Troubleshooting Cloud Backups

Cloud Backup

Retrospect for Windows and Retrospect for Mac both support cloud backups to more than a dozen different storage providers including Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, and Dropbox. A single Retrospect backup is capable of saturating a 350 Mbps connection, and running multiple simultaneous backups will saturate a 1 Gbps connection. Retrospect is designed to handle intermittent connection issues.

If you do see bandwidth saturation issues or want to diagnose backup errors, there are a couple options for troubleshooting:

Bandwidth Test

Use or Google’s "Internet speed test" for an evaluation of your current network speeds. Note that this is your maximum current network speed, so Retrospect and your cloud service may be less than this.


Use Cyberduck or another free tool to verify that you can connect to your cloud account.


Turn "Engine" logging to 5 and "Foundation" logging to 6, and send the resulting operations log to Support. See Advanced Logging Options for more information.


You can monitor Retrospect’s network usage to understand the bandwidth usage compared to the speed test.

Windows: Open Task Manager and click on the Performance tab for Retrospect.

Cloud backup performance graph win

Mac: Open Activity Monitor and select Networking or use a third party tool like iStatMenu.

Cloud backup performance graph mac

Retrospect’s current architecture prevents simultaneous backup and cloud upload, so you will see the network usage drop after each RDB file is uploaded while the next one is filled with data. This delay should only be between 15 and 60 seconds, depending on the internal network and hardware involved. You can see those gaps in the screenshots above. With a 6 Mbps upload link, this drop in performance will lead to a 5% reduction in the maximum bandwidth usage.

Time Skew

Difficulties with accessing or setting up a cloud backup set could indicate an underlying time setting issue on a machine. If the time is off by even a minute compared to the NTP-specified time, the cloud provider might return an error. See examples below from operations_log.utx:

Unable to access backup-set-1: (RequestTimeTooSkewed)
Server Response: The difference between the request time and the current time is too large.
Unable to create bucket retrospect-backups: (RequestTimeTooSkewed)
The difference between the request time and the current time is too large.

The resolution is to update the time on the machine to ensure it matches. See We have had customers where their machines were set to automatically update, but they needed to manually set the time.

Last Update: April 4, 2019