Video Screencast Help

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

iammejutty's picture

The list just gets longer and longer, the issues keep growing and yet there seems to be no logic behind what Symantec did to their product.  Were they trying to produce a product that appeared to be simple to bring in more customers???  I don't have a problem with being server centric sure show me a dashboard of all my servers and give them green or red lights it's probably a good idea given if I have a failed job I need to go into the job details to find out what failed whereby a listing of my servers would just show the server that has the issue.  But they changed the way backups are done making the management of more then say 10 servers a nightmare. 

I love this little ditty "Obviously, we can't and won't make dramatic changes to functionality prior to the next release" ahhh too late you already did not too sure how much more it could be changed.

If the case to have job lists that function the same as BE2010 is not plainly obvious then lets go through some of the main points.

If you have 70 servers to backup.  You have you servers grouped logically, your 3 exchange servers your 5 SQL boxes your 8 Sharepoint servers (of which 2 of those are also sql) your 6 file servers and then your 48 other asorted windows boxes.  Now then do i create jobs based on the gorups and watch what happens.  So I have at least 48 servers all try to backup at once.  Now someone posted how this what great because disk based backup is best and lets thrash those disks, can anyone tell me just what sort of disks I would need to handle 48 servers say doing 50mb/sec??  So lets say your not disk based but either tape or VTL.  I don't have 48 heads so Say my 12 heads are now running with 36 jobs sitting there saying no free heads.  I have no way to order the jobs unless I create a job for each with a different start time bang goes the idea of using groups i know I'll create a group for each server.  Now as someone pointed out my 36 jobs that have started but have nothing to backup to and will now want a new tape and not write to the other tapes with free space as it went to overwrite mode when it couldn't start??  Oh and between every server it will rewind, unload then reload a tape.

So lets see if we have symantecs logic down pat, BE 2012 is easier to manage* this comment should have one of those disclaimer stars then when you pull out the magnifying glass should read "so long as you are only backing up 5-10 servers, do not need to exclude a single job from a backup day and not all jobs, have more heads or disk space than servers so that you can make efficient use of your tape storage, don't mind your tapes being unloaded/loaded for no reason, don't need to do anything that requires you to use the clicmd cause you can't do it through gui have never used BE in the past so don't know how good it used to be.

For all it's worth the 1 big mistake was not allowing us to have control over our backups assuming we are all stupid and needed a simpler way to do things.  They just made it harder for us to get back to the point of having controll over our backups like order and start times resource usage

I can only see a couple of reasons for this.

1 someone screwed up

2 someone screwed up big time

3 some thought that they needed to expand their product so not so bright I have three servers how do I back them up people had pretty pictures and stuff to tell them

4 they thought if they made it harder for people to manage lots of servers they could push them to their much more expensive Enterprise net backup product

5 and my thoughts are someone thought 3 was a great idea and this led to number 2 but then reps ran with and convinced management that 4 is the way to go because thats what I have been pushed as a solution.

teQHarbor's picture

The UI is counterintuitive -- and slower than the old one -- but I can probably get over that, or at least get used to it.

But the server-centric design... Ugh. This is a bad idea in pretty much every network environment I've ever seen anywhere, at least among my own clients. I can't imagine any environment with more than one or two servers in which it would make sense, especially if you have duplication jobs tied to the backups.

Someone feel free to explain this to me. I've got a client -- the only one for whom I've tried this upgrade so far -- who backs up key data on five servers every night, then duplicates that backup job to a disk cartridge. In BE 2010, it worked fine. In BE 2012, those are now five separate backup jobs, which in turn become five separate backups to disk cartridge? How does that even work? As near as I can tell, it wants a new disk cartridge for each of the five backups. Maybe I'm doing something wrong (see "counterintuitive UI"), but this was relatively easy to do in BE 2010.

All I want is one backup job. One. Why is that so hard? I used to have that.

Do I seriously have to downgrade my client to BE 2010 and start shopping for another solution that will let me do something this simple? I've already had every single one of my clients ditch Symantec's anti-malware solutions due to bloat and bad design. Is that what's on the horizon for Backup Exec, too?

kweiss's picture

I agree with most of the negative comments.   I’ve since uninstalled BE2012, reinstalled 2010 and will NOT be upgrading.  It’s just not usable, yes I’ve watch the videos (but why should I have to, it’s not a new product, it’s an upgrade!), yes I understand the CLI can get the job done, but again, why should I have to?                 

With comments like this from DanielBickford "Obviously, we can't and won't make dramatic changes to functionality prior to the next release"   I will be looking at replacement products for BE for our next budget cycle.   This is typical sales guy talk; trying to spin hate and discontent for a product into a “Great discussion”.  I’d have a bit more respect for the guy if he said, “oops we screwed up, stay with BE and we’ll fix in BE2012 R1” but that, I’m sure is above his pay grade.    

What Symantec has accomplished is:

1)      Created a nice looking interface, (who cares I just want my job to be easier).   

2)      Created an unusable product.

Commvault here I come……yes it costs more but how much time am I going to waste trying to manage this piece of dog wham. 

CraigV's picture reality, although it appears to be an upgrade along the lines of: Click - Click - Install (and carry your information across), it really is a totally new product with the interface changes, and the way it works.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

Jimmy Mac's picture

But it's clearly not that easy! Sure, some data comes across but for the most part, you will be forced to recreate your jobs as it did not understand how to backup multiple servers in a single job. In short, if you are fortunate to have data come across, that data will pretty much be worthless to you once it's all said and done.

Ken Putnam's picture

Guess you missed the second half of Craig's post

it really is a totally new product with the interface changes, and the way it works.

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

Jimmy Mac's picture

Show us where, in the advertising and purchasing processes with third-party vendors, Symantec has informed anyone that this product is a "totally new product with interface changes and the way it works"

teiva-boy's picture

We all have to admit that change sucks.  The fact that Symantec changed so much in the product, with little training and upfront knowledge about it; short of being in the beta.  Shame on them.

Assuming one did get trained and up to speed, we have to assume that the product is still the same BE we know (Not love though, more like a necessary evil)?  

Moving to more jobs is a good thing...  If you are backing up to disk.  Which BackupExec has been moving towards for years.  If you backup to disk, this makes total sense!  Becuase BE doesn't have multiplexing nor multistreaming to tape, you must stage to disk first.  

That said, if one has to learn a new interface, you might as well shop around a new product.  An Enterprise product that offers more features, performance, and support.  NetWorker, CommVault, DataProtector have now all been introduced to the game by doing this UI change.  Almost EVERY product I work with is faster and more consistent than BackupExec in a shoot-out.  Of course they are also more expensive.  But if it's the difference between meeting my SLA's and RTO's or not, than it is worth it.

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."

CraigV's picture

...I agree on the training and videos. I tried to track the video releases etc...looks like these all came out AFTER BE 2012 was released, which really hasn't helped the cause at all.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

theaviers's picture

 Well this is great! Now I have reason to finally check out MS Data Proctection Manager...

Matt12345's picture

The way I see this is that when I have to "change" this much to make a product work then it's time to evaluate other options.

I've had a love/hate relationship with BE for the past 14+ years anyway. Everytime the product was bought by a new company it was horribly buggy right after the new guys put their spin on it. IMO - BE 2012 is the first time this product has gotten so bad without changing hands.

MS DPM and Veeam are on my list of products to eval while I wait for my BE support contract to lapse. I really do hope that Symantec can pull it together and fix BE - but I have to plan as though they wont.

robnicholson's picture

I've had a love/hate relationship with BE for the past 14+ years anyway.

Ditto. No other product over the last 12 months has caused me so much worry and grief. IRIS Exchequer comes close though.


