Too little too late.
Having come from a Retrospect background in the past, I always try to be agnostic in the backup tools I use, well you have to be. No single product can do every job, so, a wide knowledge of tools to do the many different jobs that various clients may require is fairly essential.
From offsite duplication, archival, synchronization, de-duplication, DLM/ILM systems, Disk to Disk to Disk or Disk to Disk to Tape, Virtual Tape Libraries and devices, SAN's and NAS systems, backup and recovery, backup plans, redundancy or resilience even Legal and Data Compliant systems including Sarbanes and international data transmission compliancy. The requirement list is endless but I have yet to find one product that can do everything for everyone and do it ALL exceptionally well.
For me Retrospect originally sat in the home to SMB market, for those people that might have a tape drive or library, it never really got any further.
BUT that doesn't mean it can't do it! up until now I have seen it backing up clients, servers, RAIDs in all sorts of manners and do it well, the Mac community took this product far beyond its original vision but it handled the punishment well, the problem is other products came along and offered more or the same and were much more simple to backup, why send an engineer out for half a day 'tweeking' retrospect to do AB & Z when you can deploy a solution in fraction of the time with a product designed to meet the modern needs of a backup solution.
So Retrospect came, and never really went, it lingered, in my opinion it was that guest at the party that didn't know when to leave, the guy that talks about a load of crap and consumes the free food and drink but doesn't really have anything to offer in return.
Retrospect became dormant, many mac support companies were stuck with it, but didn't know of any other option, they had either invested so much time in getting to know the product that anything else was too much of an investment or risk, or they didn't believe any other product was available for the Mac that really delivered on what it offered.
The updates slowed, and devices stopped working.
More and more alternatives came along, PresStore, Atempo, NetVault (Bakbone) and many other contenders, none of which seemed to take advantage of the situation, yet many offer competitive cross grades! I bet you may not have known that.
They all offer different solutions and alternative features, but most can easily replace Retrospect if you let them, yes you have to let them into your company first before they can help.
So along comes Retrospect 8 and what do we have?
To be honest an application which has some nice ideas but fails in so many ways, that it didn't come as a surprise.
It's fundamentally an unstable product that manages to over complicate things.
Remember backup should be simple, know your Data, know its Information and back it up!
It can be enough to write a backup strategy for a client
If your looking at a Retrospect 8 box right now or you have installed it, then good luck, I am sure EMC will eventually release enough patches to make it at least stable enough for prolonged use. But at the moment having seen it consistently crash on both clean (new) and existing machines. No warning, no reporting option and even on occasions no log entries on the system to tell you it crashed!
I have seen it crash and wipe out its plans, forget it's sources and even completely screw existing plans up. Crashing during backup and corrupting a catalogue, even not crashing and deciding to recycle a backup when I didn't ask it too!
If it was stable then we get onto the over complicated areas of the product, you specify both destinations and sources in the sources section! why I have no idea, file paths are not clear so if you have 2 folders with similar or the same names (backup/backups/backup etc) you will need to double check them as Retrospect has enough quirks to make you question your own sanity.
Then we have the excellent way that you start creating a script but then you close it to define it further, with the very dangerous fact that you can modify scripts in a list without actually opening them!!
If you were one of the early ones to move away from Retrospect being your only product of choice then you will be pleased to hear that you, like me made a wise decision.
If you were contemplating it, but never did or where clinging onto the slim hope that EMC may actually take their product and market serious enough to warrant releasing a product worthwhile, then carry on with your hope or look at alternatives because you will be waiting for quite some time.