Upgrading is usually a painful and arduous process – this is certainly true of any software upgrade, especially when there is an approach reengineering that takes place to enhance a product dramatically and certainly not limited to BE. A number of you have found the move and upgrade to BE 2012 – policies appear to have disappeared – you have to have a job for each server.
Policies haven’t gone, they appear per server and because the UI is asset centric (per server) you do have one policy for each server. But that doesn’t mean you have to write hundreds of polices – one for each server. The BE 2012 experience includes all jobs you need to backup your server and to duplicate those data from one storage to another, i.e. disk to tape in a single policy for that server.
I’ve heard that customers are having issues when they have a bunch of servers that they want to configure in the same way … so in the past you would have written a policy and then associated it with a bunch of servers. In the new version of BE you can still do that: you can build a group and then write a policy for that group. You will still end up with a policy for each server but you won’t have to write the same policy for a hundred of servers or more. The thing is that it really isn’t that obvious how to make the group in the first place. Actually, when you think about it, it really is obvious … ctrl select!
If with a previous version of BE you had a single job that protected several (sometimes 10s – 100s of servers) when you upgrade to BE 2012 it creates a single policy into separate jobs for each server protected. If you have already migrated, should you need to change any settings you will need to make a change across all those new jobs … painful? Not at all, you can change the setting for all of your backups at the same time and end up with one job per server, but all those jobs created in a single process (just like in BE 2010) and have an identical configuration. If you want to change a configuration on a group of servers or an individual server you can do this.
If you need to do this select all the servers that have the overwrite media option set by Shift+Clicking or Ctrl+Clicking, or by selecting a containing group. This is the way you can create groups in BE 2012, so although you end up with a job per server you can still create single policies and associate with multiple assets. So you can create or change policies or configurations for multiple instances without having to go through each individual server.
One issue we are aware of and will be fixing in a service pack coming out pretty soon, where customers had overwrite option set to “Overwrite media” prior to migration, the migration creates a new policy for each asset and every one of those new jobs will retain all the attributes of the original policy, including the “Overwrite media” setting. This will cause all of those new jobs to request new media.
To do this:
- Create all you servers you want to amend into a single group (Ctrl+Click)
- Click “Edit Backups” on the toolbar
- You get a list of all the server assets you selected, click on the checkbox in the header to select all the servers
- Select “OK” taking you into the “multi-edit” view where you can make changes across all the selected backups at one time.
- In this case click on “edit” on the backup stage
- Click on the Storage tab, change the media overwrite option from “Overwrite media” to “Append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is available”
- Click on OK twice, this changes this option for all those selected servers.
This only changes that option and will not change any other changes or customisations you may have made to other server assets – cool!
We’ve produced a really smart little app – well, it’s not actually an App quite yet, but will be pretty soon – that helps anyone who doesn’t know what all the agents and options for Backup Exec actually do: http://www.symantec.com/redirects/backup_exec/beguide/
I’ve been meaning to do this forever but now I am delighted to announce the newly available website. Launched at VISION EMEA, Barcelona 4-6 October, in a nutshell, this is Backup Exec Guide “Made Simple”. For customers, partners … anyone interested in backup frankly, it drills into each Agent or Option and explains what it does.
This publication is designed to give an overview of Backup Exec 2010 R3. It is aimed at all professionals working in or with Symantec Backup Exec and Symantec System Recovery to improve general knowledge of Symantec’s Data Protection strategy and wider Information Management capabilities. Using this document you should be able to build availability solutions and data protection strategies for all types of organisation.
Maximise the potential of Symantec Backup Exec
Whether you want to go straight to Agents & Options or whether you want to search by Backup priority including Virtualization, Storage Management, Disaster Recovery, Application Recovery or Management & Platform Support, there is a route for you.
The portable website has been designed to be accessed in multiple ways. We will shortly be announcing the BE Guide Mobile App available for iPhone, iPad and Android. More-to-follow.
Find out which Backup Exec Agents and Options are right for your business using this new interactive guide – simply click either to select a business priority or view our complete list of Agents and Options – simple, easy and effective – have a play today.
Adding to the Guide all the time
We will be adding content to the guide as we go – this will be of a technical nature to keep an eye out for updates.
Every so often I write a book that not very many people read … put it this way; I’m not getting inquiring emails from Dan Brown on the state of my sales. To be fair, that’s not why I write. Predominately it’s down to boredom on aeroplanes and occasionally because I think there’s an area that, as IT people, we should focus, or re-focus on.
“Backing up Data in Your Business” has been written in the Smart Questions style, rather than being prescriptive we got through all the questions that as IT professionals from all walks of life we should be considering. Using the Smart Questions template this book has been targeted at the small to medium business, although it is also useful for larger companies, or those who are new to backup. It is primarily targeted at customers but has also been written with VARs (Value Added Resellers) in mind.
