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· 6 min read

We sat down for a chat with Peter Ashford, one of our Senior Software Engineers and remote team members, who has been with the company since July 2022. This piece has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

How did your passion for tech start?

When I was a kid, computers seemed like these really serious business things. It always tickled my imagination that people would subvert computers to make trivial things like games. That really appealed to me. One of my childhood goals was to create games, and I did eventually work in the gaming industry for a few years; I worked with some truly excellent people and I had a lot of fun but I also came to realise that it's a difficult industry to have a long career in.

What attracted you to work here at Comet?

I told the recruiter I was working with that I was looking to find my tribe – people who were interested in technology and motivated and excited about software engineering.

I have definitely found the right place. I couldn't be happier with the kind of people that I'm working with, not just the software developers, but the whole company exceeded my expectations for working together collaboratively.

What is your favorite thing about working at Comet?

The people are the greatest thing about working at Comet. I genuinely like everybody that I work with. And there's nobody here I don't feel comfortable talking to and asking a question.

That's a big deal because we’re working on a complex product. So having an environment where everybody feels comfortable and free to ask questions is a big deal. Comet is an extremely collegial kind of place to work. Everyone is genuinely interested in helping everybody else out.

You are one of the full time remote team members, how do you keep connected with the team?

I live in Dunedin, so I’m one of a handful of remote team members at Comet. I knew that being remote full time was going to be a different kind of challenge. But Comet has been really proactive with that right from the outset.

We have events like CometCon, our company-wide conference, where twice a year everyone is flown in for a week to ensure we get some face to face time as an entire team.

The other thing that Comet does, which is really cool, is that we have a virtual coffee break over Slack where we just get together and chat on a video call. All of our team meetings happen over Slack as well, so our normal way of working effectively works for people who work remotely.

Inevitably there's always going to be the occasional discussions you miss out on because you're not in the office, but there's lots of opportunities to catch up with people outside of physically having to be in the office. So it works out pretty well.

Tell us more about CometCon and what you enjoy about it.

CometCon is a fantastic initiative. They’re awesome and I hugely value them for two reasons:

One, sitting down and getting a chance to hash through issues or hear talks about how things work on the technical side is really valuable. Comet is a big and complex piece of software, so it's always great to learn more about how things work and have cross functional training in different areas of the product to disseminate knowledge throughout the team.

But also for me, because I'm working remotely, that chance to catch up with everybody and just have a bit of fun and focus on those sort of human relationships. I can't overstate how much I value that in terms of having time to catch up and chat to people in other departments.

What do you think of Christchurch?

I’m super enthusiastic about the Riverside Market, it’s a fantastic jewel in the crown for the city. There are a lot of eateries with different options, I’ve made a habit of eating there every time I travel to Christchurch for CometCon. I also love seeing the Southern Alps in the distance on a clear day, it gives you an emotional boost to see the mountains from the office windows.

What keeps you passionate about moving forward in the field and what keeps you inspired within the industry?

I really like the fact that I can learn new skills. I really value that. It's important for people who want to stay in the industry to keep learning. That's been great for me because I've picked up Golang programming, which I didn't know at all before working at Comet. I really like coding and making stuff and learning new ways to make stuff, that’s where it gets to be fun. That’s the joy of software engineering.

You’ve also had the opportunity to mentor one of the junior developers, what has that experience entailed?

During my interview process, we discussed various ways I could contribute to the team and the idea of mentorship came up. I absolutely love working with people and talking about code, so mentoring a junior dev is an awesome fit for me.

Each person approaches problem solving differently. It’s cool to see what someone else comes up with. I love the whole process of imparting knowledge and discussing various ways to solve a problem.

When Rhane (Junior Developer) came on board last year, I was paired up to mentor her. At Comet we have a pathway for junior developers to join our Support Team. They work on dev tickets between support tickets. With guidance from other team members, they graduate into a full developer after a year. It’s been a fantastic initiative.

What are some of your other hobbies?

I'm very much a family man. I've got a bunch of kids. We are currently doing tons of work in our garden. Because I'm working at home, I'm quite careful about making sure that I take breaks. So it's really nice to have a space in my backyard to wander around my garden and see what's growing and how it changes over the years. It has become quite a nice little zen environment to spend some time sitting in the sun, listening to birds.

· 3 min read

Another year has flown by. Thank you to all our partners for your support over the year and our best wishes for 2024.

At Comet, we've had a busy year full of new product features, fixes and enhancements, new marketing initiatives, support, onboarding, sales, and company conferences. During this holiday season at the end of the year and the start of the next, let's take a short look back at some of the big Comet news from 2023.

