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Fulco

Has Retrospect Server for Windows a future?

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Has Retrospect Server for Windows a future?

 

Since years Retrospect has some major bugs:

1) Damaging configuration. The Retrospect configuration is easily damaged, and there is no way to repair of export the settings.

2) Starting as a ‘Service’ so the UI is always available, now the UI is unreachable, if the main program Retrospect was not running.

3) Grooming failure

 

All these issue, and many minor ones, are reported by several users on the forum.

I also contacted support many times. They only confirm the issue’s.

 

 

Fulco

 

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All the thousands of users that does NOT have any problems are NOT here in these forums.

 

You seem to have more than a fair share of the problems, so I think it might have something to do with your setup. And that isn't limited to Retrospect's setup. I mean hardware, network, etc etc.

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Issue (1) and (2) are not ‘Setup’ related: they are by design.

 

Issue (3 – Grooming) could be ‘Setup’ related.

But I followed the KB article by the letter.

Also I did contact Support.

They confirmed Grooming issues.

 

 

My worry is the lack of progress in Retrospect.

Even ‘simple’ bugs, like a faulty progress indicator, are not fixed.

Another example is ‘Disaster Restore’ support for Windows 2008 servers: this came years after the first beta’s where released by Microsoft.

 

In my opinion the ‘Backup Program’ (Retrospect) is the most important piece of software on a Server (in a network).

So this needs to: be reliable, be up to date, have excellent support, be modern ....

 

 

Fulco

 

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I agree, I have run into the same exact issues you have:

 

*******************************************

Since years Retrospect has some major bugs:

1) Damaging configuration. The Retrospect configuration is easily damaged, and there is no way to repair of export the settings.

2) Starting as a ‘Service’ so the UI is always available, now the UI is unreachable, if the main program Retrospect was not running.

3) Grooming failure

**********************************************

 

I don't think it's a setup/configuration or hardware issue at. Since I have had these same problems on two different servers with totally different hardware.

 

Numbers 1 and 3 are really bad for me since they require a hugh amount of my time to recover from them. They really do need to be fixed.

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I agree that retrospect have many issues to resolve.

 

4) The backup sets, damage very easily too.

5) Since Roxio has taken the control of Retrospect, support dont´work. I have a ticket opened 2 weeks ago, and until now i don´t receive an answer.

6) A script with robocopy is better.

 

Edited by Guest

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Has Retrospect Server for Windows a future?

 

I honestly wonder this as well. I'm still not convinced that Roxio was a "good fit" for the windows product. I'm starting to make plans to jump ship if necessary... :D

 

All the thousands of users that does NOT have any problems are NOT here in these forums.

 

You seem to have more than a fair share of the problems, so I think it might have something to do with your setup. And that isn't limited to Retrospect's setup. I mean hardware, network, etc etc.

 

I would hazard a guess that the large percentage of users that "does NOT have any problems" aren't using it as extensively. Or they DO have problems but have acquiesced (as I have) to the YEARS of the same unresolved issues/problems and have just got used to rebuilding ones scripts, sets and preferences on their own and not posting or calling into TS.

 

 

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I sadly have to agree..

 

I've been using the Windows version of RS since the early days of 7.0 and I have seen very little (if any) improvement in the software where competitors have introduced many new features to keep their offering alive.

 

Don't get me wrong, fundermentally it's a pretty good tool, it's just a shame that the team on it are so small they can either develop the Mac 8.0 version OR the Windows version. The commercial future seems to be with supporting Mac users going forwards (i.e. back to where Dantz originally came).

 

Without going on a full-blwon rant about this product, there's clearly features missing that make it horrific to use on a daily basis in a business.

 

For example:

- No user backup count down pop up since the XP days... how many years now?

- No Exchange 2010 support... how long now?

