Symantec Backup Exec 2012 Changes


Backup Exec 2012 has been released and brings with it a few changes.

1) There is now an “Agent for Applications & Databases” which protects

a. SQL

b. Exchange

c. SharePoint

d. Active Directory

e. Oracle

f. Lotus Domino

2) There is extended Mac support with the “Agent for Macintosh”.

3) There are now 2 server options:

a. Backup Exec Server Edition – Same as always.

b. Backup Exec Server V-Ray Edition – This includes the ability to backup all virtual Application & Database servers without requiring the additional options inside each VM. There are then 2 variants of the V-Ray Edition:

i. 2 to 6 cores per CPU

ii. 8 plus cores per CPU

· Point 1 makes it easier to license for organizations with multiple App & DB servers.

· Point 3 can make licensing much easier & cost effective for companies with heavy use of virtual App & DB servers.  The move to core based licensing won’t really add any complexity – just remember to count up the number of cores before requesting/providing a quote.

It’s interesting to see another vendor make the move to core based licensing to better fit with virtualization…I wonder who else will do this too.

You can learn more at:

http://www.symantec.com/backup-exec

Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery (BESR) 2010


Symantec’s Backup Exec System Recovery has always been a pretty great product. Allowing admins to snapshot systems to give them a quick restore of OS, Apps and settings as well as dissimilar hardware restores, restore to virtual machines and more has made it a very popular tool 🙂 This month of Novemeber sees the release of BESR 2010 with new versions and new features, so let’s take a look.

Different Editions

BESR 2010 comes in the following flavours:

  • Server Edition: RRP = $795
  • Windows Small Business Server Edition: RRP = $495
  • Desktop Edition: RRP = $69
  • Linux Edition (available December 2009): RRP = $495
  • Virtual Edition: RRP = $2495
  • Starter Kit: RRP = $3495

An optional add-on is “BESR Management Solution” which allows you to centrally manage BESR jobs across your network. Perhaps surprisingly, this is available to all BESR customers free of charge!

FAQs:

What is the Starter Kit? The Starter Kit includes 5 Server Licences (with Granular Restore) and 10 Desktop Licences)

What is the Virtual Edition? A single Symantec BESR Virtual Edition licence allows you to protect all Windows VM’s on a single physical server. Companies should realise some definite savings here.

What is the Linux Edition? This gives image level backup of Red Hat & SUSE linux systems through a CMD-line interface.

What does it support?:

Symantec BESR 2010 fully supports:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 7
  • Exchange 2010
  • Hyper-V 2.0
  • vSphere 4.0
  • XenServer 5.5

Full Windows Support:

• Microsoft Windows Server 2008, including SP1 and
Server 2008 R2
• Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server 2008
• Windows Small Business Server 2003 and 2008
• Microsoft Windows Server 2003 family including SP1 and R2
• Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2003 (SP1)
• Windows Vista Ultimate, Business and Enterprise
• Windows XP Professional/Home (SP2 or later)
• Windows XP Media Center
• Windows 7 Ultimate, Enterprise and Professional

Full Virtual environment support:

• VMware vSphere 4.0
• VMware ESXi 3.5 and 4.0
• VMware ESX 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0
• VMware Server 1.0 and 2.0
• VMware Workstation 4, 5, and 6
• Microsoft Hyper-V 1.0 and Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
• Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 and later
• Citrix XenServer 4.x and 5.x

Full Linux Environment Support:

• SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, SP1 and SP2 (x86) 32-bit
• SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, SP1 and SP2 (x86_64 not ia64) 64-bit
• Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 (x86) 32-bit
• Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 (x86_64 not ia64) 64-bit

Note: SUSE Desktop & RedHat Desktop are NOT supported and BESR f Linux is a 32bit app..so it you’ve disables 32bit runtime, it won’t work.

All in all, BESR 2010 is a pretty good bit of kit and will definitely make things easier should there be a disaster with the servers 🙂

Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2010 & Seagate


Microsoft’s Data Protection Manager (DPM) is soon to arrive in it’s 2010 incarnation (first half 2010) so this week’s TechEd Conference is revealing a host of new features.

DPM is currently a Windows focused product which, while not surprising, is quite limiting in many corporate IT environments these days. So with 2010, Microsoft have joined together with Seagate and OEM’d their i365 software to extend protection to heterogeneous environments including:

  • Linux
  • Unix
  • Netware
  • IBM iSeries
  • Oracle
  • VMWare

A great list…but you’ll notice no Mac support 🙂

This will instantly remove one of the main barriers to DPM adoption in enterprises,as many places have at least a few Linux/Unix servers running in their datacenters.