New feature highlights in 2023

In October, Comet added support for backing up VMware virtual machines. Our new Protected Item type was a major highlight of the year. It supports both single ESXi hosts and vSphere clusters, and uses Changed Block Tracking for excellent performance - on both paid and free ESXi licenses. All VMs are compressed and deduplicated inside Comet's Storage Vault system. Comet supports granular restore of individual files from within the VM, and also physical to virtual (P2V) migration from Disk Image backups into VMware format.

This big feature release deserved a big new planet, and we bumped our version codename to 23.11.0 Saturn after many versions spent in Jupiter's moons.

In November we also took the wraps off our Comet Storage product. We now offer an integrated, S3-compatible cloud storage solution, with great performance and with datacenters in multiple regions around the globe. This service is powered by our friends at Wasabi Cloud Storage, and we pass on Wasabi's own list pricing with no additional markup, giving you the convenience of a single bill.

Object Lock is an S3 feature for immutable storage. This provides a layer of defense against ransomware attacks, by preventing leaked credentials from damaging the backup storage location. In 2023 Comet gained support for using Object Lock on some S3-compatible destinations including AWS S3, Wasabi Cloud Storage, and Comet Storage, alongside our pre-existing support for immutable storage on Backblaze B2.

Over the course of the year, we also undertook a major project to refresh and modernize many parts of our user interface. Starting with the Comet Server web interface in April, we continued to update the Comet Backup desktop app in August, and the Comet Account Portal in November. The new designs look great, are easier to use, and should serve us well for many years to come.

We've had many more successful features over the course of the year, such as WebDAV support; single-sign-on with OIDC; improvements to Audit Logging; our official Docker container; new Recent Activity email reports; granular restore for Hyper-V; a new system for live-connected devices; Azure Key Vault integration; and many performance improvements.

Looking forwards into 2024

As always, please take a look at our Feature Voting page and raise your ideas, or upvote any existing ideas. We look at this system often to help prioritize our development.

We're keeping our plans under wraps for the moment - but as always, you can expect to see many of your requests ticked off this list!

· 2 min read

Comet partners with AreteK for distribution in Italy

Christchurch / Rome – December 22, 2023 – AreteK has partnered with Comet Backup to provide fast, secure backup to the Channel and IT teams in Italy.

“We are excited to be partnering with AreteK,” said Josh Flores, Comet’s General Manager. “This brings our solution to a regional distributor who Italian customers already know and trust.”

Comet Backup:

  • Offers an all-in-one platform to centralize your backup strategy for endpoints, servers, virtual environments, Microsoft Office 365, files and folders.
  • Offers a secure, encrypted backup solution that allows you to back up to your choice of either local or cloud storage destinations.
  • Integrates with technologies and storage providers such as: Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft Azure, Backblaze B2, Wasabi, Let's Encrypt, OpenStack and more.
  • Is available in Italian and 12 other languages and is used in more than 120 countries
  • Can be rebranded and personalized with your company name and logo

AreteK has chosen to distribute Comet Backup with the aim to expand the range of products dedicated to backup services, and in particular to satisfy the market needs of managed service providers (MSPs).

About Comet Backup

Comet provides fast, secure backup software for IT professionals and businesses worldwide, localizing to 13 languages. It enables organizations to secure their data, deliver business continuity and disaster preparedness. Trusted by customers across 120 countries, Comet has been recognized as a momentum leader by G2 and awarded “Best Software” and “Most Affordable” by Software Suggest. Founded by the same team who built MyClient and Nexus (now a J2 Global company), Comet is a privately held company based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Follow and connect with Comet: | LinkedIn | Facebook | YouTube | X

Comet PR Contact

About AreteK

AreteK is a company founded in 2015 and headquartered in Rome with the aim of identifying and promoting IT solutions suitable for SMEs. Our name, AreteK, is inspired by the Greek word aretè, which originally meant the ability of any thing, animal or person to perform its task well: we at Aretek operate every day trying to perform our tasks to the best of our ability and with the modus operandi necessary to respond with excellence to the IT needs of SMEs.

Follow and connect with AreteK: | LinkedIn | Facebook | YouTube | X

· One min read

Holidaze - 10 Days of Giveaways and Prizes

Join us in celebrating the holiday season! We’ve partnered with Channel Program as one of the sponsors for their Holidaze giveaway event.

For 10 business days, from Dec 4th – Dec 15th 2023, you can win prizes like gift cards, travel vouchers, tech gadgets, and more!

Channel Program will draw 2 prizes each day, with 3 grand prizes announced on the final day, December 15th, to help you kick off this holiday season.

