Symantec Backup Exec 2012 review

3 May 2012

Symantec’s most radical update for years greatly simplifies the backup and recovery process

Price when reviewed: 
1,164exc VAT
5

It’s a brave company that completely redesigns one of its most well-established products, but Symantec has done exactly that with Backup Exec 2012 (BE2012). Along with a wealth of new features, it presents a totally new management console that simplifies and streamlines the entire backup process.

Previous versions of Backup Exec focused on the creation of individual backup jobs, wherein you decide on a strategy, apply it to selected systems, tweak a few settings and choose the backup media. We’ve always found this works well enough, but large backup strategies require multiple jobs to be created from scratch, which can be complex.

BE2012 blurs the distinction between physical and virtual servers, taking a resource-centric approach that concentrates less on the job and more on what’s to be protected. It accelerates the creation of protection plans by reducing the number of steps required, and makes it easier to include multiple backup stages using various media.

Symantec Backup Exec 2012

Installation is simple, but long-term users of Backup Exec may find the revamped interface daunting. The homepage provides an overview of backup operations, with detail on media capacities, and a traffic light system indicating job status.

Prior to job creation, the process of deploying remote agents and defining backup storage locations has also been simplified. We had no problems pulling in our Windows Server 2008 R2 systems, including those running Hyper-V, and declaring backup-to-disk targets along with an HP StoreOnce deduplicating appliance providing NAS and VTL media.

The fun starts with job creation. You go to the Backup and Restore tab and view all systems that have the relevant agents installed. Instead of creating a job, you highlight a system, hit the Backup toolbar button and browse through the available backup types from the dropdown menu. The choices offered are based on the licensed options and available backup media, so if you have disk and tape configured, you can select a backup job to use either or both. Add the optional deduplication feature if needed, and network storage now includes support for cloud backup providers; these appear in the dropdown menu too.

Details

Price ex VAT £970
Price inc VAT £1,164
Overall rating 5
Ease of Use rating 5
Features & Design 6
Value for Money 5
Software subcategory Backup software