Retrospect Blog

FAQ on Instant Scan

A reseller from the US asks:

Tell us about Retrospect’s new Instant Scan feature. It sounds like a big change.

Instant Scan is a really cool feature that can reduce backup times by as much as half over previous versions of Retrospect. This is a real game-changer, because time-savings this big allows you to:

  • Run backups more frequently
  • Back up more data in the same amount of time
  • Actually complete nightly backups before users arrive in the morning
  • Protect more PCs per Retrospect server (especially at larger sites)
  • Have backups be less CPU-intensive on end-user systems

This performance gain can be a huge benefit if you work with sensitive data that needs to be backed up several times a day, or if you have transactional data that changes frequently, like with order taking or point-of-sale (POS) systems, etc. Backing up more frequently means a significant decrease in the number of unprotected files at any given time.

What is Instant Scan?

Instant Scan is a technology that informs the Retrospect application and Retrospect Client software what files on a volume have been added or changed and need to be backed up.

How does Instant Scan work?

Retrospect's Instant Scan technology uses the NTFS Change Journal on Windows and FSEvents on the Mac to keep track of what files have been added or changed since the last backup to the Backup/Media Set being used. Instead of having to scan each volume at the start of a backup to determine what has changed, a list of changes is already available when the backup begins. Instant Scan works on the computer running the Retrospect application and on Retrospect Clients.

How much time will Instant Scan will save in a given scenario?

This is easy to determine. Run a regular backup with Retrospect and watch how long it takes to scan the volume you've selected for backup. When Retrospect finishes counting the files and moves on to the Matching process, the scan is finished. The time that it took Retrospect to tally up the number of files on the volume is how much time Instant Scan will save every single time that volume is backed up, no matter how many or how few files actually need to get backed up. The more files that are present on the volume, the more time Instant Scan will save.

Bio

Kristin Goedert

Kristin Goedert is Director of Marketing and has been with Retrospect for more than a decade.