Symantec Backup Exec 12 for Windows Servers review
Backup Exec is always a top choice - and the latest version delivers a good range of new features and improvements.
Review Date: 8 May 2008
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: exc VAT
Just like buses, you wait ages for new versions of backup software to turn up and then two come along at once. CA recently launched its long-awaited ARCserve Backup 12, and now Symantec follows in quick succession with Backup Exec 12 (BE12).
Value is on Symantec's agenda, as the base product is now offered with the CPS (continuous protection server), advanced open file and intelligent disaster recovery options thrown in. However, we think CA's file server, email and database suites offer a more tempting proposition, as you still have to buy separate agents for BE12 with the Exchange agent, for example, costing the same as a basic media server. CA's email suite costs about £1,000 and includes the base product and agents for every popular mail server.
Naturally, Windows Server 2008 is on the certified OS list, and Backup Exec supports the new Active Directory 2008 features plus an agent can be deployed to the Core version. As with ARCserve, the main management interface gets a fresh coat of paint, but it doesn't see any significant redesign or improvements.
For testing, we installed the BE12 media server on a Boston Supermicro dual 3GHz Xeon 5160 server running Windows Server 2003 R2, and also deployed remote agents to our Dell PowerEdge 2900 and 1950 domain member servers running SQL Server 2005 and Exchange 2003.
Backup jobs are easy enough to create and, at their most basic, comprise a four-step process where you select the source data and backup device, opt for a backup method and schedule the job. We could access our remote servers and select Exchange mailbox stores and databases for inclusion as well as basic folders. Note that BE12 only supports the 64-bit production version of Exchange 2007. If you're testing using the 32-bit Exchange 2007 evaluation then BE12 will fail with an annoyingly cryptic error message.
Symantec's EndPoint Protection software is required, but integration with its ThreatCon service allows you to configure selected backup jobs to run when the security threat moves up to level two, three or four.
BE12 steps into line with ARCserve and adds support for the T10 hardware encryption feature on LTO-4 tape drives. We tested this with an HP Ultrium 1840 (web ID:120516), and liked the fact that you can restrict access of encrypted media only to its creator.
For backup performance, we've always found ARCserve has a slight edge over BE, and a local backup to an HP Ultrium 960 LTO-3 (web ID:70402) revealed this with BE12 delivering 72MB/sec and ARCserve 12 returning 77MB/sec. For D2D2T backup ARCserve is the preferred choice.
Backup Exec has an excellent range of features, although this version hasn't seen as many improvements as ARCserve 12 and isn't quite such good value. We'd recommend existing users upgrade to this version, but that others check out the competition from CA.
Author: Dave Mitchell
- Swatch Touch smartwatch in development
- Did iCloud flaw lead to celeb photo hack?
- Microsoft refuses to hand over customer emails
- Apple signs up credit-card companies for NFC payments
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- Intel unveils eight-core Haswell-E CPU
- Forget robot butlers: meet Fuji Xerox's robot printer
- Wing it: Google's drone delivery revealed
- Facebook testing keyword searching in old posts
- It's on: Apple announces 9 September event for the iPad, iWatch and iPhone 6... maybe
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office