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Backup Exec: The challenge of updating RAWS with push wizard

Created: 19 Nov 2009 • 2 comments
DominikG's picture
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Many users of Backup Exec are annoyed by the recommendation to apply all hotfixes made to the server also to the remote agent. I think this is quite understandable, because in daily business it is in most cases simply not easy to do it because of other, higher priority topics.

With this short piece of text I would like to change your point of view.
Please consider the following facts:

1. Many problems of backups with BE result out of a mismatch of server and RAWS.
2. Hotfixes are hotfixes, because they fix important issues.
3. If you have to call tech support, they will definitely check the version of server and RAWS and in case they do not match advise you to update.
4. This is really important: If you are waiting too long, the number of updates that have to be applied increase that much that a push update will no longer be possible.

The last point is really important. My investigations showed that somewhere between 8 (result of tech support) and 10 (my result) updates the installer simply crashes. It cannot handle more updates and therefore updating the RAWS through push wizard will fail. This has been confirmed by tech support, too.

Some recommendations for this scenario:
 

1. Remove all updates before service pack 2 from directory .../backup exec/agents/rawsXX/updates (simply sort by date)
2. If you have to apply more than 8 updates, and want or have to use push wizard do the following

    a) Split all existing updates in .../backup exec/agents/rawsXX/updates into groups of max. 8 items (of course, take care of the order)
    b) only keep one group in directory .../backup exec/agents/rawsXX/updates and move the other groups to a temporary location
    c) start the push wizard
 

Do this with every group of updates. The wizard only uses the updates located in the directory .../backup exec/agents/rawsXX/updates. With this workaround you can manage to update the RAWS centralized from your BE server.
 
Hope you think a bit different about updating the RAWS and perhaps know the reason now, why updating with the push wizard failed with no clear reason the last time. ;)

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Kevin Hsieh's picture

It would be a lot easier if BackupExec pushed out updates to all of my remote agents, instead of the administrator going through the clunky interface to select all of the machines that need updates.

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DominikG's picture

I totally agree but:

This leads to another interesting fact that I have noticed:

Nobody is able to say in which case a restart of the remote machine is needed.
of course, when AOFO is applied and if a service pack got applied, these scenarios are written down.
The interesting fact is:

It is possible, that you take to nearly identical machines, e.g. Windows Fileserver an add the same hotfix to both.
What often happens is, that one server prompts for a restart, the other one does not. WHY IN THE WORL DOES THIS HAPPEN?
It seems that nobody knows...

So if an automatic distribution of updates should ever be applied, please also apply the possibility to supress the restart ;)

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