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Backup Exec 2012 R2 update – news about Windows Server 2012 R2 support and target GA

Feb. 19, 2014: ***Please find a new update to this post at:  for additional information*** 

By way of introduction, my name is Brian Greene and I lead the product management team for Backup Exec. In late October, we posted an update about Backup Exec 2012 R2 and promised you more details as they became available. In the spirit of keeping an open dialog, I wanted to get back to you and share the latest information: 

  1. Windows Server 2012 R2 support: Backup Exec 2012 R2 will include agent and media server support for Windows Server 2012 R2. This is a significant undertaking by our engineering team, but we are committed to delivering timely support. I know that many of you are asking for this support now, and we are doing everything we can to get to where you want us to be. I know many of you are frustrated and I apologize, please know that our #1 priority is to deliver timely platform support. We have put a structure in place to solve this issue so that we can return to being the first to offer support for new platforms.  Please reference item 3 below for more details.
  2. Backup Exec 2012 R2 timing: We are targeting general availability (GA) between late in the 2nd quarter or early in the 3rd quarter of 2014 (calendar year).  We have achieved our feature code complete milestone and are quickly approaching our Beta 1 milestone.  Please reference item 4 below on how to sign up for the Beta.  In addition, we will continue to provide updates to you via Connect. 
  3. VMware vSphere 5.5 support: Backup Exec 2012 Service Pack 3 is now available for download and includes support for VMware vSphere 5.5.  The release of this support, within 60 days of VMware’s GA, is an example of a new process we are implementing that allows us to leverage service pack releases to deliver more timely platform support to you.  We will continue to look for opportunities that meet specific scope criteria to add platform support via regular service pack releases.
  4. Backup Exec 2012 R2 Beta registration: If you have already registered for the Beta, thank you! If you haven’t had a chance yet, I encourage you to register here.  The Beta program is open to partners, existing Backup Exec customers and anyone that is interested in testing out the next release of Backup Exec.  This program is a unique opportunity to see what you can expect in Backup Exec 2012 R2 and also provide our product team with invaluable feedback.  We expect the Beta to become available for download in early 2014 (read the original post about the Beta here).

Thank you for your continued support of and loyalty to Backup Exec.  We are committed to getting the product to where you want and expect it to be.



Very nice feedback - late but a step in the right direction. Here in Denmark nearly all customers is first movers - so it has been frustrating to tell them that BE not supports the new versions.


Regards Morten

When can we download the newest software ?

So GA between June and September 2014....!

one year later ?


I appreciate your intetion but, sincerly, 3rd quarter 2014 GA ???
It is a joke?
Please, listen to this:
now all of my customer are using WS2012 and want to upgrade to WS2012R2 ok?
And, all of those renewed symantec backup exec maintenance, do you imagine what are thinking about me?
Nothing to do but change backup software: this can no longer be postponed.
You put us in an incredible situation.


How do you expect anyone to take you serious after this?

It is very good that Symantec is listening to its customers. I am glad because I have customers who are currently using BackupExec 2010 and preferred to switch to another solution than move to the new per-server backup model after I did the demo with them.  I can wait to test and see for myself.

I really wish that this was done from the start.

I really wonder what BIG changes Microsoft implemented from WS 2012 to 2012R2 so that you need ONE YEAR to modify your code. (2012R2 is more something like 2012 SP1 anyway ...)

The snapshots are provided by VSS anyway, so what is really the difficulty to make BE use VSS in 2012R2? It can't be THAT hard.

We have already scheduled a project to replace Backup Exec during 2014. Support for new platforms (WS 2012, Exchange 2013 etc.) is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable.

I too am frustrated at this, we chose BE 2012 over Unitrends because we "thought" it was a better enterprise product with perhaps faster dev cycles, boy were we wrong. check out unitrends if you want to backup 2012 R2, their version is in beta right now. I am planning on downloading the free version to throw on our 2012R2 host server so that I can backup my VM's.


Hi everyone.

Like many people here, I am disappointed and frustrated by this whole stuff :

- BE 2012 is not fully compatible with WS2012 (impossible to install on this system so you need an additional server which increase the TCO of your infrastructure)

- It took nearly a year to be able to backup WS2012 from a non 2012 backup server.

- The same problem happens again with WS2012R2.

Boys, we use Hyper-V and 2012 brings so many long awaited features : we urgently need something !! I know it might be difficult to follow Microsoft product lifecycles but, hey, you're Symantec ???!!!

This is even more frustrating because your product is good !


Maybe Symantec should try to bring at least an AGENT for Windows 2012 R2, so that it can at least be backed up in a basic manner from existing BE installations. (Btw, six weeks ago would be a good time for that.) ... and then they can take their time to create BE 2012 R2 with all the fancy new features.

