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Backup Exec 2010 has just dropped, and I'm about to implement a new BEWS infrastructure, complete with CALs and new central servers.

When I specced this up last year, I ignored 2010 and focused on Backup Exec 12.5, since it's a mature product. In previous experience, major released of BE had numerous technical issues and seemed to improve significantly at the first service pack.

However, our refresh cycle on the backup infrastructure is slow, the main driver usually being lack of support for some new server type (in this case, ESX has driven our current upgrade need). With this in mind, I'm wondering if Backup Exec 2010 should be my first choice, as it'll last longer under current support than 12.5, which will approach EOL soon.

Has anyone got any perspective they could add to this? Right now, I'm leaning towards biting the bullet and going with 2010.

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6 Answers 6

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I would tend to 2010 . ESX support looks better in 2010 and the dedupe feature is rather nice. All looks good in the demos.

I am about to install on a test server but that won't likley be for a week or so.

New software will likley have issues and you want support. Have you tried pricing Symantec Business Critical Support as an add on? It used to be called Platinum support. I have used it for several products and always had good support and good people on the phones. Gold was rather poor at times.

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My experience with Backup Exec mirrors yours:

  • There is always a "shaking down" period during which features of a new version can be expected to behave strangely or just plain old-fashioned not work at all (even if they worked just fine in a previous version).
  • If you are using a previous version and you have any issues with it, the first thing you will be told is "upgrade to the latest version".

What I would do is stay with 12.5 and arrange a support contract with a third party. There are plenty of companies who provide this kind of support, it can be done without spending huge amounts of money, and I think you will need it anyway as Symantec's support can be shockingly bad at times (have a look through their forums if you need evidence).

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Maybe this should be a comment not an answer, but I'd go with 2010. Based on demos and webinars, the dedupe and virtual server backup capabilities look to me like a big improvement. We've looked at Enterprise Vault before, and having some of that built in is a plus.

You say "about to implement," certainly if that means a month or so away, I'd go with 2010. We'll take longer, but I'd expect to upgrade w/in 9 months, hopefully closer to 6.

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Which version of ESX are you targeting for (which I assume means you're going to be using the VMware Virtual Infrastructure agents to backup your VMs). Targetting 3.x servers requires that you use VCB, which means having a secondary VM appliance that you run as a proxy between the VMs getting backed up and the Backup Exec media server. This is supported by both BE 12.5 and BE 2010

However, ESX 4 has the new vStorage APIs. These new APIs allow backup software to target the VMs directly without the VCB proxy. In fact, VMware just sent out an announcement saying they were going to completely depreciate VCB with the next release of ESX, and rely solely on the APIs. BE 12.5 does not support the vStorage APIs, and requires using VCB to backup VMs. BE 2010 does have the APIs support required.

Data deduplication looks to be an awsome, must have feature. Greatly reduce the disk space required for your backups. Lastly, you never mentioned if you're under extended support, and get the free upgrade to 2010 anyways. Cost is always a factor in these decisions.

We're going to be moving to 2010 because of the new VM backup models. Testing will probably begin with that in a month or so.

Haven't read anything yet about the stability of 2010 (which seems to be your real sticking point), either good or bad. To early to tell really, as it hasn't even been in GA for a month yet. They've been doing private, third-person beta testing since September though, so I imagine that it has to have at least a reasonable amount of stability to it.

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In my experience working with backup exec it's always best to wait just a little bit before deploying the new product. It's essentially the same adage with new os versions is to wait until the 1st service pack is deployed so that they can work out the kinks. I'd also recommend doing testing before deployment as well.

We are running backup exec 12.5 as the primary backup software appliance.

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In my experience working with ndmp with different nas boxes. If we don't installed backup exec latest updates with service packs, we will get error message while performing file level restores. second thing is if we want to generate catalog of this tapes on any server that server also need to be upto date updated with latest service packs and updates. If not it is not possible to view the contents of backup tapes.

Both source and target backup servers should have same service pack and patch versions.

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