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kidziti

Drop the Dashboard

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Dashboard actually got me excited-  a more friendly user interface! But it is dog-slow (okay - I LOVE dogs, but this thing is a Basset Hound in Greyhound race.) It often hangs, gobbles resources, hangs again when trying to simply scroll, and ultimately gives little useful information. It's everything short of what we've come to expect from Retrospect - a lean, efficient, business-like and functional application. When Retrospect is invoked by a scheduled script, dashboard is the only option that comes up when you want to monitor the program itself - and the fact that there is no escape from dashboard only adds to the frustration. I get that it is well-intended - but it was executed poorly and ends up detracting from the program. I'm in the trial period (Windows 16.5) and likely will invest in Retrospect based on the last ten years of functionality and reliability with 7.7. The dashboard is the single biggest negative in my pluses and minuses column as I decide on making the purchase.

Just my opinion here, but instead of the dashboard, might I suggest this approach:

  1. Develop a user interface that finally leaves the '90's behind. It would probably meet dashboard's intent with more digital elegance.
  2. Add a tray monitor - something we can mouse over and see the basics, or open and get more detail. Perhaps that goes to knowing your customers. Face it - this is a techie's software that requires a greater learning curve than the prettier faces like Cloudberry. I could be mistaken, but I suspect most Retrospect users (certainly me) would appreciate a backup solution that provides ease of both interface and access - and a tray monitor would be a simple, performance-oriented way to do just that.

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kidziti and everyone else,

I had a telephone chat with the head of North America Sales for Retrospect "Inc."  this morning (his time), in which I suggested just that.  My suggestion, which he seems to like, is to simply actively market the Web-based Management Console in its no-extra-cost view-only form.  You can get a brief view of the Retrospect 16.1 version of this facility in the first of these four interconnected videos.  You can skip the second video (unless you want to learn how to sign up for the Management Console), and view the third video to see how to integrate the Management Console with a running Engine. 

The fourth video, which is designed for "Partners" (consulting organizations) shows additional two-way features available with the Add-On—which is US$49 for the Desktop Edition.  The Retrospect 16.5 Add-On version of the Management Console moves the list of "backup servers" to a column on the left-hand side of the Dashboard window.  Its Granular Remote Management also adds Activities and Sources and Backup Sets panels that the administrator can drill down to, as well as Scripts Management displays and the ability—for individual "backup servers"—to create and edit scripts and create destinations. 

Here's a 43-minute webinar that demonstrates the Retrospect Windows 16.5 version of Granular Remote Management—designed like the Retrospect Mac GUI.  At minute 27 the head of Retrospect Tech Support recommends leaving Retrospect running all the time—using the Management Console.  At minute 29 he says that they're moving towards having Retrospect run as a service with an HTML-based GUI.  Is server column in non-Add-On Web Dashboard too?

As the first video itself states, the Dashboard in the Management Console is basically an enhanced version of the non-Web-based Dashboard that kidziti and other Retrospect Windows administrators have a love/hate relationship with.  That non-Web-based Dashboard is a poorly-implemented feature of Retrospect Windows.  It was implemented in Retrospect Windows 8 because a Retrospect-Mac-like Console proved to be impossible, but had glaring bugs that weren't supposedly fixed until 4 years later in Retrospect Windows 12.5.  See this 2017 Forums post by me, which quotes the applicable 12.5.0.177 Release Notes but also quotes a reply from Retrospect Tech Support.  Also read the remainder of that thread.

 

Edited by DavidHertzberg
Insert new 3rd paragraph with link to Granular Remote Mgmt. webinar and mention of presenter's relevant comments
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