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Backup Exec 2012 Redesign

I want to thank the Connect user community for your clear feedback on the Backup Exec 2012 redesign. We were deeply impressed by your comments and we've taken action. Now that we've collected and implemented your suggestions, we've closed the comments on Bulbous' original thread but preserved them for the historical record.

You prompted the events detailed in this blog, this article and drove these changes into the next release. If you'd like to see them playing out in real life, sign up for the Beta program here.

The Connect forums remain a primary venue for users to interact with each other and with us, where we are committed to providing answers and receiving constructive and detailed feedback. Criticism without detail doesn't move the conversation forward so please be specific when you contribute. Come with questions, leave with answers, maybe help someone else out while you are here.

Contact the team with a direct message:
Matt Stephenson
Drew Meyer
Sean Regan

You've made Backup Exec the industry standard for physical, virtual and legacy system protection. We're driven by your participation. What do you think?

Drew Meyer

Impressions of BackupExec 2012

Created: 04 Apr 2012 • Updated: 12 Aug 2012 | 417 comments

Is it just me, or does anyone else absolutely HATE the redesign of Backup Exec? I have worked with BE since version 8, and I have become acutely familiar with the menus, where everything is, and how it works.

This redesign of the UI reminds me of the differences between Microsoft Office 2003 and Office 2007, only much worse. Menus are now hidden behind other menus, and everything has a completely counter-intuitive feel.

At first, I thought that the feeling would pass as I grew more familiar with the product, but in fact my dislike has grown as I have found more issues.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

Comments 417 CommentsJump to latest comment

Christopher Joles's picture

To be honest, I too have the same feelings.  I have been using BE since it was owned by Veritas and having spent the past week inside this program getting it running.  It really feels like I am clicking more times than I have ever clicked in my life.  The transition from 2010 R3 to 2012 has been nothing short of nightmarish.

Timmp's picture

I am glad to express my complete and utter frustration with Backup Exec 2012 on this forum.  Three days later, I am still fumbling through this completely idiotic interface to schedule backups.  This is the most counter-intuitive product Symantec has come out with.  I have worked with virtually every version of Symantec's BE and have worked through many versions of Netbackup.  Netbackup which is a little cumbersome is much better than this.  It's like Symantec wrote this backup software for complete morons that have no idea what they are doing.  I mean, I cant even specify a specific backup to disk folder.  If I select a backup to disk job, it ONLY creates a pre-defined folder on a is that crap?  Then, I cant go back and modify that. 

Why cant it be like a normal backup solution.  Create a backup job and add servers to it.  I find myself clicking all over the place to only find myself back at square one.  I am in the transition phase of moving from 12.5 to 2012 and am contemplating going with 12.5.  The only issue is I upgraded the guests to the new version of the agent...about the only nice thing I found that actually worked well.  Sorry for my rants but I am so aggravated that this interface is so crappy and reminds me of the early version of backup software that virtually gave you no control over what you wanted to do.

Oh yeah, I love how I add servers using the add servers "feature" and create a backup job with them but then no job exists in the "jobs" area...Frckin beautiful!

Oh yeah, and one more thing.  So I can install the agent on a Windows 2008 R2 DC, create a trust, validate my credentials and all looks good then I get some stupid error that it can't communicate with the server...even using an account in the Domain Admins group as the backup exec service...NICE!!!!!

CliveL's picture

I installed BE 2012 this past week Monday. What a disaster. From having backups that complete successfully (1.2TB) every night to my backups now not completing at all. I gave it two days, and then rolled back to BE 2010. That on its own was a mission, but fortunately my backuos are back to normal.

Symantec this is THE WORST version of BE I have ever experienced and I too have been using BE since the days of Veritas. Withdraw it from the market and re-think your strategy completely!!!

Timmp's picture

I was running 12.5 and went through an infrastructure upgrade in the last few months.  Thought it would be good time to upgrade Backup software and upgrade my 12.5 version of BE.  I am glad I did not purchase the licenses yet for BE 2012 as I uninstalled it and went to BE 2010.  That is just an update to 12.5 so a far more simple upgrade for me.  It was up and running with identical jobs as before in less than a few hours.  I can't express my disgust for the BE 2012 product enough.  They competely screwed up the interface in my opinion.  It is so convoluted, counterintuitive and cumbersome that I will not be moving to that version in any future timeframe.  Glad I am not alone here!

Alv. Inf. Services's picture

Absolutely more clicking than before as everything about a particular object is "conveniently" inside of it in a folder tree configuration.  Changing some views to List instead of Tree can help a little bit, but not totally eliminate the issue.

I can see getting used to the change, but not loving it.

teiva-boy's picture

Backup products are designed by developers with little input from real-world users :*-(

There is an online portal, save yourself the long hold times. Create ticket online, then call in with ticket # in hand :-) "We backup data to restore, we don't backup data just to back it up."

iammejutty's picture

Current 2010 environment is backing up about 100 servers compressed down into about 12 jobs a day.  I can't do that with 2012's server centric view.  Spun up a vm to test it out I have since deleted it. I can't see how in it's current form it can be anywhere as easy to manage all my backups as it is now in 2010.  I want some of the new features but until I can as easily manage all my servers like being able to bundle them up into single jobs through a GUI and not rely on CLI (don't see how that is a solution considering how easy it is to re-order servers in a job through the gui now or add a new server to an existing multiserver job), I will be staying put.

Have been using Backupexec for I don't know how long just checked I still have a version 9 install in production at a remote site.  Can't understand why such a drastic change in the way the product now handles backups.  If you didn't have to many servers to backup I can see it not being too bad but the more you are trying to backup the worse it looks.

