Tuesday, June 25, 2019

StorCentric Acquires Retrospect


StorCentric, parent company of Drobo and Nexsan, today announced that it has acquired privately owned backup software company, Retrospect, Inc. Retrospect, Inc. is a leading provider of backup and recovery tools for consumers, professionals and SMBs. Under terms of the agreement, Retrospect, Inc. will operate as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of StorCentric.

Krista Macomber:

It is still early days in terms of its execution. But StorCentric’s approach positions the company to serve a host of organization sizes and industries, as well as storage use cases, well. It accomplishes this by enabling its various acquisitions to continue focusing on serving the markets that they serve well, and developing integration points as appropriate. Blending performance, scalability and reliability was an early focal point of the company. With the acquisition of Retrospect and ongoing portfolio developments – most notably with the continued development of the Assureon line – there will be a deeper focus on continuous data availability as well as data security. StorCentric has a number of developments on its roadmap, including Assureon-based services and blockchain capabilities.

Brian Dunagan:

With StorCentric’s resources, we’ll be able to push Retrospect Backup forward even further with new features and support for more platforms, and our customers and partners will continue to receive the same top-notch service from our excellent Sales and Support teams.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

I wonder when their infamous patent on incremental backups expires. It has to be done by now, right?

David Hertzberg

I think you're talking about Patent # 5,150,473. It is set out in https://patents.justia.com/patent/5150473, and AFAICT basically patents Retrospect's "archive format"—with a Catalog File distinct from any "media member" that contains the backed-up data. The patent was issued with a 16 January 1990 effective data, so AFAIK (IANAL) it would have expired in 2010.

David Hertzberg

OTOH you may be talking about Patent # 5,966,730. It is set out in https://patents.justia.com/patent/5966730, and Retrospect Inc. recently called it "first of the Proactive AI patents". Proactive scripts were Dantz's prior-to-large-capacity-HDDs solution for offices with transient salespeople etc. who brought their computers into the office at unpredictable hours. For the cost of keeping a (usually old) "backup server" computer running Retrospect over a very long workday, a Proactive script will back up designated source computers one at a time in a "which source does it make the most sense to back up first?" sequence. "ProactiveAI"—a recent enhancement—is an algorithm that uses a decision tree supplemented by linear regression based on the inverse duration of a source's last backup (i.e., available sources with faster previous backups get higher priority among those that are due to be backed up within the current day) to determine backup priorities for transiently-available sources; I think calling this algorithm "AI" is a stretch, and there's no indication that Retrospect Inc. has tried to patent it. The original patent was issued with a 30 October 1996 effective date, so AFAIK (IA still NAL) it would have expired in 2016.

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