It’s pretty basic by moments, so if you are well up on backup today then it’s probably not for you. Where it will have an impact is with bosses who either don’t know what it is you are trying to do as a backup admin or if it’s not core to your skills – in other words you are all things to all men – then it is a list of things you should be thing about when considering your backup strategy.
It would also be a great training manual for any generalist whether vendor, distributor, reseller or end user. From the VAR perspective, this is something they can use to give to their sales force (to help educate them) as well as to their customers to make sure that they buy the appropriate solution. By educating the end-user it is possible to speed up the sales cycle and expand the sale as the customer is more aware of what technology is available to them to improve their backup solution, removing some of the pain points both from an end user perspective as well as the reseller point of view.
The first few chapters of the book look at the background as to why backup is important and how it has evolved – and why it turns out to be more complicated than first expected. (This is a sentiment echoed by small business, which start out with the best intentions and then give up as there are too many options and too much jargon… “All I wanted was a simple backup for my data…”)
The bulk of the book are the smart questions – organised in sections to help with understanding the need and building a business case internally, followed by more in depth questions on backup technology and on finding a supplier or an on-line backup service provider. Each question is kept relatively short, with a slightly longer explanation as to why the question is important. Finally there is a chapter with some case studies and what to do next.
The book has an ISBN number and is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I’m at to TechED in Berlin … great party for the fall of the Berlin Wall 2009 (shameful timing) – once again Microsoft mess up my weekend. Windows Server 2008 R2 is pretty bold and it will have a significant impact on the market. Piles of guys I have spoken to are interested in the new capabilities.
There are some significant features in the R2 operating system that can help to boost productivity and help administrators gain more management control. It will be of specific interest to companies that have an extensive investment, or plans a complex deployment, of Hyper-V-based virtualisation; any company that has vast swaths of Windows servers in data centres where space, power or both are becoming tight; as well as any company that is planning to deploy Windows 7 on a wide scale in the near future.
In terms of support for R2 BE is already there with Backup Exec 12.5 for Windows Servers revision 2213 Hotfix 331998. This hot-fix contains recommended fixes for Backup Exec for Windows Servers version 12.5 revision 2213. New support for Windows 2008 R2 (RAWS – Remote Agent Support Only) and a Agent for VMware Virtual Infrastructure fix (AVVI).
- Backup Exec 12.5 revision 2213 32bit Media Servers
- Backup Exec 12.5 revision 2213 x64bit Media Servers
Before installing this hotfix, Backup Exec for Windows 12.5 Service Pack 2 must be installed. Service Pack 2 can be obtained here: http://library.veritas.com/docs/334937. Administrative privileges are required to install this hotfix.
A full backup is recommended after installing this hotfix. Backup Exec Remote Agents must be updated
- Backup Exec 12.5 or Windows Servers revision 2213 Hotfix 327135 – 32 bit download: http://support.veritas.com/docs/334937
- Backup Exec 12.5 for Windows Servers revision 2213 Hotfix 327135 – 64 bit download: http://support.veritas.com/docs/334938
After applying Backup Exec 12.5 Hotfix 328462, an Agent for VMWare Virtual Infrastructure (AVVI) backup job with the “Granular Recovery Technology” (GRT) option enabled, completes with the exception “Failed to mount one or more virtual disk images” (For more details please refer to this document: http://support.veritas.com/docs/331927)
Installation Guide – The installation guide here contains general information for installing Backup Exec product updates as well as special instructions for configurations including CPS, Remote Agents for Windows Servers, Remote Agent for Linux/Unix/Macintosh Server (RALUS/RAMS), Clustered Backup Exec, Shared Storage (SSO) installations, Central Admin Servers (CASO) installations, and SAP/R3 Oracle Agents. http://support.veritas.com/docs/300795
Backup Exec 12.5 released an Agent for Enterprise Vault, which is designed to offer complete protection for Enterprise Vault 7.5 implementations. When Enterprise Vault 8.0 was released, architectural changes in EV 8.0 made the Backup Exec 12.5 Agent for Enterprise Vault unable to automatically protect all aspects of Enterprise Vault. An integrated solution will be in the next version of BE. In the meantime …
For customers who have not purchased the Agent for Enterprise Vault, and wish to protect Enterprise Vault manually with a combination of Backup Exec Agent for SQL Server and Agent for Windows Systems, refer to the following Tech Note: http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/docs/312327.htm
The Backup Exec 12.5 Agent for Enterprise Vault contains all of the building blocks necessary to protect Enterprise Vault 8.0. Customers who have purchased the Agent for Enterprise Vault do not need to purchase any additional Agents/Options to fully protect Enterprise Vault with Backup
The following procedure will create several jobs which will result in complete protection for the Enterprise Vault 8.0 infrastructure.