Dariel Cruz's picture

I was going to post my negative views and my findings on the new product (besides the UI) but after reading some of these posts, I would feel like kicking a man when he is down, I'll wait for R1, this vesion is full of bugs is not just the UI or the selection list things. change is good... but damn!!!surprise  

Jimmy Mac's picture

Do you feel that hours and hours of lost productivity, thousands of dollars spent on product, licensing and maintenance, and potentially new hardware just to be able to not do what you want or need is good?

If so, than the change is all yours. ;-)

We are certainly NOT going to upgrade to 2012 and are in the process of downgrading to 2010 so we can have the peace of mind that our data will be backed up the way we need it to be with the equipment we have in place with the granular management we require.

If BEWS will no longer support efficient and logical server grouping in one job to one tape, we will find something else that will. Small businesses with few servers and manageable amounts of data shouldn't be forced to invest in very expensive enterprise level equipment merely to back up their data.

We're too big for cloud storage and too small for DAS systems. We could easily fit all of our data from all of our servers on a single tape in less than 12 hours using BEWS 12.5. The only reason we are being forced to the new(er) version is because we have upgraded our Exchange server. Switching from full nightly to full weekly with differentials we can manage even better.

What we cannot afford to do is use 2012 and waste valuable hours trying using the CLI to write scripts for something that should be as easy as a click of the mouse in a properly designed GUI.

So... Let's all hope that Symantec desires to keep BackupExec usable for those who have functional systems in place by fixing 2012 so we don't have to take our business elsewhere.

TTT's picture

Add me to the list of IT Professionals using Backup Exec since Veritas' version 8.5 that can't get the new 2012 version to work as I need it to.  (Also add me to the list of those that use the Admin guide.  I even have the old published versions of the 10d and 11d guides- big yellow books!)

Luckily, I've set up BE 2012 in a test environment.  I was prepared for the UI redesign, with pretty fonts and colorful icons- but the loss of power and functionality is a shame.  In previous versions of BE, I was using one policy (with templates and template rules) against a multi-server site-based selection list to accomplish B2D2T for both my company's physical sites (using CASO with MMS).  That design was (still is) extremely efficient to build and manage.  Add a server? No problem- add it to the site's selection list, the policies and templates will pull it right in.  Did it run OK?  Check the job log.  No problem.  Trust it for a restore or site-level DR?  Absolutely, because I tested it when I built the policy object- adding one server to the selection list wouldn't change the policy or my DR procedures.

Now BE2012 shows me pages of servers, and here I am, looking for red/green icons, and manually searching (click here, click there, click everywhere, where can it be, click click click) for for job logs and alerts.  Why??  For a simple "one screen at a time" interface?  Did my server back up?  Who knows, because I have to start scrolling and start clicking.  Maybe it's queued up waiting for another job- anybody know what job's holding it up?  Which alert should I look at first?  Click click click... where can it be?

Undoubtedly this new interface is great for someone that's new to backups.  In a few clicks they'll have a basic backup running.  And who would blame them for liking it?  They'd get up and running quickly.  If they have to do a restore, they'll probably call support for help.  Eventually, as their needs become complicated, they could explore the more advanced features.

For those of us that already have complicated needs, this new version either can't do it (single job with a multi-server selection list and single job monitor) or the interface requires more time & effort (multiple screens and multiple clicks) to do the same thing.  I'm still not sure why we're not allowed to see all the job logs at once.  I can't even find the logs from the jobs that are used to copy settings between media servers!

I agree with having the option- "Workflow view OR Expert view" - Workflow being the new design, Expert being the pre-2012 design - and the Workflow view should've created the Expert objects (policies, templates & rules, selection lists, jobs, etc).  This would allow someone to flip between modes if they wanted to.

And of course Expert view wouldn't have any pretty icons or fonts, and would be optimized for keyboard use. Did anyone notice besides me that when creating a new Media Set using the keyboard, the "tab-key" order is backwards?

IT Chap's picture

After a frustrating month, I have deleted the rogue backup jobs, placed the backup-to-disk folder where I want it, fixed up the strange naming it gave my old jobs, and have for the first time a complete backup.

Should not have been so.

I am learning the myriad of locations where stuff is now located, following some guru's logic paths, but as suggested above, what was a clean succinct inteface is now click click click click click to find little bits here and there.  A special report has been suggested as compensation to show me total times/Gb. The loss of the concise job monitor is a major failure, no matter how much you insist you know better than me.

If I could revert to 2010 I would, because I don't want to have to spend the time administering that it has now become.   On the bright side, it does expand my role and therefore my justification!

hazmat09's picture

The presentations I was given looked good, and I did not forsee the headaches I'm experiencing now.

Things I've experienced in the first few days:

  • Getting my licenses upgraded through Symantec Connect was very cumbersome
  • No Edit Next Run = Bad
  • Pulling my hair out trying to find where a running inventory job was located was NOT intuitive and annoying
  • It migrated my Selection Lists, Policies and Jobs, which I had around 10 jobs, into over 30!
  • If you're going to do it Server Centric and allow for group creation, then at least let me select that group and set up a catch all job for it
  • As other said, you have to drill down quite a bit to find some things that were easy to find in past versions
  • I like the stages aspect of creating the jobs, but would have preferred to keep the option of having 15 servers housed under one job
  • I'm stuck having to use 2012 as I need the Hyper-V differential option
  • After the maintenance agreement is done I may look at
hazmat09's picture


Day 4 and still a myriad of problems. I have wasted FAR too much time on this. Should have tested an upgrade!...note to self.

  • TL2000 tape library randomly states missing tape devices. I fixed it by removing the tape drivers and reinstalling them. But then it returns! - TL2000 (Missing Media)
  • Jobs are showing status Backup Status "Scan, Queued" then don't do nothing. I then go into Storage and it shows an alert on the toolbar "Backup Exec Services Need To Be Restarted"....I would have never seen that message had I not "Drilled" down
  • My Servers Job in 2010R3 had about 20 servers in it. That converted to 20 different jobs in the upgrade. I decided, to group the servers in five's and back them up simutaneusly over the period of an evening 7pm,8pm,9pm etc...
  • I used to have policies that would be Server1 backup-Full-Duplicate to tape. Now this new version allows you to stage which is fine, but what is confusing is this. Staged Server job, Server1, Full,Diff, Duplicate. The duplicate immediately gives you a menu of FULL/DIFF, but you can only select one for that Full/Diff job??? Shouldn't it be just backup immmediately when task completes! Otherwise I left thinking my differential duplicate job is going to reference the FULL backup if I'm only allowed to select one option.
  • If you're going to stage jobs and tie everything together....make it logical
  • I can deal with the changes as much as I don't like them, but for the love of god, at least make the thing functional!!
hazmat09's picture

It took me 10 days to get all the bugs worked out. I had a previous SL/Policy/Job setup. I needed to stay with this version for the Hyper-V differential I didn't want to rollback and it become a possible dogs breakfast......worse than it was.

Our setup:

WIndows 2008 Ent x64, 48GB RAM, 14TB of storage using DEDUP folder and duplicate to tape to TL2000 Library

Here's what I did and it now working well. The migration basically screwed up all my jobs and giving them some oddball naming convention. I recreated most of my jobs.

I previously had one job backing up about 15 servers. I created a Full Backup job with each server, added a Differential stage, Added to duplicate to tape stages with duplicate immediately set. You select Full as source on "Duplicate" and Differential as the source on "Duplicate2" stage. It will then assign the correct duplicate to tape stage on the right job - This was confusing at first and the Symantec support guy told me it was not possible?? WTF? He told me I only needed to back up to tape as FULL which made absolutly no sense...I thought I poke around until I figured it out.

