Giving up on Retrospect 8, at last


I’ve wanted to replace EMC Retrospect 8 as my home backup application for some time. Seven months after its release, Retrospect 8.0/8.1 still has atrocious performance, buggy behavior, and no user manual.

I’ve decided on a simple solution. The primary backups will be Time Machine to a Drobo USB disk hanging off my Airport Extreme. The secondary (off-site) backups will use a online backup service, such as Jungle Disk.

My current backup target is a 2TB RAIDed LinkStation Pro Duo NAS. Although ostensibly a Gigabit Ethernet device, it’s very slow. It’s an OK file dumpster, but is annoyingly slow for large files, and doesn’t work well for digital media.

Drobos are slick. I’ll start with two 1TB 5400rpm SATA II drives. After I set it up as the backup target, I’ll find other uses for it. A fast, reliable, upgradable NAS (which is what it effectively is) will come in handy.

I’m not thrilled by having backups driven from each Mac. But I need to get off the dime and set up trustworthy backups. And as for EMC’s Mac product group: You clowns are the B Team.

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7 comments
  1. Suzanne said:

    It’s really the lack of User Manual that set you over the edge, isn’t it? Just admit it.

  2. Suzanne, in my case the manual was a killer. I need to have confidence in my backup software. How can I trust a product when the team can’t produce a manual 12 months after product release?

    I’m leaning to Time Machine and CrashPlan.

    SN, why did you choose JungleDisk instead of CrashPlan?

    • John said:

      @John: I concluded that both could work fine. Both were highly-rated in a November 2009 Macworld magazine review. (Their website lists it as being from September 2009, which I don’t understand. It was the November 2009 edition of their printed mag…)

      In the end, I felt that JungleDisk’s offerings, mechanics, and pricing were clearer and more in line with what I wanted. E.g., Macworld dinged JungleDisk for a confusing “plethora of options”, but I found them to be quite clear.)

      I suggest you read the Macworld review, compare their pricing, and then decide which one you’re more comfortable with. They’re both quality services, FWICS.

  3. Thanks SN. I got a comment on my own blog post from another JungleDisk user affirming the virtues of both JD and CP.

    It’s nice to have choices. With EMC/Retrospect exiting the marketplace it seems like OS X geeks like us are settling into a mixture of TimeMachine, JungleDisk/CrashPlan and SuperDuper.

    • John said:

      Good point. I’ll check your blog today.

      In many ways, EMC committing product suicide might be a good thing for Mac users, in the long run. But how they did it, and how long it took to be evident, was very painful for the Retrospect community. I hung on for as long as I could, until I couldn’t take it anymore.

  4. Mark said:

    John did you ever consider using Carbon Copy Cloner for incremental scheduled backups?

    Thanks for the info on Retro 8.

    • John said:

      I remember looking at it, but I don’t recall why I went with Time Machine.

      It might have been simply that TM was already built in, and I wanted to fix this headache in the most expedient way possible.

      Do you use CCC?

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