Comet is giving away a PlayStation 5 to one lucky winner as one of the Grand Prizes.

Register today to enter the daily prize drawings starting on December 4th!

· 6 min read

"What's New?" is a series of blog posts covering recent changes to Comet in more detail. This article covers the latest changes in Comet Voyager over November 2023.

There were seven Comet software releases during November - four in our 23.9.x Voyager release series, two point releases for our 23.8.x Adrastea quarterly series, and the official launch of our latest 23.11.0 Saturn quarterly release.

VMware ESXi Free edition support

Last month, we launched our newest Protected Item type to add support for backing up VMware virtual machines using Comet. Over the last month of Voyager series releases, we've seen great uptake of the new feature and have been working to improve it based on your feedback, including improved performance, compatibility, and correctness.

The VMware vSphere hypervisor platform encompasses both the ESXi hypervisor as well as the vCenter centralized management application. ESXi is available in multiple licensed editions, including a free license with various limitations such as restrictions on the number of virtual CPUs that can be assigned to a given virtual machine.

In our first release, Comet supported ESXi versions with a paid license ("vSphere Essentials" or higher), but in the latest Comet 23.9.11 we took a closer look at the problem, and have extended our compatibility to include support for the free version of VMware ESXi. Our implementation supports the same versions (6.7, 7.x, 8.x) of ESXi and is built solely using VMware's officially supported vSphere VADP backup APIs, including Changed Block Tracking (CBT) support. No configuration changes are required to your free-license ESXi host server to support this backup mode.

Improved restores

As part of working on virtual machine features this month, we put a particular focus on the granular restore option. The existing granular restore mode in Comet allows you to take a virtual disk backup at the block level - either of VMware, Hyper-V, or of a physical Disk Image - and then restore individual files and folders from the interior NTFS filesystem.

Our granular restore feature gives competitive restore performance and offers flexible interactive browsing, all while supporting multiple disk image and partition formats, using Comet's encrypted deduplicated cloud storage.

This month, we've made granular restore even faster and have reduced its memory and network traffic requirements, by using an intelligent caching system that helps Comet traverse the virtual NTFS file table in a more efficient way. We have streamlined the restore and browsing workflows to reduce edge cases, improving support for virtual machines with multiple disks, disk images in subdirectories, disk images that span multiple files, and other such cases. In addition, Comet is now able to display each partition's name in more cases.

Outside of granular restore, we've also optimized our ordinary file restore further by removing bottlenecks that could stop Comet from effectively multithreading. In the latest versions of Comet, it should be much faster to restore very deep directory trees.

Comet Server security and policies

Comet Server has an extensive permission system for administrators, tenant administrators, and end users. Comet recently added support to allow a top-level administrator to restrict a tenant administrator into using certain policies. However, as this restriction was not transitive, the tenant administrator could still allow a tenant end-user to bypass those policy restrictions. The latest version of Comet adds a new ability to enforce settings and preferences across an entire Comet Server.

Without careful consideration, adding features can sometimes result in a cluttered user interface. As Comet Server has grown to offer more and more control over user permission levels, we have split out the administrator permission settings onto a separate tab.

The web interface and API for Comet Server make use of a built-in web server, based on the standard library from the Go programming language. This embedded web server is secure, performant and powerful, and includes many recent features such as TLS 1.3 and HTTP/2. As this is a bundled component, any security updates for this component must be delivered as part of a Comet Server update. Recently, the HTTP/2 Rapid Reset Attack (CVE-2023-44487) made headlines around the world, affecting major corporations including Google and Cloudflare. This month, we were able to take advantage of newly available mitigations to resolve the issue directly within Comet Server.

We've also implemented additional security protections against XSS attacks, as a defense in depth measure. The Comet Server web interface now uses an extremely strict Content Security Policy (CSP) to help prevent any remote attacks on your administrator login session.


We've kept the CometCon tradition going, bringing remote and local Comet team members together for another week-long conference.

During the week, we made it a priority to focus on deep technical brainstorming and planning, with speakers from various departments. But it wasn't all work - the collaborative environment was combined with social events including decorating the office, renting out a cinema, learning to mix cocktails, taking a flight lesson, and the infamous "Mandatory Fun".

Comet 23.11.0 Saturn

We're very pleased to announce our latest Quarterly release series - Comet 23.11 Saturn.

Our product's first codename started many years ago with the planets of the inner solar system, and our Voyager track continues ever more outward into distance parts of space. Recently, all our quarterly releases have been named after moons of Jupiter. But with the recent addition of VMware support this quarter, we thought that adding a big new feature deserved a big new planet!