If you have a DEDUP folder, you can technically backup 32 simultaneous jobs. I can do 5 without issue or a performance hit. I lumped 5 servers together as backup jobs. Five at 7pm, five at 8pm etc. It actually expedites the backup time by quite a bit and I like it better. You don't get a server blocking up the queue and holding up your job, like in the old version. If I have one server fail, I just backup that one server, no need to run the multi servers in one job. That to me is better.

I kept on getting this error on my duplicate to tape jobs "A duplicate backup job from backup to disk to tape fails with the error "Source backup set had completed with following error/exceptions. - Library - cleaning media was mounted"

It appeared the upgrade pooched my DB somewhat. After running the SQL commands, everything is working correctly. KB I referenced for fix -

Here's a few things people that are sticking with it may want to know if there is something you're trying to achieve or looking for general information.

  • Restore process is way faster, no lag or delays like the old version. I’ve already started data validation for audit purposes, and it’s very quick
  • When you restore, you select the server, not the job. This expedites the restore process, as you’re not having to find the job and drill down to the server to find data to restore.
  • There is no job monitor per se. You have an overall servers view which you can modify for yourself by configuring the columns and checking off what you want to see
  • There are no more segregated sections. IE: Selection Lists, Policy, Jobs. A job is done in stages, I’ll have to show you this as it’s a bit confusing from the old way, but much simpler once you know how they converted the process
  • Looking to see status on an “Inventory, Catalog, Clean” type of job is viewed under storage, double click “Autoloader” then click jobs to see status
  • “Edit Next Run” is no longer a feature. Now you just select the server you want to re-run. IE: If a full failed for whatever reason and you wanted to re-run that job. All you do is select “Run Now” on the context menu of that server the jobs section of All Servers view. Your scedule does not change. The old way was better as you schedule the "Edit Next Run" now it's only a "RUN NOW" option which is limiting in my opinion.
  • Encryption and compression has been implemented on the DEDUP folder at the folder level. I had to edit and enable this in the config file.
  • Creating groups doesn't give you much functionality. I only see "run now" and "hold" as catch all functions. But it's useful if you want to group your Hyper-V, SQL, Exchange servers etc.
  • To get an overall view of all your jobs running IE: Job Monitor, Double Click on "All Servers" and click on Jobs. This will give you an view of all your jobs, Full, Diff, Incr, Duplicate.
  • Use List View and Compact for a more normal look. Gets rid of the Fisher Price meets XP look.

So, my overall opinion. Migration process from 2010 R3, pretty bad. Screwed up my jobs, database, and some addtional stuff. Now that I have it working properly and understand it, I don't mind it. Symantec didn't do a very good job emphazing how drastic things changed. In future I shall do these upgrades first in a VM lab.

Hopefully future patches will address some of its shortcomings.

What a Full/Diff and Duplicate to tape job should look like
CraigV's picture

...good enough for an Article or a Blog (at the very least!)...

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

BE_KirkFreiheit's picture

hazmat09, I am a Backup Exec developer at Symantec and want to better understand a couple of items you pointed out above.

Regarding the "Immediately after" linkage between your Full/Diff and Duplicate stage, I'm wondering if you had it set up as a staged operation using a policy in BE2010.  If so, it would have required two Duplicate templates in the policy, one for the full and one for the Diff --- it's been a long-standing limitation of "Immediate after" scheduled Duplicate templates that they can be linked to exactly one previous template.  I agree that it's confusing, and hope to make it work as you expect (i.e. just make one Duplicate stage to copy all inputs immediately) in a future release.

I'm just wondering if that was an upgrade issue or if it was a post-upgrade job editing (add stage) issue.

Second, I'm very curious to learn how you (and anyone on the board, of course!) used the Edit Next Run feature.  Was it something you leveraged quite often?  Were there patterns of issues to work around with that feature, or were the issues it helped with all over the map?

hazmat09's picture

Question One:

DFS Job as example. Prior to upgrade I had a Selection List for the DFS server data. I had a Full Backup Policy which would duplicate to tape immediately. Lastly I created the job for those two items. I then did the same thing for a DFS Differential job. The upgrade separated my job into numerous, so I basically did them from scratch. I believe they had the duplicate stage on them, but I can't fully remember. What I found confusing at first was I didn't realize you just added an additional stage for the Diff duplicate. and point it to the Diff job in the settings. What made it even more confusing was tech support told me I did not need that, which made no sense to me whatsoever, so I basically said okay, and figured it out on my own.

I totally understand how the stages work now and it is very logical. That being said, coming from the old methodology made it confusing, and it was only playing around with it a bit that I got the jist of it.

Question Two:

I used it in a few different scenarios.

  • Jobs were put on hold for whatever reason, I then wanted to re-run those outside of production at a particular time in the evening
  • If a job failed, particularly a full, and I wanted to re-run it later in the evening the next day.
  • If you had a holiday on the day you were swapping your tapes out and your full was to run that night. I would do edit next run and schedule the fulls for the following evening.
pkh's picture

The Edit Next Run is very important in my case.  I use a script as a pre-command to import tapes which come back from off-site.  If there is a foul-up in the delivery and there is no tape, I have to remove the import.  Otherwise, the import job will just hang waiting for a tape and all my backup jobs will fail.  With the Edit Next Run, I just remove the script from the pre-command of the next run.  I don't have to remember to put back the script as a pre-command on the following day when there is a tape.

NWRFCUNetAdmin's picture

OK, I can get past the new interface.  How am I supposed to test my backups against my tape capacity now that they're per-server and not aggregated?  It was a simple thing to run a test job before - now the jobs run in sequence and they will all "see" that they have enough space to run since nothing is actually using up the empty tape.  Not so when the jobs actually run and the tape gets used by each job.  My jobs are failing due to lack of tape space and I can't get an overview of data usage to tune it.  So I suppose I have to write down and calculate by hand the amount of data?  How do I account for what gets compressed and what doesn't?  I have 6 servers - what if I had 30?

I'm a one-man shop.  Backing up with BE was a minimal and reliable part of my duties.  I haven't been able to take a successful backup of my data since upgrading to 2012.  I've used BE for 12 years and it's always been intuitive and easy to use.  I don't see how moving to a server-centric model supports any logic for job management.  It's like a SIEM showing you all of the raw logs instead of aggregating them and giving you a top-down view.

Maybe it's a ploy to get you to move to Netbackup or another product of theirs if you have more than X number of servers.

Unfortunately I just renewed my support - seeing if there's the possibility of getting a refund.  There are plenty of other solutions in the space.  I need something simple that just works.

RIP Backup Exec.

trock-1967's picture

I'm a one man show.  I have 10 servers, 24 sites and 150 employees to support.  I don't have time ... well, we'll just leave it at that.

It's really not often that I will take the time to submit a post pertaining to how much a new product version SUCKS.  But BUE 2012 is the most ridiculous version "upgrade" I've ever seen.  Like many on this thread, I've been using BUE for a very long time; probably 12 years now. Improvements were gradually made on it but never to the point that they went literally backward in use-ability.

I can get used to the new interface and I can even get over having to make so many more clicks to accomplish the same end goal. What I cannot overcome, get used to or forgive Symantec for is changing 2012 to "server centric" instead of job centric.  Why in the hell would I want to backup each individual server on it's own backup tape instead of ALL of my servers, ALL in one job, ALL backing up onto one tape???  What clown decided that would be a good idea?  Why would I want to be literally living at work in order to change out tapes throughout the night so I can can get one good backup? 

Why would you put in the ability to create a "Server Group", add servers to it, select items to be backed up from each server and then NOT have the ability to treat that group as ONE BACKUP JOB?!