Steve Kratz's picture

I feel the same... One deployment has 5 servers, all VM. Backups are a nice, clean 5-job set.

Another customer has 17 servers, all but 5 virtual. Combinations of Exchange, SQL, AD, etc. I have 24 backup jobs to handle the 12 virtual servers (VM Agent for Disaster Recovery, 12 more for daily data backup via the RAWS agent because GRT isn't processing the VMs properly, and then another 5 full/inc jobs for the physical servers.  I used to rely on email logs to get all of the info I needed, but now I'm going to have to design a report, or log into the servers to see if I have the pretty green "tabs" on the logs.

Mark McFarlane's picture

I feel the same way -- I would go from 2-3 backup jobs currently to more than 30 backup way Im upgrading...I mentioned this during beta testing and was politely told -- it's much better in the new server-centric model.....not in my environment it isn't !

Guten's picture

Glad to see some one else here hate this new look!!!

The new BE 2012 totally destroyed my jobs and now i have been working 4 days to get everything back to normal but no luck installing BE 2010 again, now i have to clean the registry and see if it works.

Advice to others who is thinking of an update to BE2012, DON´T do it!

Here is one lost customer!!

I hate Backup Exec 2012!!!!!

Guten's picture

Yippiee!!  it looks...... really nice but you can´t use it :O

I hate Backup Exec 2012!!!!!

DanielBickford's picture

We did talk to hundreds of customers in the process of building BE 2012 and did everything we could to incorporate all the feedback.  We knew there would be some folks who would miss the old way, but we hope in time those folks will see the streamlined nature of the new product, especially as we continue to nurture it and learn from your continued feedback.

So, I hope I can help all of you with one thing you may have missed about the new UI:

Server grouping (allows you to modify many jobs at once):   

The feedback I have heard says this is one overlooked feature that really seems to make a big difference in how you use BE 2012 in a more complex environment.

Check out this blog to get a better feel of the how and why of the BE 2012 UI:

Finally, I have heard manu users report they have a much better understanding of how things work after watching a few videos about BE 2012:

So, while sometimes it may not seem like we listen, I can tell you it is my job to listen to ALL the BE customers and we do our best to make the right decisions.  When we don't, we do our best to make it right.

Thanks for the feedback, it's exciting to see the passion around BE!

Keep the feedback coming!

scottt709's picture

With all the user input and development time who could have possibly suggested that stopping a backup when it is half completed because it goes past midnight and the next day happens to be a exclude date. I have a backup that takes approx 10 hours that starts at 5:00 pm. As the next day was Easter Friday and no one is in to change the tape I added an exclude date as I did with BE2010. When my Thursday backup hit midnight the backup was stopped and it alerted me to failed status. How could anyone possibly think this was a good idea.

Biker_Dude's picture

Today, with BE2012, I submitted a weekly backup to start at 11:57 PM and modified the the calendar to exclude tomorrow (the 19th).  I advanced the server's clock to 11:55 PM and waited.  The job eventually start and data began writing data to tape.  The job continued to chug along past midnight and completed successfully.  I successfully ran the same test in next release of the product as well.

If this is still a problem in your environment, either provide all the steps taken to create the job and detail any settings you've may have modified from the defaults...or please contact Technical Support to begin troubleshooting the problem.

Thank you

IT Chap's picture

RE:  Thanks for the feedback, it's exciting to see the passion around BE!

Symantec, you mistake passion for anger.   Why was there not a huge flashing warning at installation to say this is a massive change unlike anything before?

This is such a time waster for me with 40 servers to backup.  The installation created random backup jobs of entire servers, I can't find any way yet to delete them, only put them on start dates 10 years from now :(

Removal of the Job Monitor was the single dumbest thing you did, though no doubt you feel very clever about it.  It was succinct, allowed a single glance view of both running status and history, and now this info is spread all over the place.

I have better things to do than this, and I, like so many others, am looking for alternatives.


Ugh's picture

Why wouldn't you at least put in the OPTION of having a job-centric view.  I've used this product for the last seven years and finally found my way around it.  There is certain key information that we need to be able to quickly see.  This UI does not allow us to see that.  For example, we were just running our first job under 2012 and we needed to insert a tape, but it wasn't obvious to me that we needed to insert a tape.  I had to go hunting around the UI to find that we needed to insert a tape!!!

For the love of all that's holy, PLEASE put in the option of being able to see a "jobs view" like all the previous versions were based on.  You can still have all this other stuff, but just add a "jobs view".  I want to see what all my non-hold jobs are and when they are going to run and what the current status is w/o having to drill down into each server on which these jobs are running.

If I'm going to have to learn a different UI, why don't I just learn a different backup program?  One of the impediments to switching backup solutions is that you don't want to have to go through the pain of learning a new interface and finding where everything is again.  You've removed that impediment with 2012.

hazmat09's picture

To See All Your Jobs & Status

  • Go to Backup & Restore tab
  • Double click "All Servers" which takes you to all your jobs
  • Sort by status
  • If you configure your column view, you can see everything from this view. Including "On Hold" which will show in the "Job Status" column

For your Tape issue, you need to enable alert options in Alert categories. You needed to do this in Backup Exec 2010 as well. 

  • Click Main Menu from top left
  • Configurations & Settings
  • Alerts and notifications
  • Enable whatever alerts you want
  • You'll also see this on the HOME Screen under "Active Alerts"
hazmat09's picture

I get downvoted for providing help...facepalm

CraigV's picture

...for what it's worth, I voted you up on both now. Probably some fool who thinks it's funny to do so. Keep going! smiley

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SeanRegan's picture

Would downvote somone offering help on a support forum, Sad. 