Saturn needs no introduction as the sixth planet from the Sun. It is the second-largest planet in our solar system after Jupiter, large enough to fit the Earth inside more than 760 times over. Its iconic rings were discovered in 1610, and we are continuing to find additional moons - over 140 have been discovered, most recently in 2020.

Comet 23.11.0 Saturn includes 8 new features and 23 enhancements that were developed over the course of the previous 23.9.x Voyager series, including our VMware Protected Item type, a lobby for silent installed devices, and improvements for Object Lock and Comet Storage.

The full list of improvements is available in the official Release Notes. If you'd prefer to listen rather than read, we're hosting a webinar next week to discuss this new quarterly release and all the new changes. Please register for a notification before we go live on December 6th (5pm EDT / 2pm PDT) to catch up on all the latest Comet news with us - and as usual, there will be time for a live question-and-answer session at the end of the presentation.

Hyper-V Backup 2.0 Announcement

We are currently working towards releasing our new Hyper-V Backup 2.0 offering next year, which means we’ll be retiring our existing Hyper-V backup at the same time. To prepare for this, we’ll preview new technology in Comet’s Voyager releases and add further capabilities to Hyper-V backup as we work towards the launch of Hyper-V Backup 2.0 in 2024!

· 4 min read

Comet Backup Offers All-In-One Backup Solution for Businesses and IT Providers with Integrated Cloud Storage Powered by Wasabi

CHRISTCHURCH / BOSTON – November 1, 2023 – Comet Backup, announced an expansion of their long-standing partnership with Wasabi Technologies today. This partnership fully integrates Wasabi’s cloud storage offering into Comet Backup’s software allowing IT providers and IT teams an easy all-in-one backup solution.

Comet Backup empowers IT professionals to manage backup data for all of their clients through a single interface, complete with built-in monitoring and reporting features. By integrating Wasabi hot cloud storage into Comet Backup’s platform, IT providers now have a convenient all-in-one solution for backup and cloud storage. At 80% less than the cost of Amazon S3 with no fees for data egress or API requests and no vendor lock-in, Wasabi provides a scalable, long-term cloud storage option at an affordable price.

“The IT industry is seeing an increased demand for fast, easy-to-use solutions to protect business-critical data. With organizations facing growing security threats, it is vital for companies to have systems in place to ensure business continuity,” said Josh Flores, General Manager of Comet Backup. “We equip IT teams with the tools they need to deliver simple, affordable data protection. We’re excited to partner with Wasabi to allow our customers to centralize their backup strategy and streamline their workflows. The flexibility and cost-savings Wasabi offer make them the perfect partner for this solution.”

By offering Comet Storage powered by Wasabi, IT teams no longer need to set up a separate storage account, or manage multiple vendors. Comet users will pay a single bill for both backup and storage, at the same low price as buying storage directly from Wasabi. With a unified backup and cloud storage solution, companies can spend less time managing their technology stack, and instead focus on their customers, their core competencies, and their bottom line.

“Comet Storage powered by Wasabi is now making it easier than ever for managed service providers and IT professionals to leverage the cloud through a single billing, monitoring and reporting interface. Wasabi is excited to be integrated into this solution,” said Laurie Mitchell, Wasabi Technologies SVP Global Marketing. “The result is a cohesive backup and storage solution that’s perfect for MSPs and IT teams to keep things simple and cost effective.”

For more information on Comet Backup and Wasabi, please visit our dedicated landing page.  

About Comet Backup

Comet provides fast, secure backup software for IT professionals and businesses worldwide, localizing to 13 languages. It enables organizations to secure their data, deliver business continuity and disaster preparedness. Trusted by customers across 120 countries, Comet has been recognized as a momentum leader by G2 and awarded “Best Software” and “Most Affordable” by Software Suggest. Founded by the same team who built MyClient and Nexus (now a J2 Global company), Comet is a privately held company based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Follow and connect with Comet: | LinkedIn | Facebook | YouTube | X

Comet PR contact

About Wasabi Technologies

Wasabi provides simple and affordable hot cloud storage for businesses all over the world. It enables organizations to store and instantly access an unlimited amount of data with no complex tiers or egress or API fees, delivering predictable costs that save money and industry leading security and performance businesses can count on. Trusted by customers worldwide, Wasabi has been recognized as one of technology’s fastest-growing and most visionary companies. Created by Carbonite co-founders and cloud storage pioneers David Friend and Jeff Flowers, Wasabi is a privately held company based in Boston. Wasabi is a Proud Partner of the Boston Red Sox, and the Official Cloud Storage Partner of Liverpool Football Club and the Boston Bruins.