But hey .. it can't be THAT hard to make the BE agent compatible with 2012R2. Likely they just have to remove the line

IF operatingSystemVersion = '6.3' THEN DisplayWeirdErrorMessageAndQuit

from the code wink

@Brian Green do you realize that Veeam already supports Windows Server 2012 R2, and you are saying you need at least half a year more. And you still do not fully support Windows Server 2012, soon 2 years after it has been released. Please, give me one reason to stay with Symantec, because I am having really hard times justifying this.

I have to chime in on this one... Releasing support for a Microsoft operating system up to one year after its release becomes a never ending frustration for customers because Microsoft has significantly sped up its release cycle (Symantec for one hasn't noticed yet apparently). If Symantec continues down this path, that means those customers will always be an OS release behind JUST so they can implement their DR plans? This can't last long, or BE will bleed market share. Whatever happened between BE 2010 and BE 2012 was clearly more than a UI change. In addition, BE is poorly suited to recover virtual servers anyway, especially compared to newer products from competitors (starts with a "V" and ends with "eeam"...) What they manage to do at a much lower cost is simply amazing. The only reason I am still with BE at this point is because I have a tape library. However, today, that's not really necessary anymore.

we are committed to delivering timely support

We are targeting general availability (GA) between late in the 2nd quarter or early in the 3rd quarter of 2014 (calendar year). 

Way to contradict yourself. You realise competitors, that never made an issue of "timely support", have supported Windows 2012 for over a year?

"timely support" would have been six weeks ago, not Q3 2014.

We’re SYMANTEC, providing support for your 2012 R2 server, sometime in late 2014 or 2015!

Maybe it will work.  But you better keep up with your maintenance $$$.

How do I go and tell my clients that AFTER we upgraded to Windows 2012 R2, and after spending $8000 in licening fees that the product wont work for possible another year?

Does anybody have the number for CA (ArcServe)?


As recently as an October 23 webinar we were assured that full support for Windows server 2012 would be available before the end of Symantec FY2014.  This means before March 2014.  The phrase used was "Symantec is committed to this happening".  Now you are saying at least 3 months later.  This time last year we were informally told that support would be available by the end of January (2013!).  I don't think you are ever going to get caught up!!!

I can echo David's point. I had a face to face meeting with a senior product manager around this time last year where I raised these concerns. I got the story about a new CEO, about a major clearing out of staff, and how the new management were definitely going to have this support in place by January 2013.

Another meeting in approximately July 2013 told me all about a new CEO, a new cleaning out of staff, and assured me that because this had just happened, the support would be in place by March 2014.

Sounds like we're getting the same dates and stories.

I've just been told a senior product manager can "explain" the situation. I have no doubt, he's going to tell me about a new CEO.

I purchased Backup Exec 2012 for my client in June of this year with the plans of installing it on Windows Server 2012. I was shocked it wasn't supported and still isn't. Now I find out that the beta will only start in early 2014 and by the time the actual program is released, my maintenance contract will have expired so I will either be forced to purchase a maintenance renewal or purchase a proper backup solution from another vendor.

I'm thinking the second option is the way to go. Symantec has totally lost my support!


Thanks for the question.  Beta software will be available for download early 2014.   GA software will be available for download between late in the 2nd quarter or early in the 3rd quarter of 2014 (calendar year).  Does that answer your question.

I am trying to provide a range for GA and my guidance is that early in the 3rd quarter of 2014 (calendar year) does not include September (that is late 3rd quarter).

Fine.... end of July, if you think that is any better then clearly you arnt listening to people!

I've had enough now anyway, quote for backup exec maintenance went in the bin last week and veeam is going into full production this weekend, not only does it provide support in a reasonable window, its quicker offers better compression and is cheaper and easier to use. So long backup exec it been a good 10 years but you continue to be ruined by the people at symantec.

I echo the sentiments of everyone here, and find it appauling that every Symantec representative that I talk to tells me to use CA's software instead. Wondering if I should move all my customers to CA's products and drop Symantec all together?

My issue is I my annual support/maintenance is due and I am not happy about paying yet another year of maintenance fees for a product I still cannot use.

2012R2 was made available as a beta for 2 years now - Symantec should have been way ahead of this.

I need something back from Symantec before I keep throwing good money after bad. Will Symantec extend my support/maintenance for one year as a show of appreciation? We as a enterprise should not have to delay the migration to 2012R2 becuase Symantec couldn't get their software out in time.

@skrems - I understand your frustration and would like to help. Let me see what I can do. I will email you now to get a few additional details.

Will BE 2012 R2 restore the multiple-server, single-job functionality?

Anyone can give me the name of a product to use instead of backup exec, they are having on us, after more than one year that windows 2012 is on the market, and still is not possible to install on it ?

Is there a place to vote for the worst company of the year ?