Mark McFarlane's picture

Im not sure how you can call it "streamlined" since it takes a lot more work, clicks, jobs, do the same thing we used to do....and not always with good results (jobs stopping at random times, jobs not running at all)

paulip's picture

1) Telling me to watch videos to understand why your new product doesnt suck is pointless since your product used to be intuitive and didnt need videos...even for the new user.

2)Telling me that you knew lots of users would not like your product, yet you listened to the other users doesnt show a lot of wisdom either.   Im sure there were focus groups which liked MS Vista.

3)And for the record....getting away from a job centric focus into a server centric is   because most of your users LIKE the job centric focus....which is why we've all used back-up exec for so long.

this change was dumb dumb dumb and more dumb.


ravishankarappa's picture


Every word you said is right on the dime. Couldn't have put it better myself!


David Willoughby's picture

I wouldn't care what the interface looked like if the software would just work. I have had more problems getting successful backups with this version than any of the previous versions I have used. All you did was slap a pretty new interface on top of the same crappy software you've been pushing for years. There are issues in this version that have been around since at least version 8.5. How about stop worrying about the interface for a while and fix the software? Vmware is looking better and better every day, because I sure don't use this piece of crap to back up VM's.

jsaliga's picture

If you talked to hundreds of customers and solicited their feedback then it seems abundantly clear to me that you talked to the wrong customers.  It is hard to imagine a situation where IT professionals who are responsible for data protection and disaster recovery would get behind the disconbobulated, incompetently developed mess that is BE 2012.  I have been working with and supporting Backup Exec since version 7.2 when Seagate Software had it, and Backup Exec 2010 will be the last version of the product that we will implement and support for our clients.

This release is a travesty, and will have a lot of loyal Backup Exec customers and consultants who implement and support it looking for the exit sign.

If Symantec wants to do the right thing then it would recall Backup Exec 2012.  Continue to support Backup Exec 2010 with feature enhancements and product updates.  You should then scrap this terrible re-design, go back to the drawing board, and come up with something that respects the original UI and how IT professionals want to manage and administer their backups.  The original interface wasn't broke, but it sure is now.

iammejutty's picture

I think understand how the server groupings work but it still doesn't help if you have 30 servers in a group and you can set a backup job for them or modify them all at once guess what they all try to start at the same time whats the point of that?? and guess what selection lists allowed me to modify the backups of multiple server all at once as well but only required 1 job and 1 start time to manage. How is it more streamlined when you need to manage 100 servers and now 100 jobs instead of say 10 or 12 jobs??  Server groupings does not mean less jobs it's just a view to show you servers that match a specific criteria and I'm pretty sure you can have servers in multiple groups?? (can't confirm vm deleted).  The menu stuff i'm not concerned about but my backups and backup management is. 

If you had a small environment great if you have a large environment guess what it's not easier and more streamlined.  Like someone else has raised the product is so server centric even when you link jobs using cli script or whatever (insert afterthought) you have to do, it still doesn't count them as a single job as it unloads and reloads the tape head between the servers everytime.  When this product was developed were they doing testing with only 5 servers or something 1 vm 1 exchnage 1 fileserver and 1 sql??

Don't get me wrong some of the new features are great but I can't justify the benafits when the managment overhead would become so great and complicated.

When you guys talked to the 100's of customers did they all say "Please change the way BE works as much as you can because it sux and has sucked for years and doesn't work and we can't use it"??

What was the driving force behind such a monumental change in the way the product does backups.

Massive rant I know but super frustrated at a product that is so engrained and a major part of our disaster recover in our business and has been (we have made massive investments in backup hardware to support what we have with some of these being done in the last few months) for quite some time with us wanting to expand and start doing SSO and Central Admin to find out that in it's current form the product is almost unusable.  Bottom line we cannot replicate our backups as they are as they have been with the BE2010 product.

teiva-boy's picture

To address the first point about 100 servers and not 100 jobs, instead of 10-12 jobs...  I will say with the direction of backing up to disk that BackupExec has taken, since it's so terrible with tape.  That this is a good thing.  More concurrent backups can be sent at a time.

I've always advocated more jobs with less servers in it to speed up backups as well as lock down specific GRT or VSS related settings.  

It's a good thing that Symantec went this way with BackupExec.  It makes it ore logical for an advanced shop that had disk in their backup routine.  For folks still on tape, it sucks since there is no multi-plexing available.  

I've got Netbackup environments that do thousands of jobs in a day.  I've also got other competing products that I wrok with from commvault and EMC that do thousands of jobs per day.  And those products have always been better at grouping servers...

The Achilles  heal to Symantec NetBackup and BackupExec is the lack of innovation.  The products have evolved over the years, and features bolted on.  Though not integrated into the product.  Yes NOT integrated.      You can see this as with each version you see new options in the job menu or in the NBU server properties.  That list got really long over the years.  My god, why can't they merge the two products already!

There is an online portal, save yourself the long hold times. Create ticket online, then call in with ticket # in hand :-) "We backup data to restore, we don't backup data just to back it up."

hazmat09's picture

I agree, At first I was ticked off, but think of it this way. If I had a job that backed up 20 servers and one of those server backups slows to a crawl or hangs, that affects the entire job. I prefer the server centric model after using it for a few weeks. There are still some things they glaringly left out that can be addressed in a service pack down the road.

Now, I take the 20 servers, back them up 5 at time, spanned over the evening, and my backup window has shrunk immensely.

For restores, I just select the server I'm wanting to restore the data from, instead of drilling through the job that had 20 servers combined into it. That IMO is much simpler. We are using a DEDUP folder to disk, so mulitiple backups concurrently is no issue.

