Backup Exec 12.5 Compatibility

Backup Exec 12.5 is released within the next few weeks and for those of you considering an upgrade, I’ve gathered together some information that will hopefully make your decision easier.

Licensing Downgrades:

Can I use a previous version? If so what version? The curretn downgrade rights allow you to downgrade from V12.5 back to 11d. If you need to add new servers/agents/options to an older environment you will have to upgrade to V12.5.

If you purchase your licences with support, that will give you Version Upgrade Protection, enabling y ou to always keep up to date with new releases.

Backwards Compatibilty:

  • As has been the case before, the new features of V12.5 will not work if the agent is put in to an older environment (12, 11d etc)
  • Backup Exec 12.5 media server will work with 11d and v12 agents.
  • Backup Exec 12.5 Central Admin Server Option (CASO) will manage V12 servers, but not 11d or before.
  • Backup Exec 12.5 Media Server is compatible with Netware 9.2 Remote agents.

What Windows operating systems are supported in Backup Exec 12.5 and BESR 8.5?:
• Microsoft Windows Server 2008
• Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server 2008
• Microsoft Windows Server 2003 family (SP1)
• Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 family
• Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2003.(SP1)
• Microsoft Windows 2000 Server family.(SP4, Update Rollup 1
for Windows SP4) (SP4 is the minimum requirement for support
of SQL Express 2005)
• Windows Small Business Server 2000, 2003, and 2008

What virtual environments are supported in Backup Exec 12.5 and BESR 8.5?:
• VMware ESX Server 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5
• VMware Infrastructure 3 (replacement/rename for ESX Server)
• VMware Server 1.0 (replacement/rename for GSX Server)
• VMware GSX Server 3.1 and 3.2
• Microsoft Hyper-V
• Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2

For those of you out there that are running Linux servers, the Remote Media Server Agent for Linux should be of interest. This means you can now add direct attached storage (DAS) to your remote Linux servers (the agent include a Linux Remote Agent too).

Microsoft Small Business Server 2008: As you may know,  SBS 2008 is now licensed by Microsoft to include a 2nd “Member Server” that can be used as part of the SBS 2008 Premium family to host SBS-included applications such as SQL 2008, Exchange, or SharePoint. Backup Exec 12.5 Small Business Server Premium will now include, at no charge, an Agent for Windows System (AWS) for customers who may want to protect this second sever as well.

What versions can I upgrade from?:

This is often the trickiest part of moving to a new version of software, if your current environment isn’t 100% standardised on one version.

From a technical standpoint, versions 11d & 12 can be directly upgraded to 12.5, while any previous versions must be un-installed prior to 12.5 installation.

From a licensing standpoint, you are still eligible to upgrade ANY previous version of Backup Exec.

11 Replies to “Backup Exec 12.5 Compatibility”

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    BE 12.5 will allow you to back up an unlimited number of Guest machines with an ESX host, to disk or tape, with a single ESX agent.
    Another good improvement is tighter integration with the VMWare management framework, giving a global view of your virtual environment within the Backup Exec administration interface.
    Also, the integration supplies the tools for automated configuration and setup of VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) without the need to create manual scripts.

    I hope that helps? Any questions though just leave another comment 🙂

  2. Thanks Rich.

    Do you know if BE 12.5 will require the use of agents on the ESX host and guest machines (VMs)? If so, how will that work with ESXi and no console?Also, will the file level recovery require extracting the full VMDK to disk? One other question, for now, will BE 12.5 require customers to do full, differential and incremental backups or can they do one full guest backup and only incrementals from that point on?

    Thanks for all your help.


  3. When I try to upgrade from BE 12 to BE 12.5, the preinstallation check goes through just fine, but during the installation I get an error message about the version of SQL server installed. The preinstall check says the version is fine, but the installer throws up an error saying the version is incompatible and that BE requires SQL 2000 sp 3a or higher, or if using Server 2008, SQL 2005 sp2. I am running Server 2003 and SQL 2005 sp2. Anyone run into this puzzle? Thanks.

  4. Hi Art,

    A couple of questions..

    1) What version of Windows Server are you using?

    2) Are there any non-English instances involved at all?


  5. I currently have Symantec Maint. Support for backup exec 12. So, i’m entitled to the free upgrade to 12.5. But, do I need a license renewal for my agents as well?

    I currently have a 11d environment with maint. support. But, I only have the maint. support for the core product. For the agents I just have the 11d license support. Do i have to purchase upgrades for the agents, even though I have the “SYMC BACKUP EXEC SERVER 12.0 WIN ESSENTIAL 12 MONTHS ACAD BAND S” maintenance support? I hope i did not confuse you all.

  6. Hi Dee,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    You need to have maintenance on ALL licences, including the agents and options if you wish to benefit from the free upgrades.

    If, for the agents, you have bought just the licence with no support-you will need to buy the Version Upgrade licences to take those to V12.5. I would recommend buying support with them all aswell, so you can receive the Free of Charge upgrades for future versions.

    I hope that helps?


  7. After upgrading several Servers with Backupexec 12.5 from 11d, I have found a degradation of Tape Performance, Before 11d would backup at around 700-800 mb/min after the upgrade this dropped to 500-600 mb/min, on the same servers !

    Dell Poweredge 2950, 4gb, 800gb Raid, Win Server 2003, LTO 3 Tape Drives.

  8. is it really necesarry to upgrade form version 12? usuually within the same number the upgrade was free, even if you did not have a support contract.

    In this case, why isn’t it like it used to be?

  9. Hi,

    I think because they introduced new features such as the Virtual Agents, the Media Server needs updating to handle the new features; thus making it a new version and requiring an update.

    Bit of a pain I know!

    Hope that helps?

  10. Hello ,Silly question,

    Will any HP usb external device work with BE 12.5. Reason I ask is I saw symantec’s compatibility list only the hp storage works model number C7438A will work . It just doesn’t make sense. I see so many external usb like hP DW010-69201 or HP EB626-20000. plz any clarification will help

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