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Backup Exec 2012 - warning to those of you still on 2010

Created: 23 Jan 2013 • Updated: 06 Feb 2013 | 23 comments

I am the system administrator for my company and in charge of managing our backup infrastructure. I, like most other sys admins thought that this upgrade would be smooth, painless and problem free as have been my upgrades from 10d-11d, 11d-12, 12-2010. Unfortunately this is not the case.

I will start with the migration of your existing jobs. If like me you have multiple servers that share similar characteristics in regards to backing up you will most likely have a job that encompasses multiple servers. My backup job had 12 servers in it. After migrating the job to 2012 I found that it had actually disappeared. What it had been replaced with is a single job for each server, all listed individually. You can see the problem. Now when I need to change a setting on this backup job I have to change it on every single server individually. Wow what a great feature.

Next I should try and describe what they have done with the well-loved, tried and tested interface that had taken tens of years of research, customer feedback and hard work to create. They binned it and replaced it with what I can only describe as an insult to my intelligence. You see Backup Exec assumes that this software is to be used by people with the mental age of about 5, possibly 6. I'm not kidding when I say they have drastically reduced your ability to have complete control and granularity over your backups. Here are some examples; Sometimes I need to exclude a particular job from running on a particular day - maybe because it will clash with another manually run job I have started. You can no longer exlude individual jobs! What, surely not I hear you say? Well its true, when you click the exclude button on the very difficult to navigate, badly designed an hideous looking calendar it excludes all of your jobs at the same time. Why would I want this? I should have the choice, why am I forced to exclude ALL of my jobs?  Another bugbear is why we are forced to choose between weekday or weekend.  I want to specifiy certain days for certain backups as I did before - whats the matter don't you trust that people are capable of figuring out what a weekday is? I loved the scheduler in BE 2010, it worked so well. It is sorely missed.

Other niggles are the restore process, for some reason this defaults to only show you your backed up data from the last day?! I'm not sure about you but nine times out of ten I'm restoring data older than a day.  I thought my backups had failed and the data wasn't there, I didn't think that Backup Exec would be hiding it.  We also now have a completely pointless 'Home' button that shows you lots of data that you will never really use or look at - it looks like they spent a lot of time on this, shame as so many other important areas needed attention.

Oh and here is a REALLY BIG PROBLEM for you SQL server administrators out there.  You can no longer take copy only backups of your SQL server?! What?! Absolute insanity, why would you remove such a vital feature.  Most SQL administrators will be running their own Microsoft SQL initiated backups and only need the Backup Exec backup as a copy.  You see Symantec when you cannot take a copy only backup you are messing with the data's archive bit and this means you can only use one system to back the data up.  Two copies are required as the Microsoft SQL backups are easier to restore and manipulate in management studio.  We then have the Backup Exec copy as a failsafe.  Now that this feature is removed we simply do not run Backup Exec backups of our SQL server anymore.  Please see other users postings on this:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/backup-exec-2012-copy-only-option

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/ideas/add-copy-jobs-back-backup-exec-2012

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/scheduling-sql-full-copy-backups

Occasionally I like to view the jobs I currently have running (yes I know, what a crazy concept), maybe I need to know how far through a particular job is or just want to see all my jobs at a glance. Bad luck. The job monitor has been removed, I can no longer see any of my running jobs. A half-baked attempt at resolving this was to add the 'View All Jobs' button in service pack but it still doesn't show inventory/cleaning jobs and is horrible to look it.

Cleaning Tapes. I have a Quantum Super Loader 3 Tape library, that once in a while requires a cleaning tape to be run through it. This worked perfectly in BE 2010. Since upgrading to BE 2012 I am told 'The cleaning tape has expired' every time I try to run it. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to live with a dirty tape unit.

Backup to Disk - as I generally use tapes this is not a feature I often use. However when I have used it I found a significant problem. I am not allowed to choose the folder I want to backup to? BE 2012 forces you to select a drive and then creates its own folder structure that means nothing to most people.

