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Commentary from a long term NetWorker consultant and Backup Theorist

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NetWorker’s little brother gets a pair of long pants

Posted by Preston on 2009-03-24

OK, NetWorker and Retrospect are sort of only related by virtue of the fact that they’re both owned by the same parent company, EMC.

However, I’ve been a fan of Retrospect for years, having done quite a lot of sysadmin style work on the side for a particular graphic design house. I think it’s probably the most underrated workgroup level backup product on the market. Certainly on the Macintosh side, it did somewhat seem to suffer following the acquisition by EMC*, and it’s been a long wait for a comprehensive update.

So, it’s good to see that Retrospect 8 for the Macintosh has been released. There’s reasonably good coverage to be found at TidBits, with official information to be found at the EMC/Dantz Retrospect for Mac product page.

Is Retrospect enterprise ready? Heck no – but that’s no bad reflection on the product either; I like workgroup backup products that don’t pretend to be enterprise products. It’s usually tricky, and it usually ends in tears.

Long term I’d like to see better NetWorker/Retrospect integration – for instance, it would be an excellent stepping stone for companies if they could covert a Retrospect server, regardless of platform, into a NetWorker “readonly” storage node – i.e., integrate so that new backups are done with NetWorker once a company reaches a certain size, but legacy backups remain, and can be recovered from within NetWorker.

* Historically, it had already appeared that the Macintosh version of Retrospect had been suffering under the old Dantz management though – it was certainly lagging behind the Windows version of the product by the time EMC purchased Dantz.


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