Trawling through the Backup Exec forums sees a number of postings regarding whether or not it is worth using the agents that BE has at its disposal. It’s interesting seeing the responses, with 2 sides arguing for, or against the use of agents.
In light of this, I decided to put forward the argument for using agents, as opposed to not using them.
Some of the questions that need to be asked when evaluating whether or not to purchase agents should include:
Backup Exec ships with a number of agents that, if licensed, unlock more functionality in the programme. Examples include: Symantec Backup Exec Agent for Microsoft Exchange; Symantec Backup Exec Agent for VMware Virtual Infrastructure, and Symantec Backup Exec Agent for DB2 on Windows Servers.
The only argument I can see for not using an agent is cost. There is the initial outlay to purchase the agent, and the yearly renewal of the license. Many small to medium-sized companies simply do not have the finances to purchase the required agents, which leaves the backup admin to find a solution to get around this. Most of the time, this involves stopping the particular application in order to do a flat-file backup. This in turn, causes the following issues:
The other side of the coin to using agents would include:
Agents allow for easier restores in the same way, and some go a step further (like the Exchange agent) by allowing for Granular Restore Technology (GRT) restores of individual items.
LiveUpdate installs required updates on the media server, and if needed these are pushed to any remote servers. No individual installations required.
For these reasons, and probably many more, I’d recommend going the route of buying the required agent. In backups, the idea is to simplify the entire process, not complicate it. If proper backups and restores are what is required by your business, then make some provision to purchase the tools for BE to enable this.