Symantec Backup Exec 2012 SP1 Notes

Symantec Backup Exec 2012 SP1, is a highly featured backup product, that will backup virtual and physical environments, can backup to different media types (disk, deduplication devices, tape, ...), can perform inline dedupe, restore physical to virtual, restore virtual to physical, disaster recovery onto different hardware, and more! The following post provides a quick run down of Backup Exec 2012 product features with some additional notes compiled from various sources.

Note: SP1 (released June 2012) addressed the 'unable to view all jobs' complaint from the pre-SP1 version by adding a "View All Jobs" button.

Comment: for pure virtual environments (VMware and now Hyper-V,) Veeam Backup and Replication comes highly recommend – but if you have a mixture of physical and virtual, or want to backup to tape ... and want one product that can do everything, then you need to look at something like Symantec Backup Exec 2012 or Dell's AppAssure.

Physical and Virtual Environment Protection
One product: Complete data, application, and system protection for physical and virtual environments from one console
One agent for VM environments: Backup unlimited Windows and Linux Guest VMs to disk or tape with a single agent (*licensed per vSphere Host or Hyper-V host)
Deduplication: Advanced deduplication for physical and virtual backups; with granular file and application recovery from a single online, image-level backup

Advanced VMware and Hyper-V support

VMware virtual machine protection:
- Image-level VM protection
- Direct backup; no proxy server
- Application protection through VSS

Data reduction technologies:
- Optimized data deduplication
- Block optimization
- Incremental, differential backups

Single pass backup, all recovery options:
- Full VM recovery
- Application recovery
- Granular application recovery
- Granular file/folder recovery
- Redirected recovery

Enhanced (in BE2012) Microsoft Hyper-V support
Block optimization – ignores empty space within a VHD
Change block tracking – enables differential and incremental backups
VHD stream handler – increases deduplication efficiency, especially across VMs*
*The inline dedupe works most effectively when VMs of similar type are grouped into the same job.

Backup and Convert to Virtual
Convert to Virtual (P2V) – parallel data streams, one to media server and the other to hypervisor
Backup to Virtual (B2V) – serial data streams, backup stream to media server, then conversion job runs after
Note: Additionally does Virtual to Virtual (V2V) and Virtual to Physical (V2P)

Backup Exec 2012 Offsite Replication Enhancements
Deduplicated backups replicated without rehydration
Can target most Symantec deduplication servers/appliances
Example: BE2012 Server A on Site A replicating deduped backups to BE2012 Server B on Site B.

Backup Exec 2012 Linux Deduplication Enhancements
Note: Deduplication option needs to be purchased!
Client-side deduplication support for Linux Serversdeduplication calculations happen at the Linux server (client-side) with the Agent for Linux only transmitting deduplicated data to the media server

Integrated Bare Metal Recovery using the Backup Exec 2012 Disaster Recovery Disk
Note: no additional license required.
Integrated bare metal recovery
Integrated bare metal, dissimilar hardware recovery (could be used to perform an upgrade from old hardware to new!)
Note: The Disaster Recovery Disk is a 1.3+ GB DVD packed with drivers; there is a 32-bit version and 64-bit version. A customized Disaster Recovery Disk with additional storage and network drivers, can be created from the media server. Additionally, the media server can run a scan of remote hardware to collect drivers.

Credit: Much of the information above came from the "Backup Exec 2012: Technical Sales Training" YouTube video by Jason Conine of Tech Data

Additional Resources: (can obtain the 60-day trial from here!)

Appendix A: System Requirements for Backup Exec 2012 Server *see be_2012_scl.pdf
Installer: Comes in a 32-bit or 64-bit version.
CPU: Intel Pentium, Xeon, AMD, or compatible.
OS: Windows Server 2003 SP2+ (& SBS 2003 SP2+)
Note: Cannot install onto Windows Server Core (but can install the agent on Server Core.)
Memory: 512MB above O/S requirements, 2GB or more recommended for better performance
Installation size: 1.44GB (Typical) or 2.32GB (All options) + additional space of database and catalogs.
Applications: IE 7.0 or later. SQL Server 2005 with SP4 or SQL Server Express 2005 with SP4 or above is required (cannot install SQL on a Windows 2008 RODC because does not let you use the local accounts that are required; if installing on Windows 2008 RODC must select a remote SQL instance.)
*Backup Exec 2012 SP1 comes bundled with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express.

Appendix B: The Symantec Backup Exec Family
Desktop and Laptop Option
Backup Exec
Backup Exec Small Business Edition
Backup Exec V-Ray Edition
System Recovery
Backup Exec 3600 (appliance)

Appendix C: List of Backup Exec 2012 Agents & Options *see BE2012_agents_options_datasheet.pdf

List of Backup Exec 2012 Agents:
Backup Exec Agent for VMware and Hyper-V
Backup Exec Agent for Applications and Databases
- Protection for Exchange
- Protection for SQL Server
- Protection for SharePoint
- Protection for Active Directory
- Protection for Enterprise Vault
- Protection for Lotus Domino Server
- Protection for Oracle on Windows and Linux Servers
Backup Exec Agent for Windows
Backup Exec Agent for Linux
Backup Exec Remote Media Agent for Linux Servers
Backup Exec Agent for Macintosh

List of Backup Exec 2012 Options:
Backup Exec Deduplication Option
Enterprise Server Option
- Backup Exec Advanced Disk-Based Backup Option
- Backup Exec Central Admin Server Option
- Backup Exec SAN Shared Storage Option
Backup Exec NDMP Option
Backup Exec Library Expansion Option
Virtual Tape Library Unlimited Drive Option
Backup Exec Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option
Backup Exec File System Archiving Option
Symantec Desktop and Laptop Option


  1. Great post. I am doing research on disaster recovery for a paper that I am writing. Thanks for the great information, it is very helpful!


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