Microsoft will also be offering online backups via Seagate’s EVault service and datacenters. It includes data compression and data de-duplication to reduce bandwidth hit and has:

“a network of SAS 70 Type II certified, Tier 3 and 4 hosting facilities, WAN optimised backup and recovery, disaster recovery experts and processes, and a 12-year track record protecting data for over 22,000 customers across the globe”

according to Seagate.

What I find strange is that this doesn’t utilise any of Microsoft’s online services…in particular Microsoft Azure. With BPOS offering an online hosted archive, it seems strange that this technology can’t be extended to store other, non email, data too.

Is using eVault just a temporary measure until Azure is fully up and running? I don’t know but I would expect that it’s in the long term plan to fold all this inside Azure…maybe some kind of Seagate purchase will happen?!

I’m also keen to find out if the data compression and de-duplication are offered to customers who choose to back up on-site to local tape, NAS, SAN etc. De-Dupe is one of the big features Symantec are touting for the next release of Backup Exec (14 I guess to keep with superstition); if MS are including that too then it will really steal some thunder!

Thanks to The Register for this…

Microsoft Security Essentials: Thoughts on AV


Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is available to everyone and it’s getting very favourable reviews from most people. The only nay-sayers so far seem to be the dedicated AV companies such as Symantec.

I’m not going to bother analysing the comments as it’s pretty obvious that most AV companies will say:

a) It’s rubbish

or

b) We don’t care because ours is so much better

and I’ve got an older post about how good I find it to be.

I think Microsoft’s introduction of a very good, easy to use, free anti-malware solution is a blessing and a breath of fresh air for home users. Just like the corporate market, there are now:

  • Too many manufacturers
  • Too many products
  • Too many features in each one

The number of machines I’ve seen that have at least 2 overlapping programs installed is pretty high. This is usually down to all the FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) causing people to panic a little bit and over-protect themselves…this often causes the machine to run poorly.

Then you have the the sheer number of vendors-who all say their product is the best:

  • Symantec/Norton
  • Panda
  • Eset
  • Kaspersky
  • AVG
  • Bullguard
  • Avast
  • F-Secure

and that’s not all of them. Yes-you could argue that Microsoft have made this worse by offering a real contender but I don’t think that is the case…I think it will streamline this situation of over-choice. Microsoft is obviously a well respected brand and so many people will choose MSE because they’re familiar with the name. As it’s all free-it can’t really be anti-competitive really can it? All it can be is easier and better for the average home user…and that should be everyone’s focus in the world of consumer security.

I’m pretty sure that non-web savvy people searching the internet for “free anti-Virus” often leads to them downloading the opposite-a package full of bloatware, trojans, key loggers and more. However, people going to:

http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials

will stop all that.

The idea that people having a manufacturer’s free product at home leads to them purchasing that vendor’s corporate offering at work isn’t particularly true, in my opinion. I speak to a lot of customers who run AVG at home…but none of them use AVG at work-they go with Symantec, Mcafee, Microsoft etc. I’ve also spoken to people who, after using Norton at home (usually as bloatware on a new machine) have removed Symantec from the workplace due to the bad experience!

All in all, I see this making it easier & safer for everyone involved 🙂

New Symantec Security Ads


I’m not a huge fan of Symantec to be honest. Although I’m a fan of Backup Exec, Enterprise Vault etc that is still love for Veritas and so it’s rare I deal with Symantec security products at work or at home; that being said-these new adverts are pretty wicked 🙂

They’re just how I like adverts-funny, quirky, a bit odd, don’t take themselves too seriously, aren’t pulled from a “How to make an advert for Dummies” book and still get the point across.

Caterpillar vs Kimbo Slice:

Chicken vs Dokken:

Thanks to Geeks Are Sexy.

Symantec Backup Exec gets De-Duplication


Symantec are planning to include the de-duplication of their PureDisk product into both Backup Exec & NetBackup, to further help reduce the amount of storage needed to keep data. AN analyst notes reveals:

“…dedupe would be integrated in NetBackup 7.0 and Backup Exec 2010 in the second half of its financial 2010 year, which closes at the end of March, 2010.”

