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In our recent release we added several things customers have requested in the forum:

 

Recovery Storage Group support

Exchange 2007 support

Vista 64 Bit support

Continuous Backup features (new add-on)

Universal Macintosh Client

We have fixed a bunch of bugs specifically reported by users in the forum.

 

It is true that Retrospect for WIndows has not seen many "fancy" new features. Our engineers have been working heavily on Retrospect X (see the development blog). I can also say they have been working hard on a new windows disaster recovery module requested by users.

Edited by Guest

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Is Retrospect X going to be a free upgrade for us? I certainly hope so. It would be quite disconcerting to have shelled out all this money with promises of useful enhancements and bug fixes and then to be forced to pay even more to get them.

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Retrospect X is a Macintosh upgrade not Windows. It will be free for some and paid for others. Depends on many different factors.

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In our recent release we added several things customers have requested in the forum:

 

Recovery Storage Group support

Exchange 2007 support

Vista 64 Bit support

Continuous Backup features (new add-on)

Universal Macintosh Client

We have fixed a bunch of bugs specifically reported by users in the forum.

 

It is true that Retrospect for WIndows has not seen many "fancy" new features. Our engineers have been working heavily on Retrospect X (see the development blog). I can also say they have been working hard on a new windows disaster recovery module requested by users.

 

Come on now... these were enhancements which were REQUIRED to keep your product alive, nothing to do with what people were asking for! A requirement of any backup solution is to support the current, past and future versions of common business OS's and applications.

 

Can you explain how Exchange 2007 support was something like a YEAR behind the products release? People gave up asking for it and either walked away or started screaming for it!

 

I have been a user of retrospect for many years since way back when I was an IT manager for a design company. Only in the last few years did I decide to use it again through 7.0, 7.5 and 7.6 yet I have not seen any major changes to how the product works through all of them. When paying for an upgrade from 7.0 to 7.5 on the promise performance/speed would be massively improved I nearly went elsewhere, yet I decided to stick with it in the hope that some proper functionality can be put in place.

 

In fact, some functionality is broken in 7.6 that used to work in 7.5 (user restore) which is staggering that an 'update' can be released in this condition - yet there is no idea when a fix will be released.

 

Continuous backup is a chargeable upgrade, even for people that shelled out for the add-on pack when buying 7.5/6.

 

I'm spending more time rebuilding catalogs this week due to a bug I reported a long time ago and that was confirmed by another forum user.

 

Is there ANY official confirmation that there will be a Retrospect 8.0 and what functionality it will deliver? With all this time spend on getting the OSX version right it's a touch annoying that so little time has been spent on the Windows usability over the last few versions.

 

Retrospect won't be free for anyone.. only for those who paid up in front with updates included in the license. From reading the develpoment notes, it sounds much better than the Windows version already!

 

Rich

Edited by Guest

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It would be extremely helpful to have some more strategic communication from EMC product management about what the future will bring for all of the Retrospect products. Because I'm confused... it appeared that Retrospect was staffed with a skeleton crew and EMC was just milking what revenue it could out if it until it was so far outpaced by competing, actively-developed products that it had to be cancelled. The product has continued to just barely meet our needs, so we've kept using it, but I've had the expectation that in a year or two I would have to switch.

 

But now it looks like some real development resources are being brought to bear on Retrospect X. Perhaps even some marketing? Perhaps the product isn't dead? It's great to see progress on the Mac side, but it begs the question: what of windows?

 

I think this product has great potential... deploying Retrospect has huge advantages in companies that don't / can't standardize on locked down, cloned systems... it's the only feasible way I know to do full-disk backups of more than a handful of client systems over a network. As an SMB consultant, selling Retrospect into businesses, it was very frustrating that Retrospect received so little marketing, since, despite it's many flaws and half-finished features, it does a better job than the market leader, Backup Exec.

 

So throw us a bone... it this product isn't on the verge of death, let's hear from real information for your plans... otherwise you will continue to leak customers who might otherwise be willing to stick around if we knew there was a future.

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It would be extremely helpful to have some more strategic communication from EMC product management about what the future will bring for all of the Retrospect products.

 

I agree. It would be helpful to hear from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, what the heck is going on with Retrospect development. So I will do my best to let you all know what the plan is for the next several months.

 

For those of you who don’t recognize my name, I was on the Retrospect team from January, 1997 to the end of April, 2004. During that time, I filled a number of roles, including technical marketing, product management (on the Mac side) and systems engineering (all platforms). I rejoined the team as Retrospect’s product manager almost six months ago, and I am very happy to be here.

 

I did not come back to manage Retrospect’s slow decline. I am here to make Retrospect the product that it should be.

 

Everything that we are now working on is applicable to future releases. Here’s a peek at what we’re doing, going back a couple of months to set the stage.

 

June, 2008: Shipped Retrospect 7.6, Retrospect Express HD 2.5, and a universal binary of the Retrospect Client for Mac as free upgrades. While 7.6 basically introduced a few small improvements and a cool new add-on for continuous client protection, much of the development work we did was in Express HD to separate the UI from the engine. As you all are painfully aware, Retrospect has been a monolithic application which must all run in the same account (which causes access problems, especially on Server 2008 and Vista). All of the work we did to separate the engine from the UI in Express HD applies to...

 

Retrospect X (8.0) for Mac: Currently targeted for Macworld 2009, the all-new, cross-platform Retrospect 8.0 engine will make its debut in this release, along with an all-new, contemporary Mac UI. This release will bring a ton of features missing from the Mac market, including multiple executions, network management of multiple Retrospect servers, real disk-based Backup Sets, strong encryption, Snapshot transfers, client wake-on-LAN, vastly improved reporting, and much more. We’ll ship English first, with 10 additional languages following as soon as localization completes. Again, all the work done on the Retrospect 8.0 engine for Retrospect X applies to...

 

Retrospect 8.0 for Windows: Currently targeted for Q2 2009, we’re doing everything we can to pull this release in. This release will introduce an all-new UI with network management console, improved reporting, additional VMware integration options, and more. This release will provide engine feature parity with the Mac release (and there may be a small Mac update around this time). At this point, users will be able to manage Retrospect with the UI of their choice (Win or Mac) running in the OS of their choice (Mac or Win).

 

After that, we’ll be working on major new features (again, for cross-platform releases), which is when things will really get exciting!

 

That’s what I can talk about right now. I will share more when it’s possible for me to do so, but if you’re interested in keeping up with what we’re working on, you might want to consider following the Retrospect dev blog, Retrospective on Backup. It’s a little Mac-biased right now, but much of what’s being written applies to both platforms.

 

For those of you who are Windows users and don’t understand our current focus on Mac development, remember: Retrospect for Mac hasn’t seen a real update in twice as long as the Windows product (arguably longer), and the Windows release will follow only a few months later.

 

So, perhaps Retrospect’s brush with death was a bit too close of a call for comfort, but it’s now getting serious attention; we are rebuilding it.

 

I thank you all for sticking with us during the rough times. I can only hope to repay your patience with great software releases in the future. That is my goal, and that is also EMC’s goal for Retrospect.

 

Cheers,

Eric

 

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This is fantastic- I'm really glad to hear that you're on board and this stuff is happening. Robin... you should put a sticky link to this post in some of the other forums!

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