Retrospect for Windows - Good enough for the Enterprise?

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I have used many backup systems over the years in my consulting business at various locations. I have used Yosemite, Backup Exec & ARCserve mostly. I was never really happy with the performance and complexity of those systems so I began to look for an alternative. I wanted something simple, that would handle a Tape library. I also wanted it to be cost effective, unlike the other systems I have used. My search led me to Retrospect.

Retrospect apparently has deep roots in the MAC world. My initial reaction to its features to cost ratio was very good. It supported advanced tape hardware, bare metal restoration, open file backup, client backups, SQL server and Exchange backups and a lot more! So I thought I'd give it a try.

I first installed it on a system with 2 LTO-3 drives in a Dell Powervault 114t. It replaced Yosemite backup. We quickly outgrew the 2 tape system and have moved on to a Dell Powervault 124t Auto loader with an LTO-3 drive. Retrospect handles this hardware quite nicely with minimal configuration. I kept the older drive and use it to backup workstations using a "proactive" backup.

The configuration of Retrospect is quite simple, yet it can handle complex hardware. In my opinion the backup system should just work, be simple and effective. Retrospect meets those demands. I have been using Retrospect for 7 years now and have kept up to date with their ASM so I get the latest versions. I have had to contact support several times over the years and for the most part they are just OK. If a problem it too complex they tend to blow you off. Normally any issues I have are resolved by upgrading/updating to the latest version.

Because of the low cost of Retrospect and because it's able to do everything that the more expensive competitors do I have to recommend it as a great backup platform for Windows.
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Expert Comment

by:Thomas Rush
I've used Retrospect under its Yosemite moniker, and have found it to be capable and with some very nice features, although the UI at that point had what I (and others) considered to be some awkwardness with how it managed your completed backup jobs.

I have a couple of important comments about your title, though:
I didn't think that Retrospect could handle SAN backups, and the website lists NAS, disk, tape, but no SAN.

I also see that they say Retrospect can handle up to 16 simultaneous tasks.

To me, these put Retrospect in the SMB (small/medium business) with the emphasis on small, and not much penetration into the medium, where SAN-attached disk arrays and backup devices become more common.  These two limitations definitely leave Retrospect out of the "Enterprise" for me.

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