Backup Exec 2012 Migration Tip … Creating Groups in BE 2012

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:

  1. Create all you servers you want to amend into a single group (Ctrl+Click)
  2. Click “Edit Backups” on the toolbar
  3. You get a list of all the server assets you selected, click on the checkbox in the header to select all the servers
  4. Select “OK” taking you into the “multi-edit” view where you can make changes across all the selected backups at one time.
  5. In this case click on “edit” on the backup stage
  6. Click on the Storage tab, change the media overwrite option from “Overwrite media” to “Append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is available”
  7. 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!



2 Responses to “Backup Exec 2012 Migration Tip … Creating Groups in BE 2012”

  1. Randy Turney on May 22nd, 2012

    Sending this out to all VAR account managers and a host of commercial channel managers to mitigate the complaints we’re hearing about server vs job centric workflows.

    Nice job Gareth!


  2. Gareth Fraser-King on May 23rd, 2012

    Brill – thanks
    Note Link to Tech Note in SymWise “How to back up multiple servers to a single series of tapes in Backup Exec 2012″

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