- Some problems restoring Windows 2008 R2

- No backup to FTP or core VMware/Hyper-V backup features

- No Delta backup capability

- WOL features added to the GUI 'by mistake' and never removed, even though they don't work - a clear lack of design, plan and test process

- Clearing down a machines snapshot from a backup set has to be done one-by-one..

 

- Config file falls over now and again.. most users now backup the backup programs configuraton file, which says it all!

- Corruption of the catalogue file, with large backup sets taking days to rebuild.

- Backup set corruption, althouh thankfully rare

- Backup client machines get battered by pre-backup scans with no way of throttling back.

 

Anyway... like I say, it's Ok when it's working but I don't think if I had the decision again I'd invest in it..

 

Rich

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Hmmm... Rich actually has a good summary of important shortcomings. I agree for the most part. Retrospect saved my day on a couple of occasions. But it is also seriously lacking. It's a bit of a love-hate relationship I suppose.

 

Because I have been using it for at least 15 years now I understand its shortcomings and power. However it needs slightly more than a spit and polish to become future proof.

 

I really hope the Roxio-situation helps. Time will tell. If I had to decide right now without my Retrospect history I would probably not end up with it. But then again, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

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I completely agree to me it looks like they have lost the race to other backup companies.

 

Actually I was planning to move away from Backup Exec and only using Retrospect as I think they have some nice features like no need for weekly full backup and using syntethic full backup to tapes.

 

But I have been watching for I think 6 months that nothing is happening, and I honestly believe Retrospect is loosing their reputation, like when I click within my retrospect installation I am forwarded to iomega website, when I try to find information or support I end up at Roxio where there is no forum for retrospect and finally I can search for retrospect forum and I end up here like always.

 

Please how can we trust Retrospect to backup our stuff, we can't.

 

We are moving on with windows 2008 R2, exchange 2010 etc etc, but Retrospect is not following, in order to survive they will need to make some kind of disaster recovery where they add all needed features, otherwise if not already bye bye Retrospect. :confused2:

Edited by Guest

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Retrospect is an orphan and after EMC absorb Dantz my guess was that the only motivation for this step was to take a rival out of the market because EMC has it's own products. But they keep Retrospect alive unfortunately without any significant progress in development. Maybe Roxio has the motivation to bring Retrospect back to the requirements of the customer.

 

I prefered Retrospect because it is simple and stupid. A backup software shouldn't be to complicated, it should work fail-safe without the need of study a manual with thousands of pages with plenty of parameters which could be configured incorrectly. Retrospect under the command of Dantz met this condition but it become more and more unstable and faulty. Now we reached a point of decision and I hope that Roxio do a better job than EMC did.

 

Bye Tom

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I sadly have to agree..

 

I've been using the Windows version of RS since the early days of 7.0 and I have seen very little (if any) improvement in the software where competitors have introduced many new features to keep their offering alive.

 

If Roxio happens to invest in this product (I say this from working for software companies for 15 years), I ask them to PLEASE fix the existing problems. I understand the "push" to add new features to make your product more competitive, but if the product is asserting %5 of time or corrupting the config file, or..., then the new features are somewhat pointless.

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Please how can we trust Retrospect to backup our stuff, we can't.

You may not have noticed, but this is a user-to-user forum. You need to tell Roxio directly.

 

If Roxio happens to invest in this product (I say this from working for software companies for 15 years), I ask them to PLEASE fix the existing problems.

How did you ask them? (You may not have noticed, but this is a user-to-user forum. You need to tell Roxio directly.)

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How did you ask them? (You may not have noticed, but this is a user-to-user forum. You need to tell Roxio directly.)

 

If Roxio isn't monitoring these forums to help gauge the current issues with their products, they are doing themselves (and their customers for that matter) a great disservice... Is the onus upon me to tell them what they should (and probably already) know!

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How did you ask them? (You may not have noticed' date=' but this is a user-to-user forum. You need to tell Roxio directly.)[/quote']

 

If Roxio isn't monitoring these forums to help gauge the current issues with their products, they are doing themselves (and their customers for that matter) a great disservice... Is the onus upon me to tell them what they should (and probably already) know!

