Symantec Backup Exec 2012

Symantec has carried out a radical overhaul of its long-standing management console. Dave Mitchell investigates this refresh to find out if it is a wise move or one which will alienate existing users.

One click backups

Backup strategies can be performed with one-click as jobs are automatically created with a scheduled full backup of the entire system along with regular daily incrementals. If you wish, you can edit the backup sources, change the schedules, replace incrementals with differentials and add further stages.

A complete D2D2T strategy can be created with a single click and options are provided to run scheduled backups and follow these with duplication copies to tape for off-site storage. You can also create a backup job using any available media and on completion it will convert the backup to a Hyper-V or VMware virtual machine.

BE2012 gets smarter as multiple systems can be placed in groups and an entire backup strategy created with a single click for all members. There's more as a small check box next to the source selections for backup jobs will show green if all components necessary for full disaster recovery are selected.

Symantec Backup 2012 - Backup device configuration

Backup device configuration is wizard driven and Symantec now includes support for cloud backup providers

V-Ray Edition

Other new features include wizard assisted recovery procedures which offer options based only on what you want to restore. Previously, you had to wade through the various backups to find what you were looking for. If you select an application then only the relevant data will be presented.

The V-Ray Edition is specifically designed for protecting virtualized environments. It's licensed per occupied CPU socket (not per-core) and includes everything needed to protect an unlimited number of VM guests and their hosted applications.

Symantec Backup 2012 - Backup conversion

BE2012 now allows you to back up a system and convert it to a new VMware or Hyper-V virtual machine

Symantec follows the example set by CA's ARCserve r16 with an all-you-can-eat license. This suite includes everything BE2012 has to offer and pricing is based on the amount of production data to be secured prior to any deduplication or compression.

Overall

It was a brave decision by Symantec to take such a well established product and completely revamp it. However, it's a decision which has paid off.

By shifting the focus from a job-based to a systems-based approach, Backup Exec 2012 makes the whole process simpler and the new console provides a wealth of easily accessible information.

ITPRO Recommended award

Verdict

Symantec’s shift in backup philosophy really does simply the backup and recovery processes making it very easy to use and the wide choice of options represents good value.

The redesigned Backup Exec 2012 management console is refreshing. However, it is going to take some time for existing BE users to adjust, which needs to be considered before upgrading.

Memory: 2GB

Hard disk: 1.5GB

OS: Media server - Windows Server 2003 SP2 upwards

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