Retrospect for Mac and Apple Time Machine

I’ve been asked about the differences between Retrospect and Time Machine, and while I would love to say that Time Machine is only ideal for the individual user, it’s actually not that simple.

Retrospect is definitely our preferred backup solution for small to medium sized businesses, but we have successfully implemented Time Machine on servers for small user groups.  Since it’s built into Leopard, it can be a very cost effective backup system for a small office.  Time Machine is capable of backing up multiple Macs to the same backup drive, and it doesn’t require any scripts — it’s automatically scheduled to backup every hour.  However, Time Machine doesn’t do well with backing up large databases because it has to back up the entire database every time a change, no matter how big or small, is made.

That said, Retrospect is a more versatile and robust backup solution for the small to medium business environment, as you can create scheduled backups, backup cross-platform (Mac, Windows and Linux) computers in your network, backup to Tape, CD/DVD, FTP, among others.  This way you can take the backups that are kept on tapes or CDs to an offsite location for additional security.

EMC Retrospect X is scheduled to release on December 19, and promises a nicer interface with the OS X Leopard look and a remote management console, among other new features.  The EMC Retrospect X dev team just posted an update to their blog yesterday, and they think they will have new screenshots of the user interface posted by Friday.

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