Backup Exec 2012 update – vSphere 5.5 support and R2 Beta registration!

 ***Nov. 26, 2013:  Thank you for all of your comments.  A new update is now available at: ***

From:  Blake McConnell, vice president of Product Management, Backup and Recovery, Symantec Corp.

It’s always a good day when we can share product updates and progress with Symantec’s Backup Exec community. This is one of those good days.

Thank you

First I want to thank all of you for your continued loyalty to Backup Exec. I realize that today’s update may not address every question, wish or concern, but still want to communicate the significant progress that is being made.

vSphere 5.5® support

Platform support is our top priority. Targeted for release in mid-November, Backup Exec 2012 Service Pack 3 will include support for VMware vSphere 5.5®. Our team will deliver this support within 60 days of vSphere 5.5 general availability (GA). Once the Service Pack is released, it will be available for download from our Support website or you can watch for the patch to be available via LiveUpdate in early December.

Backup Exec 2012 R2 Beta – now open for registration

Today also marks a milestone for the Backup Exec 2012 R2 release, Beta registration is now open! The Beta version includes the functionality you’ve been asking for - media server support for Windows Server 2012, the jobs view and the ability to assign multiple servers to a single backup job. You can learn more about what’s included in the Beta and sign up for it on our official registration page -

While we’re on the topic, I want to set proper expectations around the date for Beta availability, which is scheduled for early 2014.

  • First and foremost, our goal is to ensure customer delight, which means we will not compromise on quality to ship a product before it’s ready, even for a Beta release. We are taking the time necessary to ensure our Beta code is production-level quality. While this means it takes us a bit longer to reach this milestone, it allows us to get Beta feedback in real world environments, providing data beyond what we can get in a lab environment and yielding an overall higher quality product.


  • Second, we expect this Beta will be in high demand so we are opening up registration early to allow enough time to process as many applications as possible before it is available for download. Opening registration now means that those accepted into the program will have access to the Beta download as soon as it becomes available in early 2014. More on that soon!

Windows Server 2012 R2 support – what’s the plan?

Congratulations to the Microsoft team on the GA of Windows Server 2012 R2! Naturally, you want to know if Backup Exec 2012 R2 will support it. What I can tell you right now is that this platform is on our radar and without question, a top priority for our team. My plan is to provide you with an update on Windows Server 2012 R2 support in the next 5 to 6 weeks.

In the meantime, please register for the Beta. We look forward to hearing your feedback!



Hi GalenG,

Yes of course and I apologize for not doing this sooner. We are providing existing Backup Exec customers free licenses of Symantec System Recovery which fully protects Windows Server 2012 today. While Backup Exec does provide support for Windows Server 2012, it's missing support for Backup Exec Media Servers running Windows Server 2012. Full support for Windows Server 2012 for Backup Exec will be available early 2014 through the Backup Exec Beta. I know this is not a perfect workaround, but it does provide you with a solution to fully protect Windows Server 2012 today.

If this would help you, please email me with your contact details along with how many SSR licenses you need and I will take care of this today. My email address is:

Thanks, Kate

Thanks for update. Awaiting your mail still..

Will Backup Exec 2012 SP3 support Backup Exec Media Servers running Windows Server 2012 in Mid Nov release? This release (BE 2012 SP3) adds support for vSphere 5.5, with the Beta dealing with support for Windows Server 2012 R2.

There is no mention of BE 2010 R3 supporting Windows Server 2012 R2 as a media server.


I am on Windows 2012 Not Windows 2012 R2. At the moment our backup exec 2012 media server is install on Windows 2012. 

Can you advise will BE2012 SP3 fully support Windows 2012 as a media server?

...and it looks like there are no intentions to support BE 2010 R3 on Server 2012 as a media server:


We are a SME who are just about to buy a BE2012 solution - possibly even the 3600 Appliance (although I am going off this idea for other reasons). The potential solution will cost £12k+ and I already have management approval in place. In short, I have spent the last hour reading these forums and discovered the unholy mess regarding Server 2012 / R2 support. 

I have just finished upgrading our core bussiness SQL server and choose Server 2012 R2 as it was the latest release. It is now live and very much in use. Can you confirm if there is an agent to support the backup of this machine, or will I have to wait for some future release? If there is not a solution to depoy now to protect this data, you have effectively left me two options. Downgrade to Server 2012 and hope you agent released back in July actually works well, or simply not invest in a BE2012 solution and take my business elsewhere.

We have a variety of server OS's and VM's that all require a straight forward, centrallized backup solution. I want to be able to take daily backups with me offsite, and also have a replicated duduped copy pushed over to our remote office in Switzerland. IT is only one aspect of my job, and it looks like perhaps BE2012 is more of a headache than a solution.

Thank you in advance.



