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Retrospect s-l-o-w scanning before backup

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We have five XServe servers and approx 25 clients (mainly Mac OS 9) that were being backed up fine by a PowerMac G4 733MHz running Mac OS 9.2.2 with Retrospect Server 5.1.175 to a Sony AIT3 SCSI drive. The SCSI card is an Adaptec 29160. There are another 30 Mac OS X clients that are NOT being backed up.


Recently the servers were upgraded to 10.3.1 (from 10.2.8).


Initially backups proceeded as normal with no _new_ problems (both Retrospect Server 5.0 and 5.1 have had many known issues with Mac OS X which still to this day remain unresolved).


However I am now finding that backing up two of the XServes is now effectively impossible. The two servers both act as AppleShare servers (the others do not act as File Servers) with dedicated volumes for the operating system and for the shared user files. The problem is that Retrospect spends hours and hours and hours scanning these two servers. It starts off normally enough (the first approx 50,000 files get scanned at an acceptable pace) but it then starts to slow down, and then slow even more, until it is eventually crawling along. As these two servers have over 500,000 files on their startup drives it is now taking upto 12 HOURS just to scan each of these servers. In terms of bytes it is only about 30GB per servers startup disk.


I suspect Mac OS X 10.3 is partly at fault because there is no real reason why so many files exist on the startup drive (no applications have been installed, user data is on a separate partition), the other XServes which are not acting as File Servers do not have anywhere near as many files on them. However Retrospect is equally at fault for being so appallingly inefficient. The process load according to Activity Viewer is only about 3% so it is hardly working hard.


Note: I am trying to do a full backup (not an incremental backup).


I have tried upgrading the backup machine to 10.3.1 also but it made a negligible difference.


Has anyone else seen anything like this? Anyone have any suggestions?


If it is a limitation of Retrospect (its inability to cope with large numbers of files) then frankly the product is not fit to be sold.


Note: I have used Retrospect for over a decade.


Ever since Mac OS X 10.1 was released I am afraid the impression has been that Dantz has severely neglected the Mac market with the Mac product being considerably inferior to the Windows version. The 'improvements' in 5.1 in no way justified being a chargeable (expensive) upgrade. Equally one could draw the impression that because there is effectively no serious competition to Retrospect in the Mac market they do not feel the need to improve/fix it (yes there are other products but not as well featured, however comments on them would be appreciated since the situation with Retrospect is now so dire).

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Since this happens during the scan It is likely related to memory management on the backup computer. For scanning, the amount of data is not as important as the total number of files - that is what really eats into memory.


I imagine you have enough memory on the backup machine, the problem is likely with managing that memory. Is installing a clean OS on the backup mac a possibility? How about installing OSX on that machine?


As far as your other coments are concerned, Dantz`s CEO has just recently addressed the subject on the Retrotalk mailing list. You can join from the support page. It is worth a read.


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