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Agents Backward compatibility BE 2012

Created: 21 Mar 2012 | 10 comments
Rafael Emmi's picture

Dear All,

I have a lot of customers who have a need to buy new agents for their actual infrastructure (BE 2010) but they have installed Backup Exec media server 2010. The new agents of Backup Exec 2012 such as Agent for VMware and Hyper-V is compatible with BE 2010 media server or to use new agents have to upgrade to BE 2012 is mandatory.

Kindly let me know more information.

Thanks all

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VJware's picture

Recommended to have the media server & the remote servers at the same version

And I dont think a higher version of the agent will work with a lower version of media server anyways...

If you want to continue using 2010 agents, you should be able to downgrade them from 2012 to 2010 by contacting the licensing team, else if you want to use 2012 agents, the media server needs to be upgraded to 2012 as well

ZeRoC00L's picture

If you now purchase a new agent, you will get the 2012 version.

By contacting licensing support you can downgrade this agent to the BE 2010 version.

Also check, if you have a valid maintenance contract, you can upgrade your backup exec media server (and agents) to BE2012)

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"'s picture

What about using the 2010 agents with 2012 media server.

The agents are working(tested) but there is no way to license them in the 2012 server because of the new licensing model.

Does anyone know way to continue using the old 2010(because they are out of maintenance and is not possible to upgrade them without to pay)

VJware's picture

Backward compatibility usually works during rolling upgrades & not to be considered a long-time solution...

They prolly would error out with beremote.exe not being on same version or license required etc at some point of time

Ken Putnam's picture

Does anyone know way to continue using the old 2010(because they are out of maintenance and is not possible to upgrade them without to pay)

Generally, a Backup Exec media server will talk with no problems to a one level back agent, RAWS or Database.   As mentioned by VJWare this is to permit "rolling upgrades"  ie you do not need to upgrade all of your remote machines at the same time

However to meed Symantec's licensing scheme,  in an ongoing production environement, all of your Agents MUST be at the same version as the media server

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

Rafael Emmi's picture

Thanks all for your answers.

Rafael Emmi

Symantec Pre-Sales Engineer.

Tarsus Representaciones, C.A.

Directo: +58 (212) 950.30.44

Master: +58 (212) 959.24.44

Fax: +58 (212) 959.77.80

Móvil: +58 (414) 201.94.76<'s picture


I'm aware of that but just was curious whether there is way around so they could use their old agents as they are not able to fully upgrade at this stage.

Thanks for all responces

Colin Weaver's picture

The ability to use a type of agent (Exchange  , AVVI etc) is controlled by licensing on the media server itself - as such if you have a 2012 media server you must have 2012 licenses.

Which version of agent software that can actually be used on the remote systems is down to the version being backward compatible (and still supported i.e DB2, NetWare not supported)  but has nothing to do with the license itself.

In some cases a newer agent serial number/license is backwardly compatible with an older media server - although this has now changed with the 2012 licensing model meaning you have to contact customer care if you buy a remote agent license for a 2010 R3 server and receive a 2012 SLF file.

dobrien22's picture

Backup Exec agents from 2010 R3 are compatible with Backup Exec 2012 server.  I'm using them now and all of my servers are being backed up.  (The agents had already been installed before I upgraded the media server to 2012.  I kind of doubt 2012 would push install agents using 2010 serial numbers.)

BUT, with every job you get nagging errors that say you have to update your agents.  Not to mention the possibility that at some point you're likely to have unintended consequences from using an agent that doesn't match the server.

Why aren't I using the 2012 agents?  Well, it's not for trying to upgrade the agents using the push installer.  Instead I get the error: "Access Denied. Please edit the remote credentials and retry the validation."  So yeah, until I figure that one out, all my agents are still 2010 R3, but my backups still run and verify.

I wouldn't rely on that as a best practice business process, though.'s picture

Yes but what will happen after the default trial period(60 days) they may stop :) so its a tricky.