I have been using Backup Exec for years and it seems the 2012 release has taken a downturn with this release.  The lack of being able to install the BE2012 client on a Windows 8 machine has annoyed me, but instead I had to put up a Windows 7 VM to run it.

Also can the licensing portal be overhauled as trying to figure out what are your maintenance license compared to your actual license keys is a pain in the butt.

Right now the only reason that I am staying with Backup Exec is for native Linux support.

With lack of full support with the Beta be production ready?  Some of us might have to do that so that we can support 2012/2012 R2 Servers.

I emailed you as soon as I posted that response, it may have gone to your junk folder. I will send you a private message now.

Also a small SME, but with a lot of data.  Been on MS SBS and Backup Exec for SBS since late 1999 with no issues.  Obviously, Backup Exec 2010 SBS edition morphed into 2012 SBE, but we didn't make use of upgrade rights under our maintenance rights as we follow an "if it isn't broken" policy where possible.  We've outgrown SBS (and MS ditched it anyway) so finally invested in new hardware to support a virtualised environment, running three VMs on a Hyper-V host.  Kit arrived last month and we waited for 2012 R2 release to give us network teaming.  All up and ready then found no backup solution existed: couldn't believe Backup Exec did not install on WS 2012 when I checked.  Guess that's my fault for not asking a precise enough question of my Symantec partner.

I've spent tens of hours over the last week or so trying to find out what 2012 SBE licence actually covered and what the situation was with regard to 2012 support.  This was done via Symantec partners,  MyAccount cases and the web.  Finally found this blog and the somewhat similar blog on BE SP2 and SP3 release.  At least these explain the picture, even if it looks grim. Can't say the same for the partner or Customer support, both of whom proffered contradictory, incorrect and generally unhelpful responses.

Not sure where we as a business go from here.  As with others, maintenance renewal is due but is there any point?  I can't use BE 2012 SBE to protect my three VMs, regardless of whether the current licence covers them: I don't have MS OS licences to keep a 2008 or older BE media server running. Mid 2014 is a long time to wait to get a supported option from what I used to think was the industry leader in this segment. Will see if Windows Server backup will manage in the meantime but, if not, then AppAssure looks competetive.

I'll conclude by agreeing with so many of the other comments that Symantec has let us down in a big way, compounded by the lack of a clear development time frame other than as inferred from this blogpost. Comments above suggest that Symantec are offering some work arounds (recovery server?), but even this appears to be "if you contact us".  I have to ask why such offers have not been made to all customers on maintenance?  This would at least have shown some corporate desire to reach out to customers to retain their loyalty.

I have a newly purchased Windows Storage Server 2012 backup server sat by my desk.

Symantec - can you give me a categoric date when I will be able to install BE2012 onto it as a media server?  I don't want any Q2 or Q3 vagueness, give me a specific date when you intend to have this ready.

Please also note that VEEAM is fully installed and ready to go.

Wow.. where to begin..Just so I have things correct... The "Beta" testing of "Early" 2014 (ready for release summer 2014) will finally allow someone to install BUE 2012 ON a Windows 2012(R1) media server, backing up other Windows 2012 servers via agents, using GRT??? Is that correct?? 18 months AFTER 2012 R1 was released??? And that is supposed to be acceptable?? That's pretty pathetic by any standards.

No one is expecting to have full support after an OS is available, but this is disgraceful. Windows 2012 R2 is now available and are we again expected to wait another 18 months to be able to install BUE on an R2 system, backing up other servers running 2012R2 with GRT? Is it even possible to expect a realistic development plan from someone at Symantec as to when R2 will be fully usable from BUE? And to clarify, this means usable on an R2 media server, with GRT support.. NOT a beta test of agent backups and a possible "mid next year" support date. How can anyone be expected to take that to management as justification for the budgeting?

I currently use BE 2010 R3 SP2.  Tech support informs me restoring data from Win2008 R2 to Win2012 R2 is not supported.

- Will BE 2010 R3 support the remote agent on Windows 2012 R2 in January 2014?

I don't want to upgrade to BE 2012 R2 because of the interface.  Tech support says separate jobs are needed for each server and that jobs run randomly, not in order.  What a mess.

What competing products should I be looking at?


So - will Backup Exec 2010 R2 SP3 or 2012 SP2 support backing up Windows Server 2012 R2?  It's clear that Symantec hasn't gotten the Backup Exec line ready to be installed on Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2, but will it be able to at least backup those OS's?

This is so counter productive in the IT world .... 



So - will Backup Exec 2010 R2 SP3 or 2012 SP2 support backing up Windows Server 2012 R2? 


I second that. Will the remote agent be able to backup Server 2012 R2? And when?

Some news regarding the SP3 for vsphere 5.5 support????

