Have you ever seen pictures of the control room in a power generation plant? It’s an entire wall of dials, knobs, and gauges, all telling you important bits of information about the system. That’s great – and probably necessary! – if your only job was to manage that power plant. But as an IT professional, you have lots of daily jobs; some of you manage Exchange, SQL Server, firewalls, security, storage, servers, you name it. Backup and recovery might be only one of the many jobs you do on a daily basis. And here at Symantec, we don’t want your backup application to be like that power plant – we want you to be
able to sit down, do what you need to do, and get on with your day.
Backup Exec has an entirely new user interface. You’re going to like it – it’s simpler, more intuitive, and much easier to navigate. We’ve also taken a lot of time to keep all those great features you are used to in previous versions of Backup
Exec – so this interface is going to appeal to the new Backup Exec user and the seasoned professional. At-a-glance status is easily available in Backup Exec 2012, both from servers you are protecting and from the storage you are using to store your backups. The latest version of Backup Exec is just a cleaner, more intuitive way to manage your backup and recovery environment.
We’ve also included a new way to create and manage backup jobs and policies. No longer do you need an advanced degree in Data Protection to set up disk-to-disk-to-tape backups or replicate data between sites – the new Backup Stages feature shows you, in graphical detail, how your backup data will be transferred, when it will be backed up, and where it’s going to be transferred to.
Speaking of backups, how many of you just want to create backups to protect your critical servers and applications without any headaches? How many of you would rather not pore over every detail of application backups? Well, if that sounds like you, Backup Exec has made it much easier for you to set up backup jobs, because we have included some seriously intelligent defaults – based off our own expertise in data protection and by taking the most successful backup configurations from
our customers and partners – and building them into Backup Exec. If you want to get into the nuts and bolts of backup job creation, however, Backup Exec has all the same great features and customizability you have used before – so you have the right tools to get the job done.
With Backup Exec, we’ve also stepped up our “telemetry” program – gathering non-personally identifiable information from our customers and partners who choose to participate in the program. This gives us invaluable intelligence about how backups and restores are working in the field, and we have used that information extensively to make Backup Exec the easiest to use, full-featured data protection application for physical or virtual environments on the market.
Be one of the first to find out what other new ground breaking backup and recovery features are coming soon in Backup Exec.
Visit the Countdown to Better Backup web site here: http://bit.ly/yenx3z
By Aidan Finley … Symantec’s Aidan Finley talks about simplifying intelligent backup: http://bit.ly/vHJXoa #BetterBackup [Video]
How to help reduce the amount of data you backup …
BEDAT – What’s that?
The Backup Exec Deduplication Assessment Tool (BEDAT) is a utility designed to help partners demonstrate the value of Backup Exec and its deduplication technology to their customers – without having to have Backup Exec installed on the system! BEDAT scans user-selected data sets on one or more Windows-based systems in a customer’s network environment and estimates the deduplication savings that would be experienced if the same systems were protected using Backup Exec or the Backup Exec 3600 Appliance and deduplication – using the same algorithms used in BE itself. BEDAT returns global deduplication results, per resource deduplication results, and per data type deduplication results. BEDAT does not actually capture or transport any customer data during the assessment process; it only captures deduplication fingerprint information and transmits this data to be included in deduplication results.
How does it work?
The Backup Exec Deduplication Assessment Tool (BEDAT) installs to almost any Windows-based, x86 or x64 computer system. When run, it can calculate deduplication results for the system on which it is installed, as well as other systems available on the network. When capturing deduplication data from remote network systems, a small agent is temporarily installed to the remote servers and removed after deduplication calculations have been completed. BEDAT is designed to be as simple and as easy to use as possible. It is a wizard-driven utility that does not require any specific IT expertise to use successfully.
Who is it for?
The Backup Exec Deduplication Assessment Tool (BEDAT) is designed to be used by Backup Exec partners as they help customers understand the storage optimisation benefits of the deduplication technology found in Backup Exec. If you are a customer please feel free to ask your Symantec IT supplier to provide this service.
Where can Partners get it?
The Backup Exec Deduplication Assessment Tool (BEDAT) is available for partners to download at the Symantec PartnerNet site. For end user customers interested in using BEDAT in their environments, please contact a local Symantec partner and talk to them about how Backup Exec can help optimise your backup storage and network utilisation.
