Symantec’s Backup Exec was the incumbent go-to backup software or appliance. It was their race to lose and in recent years, they had done almost everything they can to give up that position. Interface changes and lagging support for new operating systems had customers looking elsewhere. Customers were fleeing to competition like Veeam and others just to be rid of Symantec’s Backup Exec product.
Then came a reinvestment by Symantec into making Backup Exec better. The teams responsible have been more transparent and more engaging with the community to hear concerns and explain that they are in the process of catching up. For example, Symantec reposted their blog article to Reddit and also did an AMAA (Ask Me Almost Anything) with some of the Backup Exec team.
With the launch of Backup Exec 2014, renamed from the planned Backup Exec 2012 R2, we can hope that Symantec has figured out many of the design issues and how to stay on top of the current operating systems for the sake of anybody with Backup Exec.
Along with some capabilities of working with cloud appliances, Backup Exec 2014 has caught up again with their new features.
What’s new in Backup Exec 2014?
- Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 support: Backup Exec now fully supports Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
- Superior visibility into backup jobs: We heard you loud and clear. The Backup Exec job monitor is back. You can monitor the status of all backup jobs from a single view, giving you visibility into the status of your backup jobs. In addition, save time and simplify the creation of backup jobs by backing up and managing multiple servers with a single backup job.
- Simplified upgrade/migration process: Many of you asked us to simplify the migration process to the latest version. If you are using Backup Exec 12.5, 2010 or 2012 you can upgrade and keep your jobs and settings intact, simplifying the move to Backup Exec 2014.
- Granular recovery for Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013: Backup Exec granular recovery technology (GRT) is now available for Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013. From a single-pass backup, you can quickly recover granular objects such as Exchange email and SharePoint documents.
- Optimized performance: In our internal testing, Backup Exec 2014 has shown up to 100% faster backup and deduplication speeds compared to previous versions of the software.
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Symantec also plans on keeping up. The first service pack is already planned for September 2014 with new service packs coming every 90 days after that.
You can find Backup Exec 2014 documentation like the Administrator’s Guide, a product Read Me, and a Performance and Tuning Guide on Symantec’s knowledge base.