Thanks, Symantec. I will be downgrading back to 2010r3 and NEVER upgrading again until you pull your heads out of your backsides. Fool me once.

teQHarbor's picture

I've been trying to stick with it and make it work. I really have. But every time I try to do something that was terribly easy in BE 2010, I find that it's either far more difficult or downright impossible in BE 2012. I'm talking basic things here. Simple jobs that back up five servers to disk and then duplicate to a cartridge, which worked fine in BE 2010, are a nightmare to manage in BE 2012. I'm still fine-tuning issues on an install I've had for weeks. I'm now convinced that it's just never going to work.

This isn't Backup Exec. It's some new, poorly-thought-out pre-1.0 product that has stupidly been released with a venerable and once-prestigious name.

I'm telling every single one of my clients to let their BE licenses expire. I'll find them something better. At this point that bar is pretty low. I already had to do the same thing when Symantec bloated up their corporate antivirus product, so none of them run that anymore. On the plus side, that experience led me to much better and more affordable products, so I'm betting the same will happen here. (Hey, competitors: Now is a good time to offer competitive upgrades from BE 2012 to your product. You'll make a killing.)

Jimmy Mac's picture

Fortunately for Symantec, I only have a dozen or so but honestly. I cannot in good consciense permit my clients to make such a disasterous choice as to upgrade to BE 2012.

Whichever business side director made the choice to have the developers come up with this tool failed miserably at properly testing the product prior to release.

James Avery's picture

It's now printed out and stuck to my door frame.

ZacTech's picture

After spending a ridiculous amount of time reconfiguruing every backup we are dropping this software.   There are too many random issues, including the engine crashing about once a week, and an unneccessary complication of simple tasks for this to be an enterprise product.  Backup Exec 2012 should be a mature and excellent software package right now, but its more like a beta test for a startup company. 

Kingston's picture

I havent noticed a single positive post in favour of BE2012 in this thread. I realise that forums are usually biased towards people complaining, but there are always at least a few that will relay positive experiences .. but they don't seem to exist with BE2012. I think Symantec have epically stuffed this release up.

Keith W. Hare's picture

The Backup Exec 2012 design goals had a critical missing piece. Someone bought into the concept that users are doing backups to disk rather than to tape. Because of this, they ripped out capabilities that are critical to anyone who is backing up to tape.

I suppose it is possible that there are some benefits to the "server-centric" meadow dressing, but I haven't seen them yet.

The decision to remove a basic capability that is critical to some percentage of the Backup Exec market boggles my mind. It suggests that either the design team doesn't understand how Backup Exec is being used, or they are too arrogant to care.


robnicholson's picture

The Backup Exec 2012 design goals had a critical missing piece. Someone bought into the concept that users are doing backups to disk rather than to tape. Because of this, they ripped out capabilities that are critical to anyone who is backing up to tape.

I do have a certain amount of sympathy with this aim as backup to disk is most likely where the future lies. The requirements of many businesses these days is "business continuity" and tape does not fair well in that scenario. Throw in the obvious benefits of deduplication and tape doesn't really stand a chance.

We still do monthly backups to tape for archive purposes but to be honest, it's a lot of money for something where we've only been asked twice to restore something from years ago. Our Quantum SuperLoader 3A reached the end of it's 3-year warranty and we've decided not to bother renewing it. If it breaks, we'll buy a standalone LTO drive for the little tape work we do.

Look at something like Unitrends and you'll see a huge emphasis on backup-to-disk.

That said, I don't think it's quite there yet in terms of removing tape functionality from BE.


Kingston's picture

You make good points Rob, but I get the feeling that many people stick with BE because of tape support. There are many times I've looked into other backup software and then realised that it didn't support tape .. so I disregarded that product (even though the product was otherwise superior to BE!). There seem to be a lot more products that don't support tape than there are that do support tape, so to me in that sense BE had a competitive advantage.

robnicholson's picture

There seem to be a lot more products that don't support tape than there are that do support tape, so to me in that sense BE had a competitive advantage.

Yes, you would have thought that especially as they do have a lot of experience in tape.

I sometimes ponder upon what I would do software wise if somebody gave me big stash of cash. One of the choices is "Write a backup package that just works reliably, is fast and is cheap" ;-) But even I'd ignore tape. Not because it's not a valid backup medium but just because the amount of effort in supporting tape compared to disk makes it not very attractive. Linked in with the pure cost of buying multiple tape systems for the test phase - or working with many 3rd parties. Also, as a developer, I'm not sure I'd have the patience to sit there testing tape compared to high speed disk ;-)

But I run the risk of pushing this thread off track in terms of a "tape versus disk" thread which is a different discussion.

Cheers, Rob.

PS. The other software produce is accounting systems...

TTT's picture

Tape is a fantastic low-cost off-site Disaster Recovery option to setting up a remote SAN with data replication (and the datacenter staff/resources to support it- different power grid, etc).  To me, in "my world", disaster recovery involves complete loss-of-site, with high risk of "my business goes bankrupt".  Imagine that on a resume!  I don't consider losing 1 server a "disaster", even if it is a database server or email server.

Yes tapes can get bad blocks and must be periodically tested- these costs must be factored in when comparing to a remote data replication solution.  That's why I use both methods- remote SAN and tape.  If your system ignored tape, it wouldn't work for what I need.

That being said, although BE 2012 is causing extra wear (load/unload/seek) to my tapes, I've not had incident with my FC TL4000 yet.  I've also considered doing a separate, tape-only backup of the entire B2D folder on the SAN; in theory that should duplicate everything on disk to tape, with a single tape load/unload/seek.

robnicholson's picture

>To me, in "my world", disaster recovery involves complete loss-of-site, with high risk of "my business goes bankrupt".  Imagine that on a resume!

But for disaster recovery, off-site tape is an awful choice and many of those companies that went bankrupt had a reasonably good tape backup.

If you are serious about business continuity, then backup-to-disk should be where it's at with replication to another site.

Unfortunately, our experiences of BE Dedupe is that it's *slower* than tape... B2D is pretty fast though. For us, dedupe more about day-to-day disasters such as a user deleting a folder or discovering they corrupted a file several months ago. So the ability to keep a six-month backup window is useful.

Dedupe should be the norm in the backup world but Symantec need to seriously look at their architecture to get it faster, more reliable and more resilient (e.g. ability to rebuild dedupe database in case of corruption).

Cheers, Rob.

patters's picture

I wouldn't agree. Tape is good for offsite recovery if you're budget conscious, and can accept a day's lag to getting up and running again in a disaster, and with VMs the restore is beautifully simple.

But the one thing that is never made clear until you try a recovery rehearsal is that you absolutely *must* have a some way of shipping your zipped up catalogs to a server off site. I have scripted this after every backup run and have the catalogs set with 2 months retention only to keep the size reasonable. Do this and you can start restoring immediately at the recovery site, and from LTO4 in a SAS loader you're looking at 3-4GB/min. Fail to do that and you may have to waste days just cataloguing the tapes.

robnicholson's picture

>I wouldn't agree. Tape is good for offsite recovery if you're budget conscious, and can accept a day's lag to getting up and running again in a disaster, and with VMs the restore is beautifully simple.

Of course it depends upon the business but these are worrying stats (stats = take with pinch of salt?):

For tape to be a suitable DR scenario, you need redundant hardware on standby. Last time I checked but a robotic tape loader wasn't cheap. And of course, you need to catalog your tapes if you don't have the off-site catalog you mention (really, really wish BE included catalogs on every tape).

And 77% of test restores failed? That doesn't fill me with confidence.

All of this though is about insurance and how much one spends on this aspect. Should one be budget conscious in this area?? False economy maybe?

