So I'm looking at our current Backup Exec system and am running into a very basic issue with only a stupidly complex solution as far as I've seen on their site.

Servers back up one at a time.

We have a selection list that has all of our servers on it, I just noticed that there is NO way to get Backup Exec to do multiple streams of all the agents, and that the current solution is to buy Netbackup, which at this point: no.

Recommended solution:

Run with multiple selection lists (I'd probably want something like 5-8 to take advantage of my hard drive speeds), of course this leads to 10-16 backup jobs, and 5-16 to-tape jobs (this is a BIG no-no, I need to be able to consolidate them). While I can probably get by with this, a company with 20-25 servers should NOT have nearly as complicated a setup as this, this is a ridiculous work around IMO.

Some people seem to run with one server per backup! Ack, how do you manage that? That will be like 50 jobs (25 fulls, 25 diffs, I guess policies and templates make it easy to deploy, but changes become a nightmare! Unless policies keep track of jobs they've created and will simply update them (so you don't lose job history)), and I have no clue how you consolidate those 25 backups to one tape backup.

What I need:

Weekly fulls and daily differentials to disk, followed by tape dumps of each one, weeklies consist of about 4-5 tapes, dailies should be about 1-2 in terms of data processed (hence why I don't want 5 tape jobs).

Is there something I'm missing here? Or do I really need to take on the task of micro management of our backup system in order to get the performance out of it that I need (backups are going to start taking 30+ hours for fulls because of this sequential processing of each server, and that gets kind of unacceptable).

What I'm looking to probably do is create a handful of selection lists (server breakdown), two templates (weekly/daily), a policy (our two templates), auto generate the jobs for the selection lists.... but how do I get it to push them all to one tape? Wouldn't a policy make unique jobs for every backup? bleh. :(

Let alone adding new selection lists to the tape backup might get tricky. I guess I can do a folder backup of the to disk dump, but that will make it so the tapes aren't "aware" of the data that is on them (AFAIK), which means I have to restore an entire tape set to browse the backups (bleh).

Also, I would like ONE to tape backup job a day because I currently have a notification go to our helpdesk so we can manage who grabbed the ticket and handled the backup that day (we have other paperwork too, but this helps us know who took responsibility), but if I had to set a tape as appendable for 24 hours and drop this feature I guess I'll live.


So far investigation leads me to:

  • Policy with 4 templates, Daily, Daily duplicate, Weekly, Weekly duplicate. Set tapes to allow appending for 24 hours, and let BackupExec keep appending data to the tapes as each server finishes it's backup (this is good because it will allow me to stream one server to tape while the others finish).

I will lose the ability to auto-report on tapes (that kinda sucks) and I seem to be unable to auto-eject media.

If there are any corrections I can make, please advise. :)

  • 1
    It appears to me that you only have one problem: You're trying to use the wrong tool for the job. If BackupExec won't do the job you want it to do then either get a more appropriate tool or accept that you've got the wrong one and learn to live with it. Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 4:20
  • I agree with you simply from the standpoint of constantly locked queued jobs and unavailable media on 5 disks that are supposed to accept 20 jobs minimum (15 jobs are queued), but I have to try to work with what I've inherited. Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 8:36

3 Answers 3


The answer is - buy netbackup. It shouldn't suprise you that there are 2 products from the same compqany with builtin limitations on at least one of them. Or live with what you have. the solution you came up with (and are aware of the implications of) seems reasonable. Yes it kinda sucks- thus change the limitations by changing the software (btw why do you need to stick with symantec?)

  • Financial reasons, we poured thousands into BackupExec (I walked into this mess). I've actually ran with the above setup, with my biggest problem being the media server not doing multiple backup to disks in parallel (and various other critical stability issues such as the server starting two pvlsvr.exe processes and causing the media library to go offline), with policies it isn't really bad at all outside BE being stupidly unstable. Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 8:34
  • However, we're looking towards Veeam for our virtual environment, it doesn't do to-tapes... outside of something like Bacula and Amanda (my first choices) what would you recommend to push that data to tape? Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 21:18

It looks like the best setup for me is going to consist of this:

  • 1 Policy
  • 4 Templates (Daily differentials, Weekly fulls, and duplicates of each).
  • 2 Media Sets(File, set for overwrite @ 6 days, and tape set to append for 2 days, overwrite @ 6 days).
  • 15 Selection lists (one per server).
  • 5 B2D devices in a pool.

They'll all fire at the same time, writing in parallel to multiple folders (on different drives), as each job complete it queues to write on the tape.

And I'll probably just schedule reports to be run and e-mailed every morning at like 7am or something to keep the helpdesk system working.

With policies management and updating is easy (backup exec keeps everything linked, so I'm somewhat happy there), the only issues I run into is BackupExec not balancing my B2D load (it currently is running 10 backups off of one drive, so I'm limiting it to 3 jobs per B2D folder to see if I can cause the media server to force the jobs to more properly distribute themselves).


I'm at the same point here. Our "projectguys" gave me this product, called Backup Exec 2012 which is for more than a few server just unusable!

Get HP Data Protector, this will do the better job, you can stream as much a you want, you can do Lanless backups, you have a good fast GUI, you have fine reporting, you have not the feeling of playing around with a colured playstation software! It's just soooo much better than BE! And after all, if you need some integration for VMware / HyperV / Xen, you can wait with BE for years until any decent version is supported.

Thx a lot Symantec!

Ah, sorry for this, but I had to get rid of a few frustrating hours of reading Symantec BE performance issues, compatiblity issues, migration issues, restore issues...

In my opinion, buy Netbackup, HP Data Protector or an other product. But for more servers BE is just really unusable!

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