On March 6, 2012, we released Backup Exec 2012. This release featured major changes to the user experience that we tested in a three-month beta with 2,300 SYMC partners and end-users. Most of our customers liked the new release because it addressed changes they had been asking for around disk and virtual machine controls for VMware backup and Hyper-V backup in the main parts of the UI.
However, others were not such big fans of the new UI, which isn’t all that uncommon. Change in the early days of a new design can be difficult. For example, when Microsoft changed the ribbon, or whenever Facebook makes a change to their UI, there tends to be a level of frustration at the onset before we all adjust. But if it is a good change, we eventually can’t imagine life without it.
What is critical is that when those changes are made, the features that the majority of users can’t live without remain, or are improved. For many customers that was true for Backup Exec. However for others, those changes resulted in features that they knew and loved no longer being available. Those customers, like Bulbous and Jools (Spiceworks forum requires registration) and others, spoke up and told us what they wanted back.
What did we do?
We brought a set of customers from Microsoft TechEd, Symantec Connect, Spiceworks and Twitter to Heathrow, FL to meet our engineering, UI and PM teams. At that meeting we discussed with them the features they felt the user community wanted to see added back into the product. The group agreed on the engineering focus and we drew up a plan. Engineering set to work and started making the changes requested. That process happened between March and May. In June we released the first results of that meeting. Here is what changed.
In the BE 2012 SP1 Upgrade that was released on June 12:
· Unlike in Backup Exec 2010 the “Resource View” didn’t show customers all the ‘jobs’ scheduled/running in Backup Exec UI.
– Now in Backup Exec 2012 we added back the “All Jobs” button to the ribbon which enables users to have the select/sow all option they were used to.
· Unlike Backup 2012 “migration” splits a single over-write job into an over-write job for each resource cause
– Now in the Backup Exec 2012 Upgrade “Migration” will create multiple jobs with “Append, overwrite if no append-able media is available”
Planned for the next service pack upgrade for Backup Exec 2012:
· Backup Exec 2012 will add back the ability to do multi-server selection edits
· Backup Exec 2012 will remove the ‘View All’ button and replace with a Job Monitor Tab that show all jobs, not just backup/restore (except for report jobs). This shows scheduled and running jobs as well as job history.
· Backup Exec 2012 will bring upgrades to “scheduler” that excludes dates per job and enables time bound reoccurrence and the selection of specific days per month.
Planned for a future release:
· Support for multi-server backup jobs
· Confirmed multiple server backups to the same tape
· Prioritized server backup order
These are some select features that will be part of these releases. Additional technology around virtualization, dedupe and applilances will also be coming.
While Backup Exec will evolve as it continues to build on its 30-year history, one thing remains constant: to win in backup, you need to win at delighting customers and partners. To that end, I hope you have seen and heard that the team at Symantec is listening to you. If you have not, drop me an email or a direct message on Connect or Twitter. The future of backup is changing quickly with virtualization, integrated appliances, snapshots, dedupe and more. We will be there and we want to make sure we help take each of you with us. Change is constant in technology, leadership is never easy, but for the past 30 years Backup Exec has been there to recover your data when you were using tape, when you were using disk, when you started using VMware and then Hyper-V, and now as you look at integrated backup appliances and hybrid cloud backups.
Curious about the positive feedback on Backup Exec 2012 so far? Here is a look at some of the feedback we have seen.
· Backup Exec 2012 Awards and 3rd Party Commentary (Attached Below)
Planning to upgrade to Backup Exec 2012? Here are some resources:
Sr. Director Product Marketing
Information Management Group