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Top 10 Tools Every Veritas Backup Exec Administrator Should Know About

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At Veritas, our aim is to help you with market-leading data protection solution, all the way from easy installation and initial deployment to backing up production workloads with Backup Exec with confidence. There are several tools which can help you automate tasks, maximize performance, diagnose and resolve issues when software fails or your hardware breaks. 

Earlier today, I discussed some of the existing tools with my colleagues Mikko Nykri and Gurvinder Rait. In preparation for this blog, I also took to some of the Backup Exec community forum on VOX to get a general consensus of the most common tools Backup Exec admins are using these days. As expected, the usual suspects surfaced to the top (i.e BEMCLI, B2D Test tool, etc) but I was amazed at just how many tools were mentioned that I hadn’t heard of.

I really want to share all the great tools I discovered in this exercise. But for this blog, let’s start with the top 10. Keep in mind these are only the top 10, and there are dozens of other tools that are quite possibly used more frequently than this top 10.

1. Backup Exec Management Command Line Interface (BEMCLI)

bemcli.pngBackup Exec ships with a PowerShell module called BEMCLI. One of the changes that we made few years back was move from the old commandline interface (BEMCMD) to BEMCLI.  BEMCLI is based on Powershell which is a more powerful scripting language than the DOS commands. Needless to say, to fully exploit BEMCLI, you got to be familiar with Powershell. 

BEMCLI is a valuable tool for automating several administration tasks, including configuring a cloud instance for your own S3-compatible cloud implementation with Backup Exec.

To run BEMCLI on the computer on which Backup Exec is installed you can either  Go the taskbar, click Start > All Programs > Veritas Backup Exec > Backup Exec Management Command Line Interface

or

Launch PowerShell, and then type Import-Module BEMCLI.

2. Veritas Quick Assist (VQA)

VQA.jpegThe Veritas Quick Assist (VQA) is a diagnostic tool and helps you with Auto-detection of issues (self-help). It also gathers data for Veritas technical support assisted troubleshooting This help support analyse the information they need to troubleshoot issues, but this tool is available for anyone to use. 

It also provides links and useful support resource information.

You can get it from https://www.veritas.com/content/support/en_US/vqa

3. Veritas Backup Exec Migration Assistant (BEMA)

Veritas Backup Exec Migration Assistant lets you migrate your data from one Backup Exec server (source) to another Backup Exec server (destination). You must run the Migration Assistant on the destination server.MicrosoftTeams-image (6).png

There are several ways to copy your Backup Exec files to your server – either manually which can be quite laborious, or automatically by using BEMA utility. The BEMA utility is by far the easiest method if you want to migrate your Backup Exec software to a new hardware and is obviously recommended by Veritas, so you shouldn't encounter any problems if you choose this option.

Please read the following Technote for more information and guidance on BEMA: https://www.veritas.com/support/en_US/article.100041264. BEMA can be obtained from the Veritas Download center (veritas.com/support).

4. Backup Exec CloudConnect Optimizer (CCO)

The Cloud Connect Optimizer feature in Backup Exec allows you to quickly test your CCO.pngnetwork and suggests parameters that will help ensure the backup to cloud operations are performing optimally. It does this in an automated fashion thereby saving a lot of time and effort in fine tuning these parameters.

CCO doesn’t require any separate installation. You can run CCO for any configured Cloud Storage device in Backup Exec as displayed in figure. Due to possible variations in network conditions at different times of the day, Veritas recommends running the CCO job as close to the backup window as possible to get the best possible results.

5. Backup Exec Backup to Disk (B2D) Test Tool

Our team of talented engineers provides all reasonable effort to qualify Backup Exec with as many different disk devices, cloud targets, and other applications as possible. B2DTESTTOOL.pngHowever, due to the large numbers, it is not possible to test everything for compatibility.

If you have invested in a disk device which is not listed as specifically supported by Veritas, it may work fine! Its just that it has not been explicitly tested by Veritas with Backup Exec.

