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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

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.


Level 4

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.


Level 2

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


Partner    VIP    Accredited

...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.

Level 4

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.





Level 4

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.

Level 6
Employee Certified

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.


Partner    VIP    Accredited

...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.

Level 4

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.

Level 5

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.

Level 3

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.


Not applicable

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. “

Level 2

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.

Level 2

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

Level 6

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


Partner    VIP    Accredited nice. No need to -1 the guy because he likes the product. Nobody has -1'd all the detractors here.

Level 3

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.

Partner    VIP    Accredited

...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?

Level 3

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

Partner    VIP    Accredited

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