I'd like to see the option of clicking on your tape media and restoring from the drill down there. That to me was a big oversight. You can view what's on the tape, why not make a context menu that allows you to restore from the same window?

CraigV's picture

...I was part of the usability study that was being done last year, and when the Symantec employee conducting the study with me asked me what my thoughts were, I said that they would have an issue with people who were used to the way that Backu Exec used to work. This would also then be broken into those who didn't have too much of an issue, and those that would take issue with what they were trying to do.

I didn't see many videos doing the rounds, or certainly any mention of what was coming down the line. This would have helped those people who didn't take part in the Beta, didn't research the product when released, and certainly weren't part of the usability study.

However, if Symantec were to make a significant change to the application, BE 2012 would be it.

The big thing here would be to lab the application, because it is such a significant change in the way it works, and the way you need to think differently about it.

It's going to be a case of working through the issues, and getting to grips with the product. I don't see any further significant changes coming down the line (ie. another new GUI), as I'd then say people will jump ship en-masse!

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user55's picture

New UI is similar DPM ;(

More jobs for each server is a good feature. You can run pre/post commands for each server if you need that. But usually you have ONE big file server, where is some local disks and mounted big volumes (LUNs) from the storage. And tape backup of these LUNs is a pain.

We mount on backup server recent snapshots of the volumes from storage for tape backup. Batch script mounts storage snapshots as pre-run command. Each volume should be unmounted after tape backup. But you can't mount/unmount volume per resource, only by server. Since volumes is big, tape backup is long. Next storage snapshot will try overwriting mounted snapshot and there will be a busy snapshot.

In BE2010 and BE2012 I can't run batch script for each resource/

Please add this feature: pre/post commands for each resource selection .

Another issue in BE2012:

Why I can't see history for ALL jobs in one window ?

Why I can't see ALL running jobs in one window ?

You have all windows, just add these features into BE2012.

ps. I've worked with BE since BE 6.0. I always loved it. But now it's not good as was...

CraigV's picture

...visit the Ideas section to add in those ideas...

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Tech_No's picture

When I first looked the interface, I immediately googled ‘Backup Exec 2012 interface forum’ as I knew that it made lots of people unhappy like me. 

I don’t understand what Symantec is trying to achieve here by letting down all the IT technical guys.  As you may know (or may be not) that WE (who works in the management and support of the IT), don’t really care about any shiny, colourful, embossed interface as long as anything is easy to use and easy to find what we want. 
With this these changes - Symantec is not going to get any good reviews.  Forget about extra features, why is it so important if you can’t even use it properly and takes ages to find? Forget about the videos, people don’t have time there are lot in the plate already to deal with.
Symantec really let us down A BIG TIME!!!

Another unhappy technical guy :(

Jimmy Mac's picture

I too have been using Backup Exec since the late 90's and have to say, 2012 is the worst yet.

Sure, some of my opinion is due to the GUI changes but worse, there is no easy intuitive method of backing up more than one server per job even with grouping. The only ligitimate benefit I've seen so far is that it seems a little faster than 12.5.

It is vital that we have all of our servers to one tape, it is critical that certain files and folders are NOT backed up due to the nature of some server based applications. Fortunately I have this installed on a server that I am in the process of decommissioning so I have not pooched this beyond recovery but really?

Has Symantec become the new CA? A place where good software goes to die?

As for requiring the usage of videos is really IMHO, a lapse in good judgement. We (well most of us) have far less time to do everything we need to do and to have this enormous learning curve on our hands for something that should be a simple backup application is really a very poor business decision by the developers.

It will be a far less painful move for us to move to 2010 and hope that either Symantec fixes this dud or find another backup application that will perform to our needs.


GhislainL's picture

WOW... BE 2012 should be an improvment of software... and that's not the case. Seriously! either we go back to BE 2010 or we will change for a real solution from another vendor. Even if NETBACKUP is great and will backup LIKE IT'S SUPPOSED TO. What garantees us that the next version of NETBACKUP will not be as bad as BE2012?

We lost flexibility like,1 job multiple servers, being able to specify the backup order, etc. I tought I was doing something wrong, but after looking at other posts, it seems I'm not alone. Going to a Centric solution should not imply loosing functionalities.

Bye bye BE 2012!

ZacTech's picture

Backup Exec 2012 reminds me of the horrid mess that Acronis puts you through to manage servers.  This server centric approach creates so much extra work.  The job system was the best simply b/c I create of list: server 1's c: drive; server 2s sql, virtserv's 3rd guest....etc.  They ran in the order I need them to and they start as soon as the previous backup finishes. Ok, so the new version has a group feature...job order is random, resource order uncontrollable. I sorta of see where this approach can take us but there needs to be MUCH more control.  I only upgraded to take advantage of the differential in hyper-v backups. Seriously contemplating rolling back. 

JuergenB's picture

So i had created groups and created new jobs for the grouped servers.

But don´t try to edit a single server of this group, your group will fail and it will result in complete empty jobs and crashes.

there will be hotfix in the future, but right now it crashed my installation.

Better eval in an virtual machine.

Josefino's picture

It's a complete nightmare at my company. I spent weekends and nights trying to make it all working again and i'm still unable to have all my backup working.

The 2012 version seems to be a product management product and not a backup administrator product.

It's seems everyone is trying to make it's product simple like an iphone and everyone is failling.

Instead of focusing on what i really need:

  • Support for Oracle 11 R2 on Linux
  • Span backup jobs accros multiple disks

All i have is a barbie like software that it has so many bugs that hurts my eyes. You can't even order the Backup sets window by date.. or anything. I keep pressing the live update button waiting for this nightmare to end with some kind of update.