The Backup Exec B2D test tool is a stand-alone tool intended to test the basic functionality of a device as it relates to being used as a Backup-to-Disk device in Backup Exec.  If a device passes these tests, it will be treated as fully supported by the Backup Exec tech support team.
 
The tool runs a series of file copy, create, delete, and other file level operations required during a typical backup. You can find more information and how to run this tool on https://www.veritas.com/content/support/en_US/article.100020569
 

6. Arcus

It is cloud based monitoring solution from Veritas which allows service providers and administrators of Backup Exec to monitor multiple Backup Exec media servers in a single arcus.pngview. Arcus can get you a quick overview of all Backup Exec deployments without having to connect to all Backup Exec servers one at a time.

Since Arcus is supported on mobile devices, it really becomes easy for customers and partners to “monitor from anywhere”.

Arcus is open source and is available on this GitHub link: https://github.com/VeritasOS/arcus

7. Backup Exec Preinstall Environment CheckerEnvironmentChecker.JPG

The Backup Exec Environment Checker is a utility that can be run on a computer to report if the computer meets theminimum requirements for installation, such as the operating system, disk and physical memory, sufficient logon account privileges.

Although the Environment Checker runs automatically during installation, you may want to run it manually before installing Backup Exec or before backing up data with Backup Exec.

8. Backup Exec Utility

You can use the Backup Exec Utility to perform various configuration. It is installed in your Backup Exec working directory during the initial Backup Exec installation. 

Wimage004-735356.jpgith the Backup Exec Utility, you can do a variety of tasks like adding, removing, and configuring logical groups of Backup Exec servers or starting database utility operations on the Backup Exec Database (BEDB).

Note that you should use the Backup Exec Utility “only” with the guidance of Veritas Technical Support. Improper use of this utility can result in configuration changes that may prevent Backup Exec from running.

9. Begather utility

The begather utility brings together the files that help you diagnose issues with Backup Exec components on Linux servers. After you run it, the begather utility displays the name of the Packet file that it creates.

The files that are gathered contain detailed information regarding installation, diagnostics, and error reporting. Reviewing these files before contacting technical support can reveal the source of the issue.

10. Backup Exec Debug Monitor

Here are four words that no one likes to hear: "The application is down!". When using a computer, no one likes to have to deal with issues, but there still are hardware and software failures! And, that is why it’s important that you can diagnose and resolve the issues quickly. To support those efforts, Veritas Backup Exec team has put together a diagnostic tool to help you resolve issues faster, and easily get additional help as needed.

BEDebugMonitor.jpegThe Backup Exec Debug Monitor, or SGMon, is a diagnostic tool that captures debug output from Backup Exec and saves it in debug logs. SGMon debug logs can help you troubleshoot backup issues. Furthermore, debug logs can help Technical Support diagnose and repair problems.

When you open SGMon, it automatically captures debug data from Backup Exec's services. To collect debug information while SGMon is closed, enable debug log creation outside of SGMon and specify a directory in which to save the logs.

For more information about how to configure the Debug Monitor and read log files, refer to the help within the Debug Monitor.

To use the Backup Exec Debug Monitor for troubleshooting, click the Backup Exec button, select Technical Support, and then select Collect debug output.

Get more help

If you have tried to solve a problem, but still need a resolution, you can contact Veritas Technical Support for Backup Exec over the Internet or by phone.

To contact Backup Exec Technical Support, click the Backup Exec button, select Technical Support, and then select Backup Exec Technical Support.

If you do not have a support plan, you can post your questions on the Veritas Community Forums which are available at http://www.backupexec.com/forum

Conclusion

There are so many tools to help Backup Exec administrators plan, deploy, and manage their environments. This list is just a collection of tools I was able to capture. Is there something missing that you use? Let me know, and I will add it to this post.

[Thanks to Mikko Nykri, Gurvinder Rait, Renee McHugh, and Wayne Wittenberg for your help with this post]