Cheers, Rob.

TTT's picture

Good point re: catalogs.  I back up the BE server itself; when doing a DR test, step #1 is to restore the BE server (page 639 of admin guide, "manual DR of local computer") to get those catalogs back.  Of course we have to check the tape report to find out what tape BE was dupe'd to first, then inventory/catalog (and restore from) that tape; it's not as efficient as if we had the catalogs already available from an offsite share.

TTT's picture

I'm not sure why you called off-site tape "an awful choice" for DR.  I gave specific reasons why duplicating to tape for DR was a valid choice; which of those do you disagree with?  Also, which companies are you talking about?  If their tape duplicates (and tests and documented DR procedures) met their DR requirements then it probably means they went bankrupt for business reasons other than IT.

You've also interchanged BC and DR.  BC is much more than backup-to-disk with replication to another site.  DR = complete loss of equipment and rebuilding from backups.  BC = sustaining operations during an outage/disaster. BC requires a second fully-racked datacenter (or, at least enough servers and storage to meet SLAs) that performs transaction-based replication.  Some people just have a remote SAN that stores replicated data- that's not BC. Where are the servers?

Even though I have BC, I still perform full DR tests from duplicated tape (wipe servers and SAN and rebuild from tape)- in fact, I'm doing one now with BE2012 - which is why I require my backup software to have tape capabilities. I wonder how many people here have performed full DR tests?

robnicholson's picture

You've also interchanged BC and DR.  BC is much more than backup-to-disk with replication to another site.  DR = complete loss of equipment and rebuilding from backups.  BC = sustaining operations during an outage/disaster.

I agree sort of.

Business continuity is as you say sustaining operations during an outage/disaster of typically a limited number of systems (e.g. single server failure, internet going down) and therefore to a certain extent, DR is business continuity on steroids when all of your systems fail (e.g. due to fire) and you have to trigger all your BC procedures at the same time.

So consider your DR procedure for rebuilding a file server. That's identical to your BC procedure if just that single server failed (and had to be replaced).

What the evidence points towards is that even planning to rebuild in terms of DR is, for some businesses, a non-starter because of the time taken to rebuild means they go out of business.

These series of blogs (from Unitrends) give some food for thought:

Considering 12TB SATA-3 external disk enclosure costs £500 and IMO is more reliable for DR purposes (archive is a different requirement), then I'm not sure for a small business that tape is a cheaper or more reliable option.

What I do know though is that BE dedupe isn't really designed for keeping an on-site dedupe disk system and periodically updating another disk enclosure for use off-site.

Cheers, Rob.

TTT's picture

Business Continuity encompasses DR, not the other way around.  BC is the Ultimate (going above and beyond the IT department), with no downtime allowed (as per SLAs which are usually based on priority, resources, and cost).  DR has a much lower TCO to implement/maintain than BC.

So consider your DR procedure for rebuilding a file server. That's identical to your BC procedure if just that single server failed (and had to be replaced).

Perfect example!  My procedures aren't identical.  My BC procedure for my file server is do nothing.  Redundancy, transactional replication, and duplicate hardware between my datacenters yields me five 9's availability for that resource.

If one of my file servers did fail (e.g. corrupt registry), I'd restore it- not DR it- from local disk-based backup, and resync the replication. 

For total loss (DR), my procedure is acquire/rack/stack/configure hardware, then restore the enterprise from tape.

Your $800 disk array would not facilitate DR unless the techs unplug it every night and transport it off site.

I believe you made the assumption that I only rely on tape.  Tape has two remaining benefits: It is (1) a low cost way to have off-site backups in order to (2) mitigate the risk of loss-of-site.  Wow this went way off topic from BE2012 :)

Keith W. Hare's picture

Wow this went way off topic from BE2012 :)

This discussion thread is not really off topic. One of my criticisms of BE2012 is the increased difficulty of managing backups to tape. This thread articulates why backup to tape is still important.


Keith W. Hare's picture

Robnicholson said:

If you are serious about business continuity, then backup-to-disk should be where it's at with replication to another site.

The concept of replication to another site assumes two resources:

  • Another site
  • A high speed network connection to that mythical other site

As strange as it may seem, there are a number of small and medium size businesses that have only one site. For businesses with a single site, tape is still the most cost effective mechanism for getting backups offsite.


robnicholson's picture

For businesses with a single site, tape is still the most cost effective mechanism for getting backups offsite.

The cost of getting backups off-site isn't really the problem is it? It's most the effective way for getting the data BACK in case of disaster where most plans for wrong.

I just don't trust tape anymore. We've got a Quantum Superloader 3A with 16 slots. The business requested a restore from the monthly backup a year ago (over 3 LTO-3 tapes). Catalogs were long gone - it took over 24 hours to get the file back and one of the tapes was really struggling to restore. This was the the same tape unit. Probably the heads going out of alignment.

Now whilst tape is great for long term potential archive storage like this, I don't want to be faced with a bad tape in case of a DR situation.

Cheers, Rob.

GunSHEEP's picture

I'm going to skip complaining about the 'server centric' problems, clickfest UI, tape library exercising, and scheduling since it's been done to death already. I'm going to complain about some 'minor' issues which should have never made it into production software.

First, one of my D2D drives has 243GB free of 1E+03 GB. Yes, thats really what it said 1E+03 GB. Scientific notation for the win.

The second was my attempt to add byte count and average job speed columns to the display. Yeah, I could add those columns and move them to the location I wanted but as soon as I saved they displayed in a random location. After several attempts I manage to 'random' them to the right locations.

Third. It's slow. Really slow. On a 6 core server...99% idle...and I have to look at a spinning "I'm thinking" graphic going between screens.

Well, we won't be renewing next year. I've rolled back the install to 2010R3 and that where it will stay until we find another provider.

Tech_No's picture

Previously, I was able to select files and folders from the multiple servers at once and run to restore them.  But on BE2012 you can only seleted ONE server at a time!  So if you have 10 different files/folder on 10 diferent location/servers then you have restore it one by one.  Oh dear!!! what a cockup!!!  Do you even employ people with some basic technical knowledge?  I don't have anything nice to say about BE2012, it's a disaster.  Wake upppp and do something about it.

BankingIT's picture

I could go on some long speel about everything I dislike about 2012 but instead I'll sum it up.

I hate this product and when the time comes I can no longer use 2010 I'm going to find another product.

On second thoughts I will go on a speel. A small one.

The interface is worse than a Myspace page cobbled together by an overcaffeinated 12 year old.

James Avery's picture

I discovered just yesterday that even though you have a virtual tape library configured with 16 LTO4 tape drives, if the specific tape drive that was used for a backup isn't free - it's backing up a server - a restore job won't run until that SPECIFIC TAPE DRIVE IS FREE!!! In other words, it doesn't matter which virtual tape(s) the data is on, tapes which can be read in ANY of the configured drives, unless the particular drive is free....I'm almost speechless.


DanielBickford's picture

I relayed your post to development, and they see why this happened, and they are working on a code change.  Int he meantime, as a aworkaround, you should be able to manually change the restore job to target the library instead of the drive, and then it should pick the tape up regardless of the original drive choice.

Please let me know if this works for you.


Juve's picture

All have been said

Guys at symantec seems to have 1 server to backup

They were glad to present the "Fisher Price" interface but we need a product to do the job not a stupid product like this one

100 Servers to backup generate 100 jobs are you mad ?

I have nothing to do with my server is green (if you delete the folder containing the backup files it always reports green information wouahhh...)

Try to delete a product key...

Wizards are very bad designed by overcaffeinated 12 year old that does not understand what backup is

A simple notfication message to an account outside the exchange server domain does not work because authentication does not work..

