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Symantec Backup Exec 2012 review

Verdict

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

Review Date: 3 May 2012

Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell

Price when reviewed: £970 (£1,164 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
6 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
5 stars out of 6

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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.

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User comments

Worst Version Ever

having used Backup Exec since it was owned by Veritas I think this is the worst version version ever. They have removed so many valueable features it makes me want to use something else. You can no longer backup multiple servers, the job monitor has been removed, jobs must be cancelled one at a time, and the interface is terribly slow. All of which is supposed to be resolved in the next release. I would give this zero stars.

By reddog on 28 Sep 2012

are you kidding?

This version is absolutely apalling. runs very slow even on a fast new HP server. took AGES to install and everything has moved so you can't find it. well done symantec for making it easier to move to a different product.

By areyoukidding on 12 Oct 2012

Wow...

I would not normally take the trouble to post something like this, but the author of this review is doing the real net-admins a serious disservice by posting such misleading claims of this products greatness. I have yet to meet one colleague in the real world who likes this product after the redesign. The product is frustrating, confusing, and downright dysfunctional. Spend five minutes reading the comments section on any article or blog (including Symantec's own forums) and you will shop elsewhere for your backup needs.

By Pippin1516 on 30 Dec 2012

Are you serious???

Do you actually use this product? Or did you just copy your report from Symantec promotional material. There is nothing simplified and streamline about this....I just configured 2 simple backup jobs for BE 2010, took 10 mins. Trying to now do the same 2 jobs with BE2012.... arrghhh!!! nightmare... What is simple about an interface that no longer lets me monitor all of my jobs in one simple location.

This is like when Coke changed their recipe, everyone hated it, yet Coke just kept telling people, no, no really it's good you just don't know it yet....

By dees003 on 13 Apr 2013

Rubbish!

Dear God, do not buy this software. I tried out the trial version of 2012 then purchased a license when I thought it would work for me... Installed my license but the software is still showing up as running trial mode. I've wasted hours on this, uninstalling & reinstalling, emailing and on the phone with Symantec tech support, etc. This is so dumb I can't even wrap my brain around it - you install a trial of an app, then you purchase a license, the license should just convert the trial version into the full version, or give you the option to uninstall any pieces of the trial that you're not using, right? I just want to back up one server onto one NAS, NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. All of my other servers are working fine on BE 2010, Symantec really screwed their customers with this latest version and if they can't even figure out this basic issue I will be looking for an alternative software solution for any future backup software needs. In the meantime I'll be watching this "trial version" counter count down, and praying that my backup jobs won't all stop working when it expires (even though I've got a license installed). *sigh*

By 442mike on 27 Jun 2013

effectively unusable

This is a disturbingly inaccurate review - configuring a small enterprise system is a nightmare - notwithstanding all the bugs and issues (beremote can still hang in an unkillable state) the system is slow and ludicrously clumsy to configure - there are ambiguous conflicts on job timing and the server-centric approach makes it almost impossible to monitor effectively. That coupled with a disconcerting number of failures with Exchange 2010 mean that I shall now be evaluating a replacement - I certainly shan't be sticking with BE2012.

By glassblade on 16 Jul 2013

effectively unusable

This is a disturbingly inaccurate review - configuring a small enterprise system is a nightmare - notwithstanding all the bugs and issues (beremote can still hang in an unkillable state) the system is slow and ludicrously clumsy to configure - there are ambiguous conflicts on job timing and the server-centric approach makes it almost impossible to monitor effectively. That coupled with a disconcerting number of failures with Exchange 2010 mean that I shall now be evaluating a replacement - I certainly shan't be sticking with BE2012.

By glassblade on 16 Jul 2013

Symantec Backup Exec 2012 Not 2012 compatible

Not only does this new version lack many features of the previous versions. Even now in 2014 the media server cannot be installed on a Windows Server 2012 machine!

Awful.

By DuncanBates on 9 Apr 2014

Salisian

Useless. How could it get such a positive review? Can anyone suggest a good alternative? I'm about to write this one off.

By Salisian on 14 Apr 2014

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