 

Microsoft and Apple organize user2user forums too and both are frequented by employees also. I think the only reason why this kind of forum is called a user to user forum is because they won't give a guarantee that a technical engineer is working on your problem. But I think some members of the support stuff are still monitoring this forum. I think the user Mayoff for example is a member of the support stuff and he is more than a regular in this forum. He must because nobody can post all day long in this forum ;-) I think thay are reading this but it depends on the style of the criticism if they will take notice about a specific problem.Is the only reason to place a posting here to vent one's anger thay maybe ignore this. I don't know but I would...

 

But you are right this don't eliminate the current problems we have.

 

Bye Tom

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Mayoff is a Retrospect Manager.

 

He's been very helpful in the past few days.

 

He and I spoke at length not only of my issues, but of the future. Roxio is working to get Retrospect in order and some folks do look at the forums. From talking with tech support and Mr Mayoff, I can only gleen that it's taking some time for this change over to happen.

 

Really odd that a large company such as Roxio would have such a sloppy transition of a new product. I expressed this to Mr Mayoff and he is letting the team know.

 

 

Edited by Guest

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Well, we have to consider the fact that major software changes do take considerable time to develop properly. And to solve the important issues, major changes are possibly what's needed. So no quick fix will be at Roxio's disposal, nor would they want a quick (but dirty) fix I would think.

 

I feel EMC didn't do Retrospect a lot of good. Roxio deserves the chance, but it will take time to fix the problems.

 

Of course this is kind of bad considering some of use have been waiting for a long time to get the fixes and updates. However this can't really be helped I'm afraid.

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Well, we have to consider the fact that major software changes do take considerable time to develop properly. And to solve the important issues, major changes are possibly what's needed. So no quick fix will be at Roxio's disposal, nor would they want a quick (but dirty) fix I would think.

 

I feel EMC didn't do Retrospect a lot of good. Roxio deserves the chance, but it will take time to fix the problems.

 

Of course this is kind of bad considering some of use have been waiting for a long time to get the fixes and updates. However this can't really be helped I'm afraid.

 

As for the code changes and fixes...yes, those may take a while.

 

As for the website still having EMC emails and the Documents still having EMC allover them...well, that just leads to plain confusion as well as a poor looking product.

 

I was looking at the site the other day and asked myself if EMC bought Roxio.(really...I had to google it and look!)

 

 

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After my experiences today, at this point I'm sadly going to say I don't see much future in the Product at all.

 

After reading through a lot of the recent threads here with NO RESPONSE from anyone at Roxio addressing the issues or even trying to placate the user base I tried picking up the phone. What a complete disaster.

 

I called Customer Support first to request to speak with a "Product Manager" as that is really where a lot of the issues lie right now. Instead I was told to call Sales. I explained I didn't want to talk with Sales, that I wanted someone closer to the product. After I get off the phone I get an email from a blind email address that ticket was opened, with a completely incorrect issue summary, telling me to click on the ticket link to open it. Guess what, there WAS NO LINK. The email was from a noreply email address, the CS Agent's name was just listed as "Phil" with no last name or extension number so there was no way to access or update the ticket or even reach the same guy again.

 

I call in again over that fact to speak with a Supervisor....as not only is support for the product broken, but their entire support SYSTEM is flawed. It takes 20 min to before the Supervisor actually GETS that there was no link in the email. I kept asking him for his email address so I can send him the email I got so he could see what I was talking about, but guess what...he doesn't HAVE an email address. I try having a discussion with him about how broken their Support systems are there and the barriers created to supporting the customer, when I can't even forward an email to him, not to mention the issues in the ticket email to begin with.

 

The icing is when I asked where they were located and got the "we're not allowed to disclose that". My response, so you're NOT in the US then are you? "We're not allowed to answer that". Yeah, point taken.

