BE2012 Does not officially support USB Drives as B2D Folders
It disappoints me to say this but Backup Exec do not officially support USB Hard Drives as Backup Devices in 2012. I thought that since they were not 100% supported in 2010 that they would make a few changes but from my understanding they haven't. I just got off the phone from a Symantec Technical support Agent who told me these facts.
So what is the problem?
I run a very basic environment, 1 SBS 2008 Machine and 1 Terminal Server. I have BE installed on the SBS Box and an agent deployed to the terminal server. I have 5 USB Drives that are rotated Monday-Friday. There is 1 Disk Based Storage Device configured in BE that points to "F Drive". "F Drive" then refers to each drive, Mon, Tues, Wed etc, When they are connected to the server.
The main problem I have encountered so far is trying to figure out what Backup Sets are on what USB Drive. When an inventory is run on the drive it DOES NOT remove backup sets that it doesn't detect on the disk, it keeps them there. Why is this a problem? Well Imagine you have 5 drives, and each drive have backup sets on there. If you open up the 'Backup Sets' tab it will show you Backup Sets that are on all the drives (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri). It is impossible to tell what backup sets are on the connected USB Drive.
Perfect Example: I had an issue the other night where my backup sets were no recycled properly. It was impossible to determine what backup sets were on the connected drive and why they were not overwritten, because BE shows you ALL Backups Sets not just the ones on the connected drive.
After speaking with Tech Support he suggested to create separate drive letters for each USB Drive. That way I can have separate Disk Storage Devices in BE, and create a pool (Much like what we do in BE 2010 R3 as described by phk here. https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/articles/h...). This may work for 1 or 2 drives, but imaging trying to assign a different drive letter to 10-15-20 Drives. Say you have a 9 Drives Rotation, M,T,W,T,F1,F2,F3,F4,F5. That means you have to assign 9 different alphabetical drive letters to each and also take into account mapped network drives that may occupy the same drive letter.
Is this a solution...I don't think so.
The other solution is to move away to RDX Drives, that way they can be configured in BE as Removable Disk Cartridge Devices.
Once again is this a solution...I don't think so. All of my clients use standard 2.5" Western Digital USB Drives. I'm NOT going to tell them to go out and spend more money on hardware when what they have is perfectly fine.
I am hoping that my system is setup incorrectly and that someone has a solution. My issue as described above is only 1 but i'm sure there are others that will arise from this. Please Symantec can you do something about this!!