March 4, 2020
Retrospect, the data backup and recovery vendor, has unveiled the latest version of its backup (version 17) and Virtual (2020 version) products, including updates and improvements that make it easier for channel partners to enable customers to get automatic onboarding of physical and virtual backup instances.
Also included in the Retrospect updates are improvements to the Retrospect Management Console and a ProactiveAI policy-based scheduler feature that has been optimized to be 10 times faster and more efficient, according to the company. Retrospect Virtual 2020, which is now integrated with the hosted backup service, gives users the ability to have one place to monitor every protected physical or virtual machine, whether it runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, VMware or Hyper-V.
JG Heithcock, Retrospect’s general manager, told Channel Futures that one of the most valuable features of the updated products for channel partners and their customers are the new automatic onboarding capabilities.
Retrospect’s JG Heithcock
“With automatic onboarding, administrators can share a single URL with their entire company, and each employee can download the client for their platform, pre-packaged with a public key for authentication,” said Heithcock. “There are no user passwords, and Retrospect Backup 17 will automatically add the new clients and start protecting them using ProactiveAI.”
The latest version of Retrospect Backup also now allows customers to export a preflight summary including backup files and tape information, which aid large-scale data protection strategies, said Heithcock.
Many of the new features and capabilities were created after the company received feedback and requests from partners and users, he said.
“Most of these come up from direct emails but we also hear from our sales and support team,” said Heithcock.
The online web console for Retrospect Backup allows partners and users to monitor backups of physical machines as well as virtual environments from the same web page, while being about 50% faster than the previous version. Also new is flexible licensing as well as support for Backblaze B2 automatic backup and Wasabi cloud storage.
Dagfinn Glad, an Apple certified technical coordinator for Norway-based Fink IT, a Retrospect partner, said the updated version of Retrospect Backup will give partners better control over each customer’s backup needs in one web portal, which will allow his company to advise customers about their future backup requirements.
“We have found no other products that can do this at a reasonable price,” he said. “Our customers always ask for easier and better ways to restore files, and we find that Retrospect makes this easy.”
Other useful features in the updated version of Retrospect include the ability to create scripts for backup configurations that can be shared for new employees, saving set up costs for customers, he said.
“For our customers in architecture there are a lot of employees only hired for a single project,” said Glad. “This will save costs over the year for setting up new users and deleting old ones.”
Steven Hill, an analyst with 451 Research, said that StorCentric, Retrospect’s parent company, has been working to build a respectable portfolio of SAN and NAS storage products that covers everything from the SMB and mid-range markets to the enterprise space.
“Retrospect forms the data protection component of that strategy, and the combination gives Retrospect a solid foundation to continue to expand its features and capabilities to match the evolving and competitive hybrid IT environment,” said Hill.
With the growing decentralization of storage and applications through cloud adoption, Retrospect’s increased focus on automation and centralized management is almost table stakes for next-generation backup products, added Hill.
“Increasing security, reliability and hybrid options are always important, but Retrospect’s growing focus on simplicity is becoming a key value-add, especially for channel partners, SMBs and midmarket customers,” he said.
The enhanced automatic onboarding feature will be particularly useful, said Hill.
“It can take a lot of the effort out of setting up a modern data protection model for midmarket customers,” he said. “More and more businesses are becoming dependent on their IT systems to conduct day-to-day operations, and the growing complexity of these systems can make it difficult to keep up with the changing needs of their IT ecosystems; especially if they have limited IT staffing.”
Retrospect was acquired by StorCentric in June of 2019.
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