Switching back to 2010 r3

Please don't waste your time with this vaporware concept

CraigV's picture

...thought I'd throw some information in here...

Firstly, I am NOT a Symantec employee...don't flame me! wink

I was part of the FA, and was roped into a teleconference (I was still at a Microsoft Tech-Ed party in South Africa and left early), where I got to really work with the application.

I'd originally installed it, and taken a look, but the user testing allowed me to play with the software proper. My first thought was shock (like most people here), based on what it looked like, and how it was now structured (server-centric instead of resource-centric). The next thing was to find out where my original information was in order to create jobs etc.

After about 15 minutes playing around, I was a bit more comfortable with the application, and I did state that for people used to previous versions of BE, it would be a serious adjustment, where people might just hate the redesign. However, I also stated that people new to BE would find it easy to handle as they wouldn't come across with any preconceptions of what it should do, or how it should work. They'd be "fresh" to the product, and would find adjusting a lot easier than current users.

That said, I also mentioned I'd probably hold back on installing just to get used to the new application.

I got shot down many posts ago by saying that due dilligence (in light of the videos and information being posted) should be done before doing a straight upgrade, taking into account how the product has changed, and that I stand by.

In this case, get hold of the software, and lab it...thoroughly. If possible, try recreate the media server you have (it can be as a VM if need be), and see what it does to your jobs.

I doubt Symantec will change the's obviously been done for a reason, and it's going to take major adjustments to get it running...or getting your thought-processes around things.

I see some patches have already been released by Symantec for BE 2012, so they're addressing things already. This in itself is a good thing.

Here are the links to the patches released so far:

Some patches might need calls logged with SYmantec as the patches haven't passed whatever quality control they go through. 

If you've got problems (not counting the new server-centric approach, or GUI that you need to get used too), add them as Ideas (if they are potential feature changes), or log calls with Symantec support (and check the Known Issues section) and get them attended too...this is the only way problems are going to get solved.

My intention is still to get our sites upgraded, but only in the next 3 or 4 months time. Take the time to learn the product...that's my 2c worth.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

Keith W. Hare's picture

In theory, I agree with testing new software in a test environment before deploying it in the production environment. In practice, that level of testing is not always possible. For example, in our environment, we have one backup server with one LTO-4 tape drive. To replicate that in a test environment, we would to double our backup resources. The extra hardware and software licenses to do that is a pain, but the big issue is time.

The piece I missed in the release notes and fluff videos is the part that said BE2012 was eliminates the ability to do a backup the way we've been doing backup for decades.

The interface redesign is annoying, and not really an improvement, but the real BE2012 issue is the lack of upward compatibility.


TTT's picture

I am testing it in a non-production environment- and it's painful. (See my previous message on page 1)  The worst was restoring all our VMs from tape as part of a large-scale DR test (erase the entire SAN and all the servers' RAID arrays- then rebuild everything from tape)- and having to click into each VM to select the backup set. Previous versions I would just select the whole backup set- and it would give me everything.

And why, oh, why, can we see the backup sets on media, but we can't right-click and Restore the set from that screen? Who decided we shouldn't be allowed to use that feature anymore, and instead should go through a long multi-screen Restore Wizard?

I'd love to be part of the next focus group- where do I sign up?  I'll push for "expert mode GUI" to come back- it was much more efficient.  I spend half my day clicking around trying to find things.  Click click click click.  Why didn't they want us to see multiple types of information on the same screen anymore?

This is especially important as I write up our DR documentation.  It's become burdensome to type up directions for navigating this new interface.  I have to write instructions such as "Locate the gray bar in the middle wiith the server name in it.  On the left side of this gray bar, click the yellow button with the word "servers" in it'".  It's either that or I take screenshots and use Paint to draw red circles around everything.

The best that I wrote was "Look at the status bar at the bottom center edge of window and find the word "jobs".  Look to the number to the right of the middle icon (a blue square with a green "play" icon in it) and wait until the number changes to zero."  In previous versions I said "Go to the job monitor screen and wait until the job name disappears from the top half of the window".

I did make one great discovery though- a more comprensive job monitor exists- go to the Storage tab and double-click on your server, then Job Status (or Job History) on the left. It'll show both storage ops and backup/recovery ops in the same screen.  If you've got 2 backups, one restore, and 1 inventory/catalog running, you'll see them all at the same time there.  I still can't find where the copy-server-settings jobs go though.

CraigV's picture

...put it in on the Ideas section...if it is worth it, there's always a good chance it will be considered as a feature change.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

Bulbous's picture

Comments about evaluation of the new product and about due diligence are insults to the customers. You're basically blaming the end-user for upgrading. The fact is that Symantec is FORCING users to upgrade by not selling or developing the previous version any longer. Have a new OS? There isn't a 2010 remote agent for it any more.

Suggesting that the new UI redesign would be less detested by new users because they have no frame of reference is also a ludicrous concept.

BE 2010 was a great product - one that I have still been trying to acquire and sell. BE 2012 is a turd, and no amount of adding to the "Ideas" section is going to make it palatable. Wholesale reversions are necessary, or this product will die.

scottt709's picture

I do not have not problem relearning a new gui if the time spent will allow to possibly have  less stress free restore procedures. This is not simply like the Office 2003 to Office 2007 gui change. This is completely new product badged as Backup exec. While the new gui maybe more intuitive and easy to use for someone that has not used the Symantec Backup Exec products before. Those of us that have used the products for years and paid for very expensive subscribitions so the we could have a seemless upgrade process have be kicked to the curb. My backups are running slower and its is much more complicated to do day to day tasks.

To ensure an understandable process of restoring. I have had to resort to this workaround.

I use Microsoft wbadmin to push bare metal backups to a central server share. I then use Symantec to pickup all the server images to a disk backup then to a second stage (tape).

While it seems silly to have to resort to two different backup solutions I am tired of having failed backup alerts because I have to time one backup to start as the other is finishing. I only have 20 servers with an exchange mail server and two sql servers thrown into the mix. So I can only image the grief that larger organizations are having.

I am going to use this process until Symantec gets there proverbial stuff together and fixes this travesty or until my subscriptions run out and this time  I will do my due diligence and evaluate another vendor.

aojxpert's picture

I have been using BE for 10 Years. I would agree that Backup Exec 2012 has a new UI.  I truly think they are headed down the right road. I was able to get my new Server up and running much quicker than earlier versions. I feel it put more information at my finger tip them before.  While there is a learning curb to find certain items, once found it seems to be in a more logical placed then before.  Most of the time we all hate change because we do not want\or have the time to learn the new way. I am going to give as much feedback as possible (Something else I do not have time to do) to ensure that they are aware of any modifications I thank would benefit me. “How we use to do something is not always the best way to do it, we were doing it that way because at the time there was no other option. “

bjohnson80's picture

I have been using BE 2012 and the user interface is so much easier to use and navigate. It makes it alot easier to setup my jobs and make sure i have everything i need done. The first job i setup in backupexec only took me like 5 mins where i used to take me almost 20 mins to get all the setting and make sure everything was checked. I just can't get over how easy it is now. Saves me lots of time.

scottt709's picture

Could you provide some more information on the type of backup that you setup. Do you have any multiple backups that run on one day where you need to exclude one and have the other run. Do you have more than one server where the first job has to overwrite to tape and the rest of the jobs are appends to tape. I am just curious. Most of the people on this thread that have disliked the changes have given examples of why they are upset with the product. I was also able to setup all my jobs on BE2012 as all the jobs that were migrated from BE2010 R3 were corrupt and had to be deleted. It did not take me minutes and I had a week of calls to Symantec Support and some servers with no current backups for that week.

bjohnson80's picture

I like BE 2012 it is easier to use than other verisons. The upgrade was needed it works alot better than older verison.

robnicholson's picture

Hmm, the only person to like the new interface has been a member for just 20 minutes...


