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Update system to Mac Pro?

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Hey all.


I've been running two Retrospect Server systems for years, backing up ~90 clients each to SDLT tape libraries. Both systems have been running on PowerMac G4 computers with ATTO UL3D SCSI cards, and have been models of reliability.


Some funding has appeared, and I now have the chance to upgrade the two systems. Replacing the tape drives with LTO-3 tape libraries is pretty much a no-brainer (Quantum Superloader 3 units, approved for use by EMC/Dantz), but I'm also thinking of retiring the G4s and getting new computers. I'm hoping the faster machines will improve cataloging times, among other things.


Does anybody have anything positive/negative to say about the current 2.66Ghz dual-core Mac Pro systems in regards to running Retrospect Server 6.1, with an ATTO UL5D SCSI cards? I did find the thread about sticking with OSX 10.4.9 until ATTO can fix the driver issue they apparently have, but is there anything else that would make me want to perhaps get some refurbished PowerMac G5s (non liquid-cooled, heh) instead?



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I did find the thread about sticking with OSX 10.4.9 until ATTO can fix the driver issue they apparently have


I'm not convinced that the problem is with ATTO's driver; it just appears that ATTO's attempt to work around a bug that Apple introduced with Mac OS 10.4.10 may not have been successful. The fix may not arrive until Apple releases Mac OS 10.4.11, if then. We can only hope.


Then we can all start discovering a new set of bugs when Leopard (Mac OS 10.5) is released.



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That's why I'm hesitant to upgrade anything without knowing for sure if it works....the G4s running 10.3.9 and their ATTO UL3D cards may be old, but they're rock solid reliable. Part of me is tempted to leave the computers as-is and just get higher capacity tape drives. smile.gif


Would I really see much of a difference in Retrospect if I were to upgrade my 1.25GHz G4s to something like a dual 2.0GHz G5 or a Mac Pro? When I upgraded the processors in the G4s and bumped them up to 1.75GB of RAM, I didn't notice much of any difference in how quickly Retrospect dealt with cataloging things. I'm honestly not sure how much of an effect such things have on Retrospect.

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There would be a trade off between the faster CPU / increased system memory of a modern Macintosh and the fact that Retrospect would have to run under Rosetta on an Intel based machine.


Given the stability of the current configuration, you might instead consider adding another complete PPC based plaform to your mix. Another G4/G5, another tape drive/library. This would require you to re-think/re-configure/jiggle your backup strategy, but it might allow you to decrease total backup time of the data you need to capture, as well as add another level of redundancy.


Just something to consider while you're spending Other People's Money.




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The tradeoff (Intel Mac vs. Rosetta) also came to mind as I thought about this. I've found a source for good refurbished PowerMac G5s, so I'm going to recommend we upgrade to a few 2.0GHz dual processor G5s instead. Should give me a decent performance increase while keeping everything pretty reliable/compatible.


If Retrospect ever becomes a Universal install, then I'll consider some Mac Pros. If. smile.gif

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When our lease ran out I upgraded to an Intel XServe and had no choice but to run 10.4.10 since that is what the server shipped with.


I have a few issues with mirroring drives through Retrospect but the tape backups are still chugging away perfectly. On good days I average almost 3000MB/min transfer rate, this is using an ATTO Celerity FC-41XS (using the PCI-X adapter in the XServe) and a Dell LTO3 Powervault 132T. When the Universal version of Retrospect appears I'll be able to justify upgrading to a PCI-Express card adapter and a new ATTO FC card.


I would be interested in a comparison of the Intel Native/Universal vs Rosetta emulation. With the blazing speed of the processors I would suspect the limiting factor would be the hardware limitations in the tape drive and not the emulation.

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