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Simple rotated, 2 disk backup

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I inherited a customer that had Retrospect 7 on a SBS.  As soon as I took over, Retrospect 7 became corrupted and lost all scripts.  They actually had support and Retrospect support upgraded me to Retrospect 8, but all scripts were gone.  I had to set up a new backup from scratch.  Now, this backup seems to be functioning improperly, but it is most likely that my expertise is with other backup products and I have never used Retrospect.  They have an SBS with 2 backup hard drives that are supposed to be swapped out each day, but sometimes this does not happen.  I would like a simple backup that rotates out each night to different disks with the understanding that sometimes the swap will not take place and the backup still needs to take place.  I'm ready to start from scratch - again.  They not only back up the server, but about 10 client PCs/laptops that may or may not be there or turned on each night.  The clients have been added into Retrospect again, so they are recognized and the version of Retrospect on the clients is updated.


If I can get incremental backups, that would be best.  I am also concerned that incremental backups will overfill the backup disks at some time, but since the client laptops are not always there, keeping incremental backups around is best to be sure the data is saved in case someone goes on vacation for a week with their laptop and their laptop crashes. If I am correct, I need to set up some sort of automatic Grooming - not Recycling.


As the backup disks are swapped out, they will both be the E: drive.


Thank in advance for any help setting this up.


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Welcome to Retrospect.

Retrospect is quite capable of doing what you need, but if you have come from other backup products, you will need to understand that Retrospect works rather differently from conventional backup products, and there are number of key principles you will need to get your head around. You will need to read the Manual or the Help (pretty much the same thing) for the relevant sections.

     Manual - Ch2 Getting Started - Overview


1. Retrospect does not do "Incremental" backups in the conventional sense, it uses a technology called "Progressive" backup, which is sort of incremental forever, or at least for an extended period (several months).

     Manual Ch3 Fundamentals - Progressive Backup


2. Snapshots, are records of the state of a client at a point in time, and are used in conjunction with Progressive backup to provide the ability to to effectively perform a "Full" recovery, from Progressive backups. 

    Manual Ch3 Fundamentals - Snapshots


3. Pro-Active Backup is for your Laptops & Workstations, where their availability is unpredictable. You create Proactive backup scripts which implement backups of the form, for example. "Backup all the laptops whenever they are available, but not more than once every two days, ensuring that priority is given to the longest outstanding client"

     Manual Ch6 Automated Operations - Proactive Backup Scripts


4. BackupSets, are backup Target objects (Disks, file, tape) to which backup data is sent. A Key point is that you can specify multiple BackupSets (your two removable drives) for a particular Script, and Retrospect will do it's best to use which ever one is available at any time.

Or you can specify one Backup Set and configure Multiple disks as Members of that Backup Set

     Manual Ch3 Fundamentals - Backup Sets and their Components


5. Retrospect knows how to handle USB and removable drives, for which you cannot predict in advance the drive letter under which they will mount. Retro uses the volume name.

     Manual Ch4 Hardware - Hard Disk Drives    NB a USB External Drive is a HARD DISK to Retrospect NOT a Removable Drive

     ( a Removable drive is one where the drive stays connected but the media is removed eg: Floppy, CD, Rev, Jazz etc)


6. Retrospect can "Transfer" Snapshots  or entire BackupSets from one place to another BackupSet.

Thus a good plan is to perform your backups to a BackupSet on an ON-Site Disk (on the server / nas etc) and then Transfer the Most recent Snapshots to an "Offsite" BackupSet on your External Drives.

This way your most recent backup is always available on site for a restore if required, AND it is safely stored off-site for disaster recovery.

     Manual Ch10 Management - Backup Strategies

     Manual Ch6 Automated Operations - Scripted Snapshot Transfer


Hope this helps get you pointed in the right direction

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