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very disappointed in retrospect


muttel
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Hi all, I've bought Retrospect 8.1 not so long ago when we moved to Mac for good.

Retrospect was recommended as the best backup solution for Mac. No kids stuff like TimeMachine so my dealer said. And version 8.1 sounded pretty solid. And I was able to backup my remaining windows servers too...

 

Truth for me is - I burned my money. I think Retrospect for Mac is far away from be a solid reliable backup solution. I even wouldn't grant it being a beta version.

 

1) Speed: As many postings here show, low speed is a real issue for many of us here. Although we are using brand new hardware, server to iSCSI hard disk is less than 600 MB/min, iMac to server is less then 150 MB/min and Win2008R2 server is below 30 MB/min. TimeMachine on our iMacs is about 20 times faster. The built in Windows backup solution is > 2GB/min.

2) Backup quality: Very poor on Windows machines. VSS isn't supported, so most of the important files (like databases, virtual machines) won't be backed up. Windows backup can do it, Acronis, Norton etc. they all can do it. So please don't tell me that's impossible.

3) Documentation: Kinda none. Although the 'new' version is out for more than a year now, still no sign of a manual. I've read in some older postings from last august that EMC hired some expert for writing an awesome manual and that it was almost done then...

4) Reliability: I couldn't figure out how to do a bare metal restore under any os. Maybe it's possible, maybe not, I don't know.

5) User experience: Although the gui looks ok, it's far away from being intuitive. You have to do lots of time consuming trial and error to understand the concept (especially if you wanted to exclude something from a backup).

 

So I've decided not to worry any longer and to move on - to TimeMachine and CCC, which is free, easy to use, fast & reliable (I don't use tapes).

 

But if somebody thinks that Retrospect is a great solution and interested in buying a unlimited server / unlimited clients version, please pm me at muttel at hushmail.com. I've registered our version already, so I don't know if it was possible to transfer the license...

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Except neither one (nor both together) provide the backup options Retrospect does.

It all depends on your backup policy; you do have a backup policy, yes?

 

As a matter of fact I do. Top priority in my policy is reliability - which I can not achieve with Retrospect (at least I don't know how). Looks like I'm not the only one who misses that feature (thanks for your support Jeff).

Ok, Retrospect supports tape drives (which I don't use) and offers less redundancy than TM/CCC.

TimeMachine is easy to use, intuitive and doesn't require Admin support in case of small emergencies on the other hand.

My current solution (which is not my preferred solution) works for me. Every 2 weeks I'll make a complete backup of every Mac client and server with CCC from a netboot image (for fast disaster recovery). I can do that remotely from home over the weekend.

That also backs up the virtual windows machines on those clients. TimeMachine saves all (new or changed) user data every 4 hours (also on the Mac server). Our few sole Win clients have (our old) Acronis TrueImage software on board which is reliable and fast.

The built in backup solution on our Win2008R2 server runs every day and also saves all virtual Win servers on that machine. Recovery is not easy or self-explanatory but it works. And I also copy my backup drives every 2 weeks and take that drive home.

Next thing will be modifying my netboot image so that CCC automatically backs up the clients.

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Thanks for the hint. I did not know that.

I've looked it up on the EMC store. The price tag (EUR 1,771.91) for the add-on frightens me. I could get 3 Win2008R2 licenses for that (backup solution included)...

 

 

 

I actually agree with this. I always thought that should be included in the price of the software (or much less for this...)

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