CraigV's picture nice. No need to -1 the guy because he likes the product. Nobody has -1'd all the detractors here.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

robnicholson's picture nice. No need to -1 the guy because he likes the product. Nobody has -1'd all the detractors here.

I've not marked him down but I do find it highly eyebrow raising that they joined minutes before posting. The cynic in me has a the Symantec project manager going "Go on Steve, please join the forums and post something positive as we're taking one hell of a pounding on this one".

Cheers, Rob.

charlesc_act's picture

he was voted down i suspect because of an informationless 'like' post worthy more of facebook. if people like the product that is fine but we need to know how our scenario comapres to theirs. that would be useful information.

woonks's picture

my BE2012 deployment ended up in total failure. the server centric thinggy wiped out almost all the tapes in my tape library after just 2 days.

quickly downgraded to 2010R3, but many new errors popped up which previously did not exist. now troubleshooting one by one, and my backup still failed after a week.

my disaster recovery became a mega disaster....i dont know wat else to say.

CraigV's picture

...if you get stuck with your troubleshooting, post those as queries on the forum...

You say it wiped out your tapes? Did the migration complete properly without errors? Did it maintain your media sets?

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

robnicholson's picture

You say it wiped out your tapes? Did the migration complete properly without errors? Did it maintain your media sets?

I have this image of a little guy wearing a Symantec t-shirt jumping out of the BE media server with a machine gun and wiping out the tape loader wink

BTW - does anyone else have trouble locating posts on this thread? I get an email when there is a new post but none of the links in the email take me to the actual post. I end up at the top of the thread and have to hunt down (now over two pages) to find the post.

Cheers, Rob.

CraigV's picture was a generalisation...not pointing fingers at all.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

woonks's picture

yes, everything is good.. except server centric created many jobs and each job automatically uses a tape in the tape library. yikes.

CraigV's picture

...just trawl through the BE forum...I remember seeing something that addresses this on a post. Can't remember which directly though.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

GregOfBE's picture

woonks, there is a bug in the migration for BE 2012. If, before upgrading, you had a multi-server job that had the media overwrite option set to "Overwrite media", when it splits multi-server jobs into per-server jobs, each of the resulting split jobs will retain the "Overwrite media" setting. This causes all of those jobs to request new media. This will be fixed in an upcoming service pack. But since you've already migrated, you'll need to change that setting across all of your jobs that are exhibiting this behavior. You can change the setting for all of your backups at once.

Here is how you can do that:

Select all of the servers that have backups that have the overwrite media option set. (You can select multiple servers by Shift+Clicking or Ctrl+Clicking, or by selecting a containing group).  Once you've selected the servers, hit the "Edit Backups" button on the toolbar. You'll see a window that lists all of the backups on the servers you selected. If you want to change the setting on all of those backups, hit the checkbox in the column header to select all of them. Hit OK.  Now you'll see what we call the backup "multi-edit" view where you can make changes across many backups at once.  From here hit Edit on the backup stage and click on the Storage tab. Change the media overwrite option from "Overwrite media" to "Append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is available". Now hit OK and Hit OK again. This will change only that option for all of the selected backups. Note it will not touch any of the other options of those backups, so if you had customized those backups and tweaked other options, they will be left unchanged.

Hope this helps,


ianSinclair's picture

Greg your apepnd to media idea will not work if you have multiple tape drives and and or a robotic library, all the server jobs will be set to start at the same time. If you choose one overwrite then this will start and overwrite the first tape in the library, when the next job starts at the same time, there will be no appendable media available as the media is being used for the first job, so with your selcetin being "overwrite media if no appendable media is available" then the job will simply overwrite another tape, you are back to one tape per server. Thsi is fine in the I have 3 servers world, when you have 30 you run out of tapes. If you choose the terminate job option then the job will terminat as there is no media available.

What you have to do is guess how long it will take server 1 to backup, then change the time on server  2's job to start after this, that way it will see appendable media and write to it.

Or rather than have one nice library that you point all you jobs at and say there is a library its full of tapes take your pick, you have to partion the thing down, which add to complexity, then you have to make sure you have some tpaes in each partition rather than some tapes in the library.

Symantec have got to be big enough to stand up and say server centric is not for everyone, it works well for first time users in a 2 server environment, move up to the enterprise, and really you need resource centric backups. I may want all my email on one tape, all my SQL on another, thats fine when you have one of each but once you have more than one of each it gets v complex.

I wonder if this is a marketing ploy, at the moment Backup exec is the backup solution of choice for SMB's, this latest incarnation is clearly aimed at the small, the medium with any kind of complexity have lost out. So I am concered Symantec answer will be to bring out another product, Backup exec enterprise or the like and we have to buy it all again, not just pay the support costs.

Well thats my opinion


GregOfBE's picture

My post was intended to address the fact that the original poster had all of their jobs set to overwrite media and I was focused on that issue.

However, you raise important points. This situation varies. Some people who have multiple drives in a library want to spin as much tape as possible and so (if 2 drives) having 2 sets of tapes spinning is OK for them in which case they would target the library instead of the individual drives. In that case, when all drives are spinning, and a job finishes, the media remains in the drive and is not dismounted for a timeout period (default 30 seconds). If another waiting job is targetted at that library and the same media set and is set to append, it will append to that tape. As the other drive completes a job, same with that. So you essentially have a "concurrency" of the # of drives - if you target the library. You could of course target a pool too or use partitions.

But you also have the choice of targetting a single drive with multiple jobs in which case you can land multiple servers on that tape/tape family.

Having said all of this, I've encounterd multiple perspectives. We've encountered very large customers who prefer to break up their jobs per-resource (C:, DB Instances, etc.) and pump as much data as possible to multiple drives/tapes. They set up their media sets appropriately and have as much concurrency as possible. While other customers want fine grain control. It really seems to vary from one shop to another. So its not as clear cut as saying "Large customers" want multi-server jobs.

ianSinclair's picture

I think the issue here is that before us customers had the choice, we could back up server by server or we could group this with a selection list, we could point at a library or a dirve, we could partition or not.

What you have done in 2012 is remove alot of that choice, i used policies, where have they gone ?

I had the choice to backup one server in one job or lots of servers in one job, i no longer have that choice, removing that choice from me the customer who has specific needs only really leaves me one choice.

Do it your way or not at all.

My contract runs out on  31st dec, I will seriously consider my choices then, and unless you give me back my choices, then i will look for someone who will.

If I was you I would be concerned, this forum is a v small section of your user base, ok one or 2 might seem happy for the new product, which i would best describe as small company no tape, alot of people on here are not happy, we are system engineers who want the choices we used to have to do backups they way we want to.

If enough of us choose you could end up being just plain ol Greg.

SatheeshM's picture

Worst thing ever Symantec has done - BEWS 2012!

Guys.... I ve been using Netbackup / Backup Exec for the past 10 yrs now..... I wonder why Symantec changed BEWS 2012 GUI .... till 2010 there was no major change on the GUI features and followed same Veritas GUI concepts.... but this new version is a night mare even for a experienced admins.... Reason is quite simple : Symantec started to implement their own concept of user friendlyness which is not fare......

BackupExec is for SMB and it is optimal and ideal to have Job centric approach rather than having server centric GUI approach ..... I agree that this design will allow next generation Puredisk / dedup monitoring / troubleshooting simple, however Symantec should have considered maintaining same GUI concepts.....