Follow and connect with Wasabi on LinkedIn, X, Facebook, Instagram, and The Bucket.

Wasabi PR contact

· 6 min read

"What's New?" is a series of blog posts covering recent changes to Comet in more detail. This article covers the latest changes in Comet Voyager over October 2023.

There were four Comet software releases during October, all in the 23.9.x Voyager release series.

VMware support

Comet 23.9.7 adds support for backing up VMware virtual machines.

This has been a long-standing request on our Feature Voting page. After running a successful beta program over the last few months, we're very happy to be able to deliver this feature to partners in our Voyager track.

Comet's new VMware Protected Item type allows you to easily connect to your ESXi or vCenter server. You can pick individual VMs for backup across all datacenters, or choose "All VMs" to ensure all VMs are backed up with targeted exclusions.

The feature supports Changed Block Tracking. After completing an initial backup job, any future backup jobs will coordinate with the VMware host server to identify which ranges of the disk have changed since the previous backup job. These changed ranges from the VMware server are adapted into content-defined boundaries for Comet's deduplicating chunking engine. This results in an extremely efficient, incremental-forever backup.

As this is a new Protected Item type, it must be configured to run from an installed device that will perform the compression and encryption workload. Installing Comet Backup on a VM within the VMware server itself is recommended for reduced end-to-end latency. In this first released version in Comet 23.9.7, this feature requires the device to be running Windows x86_64.

We are excited to bring this new Protected Item type to our entire Comet Community, so look out for our upcoming quarterly software release at the end of this month. We'd love your feedback and are here to help if you need any assistance getting started, reach out via our support ticket system.

Comet Storage powered by Wasabi

It's official - Comet Storage is a new cloud storage offering from Comet, in partnership with Wasabi. We offer Wasabi's same great S3-compatible service, at no additional cost above their public pricing. The feature is fully integrated and managed from within your account, giving you unified billing and reporting across both cloud storage and your backup software licenses.

Comet Backup will continue to support a wide range of cloud storage providers. However, the new all-in-one Comet Storage offering is both highly convenient and excellent value. If you are interested in migrating to Comet Storage from an existing Wasabi account or from another cloud provider, please contact us for migration assistance.

Comet Storage also supports S3 Object Lock, allowing the backed-up data to be marked as immutable. This is a complete defense against ransomware attacking the backup storage location itself, giving you a fixed number of days to identify and mitigate the issue. In the latest version of Comet, we've also made Object Lock easier to use for all supported Object Lock-compatible providers, by simplifying the configuration options for both Storage Vaults and Storage Templates.

For more information, please see the documentation, or check out our latest YouTube video:

New user interface design

The next time you log in to the system, you'll see a brand new user interface.

Every element on the page has been given a fresh coat of paint - from buttons to popups, from paying your bill to raising a support ticket. We've also grouped some pages together in a more logical way, so you'll find it simpler to make your way around the site.

Inspired by the similar change to the Comet Server web interface earlier this year, the new design has moved the main navigation bar from the top to the left-hand side. This change brings our branding more closely in line across these two interfaces. On devices with smaller screens, such as laptops and tablets, you can click the small arrow button to collapse the navigation bar and regain horizontal screen real estate.

Virtual disk restore

Comet supports backing up physical Disk Images, Hyper-V virtual machines, and VMware virtual machines. All of these different Protected Item types result in virtual disk files. Comet supports granular restore for all three types, allowing you to browse through partitions and supported filesystems, to restore individual files from within a full disk backup.

In the latest versions of Comet, we've significantly improved the speed of granular restores from Disk Image backups. Some particular use-cases seeing a large improvement are granular restores involving a large number of directories, or a large quantity of small files. We're committed to continuing to improve Comet's performance and this work has identified more opportunities for improvement across all three types, so watch this space!

We've also added a feature to restore Disk Image backup jobs as VMware vSphere-compatible virtual disks.

Both Disk Image and our new VMware Protected Item type generate virtual *.vmdk files inside Comet's deduplicated Storage Vault. However, the subformat of the files does differ slightly. Until now, users who are using Comet to perform a physical-to-virtual (P2V) migration from a physical disk to a VMware virtual machine have been required to perform an extra file format conversion after the restore, requiring extra time and temporary disk space. With the new option in Comet to restore the disk in VMware vSphere-compatible file format, the conversion takes place dynamically as part of the restore job, simplifying the process and helping meet your recovery time objective (RTO).