When the Agent for Enterprise Vault is installed on each member server in the Enterprise Vault infrastructure, the Enterprise Vault entities shown in the Backup Browse view will form the core of the first job. From the Backup View, expand the “Enterprise Vault” icon, and select the Sites,
Vault Stores, Vault Store Databases, Partitions, Index Locations, Directory Databases, and Monitoring Databases to be backed up in this first job.
This will create a single job that protects these specific entities. This job will keep the EV Services in read-only mode for database consistency purposes.
Create a series of SQL jobs to protect the additional databases introduced in EV 8.0. These databases are the Auditing Database (AuditDB), the FSA Reporting Database (FSAReportingDB), Fingerprint Database (FingerPrintDB), Compliance Accelerator, and Discovery Accelerator databases.
Administrators will need to browse to the appropriate physical server where these databases run in order to select them for protection. The Agent for Enterprise Vault must be licensed and the Remote Agent for Windows Systems must to be installed on any system that hosts an Enterprise Vault database.
These databases do not require Enterprise Vault to be put into ReadOnly or backup mode, and as such can be protected while they are online. The Agent for Enterprise Vault includes all features and functions necessary to consistently protect running Microsoft SQL databases.
1. Create a SQL backup job to protect the Auditing Database (EnterpriseVaultAudit) and the FSA Reporting Database (EnterpriseVaultFSAReporting)
a. Use Full or Incremental (backup transaction log and truncate) backup method.
2. Create a SQL backup job to protect the Fingerprint Database and ExpressVaultStore Databases
a. Use Full, Differential, or incremental (backup transaction log and truncate) backup method.
b. Symantec advises customers to backup the FingerPrint databases after every VaultStore backup. This is to ensure that backup copies of the Fingerprint Database and the physical VaultStore are consistent. In case of a recovery, the closer the FingerPrint Databases and VaultStores are in time will make for a faster recovery process.
3. Create a SQL backup job to backup Compliance Accelerator and Discovery Accelerator databases (i.e. ConfigurationDB, CustomerDB and CustodianDB) if present.
a. Protect Configuration, Customer, Custodian, and other databases using Full, Differential, or Incremental (backup transaction log and truncate) backup methods.
1. BE SP2 Release
There are a number of fixes around GRT including up to a 90% decrease in the time taken to run an incremental GRT backup. Please see the following technote which provides links to and details around the changes and fixes in SP2
Release notes are here:
2. You know I keep banging on about AD … well it’s not just me:
Optimizing Exchange and Active Directory Backup and Recovery – Thursday, 28 May 2009, Written by Pat Hanavan
… and Pat seems to express the whole subject rather better than I do …
3. Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 8.5 Technical Exam and Assessment
Although each product varies in complexity and depth of technical knowledge, all Symantec Technical Specialist accreditation exams (not to be confused with customer certification), are designed for partners and cover core elements measuring technical knowledge against factors such as planning, installation, implementation and high level troubleshooting. Symantec Partners: See Symantec University for Partners and product Training Path to access the exam and recommended courses.
4. Backup Exec 12.5 Video Product Review by David Strom
The video highlights the key features/benefits of the product.
youtube.com – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DhrpeQ9jAM
Date Posted: February 23, 09
I thought it might be of some interest for you to see what everyone is accessing on the Symantec Support Site.
So, here are the top 10 technotes searches …
|How to troubleshoot issues with a Robotic Library or Tape Drive in Backup Exec for Windows Servers.|
|When attempting to run a backup job “Physical Volume Library Drive not available” Error occurs|
|“Corrupt data encountered” (a000fe36 HEX or e000fe36 HEX) is reported when a backup job fails.|
|Symantec Backup Exec ™ 10.1 (10d) for Windows Servers revision 5629 – Service Pack 3 – Includes Critical Security Updates|
|Symantec Backup Exec ™ 10.1 (10d) for Windows Servers revision 5629 – Service Pack 4 – Includes Critical Security Updates|
|How to backup Exchange 2007 with Backup Exec for Windows Servers (BEWS)|
|How to troubleshoot the error “A failure occurred querying the Writer status” (a000fed1 HEX or e000fed1 HEX or 0xfffffed1 HEX) using VSSADMIN|
|Backup fails with the error “AOFO: Initialization failure on: “\\\Shadow?Copy?Components“. Advanced Open File Option used: Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). Snapshot provider error (0x8007000E): Ran out of memory”|
|Granular Restore Technology (GRT) Backup of an Exchange Information Store fails with error “Cannot log on to MAPI with the specified credentials”|
|Backup Exec for Windows Servers – Snapshot provider error (0xE000FED1) A failure occurred querying the Writer status when backing up Exchange 2007.|
|How to perform a local installation of the Backup Exec Remote Agent for Windows Servers or the Advanced Open File Option|
|Backup of a Microsoft Exchange Information Store fails with error “V-79-57344-33928 – Access Denied. Cannot backup directory mailbox database and its subdirectories”|
|Backup or restore job fails with Final error: 0xe00084ed – A hardware error has occurred.|
One of the really cool functions of BE is the Granular Recovery Technology (GRT). By the way, anytime you need more information on any aspect of BE please see the Backup Exec for Windows Servers Administrator’s Guide. In fact, don’t take my word for it, download from here:
Just a few tips to help you get the best out of BE’s GRT:
- Review the requirements for staging locations in the Administrator’s Guide.