What is the use of adding new CLI features on BackupExec when everything can be done in GUI prior 2012 versions

Symantec : Please have a clear plan on diffrentiating your NBU and BEWS product line... Lets not have this useless changes happening in NBU ...else EMC's AVAMAR / DD product line will take us for a ride.......

CraigV's picture

...I can understand better integration with'll find a lot more applications integrate into this for management and operational purposes.

Most of what you could do with Exchange 2003 for instance can't be done with Exchange 2010 need to use Powershell for this.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

Siegfried's picture

Please Symantec, go back to jobs like BE 2010!

I've tried BE 2012 but the new interface is awfull and jobs are very hard to setup on one tape!

I revert to 2010R3 and wait for a new version. My contract was renewed for one year ... If there is no changement i'll stop it.

Caroline Kiel's picture

Hi Guys,

Sorry to her, that many of you do have such problems with the product.
When I was in Las Vegas last year and had a first glimpse on BE2012, I was irritated too. But after using it for a while and accepting the fact, that it is a completely new version with a new philosophy behind it, getting used to it was pretty easy. And in fact, today I don't want to return to 2010...

To be very clear, I don't work for Symantec or get money from them and believe me, I am hyypercritic when talking to the Symantec guys about their products and especially Backup Exec.

BE2012 is Symantec's answer to a completely new demand of backup software from todays technology. Trust me, I loved policies in the former versions and found them very intuitive and practical. But, if you're honest, there were a lot of limitations to BE2010 and before, that everyone claimed to get fixed. And the old version was overloaded with remainders of code from old operating systems and so on. So everybody looking at BE was awaiting the "big bang" in one of the next releases.

I agree, that Symantec could have stated more clearly what would happen during an upgrade. Having some more information about the changes would perhaps lead some people to be a little more careful. But on the other hand, there was quite some information on the web and the admin guide and installation guides as well as the release notes were there, too.

Anyway, in my opinion, CraigV is absolutely right (as he is in many of his posts) when he says, that part of the blame is up to those admins that rollout a brand new software release without any tests in a productive environment.

Having worked with BE2012 now for more than half a year and after doing quite some implementations in medium and enterprise environments with some hundreds of servers, I really think, that the way, Symantec has started to go with BE in this version was the right way.
Of course there are things, that could be improved and yes, it takes some time to get familiar to the new GUI. But trust me, if you accept this version and try to get used to the new philosophy of the server centric model, you'll soon find out, that things get much easier, than they were in the older versions.

Just one hint here, because so many of you claimed, that policies are gone:
Policies haven't vanished, they just look different. And you do just have one policy per server. This policy includes all jobs you need to backup your server and to duplicate those data from one storage to another, i.e. disk to tape.
If you have a bunch of servers that you want to configure in the same way, just build a group in the GUI, make a right click on the group and create your job from there. This will create one job per server, but all those jobs are configured in a single step and have the same setting afterwards.
And if you want to change something for all those servers, i.e. the start time for the backup, just make a right click ob the group, and select "edit backups"...
You see, policies are still there, they just don't call them policies anymore.

Of course, it would have been easier to adopt the new version, if nothing had changed and BE2012 would have been another version with just some more new features.
I expect some of you to disagree with me and that's okay. But, no matter what your personal feeling is, please try to stay objective. This will help to get your problems solved.

All the best from good old Germany,

If this post is the answer to your question, please mark it as a solution.

If you can dream it, you can do it. (Walt Disney)

Mark McFarlane's picture


Luckily I did test in a test environment and didnt mess up my production environment....

I still don't see how it is better for me to have to manage 40+ backup jobs to do the same thing that 4 jobs do in BE2010....especially when they don't play well with tapes...I dont mind a new GUI, but don't make it so much more difficult to do the same thing that Im doing today.

Caroline Kiel's picture


I can't see, why it could be necessary to create 40+ jobs in BE2012, when you could do the same backups in 2010 with 4 jobs.

I don't know your environment. But for years, Symantec claimed, that there should be only resources from one server per selection list. Means, that you, having obviously multiple servers also need multiple selection lists. If you backup Exchange, you'd even need multiple selection lists for one server.

Then you create your policies and multiply them with your selection lists to get your jobs,

Exactlx this can be done in BE2012. As I wrote before, you can create jobs for multiple servers at the same time. Similar to what you did with policies in BE2010.

So, at the end of the day, the number of jobs in BE2010 and in BE2012 should be the same.


If this post is the answer to your question, please mark it as a solution.

If you can dream it, you can do it. (Walt Disney)

ianSinclair's picture

I can live with a new interface, but I have a specific need.

I need to backup 4 servers, I have a robotic library with 84 tape slots and 4 tape drives.

I need to configure backups of those 4 servers at 9 pm mon-fri

I want the c:\ drivevs all to go on the same tape, so serve1,2,3,4 c:\ on on tape 1

I want e:\ and f:\ to go on tape 2 so 4 e:\ and f:\ on tape 2

How can I do this with the new improoved backup exec ?

Answers would be appreciated, I have logged a techincal support call and they can't do it without partitioning the library and I don't want to to that.



raptorchen1's picture

As with any new UI release, it is designed for a better use experience.  You may argue that the “old” UI is more intuitive because you have been using the old UI for years.  I would use the analogy of Windows XP versus Windows 7.  Win 7 is a change for the better.  It is easy to use even for the folks that are new to the product!  You’ll find the BE2012 GUI more logical, intuitive.. If you are unsure on where things or how things work, Help menu and Wizards are tremendously useful!!!

raptorchen1's picture

Don’t forget some of the cool new features added to 2012.  My favorite is Integrated BMR!  restore to anywhere!  Isn’t that better the old IDR? 

Single pass backup = Granular recovery of files, emails, apps, Deduplication and BMR to different hardware!!! 

Bulbous's picture

The Symantec staff are spouting the same old nonsense - if you don't like it, it's just because you're used to the old way of doing things.

That's not the point. If tasks that used to be easily accessible are now buried deep in the menus, then it is an inefficiency no matter what.

The above poster pointed to Windows 7 as opposed to Windows XP. Take a look at how you get to "Network Adapters" in Windows XP.


Two mouse clicks: click on start, and one on your connection.

How do you do it in Win 7?

Start > Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings

SIX mouse clicks, including a double-click on your connection

This is exactly like BE 2012. It may make more sense to product engineers and people who have no idea how the product works, but to the rest of the world, it is a horrible inefficiency that by no stretch of the imagination can be considered an improvement!

patters's picture

Or you could click on the Network icon in the Windows 7 system tray > Open Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings.

3 clicks. Which is the same as Start > Settings > Network Connections in XP.

Bulbous's picture

Wow, you seriously miscounted. Try again:

XP - Click start, then click on your network connection = 2 clicks

Win 7 - (your suggestion) - click on Network icon in systray, click on Network and Sharing, click on Change adapter settings, double-click on your network connection = 5 clicks

I will admit, your suggestion brought it down from 6 to 5, but it's still a click-fest compared to the previous version. Just like 2012 to 2010.

robnicholson's picture

To play devil's advocate on this particular point (although we're wandering off-topic), isn't navigating down menu trees rather old fashioned? Once upon a time, Yahoo used to categorise all your information and you browsed through catagories. Who does that anymore? They don't - they bash a search phrase into Google. In fact, many people don't even use the address bar anymore - they type the URL into Google!

Same for me on Windows 7. I've got into the habit of pressing the Windows key and then typing Ne *bang* network centre appears. Yes, possibly same number of keys but it's aways the same number of keys and I don't have to go hunting. In fact, for the infrequently used programs on W7, I haven't a clue what menu they are under.

But I guess BE2012 hasn't got a search feature like this? ;-)

Cheers, Rob.