Audit logging

Earlier this year, we added Audit Logging support to the self-hosted Comet Server product, to help our partners meet their compliance obligations. Since then, we've expanded the list of audit properties, and added a helpful option to configure this feature directly from the Comet Server web interface from the Settings page on the "License & Access" tab.

The new controls should make it much more accessible to configure Audit Logging support for your Comet Server.

· 5 min read

We sat down for a chat with Natalie, Comet’s Marketing Manager, who has been with the company since July 2020. This piece has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

How did you first develop your love of tech?

I grew up in Silicon Valley, where having a passion for emerging technologies was instilled in me from a young age. I started my career at Apple and then worked for a few different companies, including a large MSP on California’s Central Coast.

I saved up and traveled the world for a year, then moved to New Zealand. I’ve lived in Christchurch for five years and absolutely love the culture here.

What attracted you to Comet?

What initially attracted me to working here was the team. Everyone gets to be themselves at Comet. I've worked in companies before where you show up and you're professional, but you don't necessarily get to bring your full self to work. At Comet, you get to show up and be your authentic self, which is much more fulfilling.

What do you love about the team and the culture?

We've had some really fun companywide homegrown initiatives. For instance, one of our developers, Ben Frengley, was really into growing spicy chili peppers. He gave seedlings to anyone who was interested. A number of us planted them in our gardens. We take pictures and share updates on them occasionally which has been fun.

Other team members have carpooled for ski trips or gone hiking together. We do company barbecues and potlucks from time to time. There’s a very natural cohesion in the way that the team comes together and rallies around things.

You’ve recently returned from parental leave. How was your transition back into the office?

When I was on maternity leave, I missed the team. The fact that we only hire really nice, good people makes the experience of coming to work so enjoyable. The team has been really supportive. There are a couple of us in the office who work part time: one of our team members is passionate about doing volunteer work, and I’ve transitioned back into work at a pace that makes sense for my family right now.

Tell me about Comet’s approach to work life balance.

We have great work life balance, better than at any other company I’ve worked for. That’s something a lot of workplaces say they offer, but at Comet we really do have that flexibility. For example, if I miss an hour in the morning because I need to take my daughter to an appointment, it’s easy for me to make up the time later in the evening after she goes to sleep so I don’t miss those precious family dinnertime moments.

Some people prefer to start work early in the morning, and finish earlier in the day to go surfing or pick up their kids. We also have the option to work from home two days a week. It’s great to have everyone’s lifestyles and schedules supported.

What are your favorite things about working at Comet?

I've bounced back and forth between large corporates and small companies. Ultimately I prefer the outsized impact my contribution makes at a rapidly growing company. You get to have autonomy and take ownership of your work in a meaningful way. There’s no red tape or bureaucracy, if you have a great idea, you get to run with it.

Because we’re constantly experimenting at Comet, there isn’t a culture of blame. A couple years ago, I recommended we go all in on a big podcast sponsorship. Halfway through I realized the campaign was failing and I decided to pull it. When I told the leadership team what had happened, the response was, “What did you learn from that experience? Okay, what’s next? Let’s keep moving.”

What keeps you passionate and inspired working in this field?

Although on the surface, the idea of working in backup software might not be as sexy as working for a gaming company or in an industry that has a lot of cache, at the end of the day, what we do really matters. We’re helping people protect their businesses and their livelihoods. We’re not selling a consumer product that will end up in a landfill. We’re providing an essential service, which makes it a very rewarding industry to contribute to.

What have you learned while being at Comet?

Before working at Comet, I specialized in brand and event-based marketing. When I started here, I needed to level-up as a generalist. I had this amazing opportunity to rapidly grow and learn about all these other areas of marketing I had never touched before.

When you’re on a large corporate marketing team, there are entire teams dedicated to each area – campaigns, advertising, sponsorship, events. At Comet, there’s a huge variety to what you get to work on day to day, which keeps me interested and motivated.

How do you feel about working at Comet?

Working at Comet is my dream job. I spent the first decade of my career trying to find a company to work at where I would be this happy. Frankly, my early career was a rough and bumpy road at times. It took a while to get here but I’m deeply grateful to have finally arrived at a place where I’m so professionally fulfilled.

What do you like about living in Christchurch?

Christchurch is the perfect size city. You have all the big city amenities without any of the big city downsides, like traffic. There’s arts, events, festivals, hot pools, great places to eat and drink with friends. The outdoors is also very accessible – it’s only a 20 minute drive to beautiful beaches and you can escape to the mountains within 1-2 hours.

There are such good people here. We’ve made great friends and built a strong community, which has allowed us to settle and make Christchurch our home.