- You must use a staging location for GRT-enabled jobs in the following scenarios:
- You back up to or restore from a volume with file size limitations.
- You restore granular items from tape.
- You run an off-host backup job.
- You are better off creating a separate backup-to-disk folder specifically for all GRT enabled backup jobs – this really simplifies media management. You will need to manage the IMG media that GRT enabled jobs create differently than other backup-to-disk media.
- Don’t allocate a maximum size for backup-to-disk files. If you do then you are in danger of getting failed jobs because of low disk space. This is because the backup-to-disk file often occupies extra space since GRT information is stored in IMG media and Backup Exec will only create a backup-to-disk file that is as large as the size that you specified.
- If you are using frequent incremental GRT enabled jobs it is a really good idea to run a full GRT enabled backup job every so often. This is because each incremental GRT enabled job requires a small amount of internal storage. If this storage amount increases too much, it can affect system resources. When you run the full GRT enabled backup job, you make available the storage space that has accumulated from incremental jobs.
12.5 delivers GRT for Exchange, Active Directory, SharePoint Server, and SharePoint Services which gives you the ability to recover granular data quickly and efficiently from a single-pass backup. It means, for example, that you do not have to run Exchange mailbox backups to recover granular data, including documents, list items and user attributes, or properties.
If you are not on Backup Exec 12.5 you really should think about upgrading, if not for the new comprehensive recovery of virtual and physical systems, or enhanced granular data recovery, or the fact that Backup Exec is now integrated with the Symantec ThreatConTM system to automatically manage continuous data protection functionality in an increased threat cycle, but for the fact that the new version of Backup Exec enhances the management capabilities around managing disk and tape based backup – across the board.
The great thing about upgrading is its simplicity. Now you can run the Backup Exec Environment Check on the computer on which you want to install Backup Exec, before you actually install Backup Exec for real. This makes sure that the installation process can complete. If there are any configuration issues the environment check kicks out warnings that tell you if there are configuration issues that can be fixed or that will prevent the BE installation.
I would also suggest that you install the storage device controller, drives, robotic libraries on the media server (following the documentation included with your storage device hardware for installation instructions, of course) and check that your Windows security settings to make sure they work properly with the Backup Exec service account.
If the drive on which you want to install Backup Exec is encrypted or compressed, and you would like to use a default SQL Express database, verify that an unencrypted and uncompressed drive is available for SQL Express installation.
Check the computer name of the computer on which you want to install Backup Exec. It should only use standard ANSI characters. You may receive errors if you install Backup Exec on a computer with a name that uses non-standard characters.
Oh, and exit everything before you start.
So, for upgrades from 11d or more recent then no separate migration or upgrade utility is necessary. Most settings and all catalogs and data directories from previous versions of Backup Exec are kept. At the end of the installation, the upgrade process is summarised. Before you upgrade delete job histories and catalogs that you no longer need to shorten the upgrade window and then run a database maintenance job.
Like most application installs Backup Exec has a default location for both the program files as well as all the existing catalogs and data. You do not have to keep previous catalogs and data and there is an option during the install process that allows you to continue with the upgrade without backing up existing data. Just a word of warning, you cannot change the database location during the upgrade process. If you want to change the database location after the upgrade, use BEUtility.
Following the install make sure that your storage devices are connected and configured properly and decide if your backup will be to a tape device or a disk device. You can configure both devices when you prepare your Backup Exec environment. If you’re backing up to a tape device, make sure the device is supported. You can install drivers for the devices when you configure your Backup Exec environment. If you’re backing up to disk using the Backup-to-Disk feature, decide where you can create a backup folder. You should create it on a disk that won’t be included in the backup jobs and that has enough free space to contain the backup job.