 

I called and tried reaching a Product Manager or someone in Management through the Sales line and pretty much got the 'it's all flowers and sunshine' future given to me. I tried explaining the numerous issues and the complete despair I see in the customer forums and if things are so great, then why isn't there any communication here to address it, or some presence to stem the tide of frustrated users all contemplating leaving. No good answer from her. I specifically stated this is why there are PRODUCT MANAGEMENT issues and why I'd like to discuss this with the Product Manager or a VP. We'll see if I get a call back.

 

At this point if I was looking to purchase a backup system, it would most definitely NOT be Retrospect, and that's a sad statement given we've been on it since version 4 or so.

 

Scott Blair

Edited by Guest

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Good work Scott and a disspointing experience. The last communication I read from a Product Manager was way back in a blog where he outlined progress and how the product was still very alive.

 

He was soon shot down by frustrated users about all the bugs and lack of 'real' features for several years.

 

I've been looking at Acronis - shame it's so expensive, but there's a company which has grabbed new IT requirements by the horns and made a bang up-to-date product.

 

I've tried calling RS Support a couple of times and had the same old 'reinstall the product' message - clearly there's no knowledge behind the phones, it's just an outsourced call centre. I personally don't care where the call centre is, but if it's just smoke and mirrors to pretend there's a viable product underneath, then that's not on!

 

Rich

Edited by Guest

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I totally agree here ... Retrospect should publish some information on what the hell is going on and what they intend to do about this situation. All that outsourcing to india (or what ever the place is) is bad bad and it get worse if the product has to many bugs (as it has now)!

 

Robert

 

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I just wanted to follow up to give some positive outcome here. I managed to have some productive email dialog and a lengthy phone discussion with the Product Manager today about the support issues and state of the product and it's future. The fact that my request to speak to him got esclated (by multiple people) and addressed I view as a very positive sign as it could have easily fallen on deaf ears.

 

I won't go into details here as I want to respect the conversation we had, but despite the current struggles the Retrospect team values the quality support we are all paying for and realizes that it is not meeting expectations currently.

 

I do feel for the challenges the team has likely experienced over the recent years with the number of times they have changed ownership between Dantz->EMC->Iomega and now Sonic/Roxio.

 

Having been in those shoes myself, I don't think we are going to see an overnight change, but I do have some renewed confidence after the discussions. At the least I'm hoping we will see more participation from them on the forums here as some of the points I rasied on communication did seem to resonate.

 

Given the tone of my previous post, I wanted to be fair and let others know the outcome and leave things on a more positive note.

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I recently purchased this product on behalf of a large medical establishment in the midwest. I am highly disappointed in the workmanship of this software and how many errors we have experienced.

 

I am considering going back to the FREE solution that was working before we had Macintosh's to back up. It is called "BackupPC" and works great for Windows workstations. It can also be configured for a Macintosh from what I understand. It can use SSH/rsync which is very fast. I use it to back up workstations across slow WAN links, fast WAN links, LAN's, etc with no "network timeout" issues or other various errors that we have dealt with recently. The pain of converting the base OS on the backup server now is probably not going to let me go back since it runs on Linux (i use Debian primarily), and it was switched to Windows Server 2008 R2 64bit.

 

I have also put in a few tickets through before and it took them weeks to get an answer. Not really an answer just a "blame the OS" or "blame the hardware" response, with no real resolution suggestion.

 

Hindsight is 20/20, and I wished I found this forum before purchasing this software, for sure.

 

I understand that most of the problems everyone is experiencing is due to the changing of hands and lack of development time because of the reorganization, but please don't sell a product you CAN'T support, period.

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I had a crash today whilst trying to recover some user data to a rebuilt laptop. Joy! Our entire laptop and PST catalogues were scrapped which have been rebuilding throughout the day and will probably continue over night too.

 

No laptop backups or recovery facilities for us then! grr.. I won't bother calling support as I'm sure they have never heard of this issue before :)

 

Rich

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