· 4 min read

"What's New?" is a series of blog posts covering recent changes to Comet in more detail. This article covers the latest changes in Comet Voyager over September 2023.

There were five Comet software releases during September - four releases in the 23.9.x Voyager release series, plus one for our quarterly 23.8.x Adrastea release series.

Remote Registration

We've been hard at work developing a new way to register devices you would like to protect, right from the Comet Server admin web interface.

With the new remote registration feature you can remotely register a device and assign it to a user profile, right from the Comet Server admin web interface when the device has been silently installed using the /LOBBY flag.

  • Command Prompt: install.exe /S /LOBBY
  • Powershell: Start-Process .\install.exe -ArgumentList "/S", "/LOBBY"

Adding a device to a user is now as easy as clicking the register button. If you'd like to know more please checkout our silent install documentation.

Connected Devices Page Refresh

We've renamed the Connected Devices page to the Devices page and made a number of improvements to this area.

You can now see all devices that have been connected to your Comet Server, not just online devices. This extra information will allow for easier troubleshooting of what state each of the devices connected to your server are in.

We have also added bulk actions to the Devices page. These bulk actions allow you to manage the devices connected to your server much faster than before.

As a final touch we have updated how clicking a device status on the "My Devices" widget works. If you click on "Online," this will take you to the Devices page and apply a filter so that only online devices are shown.

Gradient MSP aggregate usage by Account Name

We are excited to share that we've enhanced our Gradient MSP integration to aggregate usage using the Account Name field on a user's profile.

To use this new enhancement you just need to enable grouping by Account Name when editing a new or existing Gradient MSP PSA Connection.

Diagnosing Unexpected Running Jobs

We've added extra detail to every job log to identify if the backup job was triggered by a schedule, a missed backup job, or a device start-up.

This will help diagnose what caused the device to run the backup out of schedule. To see more about it check out our troubleshooting guide.

Stuck Running Jobs

In rare circumstances it is possible for a backup or restore job to be stuck in a running state. For example, this can occur if a device becomes damaged when running a backup job and never starts up again to report to the Comet Server. These jobs stay visible on the Comet Server and impact how easy it is to monitor other jobs that are actively running.

As a first step to provide you with the tools to manage stuck running jobs, we have added the ability to manually mark a stuck running job as abandoned from the admin web interface.

An abandoned job is a job that Comet has automatically determined is no longer running after communication with the client was lost, or one that has been manually marked as abandoned by an admin. We have updated our documentation to add clarity to what each of the job statuses mean.

Marking a job as abandoned has been added to the "cancel a job" workflow. To remove a stuck running job, simply attempt to cancel the job and the Comet Server will help you with the rest.

A job marked as abandoned will revive itself and show as running if the Comet Server ever receives an update about that job again.

· 7 min read

"What's New?" is a series of blog posts covering recent changes to Comet in more detail. This article covers the latest changes in Comet Voyager over August 2023.

There were six Comet software releases during August - five releases in the 23.6.x Voyager release series, plus one release for the launch of our new quarterly 23.8.x Adrastea release series.

New design for the Comet Backup desktop app

We're very pleased to announce a visual refresh for the Comet Backup desktop app:

This work followed on from the new design for the Comet Server web interface that was released earlier this year for the previous 23.5 quarterly series. This is the first major layout change to the desktop app in Comet's history; the current desktop app has had the same layout for the past six years.

Our goal for the new interface design was to make the product simpler for new users, while still keeping it familiar for existing users. The tabs, icons, buttons, fonts and colors have all been refreshed with a modern rounded style, but you are still greeted with your familiar Protected Items and charts on the home screen.

The most fundamental change was made to navigation within the app: the previous left-side navigation bar has been removed, meaning your Protected Items are always clearly visible, and we have refreshed the breadcrumb bar appearance to help orient you to this landmark interface element. The removed left-side navigation bar has been replaced with a top navigation bar which puts more emphasis on your branded company logo, and offers clearer, more distinctive focus on the calls-to-action for the key backup and restore functionality.

In the top-right corner, you will see a a dropdown overflow menu, using modern and intuitive UX iconography. Inside this menu, you can get quick access to detailed job history; creating recovery media for restoring Disk Image backups; and a new Settings dialog. The new Settings dialog contains Storage Vault management, account and login settings, email reporting settings, your devices, and the ability to import settings from other supported backup products.

If you had configured a custom Help webpage for embedded use, it will now appear as a button on the main screen.

VMware beta program

We've been hard at work developing the next Protected Item type for Comet, to add VMware support.