My backup needs in terms of space have doubled due to the server centric stupid idea. I will not buy more storage space... if that was Symantec idea.

I will wait 2 more weeks until the end of the month and if nothing changes wi will downgrade and start evaluating other software.

CraigV's picture

...just a quick question to the complainants: Did ANY of you check out the application in a lab to see what sort of changes it would make? It's 1 of the major reasons I have yet to upgrade my 30 backup servers as it means a major overhaul of the whole structure and process around it...

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scottt709's picture

You are right I should have done labs on this software and received a huge wake up call after upgrading. I have been using Symantec since version 9. I have kept up a subscription each year. While I don't adopt the software upgrades as soon as they are made available things were running smooth and I had sometime. I watched all the promotional videos with the two gentleman one being the development manager assuring over and over again no features were removed from the software and that all the enhancements would be well received. Then lulled into a sense of trust by Symantec's previous upgrades I said why not. Then wow I realized I had installed a totally different product that I have to relearn right from scratch. I have to come up with work around after work around. Strange history logs. Strange media set layouts. Totally useless exclude date "feature". Due diligence is correct. Before upgrading check all other vendors as this is not even close to our previous version. I am sure this is what Symantec had in mind when releasing this software.

Greg McD's picture

You are right. We should have tested it in a lab. Shame on us for trusting symatec. We should have known that eventually they would ruin Backup Exec just like they did Symantec AV. So now, since you and Symantec seem to think this version is what we need, you can keep it. There are other products out there. Symantec lost a significant portion of the Anti-Virus market when they created SEP. I guess they want to do the same with Backup Exec. 

CraigV's picture

...maybe take the time to read my comments...I HAVEN'T INSTALLED BE 2012 AS IT IS SUCH A CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS VERSIONS!!!!

There you have no stage have I recommended upgrading (please read VERY carefully again). All I said was that if someone didn't do due diligence in investigating the product, the blame also lies with them as it was such a significant change. I'm not defending Symantec (I also don't work for them wink)'s going to take a significant amount of work to change the application and gain back some ground.

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robnicholson's picture

All I said was that if someone didn't do due diligence in investigating the product, the blame also lies with them as it was such a significant change.

Very true and in these days of virtualisation (e.g. Virtuabox or VMware workstation) and grace periods with most software, there is no excuse for giving it a bit of a go in a test environment.

I'm equally not defending BE too much either as I've had a nightmare and sleepless nights worrying about the state of our precious company data.

I just lament that Symantec didn't take this opportunity to re-write BE from the ground up into a world beater and have just, as far as I can tell, changed the front-end and way jobs are handled. It could be, for us, the final straw in moving to a new vendor after many years with BE.

As I said in another post, a redesign of the user interface was in order as it had, over the years, become overly complex and, worse, inconsistent. But just changing to a glossy front end won't instantly make it it more reliable and peformance faster which are two MUST have requirements of a backup system.


CraigV's picture

Yep, totally agree...

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robnicholson's picture

Spooky - Unitrends sales have just called ;-)

AnKirby's picture

Due diligence is all very well, but at some point our hands will be forced into upgrading as BE2010 becomes unsupported.

Should everyone wait until then before jumping ship?

Mark McFarlane's picture

I sure did -- it was terrible -- that's why I did not upgrade my production environment -- and will not be in the future...

Josefino's picture

I always upgrade safelly from BE8 to 2010 R3 with no issue and all working smooth.

Symantec support said that support for Oracle 11R2 on Linux was bound to be launched on 2012 and i was eager to upgrade.

I read the there were changes and i read them but it never crossed my mind that this would be so much different. How can you try to reinvent the wheel on the same product... why?

Yes i should have ran everything on a Lab, i know this. But i always trusted Symantec to serve me with good software. NOT BE2012!!!

CraigV's picture

Dude...if you ran it in a lab you'd be aware of the changes...

If due diligence is done, there should be proper preparation and planning around it, and once in play, no complaints about what it looks like or does.

I admit it is a massive change; both in direction, the way it works, and looks, but it's like checking a car out on Youtube without seeing how it drives, and then going out to buy're going to be disappointed when you realise it's not what you thought it was due to a lack of research.

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Tech_No's picture

Rather than acknowledging the fact that this has really put off most of the backup administrators, you’re trying to patronise by giving ‘car’ example?
A car is a car, is should go forward and backward not the sideways and fall off the cliff!

CraigV's picture

*sigh*...again, you're missing the point. Due dilligence is due dilligence. I am not defending Symantec at all. Like I said, I haven't rolled out BE 2012 in my environment (and believe me I am getting some push from management to do this!) simply because of the changes.

If no research was done, where does the blame lie? That's all. I was playing devil's advocate in this scenario.

BE 2012 has made MASSIVE changes (maybe Symantec didn't communicate these clearly enough from the start, who knows)...this should be the red flag to investigate properly.

However, I've said before elsewhere, if a change was to be made, now would be the time to do so. It could simply be a strategic push to direct the market into a new direction, and differentiate their product. Whether or not other vendors follow suit is another story.

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David Willoughby's picture

Of course there are going to be issues any time a software package changes as much as this one did. But IMHO Symantec really dropped the ball on several points. On 2 separate occasions I called support and eventually had the tech admit to me that they didn't know a lot about the new version yet either. That is completely unacceptable. And as far as "due diligence", there are those of us that did that, met all the requirements, installed the product from scratch, and it still doesn't work correctly. To use your car analogy, that's called "buying a lemon".

