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Tape backup cross platform

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Hi all,


I'm using retrospect 7.7 on windows to backup data to tapes. We have another facility where they are going to backup data to tape too but in this case on Mac OSX using Retrospect Desktop 8.


The question is if we can read from Windows the tapes created with Retrospect on Mac and vice versa.





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I have not had any luck doing this. When I moved from AIT-3 to AIT-4 on our Windows backup system I tried using the AIT-3 tapes on the Mac and ran into major problems. I went through three tape libraries with two of them eating tapes until I realized that the tapes needed to be replaced. Even for the ones that did work the library indicted wrong version.

I would suggest testing with a single tape first that does not contain important data and see if it works however my recommendation is to keep the Windows and Mac tapes separated.

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The question is if we can read from Windows the tapes created with Retrospect on Mac and vice versa.

There's a chance you can, but I've never tried. The media set (f/k/a/ backup set) format for Retrospect 8 for Mac was changed to be Intel native (little endian) for just this reason. See:

Changes in Retrospect 8.0 from 6.1 for Macintosh


Cross Platform Media Sets


Backup Sets and media (tape and disk) created in Retrospect 7.6 for Windows can be used with Retrospect 8.0 for Macintosh.


This is one reason the Retrospect 8 engine on PowerPC (big endian) performs so poorly - it spends all of its time byte-swapping to/from the new Intel format.


Admittedly, it doesn't say that Retrospect 7.7 for Windows can read Retrospect 8 for Mac media (backup) sets, and I haven't seen an official statement one way or the other.


The "holy grail" for Retrospect users will occur when the code bases are truly merged and become truly cross-platform.



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The only thing I would be careful with when trying this is making sure the devices are compatible. If they are not you may run into trouble. I have never tried reading Mac backups sets on Windows and that was because the Mac system uses AIT-3 tapes and the Windows system uses AIT-4 tapes.

My inclination is that 7.7 should be able to read 8.1 backup sets since 7.7.325 came out after 8.1.626 so this functionality might be supported. Like I said I have not tried due to difference between my devices.

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