This has been a highly upvoted feature on our Feature Request page for some time. We've spent extra time and effort on making this Protected Item type as polished and performant as possible.

The details are subject to change before release, but we expect to be able to support major versions of VMware ESXi (6 / 7 / 8) and vCenter, using either free or paid licenses. Your backup jobs can be accelerated using changed block tracking (CBT) to produce synthetic full disk images that are deduplicated inside your Storage Vault. The new Protected Item type will work seamlessly with Comet's scheduling, deduplication, compression, encryption, job reporting, tenants, and granular restore of single files from supported virtual disk filesystems.

We're in the final stages of the beta program and are currently accepting new partners to help us ensure that this new Protected Item type is a good fit for your production VMware infrastructure. If you are interested in getting early access to this feature, please follow this link to register your interest - we would greatly appreciate any feedback you might be able to give us before the official launch later this year.

Price change notice for Backblaze B2

Comet has supported Backblaze B2 as a storage platform for over six years, since our 17.6.4 release back in July 2017. Over the years Backblaze B2 has proven to be a reliable, trustworthy, performant, and cost-effective solution. Together with Wasabi, these are the two most popular cloud storage providers amongst Comet users.

This month, Backblaze B2 have announced a price change. The base storage cost is increasing from $5 USD / TB to $6 USD / TB, but egress bandwidth costs are being reduced. For full details, please see their official announcement.


WebDAV is a storage protocol like FTP, SFTP, or the S3-compatible protocol, that can be used to store files in a remote location. It's based on HTTP technology and supports password based authentication, as well as transport layer security over HTTPS. The protocol has been around since 1996 and was standardized by the IETF in RFC 4918.

Accessing a remote WebDAV server is a built-in feature of Windows Explorer, as well as macOS Finder and the KDE and GNOME file managers.

Because the capability for accessing remote storage is built into the operating system, WebDAV is simple to use with a very low barrier to entry, helping it maintain a broad user base amongst enterprises, universities, and commercial service providers including Hetzner Storage Box, DreamHost, Yandex Disk, pCloud, and many others.

You can easily host your own WebDAV storage server as the protocol is built into NextCloud, OwnCloud, and the Apache and Microsoft IIS web servers. In particular, users of Synology NAS devices can install the WebDAV Server app from the Synology Package Center for a more reliable alternative than configuring SMB credentials.

WebDAV is available as a storage type for Storage Vaults and for Comet Server Storage Role in 23.6.9 and later.

Quick feedback

The next time you visit the dashboard, you might notice a new "Feedback" tab on the right-hand side of the screen:

Clicking the "Feedback" text will open a short survey asking for any short thoughts you have about your impressions of Comet and how easy our product is to use. Our Customer Success team would really appreciate any answer you give. After submitting feedback, the tab will disappear, but you can submit more feedback at any time by clicking the "Give us Feedback" link in the page footer area.

If you have long feedback or any questions, we would appreciate this via the existing communication channels, such as a support ticket or an email.

23.8.0 Adrastea

Earlier this week, we put the finishing touches on our latest quarterly release, Comet 23.8.0 Adrastea. This is the the latest entry in our quarterly rollup series, that branches off from our main rolling Voyager development into a fixed target for you to qualify and build your service offering upon.

As with all our recent quarterly release series, Adrastea is named after a moon of Jupiter, which in turn takes its name from an ancient Greek mythological figure. It is the second-closest moon to Jupiter and the smallest of the four inner moons, orbiting at the edge of Jupiter's main ring. It is thought to be the main contributor of material to the rings of Jupiter.

For users coming from the previous 23.5 Thebe quarterly release series, Adrastea adds 7 features and 24 enhancements, including the new Comet Backup desktop app design and WebDAV support mentioned above; single sign-on support with OpenID Connect (OIDC); Protected Items that can stay linked with the user's Policy; additional admin permission options; and many performance improvements.

The 23.8.0 series does remove support for some old versions of macOS. If you have users with old Mac machines that are not able to upgrade the OS, the previous 23.5.x Comet Backup client will remain capable and working when connected to a 23.8.x Comet Server.

The full set of changes can be found in the release notes.

Webinar announcement

If you'd prefer to watch rather than read, we're hosting a webinar next week to discuss this new quarterly release and all the new changes. Please register for a notification before we go live on September 5th (5pm EDT / 2pm PDT) to catch up on all the latest Comet news with me - and as usual, there will be time for a live question-and-answer session at the end of the presentation.

As well as that, we have many more videos available on our YouTube channel, including guides on getting started with Comet, individual features, demonstrations with our technology partners, and webinars for previous quarterly software releases.