Hello again! Today I want to talk about a new feature introduced in Backup Exec 2012. Many will refer to it as the Add Server Wizard, but it is so much more than that. The goal was to provide users a way to perform agent installs directly from the Backup Exec User Interface. We achieved that goal and went further. In addition, we also provided a way for users to automate patch deployment to those agents via a scheduled job. Let’s see what is new and look at some screen shots below.
The New Ribbon Icons for Install
The new icons are for Add/Remove/Update Windows Server Agents. These buttons will launch our push install silently in the background. Let us take a look. Open the Backup Exec 2012 User Interface and see the following icons at the top of the screen. The icons are in our new ribbon style toolbar, which you will see when you click the “Backup and Restore” tab.
The Add Button
By clicking the “Add” button, you are presented with a wizard (shown below) that will walk you through installing the agent on one or more of your remote windows machines. This creates an install job within the product, just like any other backup job. You were able to do this before, but you had to run the Backup Exec installer from a menu option. Now, there is a button within the Backup Exec UI that will let you perform an install to a remote machine, or group of machines. Let’s see what the wizard looks like.
Below is the sequence of screens presented for the first button “Microsoft Windows computers and servers”.
Note: If you unselect the “Upgrade the Symantec Backup Exec Agent…” option, then you will see the wizard create a machine resource in the UI as long as the server is running an older agent. This will be useful if you do not wish to upgrade the agent from say 2010 R3. Maybe you just want to restore some data to the server using the existing agent. If so, then this is the best way to add the server without upgrading its agent.
If you want the install to automatically restart the machine, check this box and it will automatically reboot after a successful install.
If the install fails, you will be presented with the opportunity to review the install log to see why it failed.
If the install is successful, you will be informed if a reboot is required, or if you checked the box, then you will be notified that a reboot was requested.
The Update Button
One additional feature I’m excited about is the ability to schedule deployment of patches to your remote agents via the update button. The driving force of this feature was to provide administrators a way to deploy their patches, without having to be in the office. This feature lets you schedule the remote agent updates at a schedule you deem appropriate. The expected use of this feature would be a scenario like the following. An administrator always runs media server patches on Friday’s before his full backups kick off on the weekend. However, he cannot patch the remote agent servers until the office closes for the evening. So, he would schedule the patch deployment jobs for say 7pm on Fridays, knowing his full backups will start at say 9pm. This will update the remote agent(s) with the currently available patches from the media server (and if specified, reboot the remote server on successful completion), prior to jobs kicking off for the weekend. Here is what the scheduling UI looks like when you click the “Update” button:
The remove button allows you to remove a server from the list. You will not use this very often as it will delete the server from the main page of servers. Within this server container you are removing are all associated jobs, job histories, associated backups, etc. Removing server containers should be done with care and forethought.
The install team is confident you find this feature useful. We would also be interested in hearing the good and bad after you have used it for sometime.