Completed backup jobs. It is nice to see at a glance a sea of green ticks across all your backup jobs so that you (and your boss) can see that the backups are running well and that you are doing your job properly.  Why oh why then does the completed job status change orange and say completed with exeptions all because you have changed the properties of the job? This is ludicrous.  For example. I change the job to start 1 minute earlier - Orange Alert, completed with exceptions. I change the media set used - Orange Alert completed with exceptions. I change the person being notified that the job has finished, Orange Alert, completed with exceptions.  You see the problem here? Totally unecessary, time wasting panic causing errors that should NOT be there.  The job HAS completed successfully with no problems so why are you telling me otherwise?

The interface. I have touched on this before but it is just horrible, over simplified, removal of multiple necessary features, confused design, too many clicks required to get where you need, hiding important options etc etc etc. If Symantec want to remain in the business of backing up people's data they need to take a good hard look at some of the comments on this forum as there re thousands of sys admins like me who are prepared to switch to Acronis & co if these show stopping faults are not rectified. I ask the developers/designers what an earth were you thinking and in which world was this ever a good idea? You had a great product and you trashed it, badly. Very sad, Veritas are turning in their grave.

This paragraph is actually written a week after the text above but I thought I should share this with you as it is absurd and slowed me down considerably.  Here is the situation, we decommissioned an old server, removed it from the network and Backup Exec.  A while later we decide hat we actually want to restore some files from this decommissioned server.  No problem I said as I've been taking full backups of it so I'll just select what I need and everybody's happy.  Unfortunately with Backup Exec 2012 no one is happy. Least of all System Administrators.  You see you remember that really useful feature you had in Backup Exec 2010 where you could browse to one of your tapes, find what you wanted and restore directly from the tape.  Its gone.  They do let you browse to the tape and tease you with the prospect of restoring data you so desperately need like some kind of cruel game but they will not let you have it.  Instead the process has been repaced with some convoluted, long drawn out procedure that you would never figure out in a million years unless you contact Symantec.  Great job guys keep up the good work.

Another problem that I've noticed recently is that Backup Exec 2012 is far more intrusive when backing up than previous versions.  when the backup is running the file server is so unresponsive it is unusable.  I have now had streams of complaints from our users that they cannot save their work until the backup is finished.  We never had this problem previously so why is this happening, this all just seems like a huge step back.

Comments 23 CommentsJump to latest comment

CraigV's picture

Hi,

 

This was well documented last year when BE 2012 was released, and (some would say deservedly), Symantec took massive flak for this. So much that they are about to start a Beta for BE 2012 (and BE 2010 to support vSphere 5.1)...there should be a number of issues that were raised throughout last year addressed in this release.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

robclarke41's picture

CragV,

Last year?!...and still no fix for all these issues?  Do you have any information on when the proposed release will be out?

Regards

Rob

cancervic's picture

CraigV,

Do you know of link for what issues/bugs this addresses.

 

I am particularly interested in http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH183028

Larry Fine's picture

Have you contacted BE tech support for the workaround that is mentioned in the technote?

If you find this is a solution for the thread, please mark it as such.

robclarke41's picture

Official Release notes:

For Backup Exec 2012:
Protection of Windows Server 2012 servers using the Agent for Windows. This includes support for: Microsoft data Deduplication-enabled volumes (backs up and restores data in non-deduplicated data format)
New ReFS (Resilient File System)
Windows Recovery Volume (WinRE)
New Hyper-V version
Updated Failover Clustering (CSV)
Native 4K (Advanced Format) drives
Online restore of computer and system components

Updated protection of SQL to include: SQL 2012 SP1
SQL 2008 R2 SP2

Protection of Exchange 2013 (Non-GRT only)
Support for Exchange 2010 SP3 (pending final release from Microsoft)
Protection of SharePoint Server 2013 (Non-GRT only)
Support for VMware vSphere 5.1 ESX 5.1 and vCenter 5.1

No mention is made of here of fixes for the existing problems? Are they going to pretend they don't exist or address them?

Colin Weaver's picture

Whilst I can confirm that some problems/defects/bugs will be fixed with the update that adds support for some new product versions from Microsoft and VMware, we cannot currently provide a finalized list of the items that will be fixed.

robclarke41's picture

Hi Colin,
Any idea when the update is available, if it is going to be any length of time I will have to go back to 2010 as 2012 is making life very difficult at the moment.

robclarke41's picture

bump

Again, does anyone in the know have any news on when these issues can be addressed?

greetings's picture

These are all huge issues that should have been addressed a long time ago.  At least patch in some of them and stop making everyone wait for this next release. 