This should help Symantec regain some of the market share, and reputation, it has lost over the last 18 months or so and become the well respected Backup vendor that Veritas once was.

More info can be found over at The Register.

Symantec buy MessageLabs


Symantec is set to buy MessageLabs for $695m in cash, with the deal expected to close by the end of the year (2008).

The British email security firm is set to be merged with the Symantec Protection Network to provide a comprehensive SAAS (software as a service) solution. You can read more over at The Register.

Veritas, Altiris, Vontu and now Messagelabs..Symantec have, over the last few years, become a huge software company with a very wide ranging portfolio which is something of a double edged sword really…it allows partners to provide a more holistic solution to their customers which benefits all parties involved; but equally it means Symantec’s focus is spread quite thin…

Backup Exec 12.5 Virtual Licensing


Backup Exec 12.5 claims virtual machine licensing is a lot easier and cheaper now, but I’ve been doing some research…and that claim isn’t quite as true as it seems!

The new agents for ESX & Hyper-V are claimed to be able to back up all the Virtual Machines on a physical server..but this is only true as long as they are all file servers!

If you have any application on the VM’s such as SQL, Exchange, Sharepoint, Oracle, SAP etc, you will still need to licence each VM with an application agent and treat it like a separate physical machine…just like before.

Also, the new Virtual Agents only allow you to perform FULL backups. If you want to perform incrementals etc, you will need to buy an Agent for Windows Systems for each VM…just like before.

While the new Virtual Agents will reduce costs and complexity to some degree and they show a step in the right direction, they are by no means the revolution that Symantec indicated!

Backup Exec 12.5-ESX Backups


Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 & VMWare ESX are a lot easier to use together now, however I’ve had a few questions on the subject of performing ESX backups with BE 12.5 so I thought I’d post up some info here. As always, any questions-feel free to leave a comment..

Backup Exec 12.5 Agent for VMware Virtual Infrastructure (AVVI) brings many of the advantages of VMWare Consolidated Backup (VCB) while removing some of the challenges a script-based approach can give. It integrates with key VMware APIs to ensure that VCB “scripting” or “integration modules” are not required & eliminates separate VCB backups for system-level vs. individual file-level recovery to recover a single file from within a .vmdk file.

Backup Exec 12.5 doesn’t require the installation of an agent onto the VMWare host server; the AVVI licence is activated via the Backup Exec (BE) Media Server and then automatically discovers the ESX infrastructure (through Virtual Center).

The entire guest VM and all it’s components are selected for backup automatically. This includes the .vmdk files, .vmx, log files and .nvram files. The Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) can recover individual files/folders from withing the .vmdk without having run a separate backup of the file/folder.

You can use the AVVI agent to restore files to their original location or alternate locations, including alternate datastores, host ESX Servers, different virtual machine names, and different virtual networks by leveraging VMWare Converter.

The following components are required to support Backup Exec 12.5 AVVI:
• VMware ESX 3.0.2, 3.0.3, 3.5, or later
• VMware Converter 3.0.3 or later
• VMware VCB 1.1, 1.5 or later
• VMware Tools (must be installed on guest virtual machines)

If performing Granular Recovery of a .vmdk from tape, this will require staging the entire file on disk, so make sure there is enough room on the temporary staging location specified in the restore job properties.

More info on the Virtual Agents can be found here.

Symantec and Citrix working together


Veritas Virtual Infrastructure (VxVI) is the new product forged from the combined fires of Symantec & Citrix as their entry into the world of virtual server management. This combination of Veritas Storage Foundation & Citrix XenServer is able to manage 1000’s of VM’s and all their associated storage from a single interface.

It will offer “direct control of block storage from a guest virtual server, block storage functionality, including mirroring across heterogeneous arrays, and SAN-based multi-pathing for data availability.” XenServer enables the sharing of common boot image across multiple virtual servers to help streamline the provisioning process.

“We worked with Citrix at the engineering level to make VxVI more than just a collection of bundled stand-alone products,” says Sean Derrington, Symantec’s director of storage management and high availability.

VxVI will allow users to manage servers and storage from one screen and perform advanced management tasks, including mirroring and striping LUNs, dynamic reconfiguration of layouts, or copying and moving volumes around from subsystem to subsystem.

Veritas Virtual Infrastructure should be available in Q4 2008 and is expected to cost $4595 for a dual processor server.

More info on this, and related subjects can be found at InfoStor

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