Josefino's picture

You can safelly buy a car that the trunk won't be underneath the car, the drivers seat won't be in the trunk and the gears aren't on a stick near the the back seat.

CraigV's picture's an analogy...and that's why you investigate things properly. wink

Look, I am playing devil's advocate here. I took part in the Usability Study last year, and that put a halt of BE 2012 being rolled out. It will be done this year, once a better understanding of the impact it will have is gained.

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Jimmy Mac's picture

Analogies aside.

The issue is quite clear. Whether your business has the resources available to lab test every 'upgrade' or not, the new BE product lacks a vital neccessity. The ability to backup multiple servers in one job to one tape.

Sure, there is a document on how to do this via scripting but if that's the only method, what is the financial incentive to upgrade? I just can't qualify it. The IT overhead needed to manage what should be as easy as simple granular selections via GUI, has become a nightmare. Especially for us smaller businesses who tepend on RELIABLE automation. Since 2012 cannot or will not meet our requirements, we have no other choice but to downgrade to v2010 and either hope that Symantec wakes up and fixes this or spend what little R&D time we have on testing competitive products for the future replacement of BackupExec.

James Avery's picture

As one poster mentioned, I've been using BE since Veritas, and have happily buzzed along in familiar territory for years.

As for BE2012, its interface has all the charm of, oh, I don't know, a broken elbow. It's as though Symantec hired all the new, young, enthusiastic, recent graduates from a computer graphics design school, lumped them together in a big room, and told them to, "come up with something new and exciting," without actually including the terms "useable," "informative," "clear," "concise," etc.

I have entirely enough to do during my week's work without having to climb a nonsensical learning curve for a product that I've used for years, which the designers thereof have decided to "improve."

Truthfully, it seems that they're trying to impress the head-shed, and not the guys and gals that are actually in the pits working.

I'll continue to muddle through this, but I'm not remotely pleased at having to do so.

Ken Putnam's picture

Nailed it in one!

Wish I could give you more than one thumbs up, James

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

robnicholson's picture

Ohh come on, the old BE interface was hardly intuitive. Sure if you've spent 10+ years using it, you are going to know your way around it. I too took part in the usability questionaire and early trials but unfortunately due to lack of time, I was unable to give it "due dilligence".

I'm not defending Symantec at all because even without this user interface re-working, I had serious misgivings about the product but that was more to do with the underlying engines than the user interface.

The mention of Acronis above is valid in that their imaging product used to be pretty good and then the user interface went horrible. Fortunately, they've stuck at it and the v13 isn't bad now. The fact that many of the glaring bugs have been ironed out helps as well.

I hoped that BE2012 was a complete re-write of the product but it's not. I've not checked, but I would imagine the underlying systems are very similar. BE2010 had all the hallmarks of a system that had evolved over time with many of the original developers having left. For example, the marked difference between the various way different back-up media was treated and the fact that errors often referred back to terms that applied to tape but were applied to disk backup jobs.

Perform of the de-duplication engine is pretty dire and it doesn't take advantage of mulit-threaded processes when hashing. And don't get me started on the mess that is "Backup of DFSR": very slow, requires huge restores (16GB RAM for us on the media server!!), causes replication to restart if you restore a file, doesn't work with the advanced disk based option etc.

The user interface is the least of our worries ;-) I've tried to like BE but next year, it's out the door.


CraigV's picture

...and I hope the Symantec guys are reading all of this because there seems to be a deafening silence around it all.

I won't be recommending my old team go to BE 2012. BE 2010 has been very stable for us. New clients with simple backup environments, maybe...

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robnicholson's picture

Hi Craig,

Having battled on and off with BE 2010 over the last year, our environment is also now pretty stable and we're definitely in the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" camp. We've just renewed support for another year but "Review backup" is already on the strategy for 2013. I'll have a gander at the release version of 2012 but more out of interest and serious desire to upgrade.

Cheers, Rob.

PS. Why is Symantec too tight to license the spell checker on these forums? Those pop-up adds when you spell check are very intrusive.

Ken Putnam's picture


For me (at least) the old console layout was quite logial and intuitive.  That's one of the reasons I chose it

You want to talk non-intuitive, take a look at the CA backup products!!!!

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

CraigV's picture

...CA's support is also quite bad!

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Hue Vang's picture

Wow i just created more work for myself, 2012 is less intuitive - have to relearn to think pretty buttons.

Whats the best way to rollback to 2010 ? and whats the best alternative backup product ?

James Avery's picture

Not to blow my own horn - ok, maybe a little bit. Because of issues that I had had before, I took a full bare-metal backup and a master backup of my BE server before "upgrading" to 2012. I used a Unitrends DPU for this process so that I wouldn't have to rely on BE for the restore in case things went sideways.

I use Unitrends for, among other things, my Backup Exec servers, because if I have to recover from a catastrophic failure of one of them, it's a simple recovery and I don't have to recreate all the backup jobs from scratch. I had to do that once, and it wasn't a lot of fun.

I'm going to muddle along for a week or so with this interesting new version of a reliable old product and see how much "new" I can tolerate. If it becomes too much of a PITA, then I will restore my by then a couple of weeks old 2010 installation, and chalk it up to "experience."


"Oh, no! Not another learning experience!"

Ken Putnam's picture

You can verify that the last BEDB.BAK file from before the migration is available outside the \Data directory  (Restore from tape/disk if necessary)

You should also have a copy of the \Catalogs directory from just before the migration


Uninstall 2012

Boot the media server

Install 2010

shut down BackupExec and copy the saved \Catalogs folder to the new catalogs folder

Restart BackupExec

Run BEUtil and select "Recover Configuration from a file" and point it to the saved BAK file

You should now be back to just before the upgrade

You also should now  be able to restore all the log files from just before the migration if necessary

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

robnicholson's picture

Wow i just created more work for myself, 2012 is less intuitive - have to relearn to think pretty buttons.