I have been appalled by the lack of timely support of Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2. I have been a customer since Veritas days.  My biggest mistake this year was getting a 3-year support agreement for all my Symantec products, which is looking like money down the drain.

I am about to order equipment for a badly-needed refresh of servers, with the plan to run production workload under Windows Server 2012 R2 using Hyper-V, and run Backup Media server on Windows 2008R2 (understanding that BE can't run on WS2012).  It is totally unacceptable to wait 5 weeks for an "update on Windows Server 2012 R2 support", only to then discover that you won't actually support the product until some undetermined time in the future.  I cannot afford to purchase equipment that I cannot use, and have the hardware warranty wasting away.

Please provide a better estimate of when support for protecting Windows Server 2012 R2 will be available to use.


what's going on with symantec? We always extend our support contracts for all customers and what do we get for it?

we will deploy many new server with windows 2012 and 2012 r2 next time. a part of them are single server without a chance to install backup exec on a server 2008r2. so what should we do to save our customers data?

the only way seems to be a change of backup software.. is that so?



I just paid for a new license for Backup Exec 2012 to use on my new Windows Server 2012 (not even R2, mind you), since our old Backup Exec (version 12, I think) has been working great for us.

I have plugged in my new tapestation, setup the server to my liking and the only thing missing before it's ready to use is the backup solution.

So I press install and waits while it does it pre-installation check.

Imagine my surprise when it said "You cannot install this on Windows 8 or Server 2012".

Are you kidding me? What do you expect me to do now? Unplug the server and have it laying around for god knows how long, before the beta is ready? 

This is definitely the last time I'm purchasing anything that bears the name Symantec. It's ridiculous. How can you not support the biggest server-OS more than a year after it has been released?

I have already contacted my reseller to get my money back. 

WS 2012 was released more than one year ago - still no release date for BE 2012 R2?????

Dear buntho,


I am happy to talk with you and explain what happened. However, in the meantime to help you protect your environment fully today, I would like to send you licences of Symantec System Recovery, free of charge.

Symantec System Recovery is our image based backup and recovery solution that protects Windows Server 2012 fully and will shortly be going into beta for Windows Server 2012 R2. It protects physical servers (Windows and Linux) and virtual machines. One of the features that customers love about SSR is its ability to convert physical to virtual and virtual to physical. If you would like to take advantage of this, please email me at:

The Backup Exec beta will be available early 2014, so just a few months away now. I know this is not ideal for you, but please stick with us. Backup Exec is one of the best solutions in the market. We will get back on track.

Thanks, Kate






Backup Exec does not support a Backup Exec media server running Windows Server 2012 until early next year. We do support clients running Windows Sever 2012 though.

What I can do for you is extend licenses of Symantec System Recovery (free of charge) as a work around solution, if that helps? If you would like to take advantage of this, please email me.

Thanks, Kate

Hi Mellor,


We will be posting an update very soon - not weeks, but in just a few days. As soon as the update is public, I will write back to you personally.

Thanks, Kate


SP3 will be available this month which adds support for vSphere 5.5. Since we are getting close, I will see if I can get an exact date for you now.

Let me get back to you on this.

Thanks, Kate


There will be no further updates to BE 2010. We will be adding support for Windows Server 2012 R2 to Backup Exec 2012 next year.


Thanks, Kate

Kate, Do you mind me asking how do you decide to whom you/Symantec makes this offer? There are a lot of other people in the same boat who have posted on this thread.

Hi AS_Merl,

No not at all and it's a great question. We are extending this offer to existing Backup Exec customers who have already fully moved to Windows Server 2012 and don't have the ability to run Backup Exec on an older server. We are doing everything possible to help those customers and this provides customers with a solution they can use today as a work around. Symantec System Recovery is a fantastic backup and recovery solution with superior disaster recovery functionality.

Thanks, Kate

Hi Mike,

Backup Exec 2012 SP2 can backup Windows Server 2012 today, just as you mentioned. At this specific point in time we are missing the ability to run Backup Exec on a Windows Server 2012. However, this is coming early next year through the beta program. In addition, we will also be adding support for Windows Server 2012 in that same release.

If there is anything I can help you with, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thanks, Kate

Hi Kate,

Thanks for getting back. SSR doesn't support tape-drives, so it's of no real use to me.

Thanks anyways.

Schedule options BE 2010, must return in the new Version, was more complete than 2012

For example, in recurring week days options you can unselect a especific day of the moon, for example to make a Montly Backup that day, in 2012 that is not posible



We are currently using BE2010R3 and I want to know when, and even if, Windows 2012 R2 will be supported in that edition?

For now, upgrading is not an option, I've read to much scaring stories about upgrading from 2010 to 2012.

I'm pretty in the same mood as everyone here. BE is stopping us from evolving our server infrastructure. It's a real shame that you guys don't take advantage of the Microsoft Beta program to deliver us (the paying customers, don't you forget it...) a fully working product in a timely manner.

