Well, that's not *entirely* true. Retrospect scales with some difficulty,
though I'm learning to work around some of its shortcomings, and ranting
about some others.

I have about 1000 clients, currently being backed up by 3 Macs.

I am converting the 3 Mac servers into 4 NT servers, not because I need 4
NTs to do the work of 3 Macs, but because the 3 Macs weren't enough to begin
with. It may be the case that 4 NT servers won't be enough, since the
snapshot phase is so time-consuming. We'll see.

My clients are (were, actually) installed by a bunch of desktop technicians
that sometimes can't type a password correctly to save their lives, so
adding clients to the server can be challenging sometimes...

Also, some of the clients are upgrades of the 1.1 client, upgraded to 5.0 or
5.1. Others are fresh installs of 5.0 or 5.1x or 5.15.

Dantz provides no method (or at least no documented and supported method) of
either uninstalling existing clients or installing new clients in a
non-interactive fashion.

Dantz' area of the registry is an admin's nightmare. Dantz has piled all of
the client's configuration settings into one registry value called "Config",
which is in Hex to boot. I've not worked around this, nor will I be able to
without some really difficult work.

When installing Retrospect client on a workstation, the installer grabs the
current computername, and works that into the "Config" value in Dantz' area
of the registry. This means that when a workstation is renamed, the
Retrospect client does not get renamed similarly, so the computername and
client name are out-of-sync. This is a serious problem when a restore for a
computer is requested by COMPUTERNAME, but the backup is being performed
under a different CLIENT NAME!

So, for starters, here is a short, incomplete list of things I'd like Dantz
to fix (yes, I mean fix):

1. Document and support silent installs of the Retrospect client. For those
of you who are interested, I documented my approach to silent
non-interactive installs on 11/15/00, posting to this forum. I've learned
some more since then, so if you have questions, feel free to email me, or
post if the interest warrants.

2. Break out the "Config" value in the registry so that admins can configure
(via registry imports of .REG files) the Retrospect clients. I'd like to
ensure that backups get highest priority. I'd like to ensure users get
notified after backups or after seven days of no backups, etc. Via some
quick testing, I've determined that byte 29 describes the state of the "x
days of no backup" notification. The value of "x" is located at byte 33.
Furthermore, buried in that same value "Config" is the client name, the
access password (encrypted), etc. Not very useful to admins.

3. "Genericize" the clients!!!! Please stop "personalizing" the clients with
the computername, etc. Licensing is enforced at the server now. The client
no longer needs personalized with a serial number, license number,
computername, or anything else.

Thanks for listening to yet another rant, Lee. ;-)


-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Stevens [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2000 6:14 PM
To: retro-talk
Subject: Re: Anyone used Retrospect on medium-large systems?

on 12/30/2000 3:25 PM, "ian" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> 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?

Hell yes. 

Retro is just as easy to use on a small network as a large one.

You just need to scale your hardware appropriately. In other words, don't
backup a 100 person network to a cd-r using a 66mhz 486 and localtalk. :-)


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