Hmm, I think until it's been used a bit more, it's unfair to label it as "less intuitive". Developer are in a no-win situation when it comes to user interface re-design. It is always going to annoy somebody. Just look at the fuss over Facebook replacing the profile with the timeline.

But in general, it should turn out better as long as Symantec engage in a rapid fix & release cycle. If people never took chances with user interfaces, we'd still be working at the command prompt exclusively.

Microsoft tried to maintain compatability with Windows on their mobile phones. Look where that got them. They finally made the decision to dump Windows Mobile OS which will have caused all sorts of similar responses from developers but they had to do it. I applaud them for doing it - unfortunately they probably did it too late.

whats the best alternative backup product ?

What's interesting here is that often the grass isn't greener. It's just a different shade of green. That said, we looked at Unitrends and it looks good but pricey for the amount of data we wanted to backup.

I've often said that "Backup software" would be something I'd write if I had the capital ;-) I'd ignore tape though...

Cheers, Rob.

Hue Vang's picture

OK had to stick with it for a week now, cause my manager wanted to stay on it.

Basically we are entitled to Symantec product upgrades cause we use alot of their products, EV, Messagelabs,SEP and we pay to keep up to date for license compliance.

I still have legacy systems that we have to support, Believe me I still have Windows NT and 2000 in production cause the application was developed for them and we havnt had the need to change the apps due to cost to migrate. We have a production SAP R3 on windows 2000 running SQL7 ( the CORE R3 SAP has not changed in yrs as suppose to the newer Netweaver suite )

Kinda dissapointed that theres not a backwards route to keep the client compatitble on legacy.

So if anyone reads this - BE 2012 agents does not support Windows 2000.

Anyways - working with the new changes for me, I had to rethink backup strategy..... Ie do things backwards..

Instead of creating one job and backing file selections from the different servers to one set of tapes ( ie daily set )

Now I have the server centric view that have all the servers listed and have to select files i want to back up and back to a daily set.

Give me a clasic button please.

I know it can be done as when i upgrade all my jobs ported across. I just want to rearrange my data back to classic mode.

StrongmanTech's picture

What was Symantec thinking? Whomever provided their input during Beta did not run this in the real world.

So, instead of having 3 jobs run, I now have 36 to seperately manage. The grouping of servers prior to creating new jobs really doesn't help much, as you cannot fine-tune the selection lists until you back out and edit each job separately!

Job history is a nightmare!

And, you cannot exclude specific dates on individual jobs! Either all jobs run, or they do not. So, if you run like I do, a Friday weekly job, a job for end of month, and a final job for end of year, on that last friday, you have 3 jobs wanting to kick off at the same time, per server!

If I mis-configured something, please tell me, otherwise, BE 2012 gets no "Best Product of the Year" votes from me.

For all the new features it has, they are over-shadowed with all the bad features.

Greg McD's picture

...get rid of simple task like running backup sequentially to tape.  So my 3.8 TB of data which usually went on 6 tapes is now on 13. Why, because BE2012, for some unknown reason cannot simply backup server 1 to tape, then when it moves to server 2 check to see if the tape still has room on it to APPEND the data, soforth and so on. .. no, it moves on to a new tape, why I don't know. However, in the middle of all of this servers 4-7 do backup to the same tapes, but then the remaining server find tapes all on their own again.

Well maybe if I back them up to disk first and have it DUPLICATE it to tape.. nope. Still get some crazy random number of tapes that add up to darn near twice the amount of data BE2012 is configurated to back up.

2 weeks ago, I just would create 2 jobs to take care of this.  One to back it up to disk, then another to duplicate it to tape. Done! Yay! Not now... now I have to break down that job into 238221232.2 jobs, because backup execs says it will be easier to see what backed up and failed.  Not thinking about the 3234231321.4 job we now have to manage.

pkh's picture

When you are appending to a tape, make sure that the next job does not start before the job that is writing to the tape ends.  While it is being written, the tape is marked as not appendable and the next job will switch to overwrite mode and will never switch back to append mode.

Mark McFarlane's picture

That is part of the problem (unless Ive missed something in my testing) there is no way to have a job start when another job have to "guess" when the job will finish and then schedule the next job to start sometime after that "guess".....this is terrible when you have 30+ jobs to schedule....

Kingston's picture

There is a way actually .. set the jobs to start at the exact same time. One of them will start first, and the remaining will go into "Ready; No idle devices" status. Once the current job has finished, another job will start automatically, and so on. Setting the order that jobs start may be problematic .. the only way I can find is to use the priority setting. There are 5 priority settings to choose, which may be enough for most organisations.

Ken Putnam's picture

"Setting the order that jobs start may be problematic .. the only way I can find is to use the priority setting. There are 5 priority settings to choose, which may be enough for most organisations."

In  most cases, as long as your Overwrite job starts first, does it really matter what order the remainder of the job run in?

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

charlesc_act's picture

except if you are using compression on a tape, and the previous behaviour of BE remains true (from v12.5) - that if a large database overlapped the native tape capacity it would assume the tape was full. so i used to order the database backups first and let the file storage backup hit the point between native and compressed capacity.

this may no longer be an issue, but it is one more thing that has to be tested.

