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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Backup Exec 2014 Upgrade

I have a new and now working Backup Exec 2014 installation! Keep in mind that I skipped 2012 after all of the horror stories, so things that I think are new might not be to someone who followed the regular upgrade cycles. I have a simple setup; I just have the one server, and with it I back up maybe a dozen physical boxes, and write my Veeam backup files to tape. I also don't use many of the advanced features, nor do I know much about them. Backup Exec is good at writing tapes and backing up physical boxes. I don't see them surpassing Veeam anytime soon. My previous installation was up-to-date Backup Exec 2010 R3, and worked reliably.

I can report that running Backup Exec 2014 along with Veeam v7 on the same server has not caused any issues. The only thing I did have to do was set some of the Veeam services to delayed start so that Backup Exec could grab control of the tape library. Namely, the Catalog Data Service, the Enterprise Manager, the Restful API, and the Veeam Backup Service itself.

Anyway, enough about Veeam....

After doing a little bit of reading, mostly concerning the upgrade paths and methods, I decided to just pull the trigger and sink or swim. I'm happy to report that the installation of Backup Exec 2014 went very smoothly. All of my jobs and media sets were moved over, though I did need to remove and add back a couple of selections from the jobs. There were problems with some of the jobs' system states and I had some failures, but there are problems with any upgrades, so I dealt. One thing I didn't like was that I didn't have selection lists to change; I had to change the selections for each server in the job. One edit for the full job that runs weekly, and then another edit for the daily differential job. I liked the previous method better. In Backup Exec 2010 you specified what to back up in a selection list, then applied a policy which backed up those selections in a certain way, which is where you set up the schedule and the backup type. You applied the policy to the selection list and that made your jobs. Of course, you could create an entire job, but if you're taking care of multiple servers, the selection/policy was the way to go. Now, in the 2014 version, there aren't policies that I could find. I didn't look too hard, though. I edited the jobs directly.

Seriously, the hardest thing about this installation was getting the license keys straightened out. I just got that figured out today after a 45 minute call with support!!!

One laughable thing about my journey; I attended (for a few minutes, anyway) a Symantec webinar "unveiling" 2014, and showcasing some of its new features. The video was garbage. Conclusion: Overall good job! Work on your presentation and licensing though, Symantec!

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