Retrospect 8.0 released

EMC have after three years finally released another version of Retrospect, Retrospect 8.0 for the Mac (well, Intel ones at least, PowerPC support is still forthcoming). Changes from version 6.1 are documented here, and here is a list for upgrade pricing
Notable changes include

  • Support for up to 8 simultaneous tasks
  • Wake on LAN support
  • Delayed verification
  • Reporting(!)
  • No FTP backups, yet
  • AES-128 and AES-256 encryption support
  • Staged backup “Disk to Disk to Tape”
  • Fast catalog set rebuild (usually requiring only the last tape of the set)
  • [Edit] No support for accessing archives created with Retrospect 6.1 or earlier (yet)

Do your backups work?

A sobering tale from the operator of social bookmarking site ma.gnolia which lost half its users bookmarks through not having a decent backup. Interestingly they were running off 2 Xserves and 4 Mac minis.

  • They had RAID (but of course that doesn’t protect you from data corruption, as both copies get corrupted).
  • They did a FireWire backup (but of course that just backs up your corrupt database).

Hint: mysqldump is your friend.

Video interview on the Ma.gnolia site, with a transcript here.

Meanwhile TidBITs have declared Friday 13th as “Verify your backups day”. And remind us of the Tao of Backup.

Remember, sometimes the cloud blows away.

Time capsule – take one a day

Picked up a 500Gb Time Capsule. Got home and was somewhat in a hurry. Power cable was a bit hard to get pushed in properly, although there was no visible evidence of why this would have been the case in either the plug or the socket.
Ignored the “Install this first” CDs, as usual, and fired up Airport Admin utility under Leopard on the wired LAN and it found the existing Airport Express. Did a “Save As…” to save the config of the existing Airport Express (including passwords). Then unplugged the Airport Express and plugged in the Time Capsule, attached to the network cable that used to be plugged into the airport express. Interestingly the assistant offered me the chance to use the Time Capsule to replace an existing wireless access point, but it wanted me to find it (and I’d just unplugged it :). So I plugged it back in to power and the LAN, but the Assistant couldn’t seem to find it. I gave up at this point, hit the Manual button and just imported the settings from the Airport Express (seemed like a safe bet) into the Time Capsule’s settings. This seemed to work. Changed security to WPA Personal and restarted the Time Capsule.
So, now turn on Time Machine on the Leopard box and get it started. That was at 18:30, and it’s now done 47.3 of 69.44Gb (1,396,130 items from my 80Gb drive) after some 5.75hrs (over Gigabit).
Meanwhile, every other machine had to have its Airport connection changed to WPA Personal, and even though I’m pretty sure I typed the password in several times, it took a while to register and stick (at least I hope it’s stuck now!).
Are network speeds faster? Hard to tell. I haven’t maxed out the speed as currently we need backward compatibility with 802.11g until the next round of upgrades. It offers 802.11n on 2.4 or 5GHz, and 802.11a compatibility as well as 802.11n/b/g.
Other noteworthy things are that the Airport Admin utility displays a set of warnings about the current Time Capsule configuration (ie no DNS, multiple DHCP, etc.).
The Time Capsule also offers to sync with a timeserver, and also flash its light if there’s a software update available. This is much less useful as it’s going to be stuck in a separate room where I’m unlikely to see its flashing light.
There’s also support to “Advertise configuration globally” via Bonjour, or so it seems to make it available globally over the internet. I don’t enable this.
I’d heard rumours of it running hot. Sure, it’s warm, but not really any warmer than my ADSL router, and it’s been doing a lot more work for the past 5 hours. Plus it’s got an internal power supply, so it’ll be warmer from that alone.
The other thing is now there’s an extra shared volume appearing in the Finder. Logging into it reveals a shared disk onto which I can put stuff. Cool. Checking in the Airport Admin shows it’s a guest read-writable volume, which is probably not good by default. Now locked down 🙂
So far, it seems to be behaving pretty much as expected. I could do setup in a hurry without too much pain. It claims to be backing up at a reasonable speed.
Now I just need to test recovery 🙂

EMC Ensignia reports on what’s happening with Retrospect

According to an EMC spokesperson the new beta version of Retrospect due later this year will feature

  • a totally new codebase (with new bugs no doubt!),
  • Universal Binary
  • New OS X interface (iTunes like, no doubt 🙂
  • Multiple backups running at the same time
  • New disk backup sets
  • Disk grooming (previously only available in the Windows version)
  • Fast Catalog rebuild
  • New Calendar interface for scheduling backups
  • New E-mail Notification system
  • New Reporting system
  • Widget to view backup progress
  • Remote management console for multiple servers
  • Support for Windows backups of applications like Exchange and SQL
  • New Universal Client
  • Much better performance and memory management
  • Supports old backup set formats
  • AES Encryption

And more!