8 and Retrospect Macintosh 10, which is unlikely to return to the WP article:

 

Retrospect Windows current and Retrospect Macintosh ≤ 7   Retrospect Macintosh ≥ 8

Backup Set                                                                                          Media Set

Transfer Snapshots operation                                                          Copy Media Set operation
Transfer Backup Sets operation                                                       Copy Backup operation
Duplicate operation                                                                            Copy operation
"execution unit" (in "powerful new engine")                                    "activity thread" (in "powerful new engine")
Normal backup (incremental, no Recycle of Catalog File)           No Media Action backup
New Media backup (create new Backup Set w/similar name)    Start New Media backup (create new M. S. w/similar)
Selectors (may specify the types of files/folders excluded)        Rules (may specify the types of files/folders excluded)
Subvolume                                                                                            Favorite Folder
Snapshot                                                                                               eliminated as terminology (deemed part of Catalog)
Immediate (as opposed to Automated) operations                      eliminated by Console Toolbar-launched scripts

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Adjusted right-column vertical lineup for new Forums software

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The other night I went through my posts that had "Wikipedia" in them on these Forums, either visibly or in links, using the Search tool.  In most cases I just changed the links to point to the appropriate section in the rewritten Wikipedia article; in some cases—where the rewrite had eliminated the appropriate section—I changed the link to point to the appropriate section in the permanent link of the old form of the article.  There are a handful of cases that I missed because they didn't have the word "Wikipedia" in them; I'll find those and change them.

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The forced rewrite of the Wikipedia article has uncovered an interesting fact about the Retrospect Add-On for VMWare servers.  The editor JohnInDC recently turned his attention to the "Editions and Add-Ons" section, and insisted that DovidBenAvraham not list all the Add-Ons—claiming listing one or two was sufficient to put across the idea of Add-Ons.  DBA looked at the Product Configurator for the first time in a year, and noticed that it no longer asks—even if you are pricing Retrospect Windows—whether you plan to backup any VMWare servers.  DBA guessed that Retrospect Inc. must have incorporated that Add-On as a freebie part of the basic Engine, but I was a bit more cautious.

 

I phoned Retrospect Sales on Friday 3 November, and spoke to the junior sales manager Ian.  He said that Retrospect Sales is still happy to sell customers the VMWare Add-On, and guessed that it has been (prematurely?) removed from the Product Configurator because the new Retrospect Inc. product that I dare not name (for which Ian e-mailed me links to what is already on the Retrospect.com website) is expected to replace the Add-On with integral provisions for VMWare servers and other hypervisors.

 

So if you want to purchase the VMWare servers Add-On for Retrospect Windows, you now have to phone Retrospect Sales and ask for it.  Oh, the 20th-Century pain of having to actually talk to a salesperson (insert appropriate smiley here)!

 

P.S.: Ian has e-mailed me to say that what he actually told me on the phone was "If you have utilized the VMware Addon for Windows in the past you may have noticed it was functional but wasn’t as robust as it needed to be.  With that said, Retrospect has released a new Virtual Edition that supports both VMware and Hyper-V environments!  If you would like Virtual Machine support, please look into purchasing Retrospect Virtual which is a complete solution for virtual environments."

Edited by DavidHertzberg
P.S. to add what Ian says he actually told me on the phone; got rid of the text coloring—which was in Ian's e-mail—by re-pasting as plain text

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The VWMare add-on doesn't support current versions of VMWare and we are no longer selling this add-on unless someone absolutely needs to use it. This old add-on is discontinued. 

If you would like Virtual Machine support, please look into purchasing Retrospect Virtual which is a complete solution for virtual environments. 

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Here's a shocker that puts the re-orientation of this thread towards backing up virtual machines in a whole new light.

I converted the first 3 paragraphs of my previous post into an Additional Note for my Support Case, and then added another Additional Note saying "The only problem is that, according to Ian, Retrospect Virtual doesn't support Retrospect Client software. So how are administrators with machines that are not running a Virtual Machine Manager supposed to back them up with Retrospect Virtual?

I got a reply saying "Retrospect Virtual is a totally different product from Retrospect. it doesn't use any of the same code and doesn't use any of the same backup methods or technology. Retrospect Client is not a concept that exists [my emphasis] with the Retrospect Virtual ecosystem. You can read more about the Virtual Product at https://www.retrospect.com/en/products/virtual. "  

I had previously guessed that the Retrospect Virtual Host Server was simply an adaption of the Retrospect Windows Engine (a Retrospect Mac term that refers to the non-GUI part of the backup server) to run under a Virtual Machine Manager.  That would mean a Retrospect Virtual Host Server could backup from client computers not running a VM, not just VMs running on its own computer.  But that's apparently not the way the developers built the Retrospect Virtual Host Server.

So how does one backup one or more computers running a Windows VMM, plus one or more computers not running a Windows VMM, all on the same LAN?  Does one have to run two versions of Retrospect: one an executable of Retrospect Virtual to backup all the Windows VMs on the LAN, and another an executable of Retrospect Windows or Retrospect Mac to backup all the non-VM Windows or Mac clients on the LAN?

If so, IMHO that's not going to be  sales-enhancing for Retrospect Inc..

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Changed "re-direction" to "re-orientation"

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Getting back to the Wikipedia article rewrite, DovidBenAvraham has pulled the chestnuts out of the fire.  As he was being forced to cut the description of the Retrospect features down to 14 screen lines, he realized that the features divided themselves into two classes: those needed by small groups, and those needed by enterprises.  The first class consists of features developed before 2005, with the exception of basic cloud backup.  The second class consists of features developed after 2005, and were—DBA guessed—likely to have been adopted by all client-server backup applications suited for enterprise use.

DBA put the small-group features into the "Retrospect" article, and added the enterprise features as a new section at the back of the "Backup" article—to which he created a one-sentence link in a new section of the "Retrospect" article.  In order to get the new section in the "Backup" article past the eagle eye of WP editor JohnInDC, DBA used the skeleton WP article on another enterprise backup application—one that shall be referred to here as NB—to find out how that application named the equivalent features.  He then Googled these feature names combined with the name of the NB application, and found Web pages describing them.  Putting references to these pages into feature descriptions copied from the old "Retrospect" article, and removing the name "Retrospect" from those feature descriptions, gave DBA a new "Backup" article section that is ostensibly application-independent.  This has now passed muster with JohnInDC, although he and DBA are still wrangling over the lead paragraph of the new section.

If you want to read the gory details,  go to the Talk page discussion about that section here.

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