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Impressions of BackupExec 2012

Level 5

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?

417 REPLIES 417

Level 4

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)

Level 5

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.

Level 3

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.

Level 3

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'!!!

Level 2

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?

Level 4

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.

Level 4

+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.


Level 2


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. 

Level 6

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.

Level 2

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.

Partner    VIP    Accredited

...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.

Partner    VIP    Accredited 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.

Level 3

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

Level 3

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  

Level 3



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.




Level 3

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.


Level 4

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?

Level 3

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!

Level 4

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.

Level 4

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