Hi Billy,


There are no further updates to BE 2010. As part of the Backup Exec 2012 R2 release, one of the new capabilities is a seamless migration experience from BE 2010 to BE 2012.


We understand that you are disappointed and frustrated, but we are doing everything we can to get back on track asap. If there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know.


Thanks, Kate


For those who want to backup Windows 2012 R2 at your own risk, I've managed to make the agent works. I'm using BE2010R3 fully patched. I've copied over this folder C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\Agents\RAWSX64 to my server and I've set the compatibility of the setup.exe at Windows 7. Installation went fine and I've successfully tested a data backup. I didn't tried a full system/OS backup.

Something new about vsphere 5.5 support???


vSphere 5.5 support will be here any day now. I believe it will be next week. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks, Kate

Hi Umetri_ChJ

Unfortunately due to revenue recognition rules, we are unable to provide specific details of the release date this far in advance. Obviously this doesn't apply to private companies which is why you will see some companies providing more detail than others. I understand this is not what you wanted to hear, but I wanted to be honest and explain why. I can however share with you the Backup Exec roadmap as soon as it has been approved for external consumption.

On a side note, we will be providing an additional update very soon. I understand that you are disappointed and I would like to extend my apologies. We are doing everything possible to get back on track as soon as possible.


If there is anything I can do to help, please do not hesitate to contact me personally.


Thanks, Kate



When will Exchange 2013 GRT be supported for backups with Backup Exec 2012 R2?

I find this product to be lacking in a lot of functionality for it being the flagship backup product for most of Symantec's customers. Other solutions are looking better as each day passes.


This summer we went ahead and bought the equivalent licenses for our infrastructure from Veeam right before our support expired with Symantec and I have to say that it seems that we made the right choice seeing that we can now upgrade to vSphere 5.5 and take advantage of the R2 improved dedup ingest rate.

It is a pitty that we lost almost 7K Eur on licenses and training going with Backup Exec but we were forced to make this decision as our company expanded and needed a reliable backup platform. 



have you got any new status for me?



Me too, changed to Veeam - does what it says on the tin and supports all the latest OSes, Hyper-Vs etc.

We also spent monrey on getting BE2012 assuming it would support Server 2012 - if you try to ignore the hideous interface, or the fact you could not add more then one server to a backup job or the host of other issues.................seriously these issues could have only arisen if the 'developers'  - and i use that phrase loosely, were smoking a questionable substance...............

It's an appaling product - but I do thank symantec for opening my eyes to the possibility of discovering other solutions, solutions that support modern day OSes and don't cost half as much , but above all

Seems to me your back up solutions are going down the swanny just like that equally appaling av solution you have......

Pay attention children; this is what hapens when you don't listen to customers, they take their business else where and spread the good word.......

So why ins't there any update that Backup Exec 2012 SP3 is available since yesterday?

Anyway, it's still a shame how long the customer has to wait until Symantec updates his product's compatibilities.

The support for VMware vSphere 5.5 was added in the recent Service Pack 3 for Backup Exec 2012:


Hate to sound like an echo chamber but this is really disappointing. A public beta for Windows Server 2012 was released Feb 2012! You can't tell me Symantec didn't have access at least a year prior to that to private beta? We did for driver development. 19 months at least and no support for 2012 or 2012R2???

I can't keep slowing my deployment and productivity any longer while waiting for Symantec (a major developer ?).

Don't tell me you can't give me release dates because you are a public company - when has that stopped other players in this space?

The only good thing I can get out of this is my renewal hasn't been paid yet.

I really think Symantec should be extending product maintence as a gesture of good will for what has been over a year of inactivity, its never going to happen and when your renewall is due we will probably look at moving to Veeam or similar.

did some already did a backup of vmware vsphere 5.5?

They are extending them 1 your sales rep and tell them that you want this. Kate Lewis is the POC. If you have a need for 2012/2012 R2, they will extend it. If you don't that is another story.

That would be nice I had a quote to extend our maintenance from our reseller today and it looks like we could get the licences and a years maintenance for veeam for not much more. This is with academic pricing mind.

That's alot of hope.  I certainly want a much better product, but to be fair to Symantec, I don't think that they're spending a Billion dollars on Backup Exec development.

The Desktop and Laptop Option was dropped out of the 2012 product, making this a server backup product.  It's still in the 2010 product.

Backup Exec 2012 EOL (End of Life) Items

Desktop and Laptop Option Will become a stand alone product.

Users that upgraded to 2012 from 2010 either had to remove this option or upgrade it to the stand alone product, which indicates that it supports windows 8.

Symantec Desktop and Laptop Option

Is this what you meant?  If not, please explain.