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Mattosaur4

Retrospect 7.6 Windows or v 8 for Mac

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Hi All

 

I currently have Retrospect Server 6.1 for Mac and a 100 client pack running on a PowerMac G4 1.25ghz machine with 10.4.11. I backup to 1TB SATA drives that I swap in / out of the machine.

 

6.1 is now dead so I need to move on to something else.

 

My 50-75 clients / users machines are about 90% Mac (10.4.11 and 10.5.x, 10.6 soon) and 10% Windows machines (XP Pro SP3, some Win 7 soon)

 

I was looking down the Retrospect 8 Mac route as it seems the logical upgrade but affordable Mac Intel based hardware isn't really available (ie. Mac Pro, XServer = $$$$) PPC machines are highly not recomended so recycling an old PowerMac probably isn't a good idea. A MacMini means I'd have to use USB2 or Firewire for the HD's, which is not optimal. & version 8 isn't mature enough for me to feel confident that it will do a solid job, yet.

 

From what I'm reading though Retrospect Single Server 7.6 for Windows allows me to backup an unlimited # of Win and Mac Clients. 10.4 / 10.5 and soon 10.6. Buying hardware for a Windows based Server will be much cheaper and the Sys Requirements are much lower meaning I can probably use an old machine or an affordable Intel Core 2 Duo type machine with SATA and plenty of drive bays.

 

As Windows 7.6 users in this forum are their some major gotchas when backing up Mac clients? I only do user file type backups (restoring the OS from an image) and adding the users files back manually after restoring them on my Backup server. (i.e. not worried if the full automated restore feature doesn't work / bare metal type stuff)

 

Matt

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You should be fine, then, if you aren't doing bare metal restore on the Macs.

 

Note also that there is expected to be a subsequent Retrospect Windows release based on the Retrospect 8 for Macintosh code base (won't that be fun for you), with cross-platform independent media set format with Retrospect 8, preserving your options to switch back to the Mac Retrospect version. Apparently the two are being developed in parallel. Until there is an updated Mac client, you might have issues on Snow Leopard, and you might still have Snow Leopard issues until Retrospect Windows gets a tweaking (since it will be handling the real work of the backup and restore).

 

If you are lucky there will even be a user's guide manual for the new Retrospect Windows release.

 

Russ

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Thanks Russ

 

So running it on cheaper hardware under Windows is certainly a viable option? With the 7.7 Win version adding major changes from the new codebase. The pricing also seems a little cheaper. Retro Win 7.6 $679 US v Retro 8 $809 US (Retro 8 upgrade. $919 US for the multi-server, and I think an upgrade to single server will be $789 ish) and presumably 7.7 will just be a free update?

 

Having never run the Windows version how does it deal with Mac files on HFS+ volumes (resource forks, ACL's etc...)? Do you need to restore to FAT32 rather than NTFS etc...?

 

Matt

 

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Remember, the Media Set (backup set) is a database container. It has nothing to do with file format. There is no conversion. There is no underlying filesystem inside the backup set.

 

Restore happens through the Retrospect client, which knows how to do "the right thing" with the data stream it gets.

 

It's all magic.

 

As an aside, many larger shops with mixed environments (and even many with all Mac environments) moved over to using Windows Retrospect while Macintosh Retrospect withered for years and years. You might want to read through the Windows Retrospect 7.5/7.6 Users Guide to get a glimpse.

 

Russ

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Thanks

 

I was browsing through the User Guide just now couldn't see much on the Restore of Mac's I'll dig further, a lot of it is referring to OS 9. Typically I'm just restoring deleted or saved over files to the local drive on my current backup server and e-mailing them to users. Once or twice I've done a full restore, to a folder on my backup machine, copied it to a firewire drive taken that to the user machine and copied the files where they needed to be. I think this maybe a viable option in the Win version via the Advanced restore options?

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Typically I'm just restoring deleted or saved over files to the local drive on my current backup server and e-mailing them to users. Once or twice I've done a full restore, to a folder on my backup machine, copied it to a firewire drive taken that to the user machine and copied the files where they needed to be. I think this maybe a viable option in the Win version via the Advanced restore options?

Could be problematic if the restore is not done onto the same platform as the eventual destination. The restore platform needs to understand the metadata information of the eventual destination, or issues develop. That's the point of having the Retrospect client and restoring through the Retrospect client rather than simply mounting the destination volume onto the Retrospect server and restoring that way.

 

There is more data for a file than just the file data. Metadata is important. Hint: in Terminal, try out the mdls command (see the man page for usage, and it also prints out nice usage info if you don't supply arguments).

 

Russ

 

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Thanks Russ

 

As I've luckily had to do very few restores I haven't looked into it much as my method worked fine. Just trying the restore via the client now to a Windows and Mac machine seems to work fine, so doing it the more correct way should be no problem. I will grab the Trial and test it out and price up a win box vs mac, + the software.

 

Matt

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Ok. You might want to reflect on the Snow Leopard compatibility statement if you have any 10.6.x machines.

Snow Leopard Compatibility Statement

 

There are some issues there, updates will be needed. I'd wait for the updates before deploying any Snow Leopard machines.

 

I also think that there are some Windows 7 issues, at least with the RTM (I haven't tested that, but search the Retrospect for Windows forums). Again, expect some updates for that before deploying.

 

Russ

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You should be fine' date=' then, if you aren't doing bare metal restore on the Macs.[/quote']

Can you elaborate on that, please?

I don't believe that the metadata restoration is quite right. I suggest you do some testbed experiments with

Backup Bouncer

 

It's better on Retrospect 8, when it stabilizes. When Retrospect Win becomes based on the Retrospect 8 code, should be better too, if/when it stabilizes.

 

See also the Terminal command mdls (which spews out good help if used with no args, too).

 

Russ

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I've done a few bare metal restores on the Mac from Windows 7.6. These were probably Tiger-based systems. How I do it is that I install OS X to an external firewire drive along with Retrospect, then boot up from it and do the restore to the client's real target drive. I find this works just about as well as bare metal restores to Windows systems, which means sometimes it works and sometimes not.

Edited by Guest

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I still don't believe that the metadata is restored quite right, but your approach is the right one.

 

Just because it boots and seems to run doesn't necessarily mean that all the metadata was restored to its state at the time of the backup. Whether that matters in your environment is unknown. Of particular interest would be the restoration of a complex ACL structure.

 

You can view the metadata on the Mac using the Terminal command:

mdls

 

See the man page for mdls for details. In Terminal,

man mdls

 

The command also prints out useful help instructions if you execute the mdls command without any arguments.

 

Russ

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