Retrospect is a piece of software that you install onto a server that will back up your files. It can be used to back up on different media, including External Hard Drives and Tape Drives. I use it with External Hard Drives.
This software is pretty good, when it works. This has failed and stopped working on me more times than I can remember. The first problems I had been on bank holidays and other holidays.
The back ups are done automatically to a schedule you set up, I use 2 hard drives which alternate doing a week each.
When it comes to back up on a bank holiday it used to get screwed up because no one was around to do the back up and took a while to get it working again.
I have found out since that you can defer the back up for a day. But this isn't very clear and hard to find.
Another problem is when the back up fails for what ever reason.
A box will pop up and ask for the location of the disk, you navigate to it and there's no OK button! There is an OPEN button but all that does is open the folder in the pop up box and you can't select it.
The use of language is also a bit strange. Some areas of text are written like it has been translated straight from another language and hard to understand.
There is also a list to do with what that back up it has just completed.
It says things like time taken, but there is a performance tab. It doesn't say what this means and doesn't have any units, just says a number which to me has no meaning.
Here is a small list of other smaller problems:
Takes ages to close
Sometimes says that there is an execution running when there isn't
Sometimes says there's no room on the disk for the back up when there is loads
Sometimes says the disk isn't available even though it is
There are some good points to Retrospect but there really isn't that many.
It does complete the back up pretty quickly. It usually takes 3-4minutes to go through the whole server; it's quite a small server which has about 40GB of data on.
It is quick because of the way it does that back up.
On the disks, it creates a folder where it will put the back up files.
In the folder it puts all the files and folders that will be backed up each time. Every time a backup is run, it looks at the files and folders on the server and matches them to the files and folders on the disk, if the files and different then it will copy over a new version, if the files are the same then it wont copy over a new one.
If it didn't break all the time, this would easily get at least a 4star rating, but because of all the problems, I can only give it half that.
2 stars for some back up software that is great when it works, but so annoying and complicated when it doesn't.
I will soon be using ArcServe like there is on the other server, much easier and the only problem I have had with that, is when the tape drive broke, so wasn't the software's fault.
I will suggest using ArcServe of other back up software.