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'Symantec Ghost 11.0.1' compatible products

Created: 31 Aug 2011 | 2 comments

 

Hi there, 
 
Could you advise on which latest Symantec product I would need to purchase that is capable of writing ghost images in which ‘Symantec Ghost 11.0.1’ (see URL: http://i55.tinypic.com/2hrk4eo.jpg) can also write with/ utilize.
 
Many thanks for you help in advance.

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EdT's picture

The most recent version of Ghost Solution Suite is 2.5.1.2266.  This version introduces WinPE as an operating environment as well as PCDOS, and also implements support for Windows 7.  (This is equivalent to an internal version of 11.5.x)

I cannot give you any assurances that images created with the latest version will be compatible with your older 11.0.1 version - for example with WinPE you can create a single GHO file of much more than 2Gb in size, which the DOS based 11.0.1 version would not be able to handle due to the native limitation of DOS.

I would also mention that Ghost is licensed on a per-machine basis, so from a cost perspective it would be sensible to retain the older Ghost version for existing hardware that still works with it, and move to the new version for any new hardware you cannot support with your current version.

You can download an evaluation copy of GSS 2.5 should you wish to give it a try before any financial outlay.

If your issue has been solved, please use the "Mark as Solution" link on the most relevant thread.

Nigel Bree's picture

It's best for reducing confusion to make it clear that the current product version is GSS 2.5.1, build 2266, just as the product version containing the code the original poster is asking about is 2.0.1 (which wasn't, incidentally, the last version - the last LiveUpdate for GSS 2.0 was 2.0.2 and was prepared well before GSS 2.5 shipped but because of our underfunding we had no spare QA resources for it so it ended up delayed until after GSS 2.5 shipped; GSS 2.0 licensees should be using the 2.0.2 LiveUpdate, not the 2.0.1 version).

As there has never been a Ghost-branded product sold as such under an "11" version nomenclature, it's not a good practice to use in any context. The next version after Ghost Enterprise 8.0 was Ghost Solution Suite 1.0, and as that numbering has been in place for almost 8 years now it's the only numbering scheme to use.

Once the PowerQuest apocalypse arrived and our brand and version numbers were taken away (as part of the strategy to kill the genuine Ghost product), we really didn't refer to the burned-in numbers even internally. Because of the - very deliberately created - confusion between the ersatz and genuine products, we were absolutely consistent with the new product version numbering as it was the only way to regain our distinction between the genine Ghost product and the ersatz one. If we could have renumbered the burned-in products, we would have - the primary reason we did not is due to the difficulties of dealing with Windows product installers - we kept monotonically increasing the number primarily because monotonic sequences are what they rely on; skipping by 100 major versions to bring the product and build numbers into some kind of alignment was seriously considered, but that was politically fraught - the ersatz Ghost version was by political fiat going to have a higher product version number than ours, and jumping the version stamp in the executables to 102 to align them with the product version was therefore not feasible for political reasons .

There are also, as to the subject of the original question - very specific rules we used internally about image-format backward compatibility; while virtually no-one in Symantec outside the team probably knew what they were, we had rules and stringently applied them. The only subtlety is that *within* a format-compatible version series, new features could sometimes be introduced and older versions would restore images, but not necessarily support every features of the newer product.

[ That is, there's a distinction between pure "extension" features in the file format which would be skipped over silently by older clients, and "must-understand" format changes which can only be restored by client versions which understand the new extensions. The latter were only introduced at particular version boundaries. ]

A very important primary driver of compatibilty is actually not just the cloning client specifically, but the subset of it involved in GhostCast, which is a different aspect of compatibility again; GhostCast internally is actually built on the same code as the cloning client's ancient peer-to-peer system - think LapLink parallel cables - and so some parts of that protocol are version-dependent in different ways that the file format.

When we made design changes which involved both the file format and the network format - which were extensive during the retooling of the genuine Ghost for drives in the >2Tb size range - there was a great deal of care taken with respect to compatiblity-preservation so that a few newer format extensions for 64-bit data types (most of the format being 64-bit aware to start with, but there were a few corner cases that weren't) weren't used until the last moment, so that customers kept interoperability between versions, so that not all the servers and clients were necessarily forced into lock-step simultaneous upgrades.

This means that in all, compatibility between versions is something best discussed at the level of specific features or specific usage scenarios. It's not clear from the original question whether it's really a matter of compatibility or whether this is really about the persistent cloud of confusion between the ersatz "Norton Ghost" and genuine Ghost. Since Symantec only licenses the most recent version, and since Ghost Solution Suite is the actual product being referred to, GSS 2.5.1 is the only option.