Also might want to take a look at this, 

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/imp...

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/bac...

robclarke41's picture

Symantec keep saying this will all be resolved in the next release.  Does this mean the 2012 R2 version or the next full version upgrade i.e. 2013?

To be honest 2012 is such a horrible mess I think they need to rewrite the entire program from the ground up.  Either that or just bring back BE 2010 R3 and relabel it as 2013 - I would have no complaints, it was a far superior product!

King_Julien's picture

I'm totally with you. 

 

 

 

A second of your life, ruined for life.

cancervic's picture

Yep, we are very close to either:
- Rolling back our media servers and agents (what a headache that'll be) OR
- Getting out of BE altogether, probably forever.

King_Julien's picture

Edit: Nopes, we are going to use BE2012 till the end of the times... (F***!)

 

Regards,

A second of your life, ruined for life.

andreas.zeiler's picture

Hello, we are implementing BE since its been called "arcada" backup, and had satisfied customers with all the versions since that time, whether the SW was offered by Seagate SW, Veritas or Symantec. I 'm also serving "larger" installations with SSO/CASO and clustering.

Unfortunately some customers decided to "upgrade" to BE 2012. The result is intensive work for getting the vast amount of jobs in the right order, and no successful backups for weeks due to unavailable devices.

Another very negative point is the lack of support for Windows Server 2012. Beeing the first backup vendor to integrate the latest microsoft versions has always been a very good selling point for BE. Now the competitors are months ahead.

I can't understand that support for MS Server 2012  is showing up as "beta" in march. When will it be GA? I won't install beta SW for productive systems.

 

Best Regards, Andreas

 

 

 

CraigV's picture

...now only May sometime...

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

robclarke41's picture

I agree Andreas, there is a lot of intensive work involved to get your backup system in a usable state again after 'upgrading' to BE 2012.  I also find the lack of Server 2012 staggering, I'm not sure what's happening over at Symantec but they seem to have no idea what they are doing or what customers want anymore.

robclarke41's picture

Has anyone heard anything about proposed fixes or a release date for proposed fixes for this?  I'm finding it harder and harder to work with it.  May just have to bite the bullet and get to work on rolling back to 2010 R3.  Thanks Symantec, thanks a lot.

CraigV's picture

....the latest update seems to be that the Beta starts in May sometime.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

robclarke41's picture

I would really appreciate a posting from a Symantec tech to explain what they are doing to rectify all these problems? Also is there any news on fixes/updates?

King_Julien's picture

Well, sym tech don't make any bussiness decisions.

And believe me, I'm not trying to defend symantec at all.

A second of your life, ruined for life.

hmstiles's picture

I may be in the minority, but I have no issue with the new Backup Exec 2012 Interface.  Our environment is predominantly virtualised, so the server-centric view is still manageable.

Our environment is disk based - a dedicated backup SAN in a secure hosting suite with a nice big backup to disk folder and a big deduplication folder.  We have a dedicated backup server with bags of RAM and 10Gbps network backbone.  This should be the dream environment for Backup Exec

However, some of the issues affecting Backup Exec 2012 are ridiculous and the fact that the software was allowed to pass QA is staggering

1) The scheduler is rubbish.  Where has my calendar gone?  I want to define a dep-dupe job that runs immediately after the final weekly job of the calendar month has completed.  Simple enough requirement but 2012 doesn;t let me do it.

2) Why do linked dupe/dedupe jobs based on a particular backup fail for no good reason?  The job is linked, so is based on the previous job completing.

3) I need to do a GRT based backup of a couple of VMs so I have the option of restoring individual files rather than the entire VM.  Being a logical kind of person I created a second backup job for my VCenter that uses GRT as this can only be set at the job level.  BE 2012 still backs up the VM in entirety

4) DFS Replicated folders.  BE 2012 lets me select the folders via the GUI but doesn't back up the data unless I select the DFS Replicated Folders in Shadow Copy Components.  Also, I don;t appear to be able to do incremental backups, so am backing up 100s of GB unneccessarily every day.

If the latest 2012 release doesn't address these issues, we will be dropping Backup Exec.  That said, one more customer deserting Symantec is hardly news.