ZacTech's picture

After watching the videos about the new product it seems their main goal was to give a server centric view to help the admins. Why not change the reporting or dashboard interface to reflect that?  Leave the awesome backup methodology the way it was, but give a new view to checking on it. I have tried to be patient and post my issues on here, but almost all of them have to be fixed by using BEMCLI.  Should an enterprise class product "require" that much manual footwork? The worst part, is the video boasting their awesome migration proccess. I am not saying this product is 100% garbage, but I feel like a beta tester.  This big a change should have been a new product with a new name.  

UFO's picture

Changing the UI from previous versions was, I think, done to make it easier for new customers to get in to the product. I have seen my admin telling me that new UI is easy to undestand (he was working with BE 2012 for the first time). Maybe that was the reason for new UI?

Yes, it reminds me UI transition from Office 2003 to Office 2007 and then to Office 2010. And some Microsoft customers also complained that old UI was better (=familiar). Microsoft was doing a lot of focus groups study before making new UI. I suggest for all of Symantec BE customers not to hate new UI, but test it on your own focus groups. If it doesn't fit - don't hate it, just keep using BE 2010 R3 - it will still has this familiar UI and approach, and new technologies like V-Ray as well.

BTW: as result of complaints from customers Microsoft did interactive guides for Office products with step-by-step demos on how to find old menus in new UI. It was very helpful for Excel. Does anyone see such demos on BE 2012?


Ken Putnam's picture

don't hate it, just keep using BE 2010 R3 - it will still has this familiar UI and approach,

Except that 2010R3 won't handle new applications going forward, will it??

as result of complaints from customers Microsoft did interactive guides for Office products with step-by-step demos on how to find old menus in new UI.

The main complaint that I see is not the UI change (tho there are those complaining about that)  The main complaint is the complete change of the whole philosophy of the product

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charlesc_act's picture

totally agree. i rolled back to BE 2010 today and I its just a sense of relief that on monday the backups will be easy to handle (6 servers in 1 job), properly scheduled and organised.

Tech_No's picture

If IT professionals are complaining about BE2012 then surely there is something wrong with the new features/UI.  Would you rather listen to your guinea pigs than IT professionals, who are there doing day to day job in the real world?

I hope BE2012 won't be like Symantec AV, which is least favourite product when it comes to AV!!!

robnicholson's picture

If IT professionals are complaining about BE2012 then surely there is something wrong with the new features/UI.

There appear to be two distinct gripes here: firstly, that the user interface has drastically changed. Sorry, get over it and move on ;-) Secondly, that the new server centric as opposed to job centric view is harder to use. This is a justified gripe IMO but I didn't consider a problem as I'm only backing up four servers.

Cheers, Rob.

Tech_No's picture

Sorry, get over it and move on ;-)

Yes, trying to - but unfortunately it's not that easy!  So easy to say who is only backing up only 4 servers, TRY BACKING UP 40 and I would like to see how would you 'move on'!!!

charlesc_act's picture

for a mature product that does not need to play to an audience that needs the simplicity of something like an iphone, the new UI design is an unwanted and unncessary change. yes people will get used to it but the problem is that we are having to spend hours hunting through the new UI to determine what has changed, what is missing and what is broken.

I had to come to these forums to actually discover that the job centric approach had been removed (to my horror!) because I could not easily determine if I was just missing something in this completely reworked UI.

DanielBickford's picture

Well, I have been watching this thread, and don't like to jump in too often as this is YOUR forum (and I don't want to be seen as just defending BE).  Throughout the process of building BE 2012 we all knew there were going to be some that saw BE 2012 as "too much change."  We did everything we could think of to try to minimize the impact to all of you who have been passionate about Backup Exec over the years.  There is definitely room to improve, and that's why I want to thank all of you for posting your "concerns" here.  We can and will incorporate this feedback into future releases.

Obviously, we can't and won't make dramatic changes to functionality prior to the next release (that would present a whole different set of complaints), but we will take this feedback and try to help all of you through the difficulties you are experiencing with the changes in BE 2012.  The more specific, the better :)

Thanks to all of you!

StrongmanTech's picture

Why not add some fuctionality back. Yes, I don't care a lot about the new interface, but like anything else, we must adapt. Just wait until Windows 8 releases! Metro?!? What Corporate User cares about Metro?

I hear the biggest issue being with the server-centric mode. Why not add a new button, and make a few modifications adding Jobs back, and let the user switch between the two. Call it Simple and Expert mode.

Within the Expert mode, allow us to arrange our Backups by Job. In Simple mode, by Server.

I do understand that there is more work than adding a button, but, you have the technology for ALL prior years of BE to add this functionality back into the product.

CraigV's picture

...head on over to the Ideas section and add your idea/thought're probably going to get a good couple of votes up if you do! just post back here with the details and the link!

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Kingston's picture

+1 to what PCTeamAdmin said.

People can live with the Disney-esque new interface, but just don't make their jobs harder.

A Simple / Advanced mode selector would give the best of both worlds.

Personally, I'm sticking with BE 2012 because I find Hyper-V on Clusted Shared Volumes backups to be a bit more reliable. But to have the ability to have a jobs-centric view would be great.

Bulbous's picture

This forum thread stands as a testament to the fact that the reaction to BE 2012 is overwhelmingly negative, despite the impressions that Symantec staff still seem to hold. The people who have taken the time to post comments are your core demographic, not some kind of frustrated niche group that will "get over it".

Having said that, I think that Symantec needs to take a hard look at BE 2012 and consider whether they want to continue to force these changes on their userbase. In the meantime, the best olive branch that can be extended to the community is continued support of BE 2010! Continue to sell, support, and develop this product. Update the agents so they work with current OSes - stop trying to FORCE people into 2012 because the agents they need aren't available with 2010.

IF BE 2012 is truly a quality product, people will come to appreciate it, instead of needing to be forced to use it.