Retrospect (software)

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Developer(s)Serene Investment Management
Initial release1989
Operating systemmacOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows

Retrospect is a family of software applications that back up computers running the macOS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux (and until 2019 classic Mac OS) operating systems. It uses the client–server backup model.[1]

The product is focused on the small and medium enterprise (SME) market. It performs three types of backup: "A Recycle backup deletes a backup set and adds all files, and a New Media backup creates a new backup set, copying all the files not included. Again this represents all files. Once installed, scripts can also be introduced to enable Scheduled backup using predetermined information supplied by the administrator. This information contains source, destination and other criteria, which enables a backup session to scan and back up one volume at a time, requiring less memory than an immediate backup."[2]

The product is used for GUI-scripted[3] backup.


The software was first developed by Dantz Development Corporation in 1989, initially for the Macintosh platform[4][5] and continuing later for Windows.[6] With sales split evenly between the two variants and the Macintosh variant claiming 90% of its market, Dantz Development Corporation was acquired by EMC Corporation in 2004.[7] In 2006 version 7.5, the refined first release of the Windows variant under EMC, added performance features needed by SMEs.[8]

Acquisition by EMC, under its Insignia brand, led to the product being briefly mothballed when Insignia was shut down in 2007. It was revived in 2008 and transferred to EMC's new acquisition Iomega. A "premature"[9] release of Retrospect 8 in 2009 undermined its market after Apple introduced its competing Time Machine in late 2007. In 2010, Retrospect was sold to Roxio, owned by Sonic Solutions, which was then in turn acquired by Rovi. Rovi decided that it was not a core business, but a team who had worked on the product approached Rovi with the idea of spinning out as a separate company. Retrospect, Inc. was formed by a core team most of whom had worked on the product for ten years or more.[7] Retrospect 9 was introduced in 2012, to positive reviews.[10]

In June 2019 the holding company StorCentric—which also owns Drobo—announced that it had acquired Retrospect Inc., which it will operate as an wholly owned independent subsidiary.[11]

After the 2023 bankruptcy of StorCentric, Retrospect was spun off into a separate company owned by Serene Investment Management, a private equity company which had a financial link to StorCentric.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kissell, Joe (2007). Take Control of Mac OS X Backups (PDF) (Version 2.0 ed.). Ithaca, NY: TidBITS Electronic Publishing. pp. 18-20 ("The Archive", meaning information repository, including versioning), 24 (client-server), 82-83 (archive file), 126-141 (old Retrospect terminology and GUI—still used in Windows variant), 127 (Archiving operation in Retrospect), 128 (subvolume—later renamed Favorite Folder in Macintosh variant), 130-132 (Duplicate—later renamed Copy in Macintosh variant), 146(versioning), 165 (client-server). ISBN 978-0-9759503-0-2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Retrospect Backup Multi Server Product Review". Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  3. ^ Gripman, Stuart (27 March 2012). "Retrospect 9.0: powerful backup for professionals, organizations". MacWorld. Setting it up(WebDAV), Scheduling scripts(GUI scripting), Restoring(file-level deduplication, Proactive priorities). Archived from the original on 17 April 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b Flynn, Laurie (25 September 1989). "Apple Bundles Tape Backup With Retrospect Software". InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. p. 33. Archived from the original on 25 May 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2019. ...will bundle Dantz Development Corp.s Retrospect backup and archiving software with the Apple Tape Backup 40SC...
  5. ^ Engst, Adam (1 July 1991). "Retrospect Conclusion". TidBITS. TidBITS Publishing Inc. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Dave (24 July 2019). "Retrospect Backup 16 review: Virtually useless for virtual machines". ITPro. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  7. ^ a b DeLong, Derik (27 March 2012). "Retrospect's long and twisted road". MacWorld. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  8. ^ Mitchell, Dave (20 April 2006). "EMC Retrospect 7.5 review". Alphr. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  9. ^ Engst, Adam (18 June 2010). "Retrospect Backup Software Acquired by Sonic". TidBITS. TidBITS Publishing Inc. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Retrospect 9.0: powerful backup for professionals, organizations". Archived from the original on 17 April 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  11. ^ Gallagher, Emily (25 June 2019). "StorCentric Acquires Retrospect, Inc. to Offer Enhanced Backup and Recovery Software Solutions". Retrospect. Retrospect Inc. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  12. ^ "A Letter from the CEO". 28 June 2023.

External links[edit]