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Need Virtual DVD Burner software to configure multiple virtual burners to support Dantz Retrospect


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I need virtual DVD burner software that will let me configure multiple virtual dvd burners to support my backup software (Dantz Retrospect). I want to configure multiple virtual dvd burners to allow the backup software to "burn" many DVDs during the night. Then during the day I want to copy them onto real DVD+RW discs. Can someone please recommend a product that I can use? It seems to me that many people would use this solution to take advantage of cost effective DVD discs.


I have Virtualcd, Vmware and Nero imagedrive and none of them provides a solution, here is why:


Virtualcd provides a way to create and mount virtual versions of *existing* images that originated on a real cd or dvd. You can even consolidate several virtual cd images onto a dvd image and vitualize that. But the actual creation of the image takes place when you use burning software to collect files and burn a real disc. In the case of Nero you can collect the files and burn a virtual image, but they do not externalize the virtual burn capability so another program like Dantz Retrospect can think it is writing to the (virtual) drive.


Vmware is providing access from one or several virtual systems to a real device. They also provide methods to allow the virtual machine(s) to access *existing* virtual images. But no way for the virtual system to burn an image that is not associated with a real burner.


I really believe there is a good market for a product that provides backup software with access to several virtual burners. This would allow backup software to execute unattended and burn a number of virtual disks that can then be burned to real media during the day when it is convenient. I'd pay more than retail (say $100-$200) for an add-on to Nero that provided this capability. What I have found is the people who write good backup software do not write "good" device driver software and the people who really know how to make a device "perform" don't understand how to design reliable and efficient backup systems.


For example, I just spent 24 hours sitting at my computer burning 31 dvd's worth of images using Nero Backup. The same 140Gb of tape would have cost as much or more than the DVDs, the tape drives cost about $2,000 (and up) and tape is not as reliable for storage as DVD. Furthermore Nero Backup gave me errors that it could not compress my images because they were too big so I had to store them uncompressed. And Nero made no effort to determine if I backed up the exact same image more than once (because there were multiple copies in my directory tree <we can zing Microsoft for that>) or because I had changed the directory name between backup activities. Dantz Retrospect handles both of these problems. But I still have to sit there and feed the dvds into the drive (this solution would also fix the Dantz reliablity problem working with real DVD drives, but that's another story :-).


Another example, my son who is at school (or anyone) who has his computer set up to backup his system each night. This works fine when there is space on the dvd, but the backup does not finish when the dvd needs to be changed at 3 AM. He gets up and aborts the backup so he can use his computer. Then puts new media into the drive for the next night. This wastes the space from the aborted on the prior dvd and fills up the new dvd that much faster.


To me there seems to be an obvious niche for a product like this that smart people would PAY GOOD MONEY for. A product that both the backup software vendors and drive vendors would have reason to bundle or refer people to because it makes their products more functional (I guess the tape drive guys would not like it :-)


I think the issues is that the backup industry still thinks "tape" and doesn't yet understand that DVD drives and DVD media is cheaper, faster and more reliable than tape. It is particularly good for personal computers with dvd burners (more and more these around now :-)


Well I hope a developer with a desire to MAKE SOME MONEY is reading these posts too. Please forward my musings to anyone you know who might kick start this effort.


Thanks, Rich

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