Did anyone notice the rather impressive Backup Exec test report on SP2 that came out in May (the Service Pack came out in May and the Report in June) … to be precise. BE 12.5 SP2 went GA on 18th May via FileConnect. The whole point of SP2 was to improve speed and performance of Backup Exec. It also had a few new fixes and enhancements, but was mainly to provide enhanced performance for 12.5 and earlier versions.
Backup Performance Is Important
All backup jobs have some performance impact on the system that is being backed up. We have been living with such phrases as “The Shrinking Backup Window” for this very reason – and for years. Inevitably, for the period of time that a system is being backed up, the hard drive is busy reading files in order to carry out the backup. You usually have to run this type of process when it is less likely to impact the system, when the IT bandwidth is not needed for other business processes – over night, or at the weekend for example when other system resources are minimal and the backup job will have the least amount of interference on normal business operations.
If, however, a backup job overruns its allotted backup window you have to decide if it is more important to continue with the backup and lengthen the backup window or abort the backup altogether. By improving backup performance IT is more likely to be able to maintain overall business productivity, and perhaps even reduce their backup windows. Which is a good thing.
Last year we ran a small survey (1,000 respondents) to a bunch of customers who were using legacy versions of BE and discovered that over 50% named “performance” and “speed” as major key influencing factors that would drive them to upgrade. What was interesting was that a large proportion of these BE customers were unaware of all the enhancements we’ve made to BE over the past few years – not just performance.
So Symantec tested SP2 against previous versions of BE and came up with some pretty impressive results:
Compared to prior versions of Backup Exec, Backup Exec 12.5 with SP2 provides:
- 40 percent plus performance improvement in backup transfer rates of a Windows Server® 2003 OS Volume
- 70 percent performance improvement in backup transfer rates of a Windows Server® 2008 OS Volume
- 100 percent performance improvement in incremental backup of Microsoft® Exchange 2003 and 2007
The conclusion is that BE 12.5 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) provides faster backup times compared to previous versions of the product. By upgrading to BE 12.5 with SP2, you can dramatically improve your backup speeds and overall performance, reduce backup windows, and maintain business productivity. Not only that but you will gain a considerable range of enhanced features and functions, such as optimised Microsoft application recovery, granular recovery, virtual machine protection and enhanced system protection.
The right resource, at the right time, for the right cost
Most of us never really have the time (or inclination for that matter) to design and deploy a really great solution backup strategy based on BE and/or BESR. There are a whole raft of really good partners of Symantec’s who do this and can help customers get the best out of their BE deployment as well as keep the environment up to date. In order to compliment services offered by partners there are a number of fixed priced service offerings from Symantec to help support both customers and partners accelerate the successful implementation and upgrade of Backup Exec and Backup Exec System Recovery when resources can be limited.
The services are suitable for Small Business customers whose environments range in size from 1 to 10 servers. The fixed price gives the customer the comfort of knowing that the project will never exceed their allocated budgets providing a number of key benefits:
- Minimise the risks associated with new technology implementation
- Focus on core business support and enablement
- Accelerates the time to benefit from Backup Exec investments
- Provide Symantec expertise to effectively plan, deploy, and optimise a business-resilient solution
- Symantec insight into improved performance
- Ensure ‘Best practice installation and support’ directly from Symantec.
There are 3 key services that Symantec provides specifically designed with Small Businesses in mind.
- Implementation services:
The implementation service is applicable to new Small Business customers and will include the installation of 1 Backup Exec server and 5 Backup Exec Agents.
- Upgrade services:
The upgrade service initiates the upgrade of Symantec Backup Exec version 9 or above to version 12.5.and is applicable to Small Business customers that have 1 Backup Exec server.
- Remote Agent Implementation Services:
The final option is for existing Backup Exec customers to ensure that their entire environment is backed up and Symantec will implement up to 10 Backup Exec Agents within the customers IT estate.
If you would like further information about any of these services your partner can let you have additional details. Given that whatever else you gamble with, backup shouldn’t be one of them now might be the time to look at ensuring your backup is the right solution for your business today.