What platforms and data types are supported?
The Backup Exec Deduplication Assessment Tool (BEDAT) supports Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 x86 and x64 platforms, including both physical and virtual systems. It supports estimating deduplication results for file system data, Exchange data, and SQL data.
Please note: while designed to be highly accurate, the results offered by the Backup Exec Deduplication Assessment Tool (BEDAT) represent estimates of the storage savings that would be gained by using Backup Exec deduplication technology.
Very loosely, we were instructed to delete everything pre dot com bubble bursting (2000), keep everything post and now we are fast running out of data centre disk allocation space, err?
In fact it’s wonder we manage to do anything given the amount of information we need to process. As a consequence we are now facing a greater threat – too much information. There are somewhere between 60 to 160 Billion mails sent around the world every single day. These emails include attachments such as reports, presentations, letters and pictures. In spite of the limitations such as privacy and too much unwanted mail, email is the best way to communicate efficiently, quickly and cheaply. The danger with email, as with any other way of sharing information, is that too much information simply clogs the system up and become a bottleneck to productivity.
Here are some useful top tips that may help:
- Understand the new business user – organisations must better understand the challenges employees are facing when navigating the world of information management. Look at when and how employees are accessing their information, make sure that data is indexed and categorised, and that intelligent archiving and search tools are available
- Prepare the infrastructure – with the relentless flow of information only set to continue, IT infrastructure must be able to cost effectively manage the increasing requirements for storage by implementing solutions able to dedupe and archive appropriately, automate processes and monitor and report on system status across all different devices and environments
- Prepare people – create IT policies that educate employees on how to manage their information – from email practices like limiting the ‘CC’ and ‘reply to all culture’, to saving only the latest document version and overcoming the fear of the delete button. Help employees understand the company’s information retention strategy so they know what information is recoverable. This will empower them to take charge of information control and maintain productivity and efficiency
- Keep security front of mind – it seems like an obvious statement, but reinforcing company security policies around mobile devices could protect against significant and damaging data loss. Make sure employees know the company processes and take advantage of technologies that enable the IT department to see where the most important information is, at all times
- Encourage staff to switch off – with the information era in full swing and with more and more opportunity for employees to stay connected at all times, it’s important that organisations support staff welfare and encourage them to switch off every once in a while
Seriously consider optimising your storage to reduce overall front end storage usage. Improving capacity can be done through integrated archiving and deduplication as well as tiering your storage. Archiving moves old data to a separate store so you don’t have to backup the same data day-in, day-out – forever. Deduplication only backs up data (at a block level) once, using a pointer to the unique data. So you can both reduce the amount you backup as well as dramatically reducing your backup window with archiving and data deduplication.
But, I hear you say, if I implement deduplication technology what are the benefits? Well, Backup Exec can help with that too. Read all about the Backup Exec Deduplication Assessment Tool in Part III.
Yes, it’s true – we are becoming a nation of information addicts – at least according to a survey Symantec recently carried out. Symantec wanted to find out more about how the so-called information explosion is affecting the everyday lives of British office workers. What was abundantly clear is that we are all suffering from this 21st century ailment – Information Overload – sounds like a Tom Cruise film, or AC/DC album – and it is overtaking not only our working lives, but our personal ones too.
Accessing work information out of hours, compulsively checking emails, texts and social media and hoarding endless emails and multiple versions of the same file are all symptoms of information overload experienced by those we surveyed. See the stats here.
But whereas the technology enabling us to do this (fantastic mobile devices and faster connectivity) all purport to make us more productive in the workplace, is our mismanagement of information actually counter-productive?
IDC has recently estimated that in 2011 over 1.8 Zetabytes of information was created and replicated (IDC, “The 2011 Digital Universe Study: Extracting Value from Chaos”) and if we go by Moore’s Law this will continue to grow almost immeasurably over the coming years. What does this mean for our state of mind and the systems we work with – will we reach a moment when we are essentially ‘drowning’ in information?
Not if the technologies that store and manage information also continue to improve. We are working very hard to make managing information easier, faster and more efficient for businesses of all sizes. This means making sure that what is actually useful and valuable is stored, archived and backed up correctly, while the rest is relegated to permanent deletion.
But technology can only go so far, some of the onus is still on businesses and individuals to moderate their work behaviour to take into account this new work paradigm.
Part II – What can we do about it?