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Retrospect 10 Reduces Backup Time with Instant Scan Technology

by Adam C. Engst

A year after returning to private ownership after suffering under a series of uninterested corporate owners, Retrospect Inc. has simultaneously released Retrospect 10 for Mac and Retrospect 8 for Windows. That’s a bigger deal than for most apps, since Retrospect is primarily used for backup by small and medium-sized businesses with mixed-platform networks.

Both new versions of Retrospect add a new Instant Scan technology that reduces scanning time on both backups and restores by tracking files and folders on the Retrospect client and server in the background, rather than as part of the backup process. Retrospect estimates that on a MacBook Pro with 1 million files, Instant Scan can reduce the backup time by 10 minutes. This is an issue because on larger networks, or installations with very large amounts of data to back up, the extra time can enable more systems to be backed up, or data to be backed up more frequently.

Other changes include a return to an earlier save/revert workflow for creating and editing scripts, improved disk grooming to remove outdated files from backup media, improved (AES-256) network link encryption, and administrator-level control to activate features on a client-by-client basis. Retrospect 10 also adds support for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Specifically, Notification Center is now used for alerts related to backup status, and Retrospect plays nice with Gatekeeper thanks to an Apple Developer ID-signed version of the app.

Finally, mixed-platform users will appreciate the new Windows client software for Retrospect, which provides on-demand backup and restore like the Mac version, plus support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 clients. Retrospect 8 for Windows also gains the capability to restore an entire machine to a completely different computer, automatically adjusting drivers after the fact to account for differences in the hardware. So-called “bare metal” restores are commonplace in the Mac world, but aren’t easy under Windows.

Upgrade prices range from $49 for Retrospect Professional/Desktop to $1109 for Retrospect Multi Server; new copies cost $119 to $1999. Anyone who purchased Retrospect since 1 October 2012 is entitled to a free upgrade.

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Unless otherwise noted, this article is copyright © 2012 TidBITS Publishing, Inc.Published in TidBITS on 2012-11-06.
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