We back up about 200 clients, half Mac, half Windows, including about a
dozen laptops. We have less data turnover than you do, however, and only
back up each client about once a week.

In no particular order, here are my comments on backing up medium-size
networks with Retrospect vis-a-vis other software i've used (haven't
arcserve, but it looked awful when I was evaluating packages)

- Retrospect is much better than other solutions in terms of conserving
amount of tape used.

- restoring with Retrospect is smoother than other solutions.

- One bad apple can spoil the bunch; that is, if you have one client
works slowly, it can hold up the process for everything else, because
Retrospect can't back up clients in parallel (that's on my wishlist).

- with a lot of computers, the Retrospect catalog files can become
and doing the comparisons between catalog and the current client
filesystem structure  prior to backing up each client can take a long

- you won't have this problem with your tape library, but I find that
fact that Retrospect stops when it runs out of tape (we have a single
drive) annoying; other solutions (like AMANDA) use "holding-disk" to
the backup to continue, then finish taping later (also on my wishlist)

Finally, I'd second the previous comments about figuring out a good
strategy early on; you don't say what your network bandwidth is like,
that'd be an important component in choosing a strategy.


On Sat, 30 Dec 2000, ian wrote:

> I am also responsible for  my company's IT environment. We use ArcServe
> for the backup software - the server running on a Windows NT server, a
> Dell PowerVault twin-drive 30-tape library and the ArcServe agent
> running on each of a dozen or so NT servers. I don't find ArcServe
> particularly usable or flexible, so I am thinking of looking at
> alternatives. I would also like to (although we don't do this now) have
> an arrangement to back up the laptop users (about 30 or so) who tend to
> store a lot of data on local machines.
> Data volumes are around 250 GB for personal data and another 35 GB or so
> for Notes databases. Due to the way Notes mail works, a fair proportion
> of that 35 GB turns over each day.
> So... the question is, since I am planning to look at the market for
> backup software for bigger systems, would it be reasonable for me to
> include Retrospect in the candidate list? Is anyone on the list backing
> up systems on this scale?

Steven Karel, Ph.D.
Biology Department, Brandeis Univ, MS 008
415 South St Waltham MA 02454-9110
TEL 781 736 3104   FAX 781 736 3107

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