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Retrospect vs. Backup Exec


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Retrospect has many advantages over our competition:


Other backup software is based on decades-old technologies that force customers to do "full" backups every day in order to guarantee reliable restores. The problem: the same 95% of files get backed up over and over again, wasting time and resources. Yet if customers do "incremental" or "differential" backups, which copy only files that have changed, restores become less and less reliable, and customers are forced to endure multiple incremental restore steps.


Even worse -- if you have more than one backup set and try to rotate between the backup sets for maximum safety, you actually end up reducing the effectiveness of your backups because some files exist exclusively on each of the sets you are rotating. (Once a file is backed up to one set, it isn't backed up to the other because the backup date or archive bit is reset.)


Retrospect is different. Retrospect scans the disk you want to back up and then compares the contents of the disk (a "Snapshot") with the contents of the backup set. Retrospect then copies everything that's new or different to the backup set. This makes it easy to rotate between backup sets, keeping each set up-to-date. (You could even have a set you take off site for, say, a month and then bring it back up to date with a single incremental backup.)


Even more important is restoring: Retrospect allows you to completely restore your data in a single pass -- even after multiple incremental backups.


Other things that set Retrospect apart:


Automatic device recognition and support -- Retrospect includes customized drivers for hundreds of devices, including tape, CD-R/RW, Zip, SuperDisk, etc. We included a Auto-Configurator to build a driver for currently unsupported CD/DVD drives.


Automated notebook backup -- you can back up notebooks across the network very easily with Retrospect's Backup Server feature. Just install our client software on the computers you want to back up (over TCP/IP -- no Microsoft networking required). Then tell Retrospect to back up the computers once a day. Retrospect will then look for the computers, and when one is backed up it is dropped to the bottom of the priority list. That way, the computers most in need of backup move to the top of the list while the ones recently backed up move to the bottom of the list.

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-Retrospects licensing (unlimited clients and servers) is more relaxed and is one of the reasons I use it.


-Retrospect can select files dynamically, based on selector (file filter). A big plus if you're not 100% sure where all files could be or have users that don't always save where they supposed to. Second reason I like it....


-Retrospect does spaphots, point in time,(all TM by Dantz?) images that supposed to make full restore jobs easier. This is probably what differentiates the RS from the rest. It is a big advantage as well as big dissadvantage. In my opinion, they do not work well right now. ( supposedly Dantz, as they should, is working to address it's shortcommings). The main issue is that the time to take a snapshot is propotional to the number of files on the partition. The more files you have the bigger the disadvantage. Even if backup takes only 5 seconds the snapshot can take hours. This is somewhat alieviated by V6.5 where you can have multiple backups jobs running at the same time. The trick is to create a separate backup set for slow backups so they dont stop others from being backed up.


-Retrospect's help file/documentation/online support are weaker than Veritas' (as compared to my experience with BEv7.5) Here's an example of an error log that I'm not able to find any reference for: Can't back up IIS Metabase: unknown error 41103916. I also don't trust Retrospect with full resore feature.


-Retrospect has also a few log standing issues with backup jobs freezing. I suggest you search this forum for leads.


-Under Retrospect one has to add each client manually and there's no fast way to verify what IP address once the client has been added. In my case it is important as there were times in the past where I had a backup client named "John Smith" which was pointing at Joe Anderson's PC (IP was wrong)... As far as I remember I did not have to add clients to BE manually anthough creating a backup job for each was a chore I want to forget.


-If you decide to get Retrospect be sure to include support with your purchase. Dantz provides 30 days of free support. After 30 days passes and new version comes out you'll have to pay for upgrade. There are no product updates or patches if your version is not the latest.


Hope that helps,







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