Retrospect adds enterprise enhancements to SMB-focused Retrospect Backup 18 solution

Retrospect adds strong ransomware protection and enhancements to their management console.

Today, data protection vendor Retrospect, a StorCentric company, is announcing the general availability release of both their Retrospect Backup 18 solution, which also includes their Retrospect Virtual 2021 solution. The new features include  ransomware protection, and a new management console with simplified workflows.

Retrospect is one of the StorCentric companies, all of which have been acquired since the holding company was formed in 2018. Retrospect, which traces its lineage back to Dantz early this century, which was acquired by EMC, and which later had multiple spinouts along its journey, was acquired by StorCentric in 2019.

“For the enterprise, StorCentric has Vexata and Violin,” said JG Heithcock, Retrospect’s General Manager. “Nexsan is midrange, and Drobo is more like us, focused on the SMB and prosumer markets. That’s still our core market. With this release, we are introducing some features are of more interest to larger companies. A management console isn’t critical if you just run desktops. But this reflects the fact that some things that used to be enterprise are now SMB, and that’s what we are doing here, upgrading the features for the SMB space.”

The feature enhancement likely to get the most attention is the increased protection from ransomware attacks, given the unending stream of publicity these receive in the media, with the Colonial Pipeline attack being the most recent high profile one.

“The core message of Retrospect Backup 18 is that anti-ransomware data protection is now built in,” Heithcock said. “We have leveraged Cloud Service Providers’ ability to do object locking. All the big hyperscalers plus other ones like Wasabi and Backblaze have the ability to do bucket level object lock.”

Object locking, also known as immutable storage or Write-Once-Read-Many [WORM] storage lets users mark objects as locked for a designated period of time, preventing them from being deleted or altered by any user. Retrospect Backup 18’s policy-based scheduling allows it to predict when those backups will leave the retention policy and protect any files that will no longer be retained, to  ensure businesses always have point-in-time backups to restore within the immutable retention policy window.

Retrospect Backup 18 is also the first version of the product to be fully cloud native across Amazon S3, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, so businesses can protect their cloud infrastructure with the same set of tools they use to protect their on-prem.

JG Heithcock, Retrospect’s General Manager

“We used to back up to the cloud, and can now back up cloud services as well for those who use cloud as their complete infrastructure,” Heithcock said. “That’s new. Because cloud native deploys directly in the cloud that’s big news for smaller customers like lawyers’ offices and doctors’ offices. They would love to just dump their servers and to have backup server instance be in the cloud. So while this is something that sounds enterprisey, it has strong SMB application.”

The management console has also been redesigned for ease of use.

“The new management console has simplified workflows, including a first launch workflow that has been completely redesigned,” Heithcock said. Now, with a single click, all sources and possible destinations can be viewed and added, and IT can send anyone or everyone in the organization a single download link for a one-click install.

“The management console reporting has also been enhanced,” Heithcock said.

This particularly impacts security reporting, with new consistency being added to the detailed backup report for Windows, Mac, Email, Export and the Management Console, to provide a common backup experience between them all. In addition, the Retrospect Management Console now supports geo tracking with a worldwide map of all users, Retrospect Backup servers, and remote clients, down to the city.

Retrospect Backup 18 is available through either a subscription-based or perpetual licensing model.

“The uptake in subscription is primarily new customers coming in,” Heithcock said. “Our existing ones tend to stay with perpetual licenses because that’s what their business is bult around.”

Retrospect Virtual 2021 is included with Retrospect Backup 18. It now runs up to 300% faster backups and improves backup server performance through better utilization of memory, CPU and cache resources. Security has been enhanced through support for password age and complexity requirement for system and sub admin users and a new feature to prevent session hijacking by forcing a logout if the session IP changes. Finally, platform support has been extended, to now include VMware ESXi and vCenter 7.0, Microsoft SQL Server 2019, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Oracle 19c, and MariaDB.