back to article Symantec: We 'stubbed our toe' on Backup Exec, but we'll be fine

Symantec's new broom CEO has presided over record final quarter - at least for revenues - and full year 2013 results. This is despite the company being in the middle of a management clear-out, profits droop and wholesale sales operation revamp. Revenues for the fourth quarter, which finished on 29 March, were $1.75bn, a record …


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  2. Vince

    They stubbed toes, I broke my leg with Backup Exec.

    Backup Exec. Ah yes, the product I dumped a few years ago because nothing works properly, it's unreliable, it often won't restore, the features are never well executed ("now you can do disk to disk to tape" they said... um yeah, but I'm basically backing up the server multiple times, whereas real DDT would do the backup once, then mirror the backup to another site etc).

    That kind of madness pushed me over the edge, never mind its ridiculous error condition handling, the shockingly inept support, the never ending bengine has crashed faults, the jobs gone on hold forever for no reason conditions.

    If they stubbed toes on that product, I sure as hell broke my leg. Twice.

    Several years on and I spend less on backup software, I get a completely reliable environment I trust and I spend just a couple of hours a week on backup tasks, whereas Backup Exec made it a daily chore.

    1. RonWheeler

      Re: They stubbed toes, I broke my leg with Backup Exec.

      Agreed. Truly flaky cantankerous unreliable product. It is just about usable for some specific small jobs, like databases. Trying to backup / recover whole systems with it is sheer error-plagued soul-destroying folly.


      1. Magister

        Re: They stubbed toes, I broke my leg with Backup Exec.

        Been there, got the t-shirt (and the scars).

        The day that I was able to stop using it, I really did feel like the world was a better place. Then 4 years later, I'm working at a company where they are still trying to make it work; they've just bought a brand new fire proof safe to store the obscene number of tapes they need; and they are still not protecting everything yet.

        I feel your pain

      2. Roger Greenwood

        Re: They stubbed toes, I broke my leg with Backup Exec.

        I wonder if one of the reasons it has been so popular in small businesses is because the resellers get a nice fat profit margin, compared to the alternatives?. Nothing to do with technical advantage. Just wondering . . . (as an ex-small business user).

        1. Tom 13

          Re: reasons it has been so popular in small businesses

          Once upon a time, long, long ago it was a decent product. But that's so far back in computer time, most people don't remember it any more. Sort of like MS was with MS-DOS.

          1. Vince

            Re: reasons it has been so popular in small businesses

            You mean when VERITAS made it... Yeah I remember those days...

  3. K

    Dish out dividends to keep shareholders smiling

    Another CEO which has his priorities wrong - Profit comes from the customer, not the shareholders. What he should be doing is dishing out free software to keep customers smiling.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Backup Exec was well overdue a serious overhaul, it was dated and had too many throwbacks internally to it's single system/single tape roots. In particular getting information out of it from the command line was a nightmare (actual useful information, rather than the reports that they want you to have).

    Along comes Backup Exec 2012 and, like so many times in IT a big change results in bitching from sysadmins who can't deal with it. It's never that they can't deal with change and were unprepared for it, but "it's this change, it's change for the sake of it" or "this change is done badly", no always the new software/hardware.

    I really feel for Symantec on this one, and I work for one of their major competitors albeit in Enterprise backup, rather than smaller systems like BEX.

  5. DS 1

    Heh... Backup Exec

    After it ate our servers, and we were good about it, we worked hard with them. They torched us and tried to treat us like idiots. We did all that we did on a promise that the bug would be made public - as would the fix. The renaged on that.

    Will_never_buy_recommend_or be nice about Simantec _ever again.

  6. andy gibson

    Backup Exec - DPM

    In the education sector they've lost a lot of trade from schools ditching Backup Exec and moving to Microsoft DPM, as it comes free as part of the schools agreement.

    1. Vince

      Re: Backup Exec - DPM

      and more importantly, DPM actually works. Practically flawlessly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Backup Exec - DPM

      I really think that MS have a cracking product in DPM, it's got an excellent command line and gui and is very well thought through and implemented. The only problem it has is no client support for Linux or UNIX, if it had this it would be well suited to crush BEX2012. MS really need to sort out their schizophrenic attitude towards Linux, they support it on the hypervisor, part of the System Centre suite, but not in the backup package of the same suite.

      1. RonWheeler

        Re: Backup Exec - DPM

        It can freeze the entire system, so for small appliances it is workable. Anything running a database is likely to suffer though.For MS shops, DPM is fantastic and on charity / edu agreements, very very hard to beat on price.

  7. David Austin

    Backup Exec

    Windows 2012/Windows 8/Exchange 2013 has been available since September. 8 months later, there's still no Backup Exec support for it.

    The BETA of the version which supports it as an Agent has been put back to June.

    The version which supports it as a host is not even publicly roadmapped yet.

    ignoring the usability issues with Job Monitor and multiple jobs to one tape, How can they claim to be tier 1 backup software providers when it looks like their windows server support is lagging by over a year?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Backup Exec

      It's the same with NetBackup as well, I know quite a few otherwise happy NBU users, myself included, who are seething at the amount of time it's taken to produce (or, indeed fail to produce) a Windows 2012 client. They should be utterly ashamed, and under no illusions that this delay will make people leave.

  8. M. B.

    Similar results here...

    We still use it here for tape. I upgraded us from 10 to 12.5, then deployed 2010 at another office. Lots of headaches. 2012 looks prettier and more intuitive but my confidence in the quality of our backups is extremely low. I have since convinced my boss that we need to go up to enterprise-level backup products, when slow jobs stream to tape at 500MB/min and nothing else can write to the tape during that time, it's no surprise that our weekend backups run until Wednesday morning.

  9. The Jase


    "We've made a lot of changes in the team that stubbed its toe in the release on Backup Exec... This was our execution that caused us the problem..."

    No shit Sherlock. Your latest product is a disaster. Tape Backup is not dead, and I'd rather not have to create a different job for each server I have to back up to one tape. Its so awful I am recommending customers to change product.

  10. cybersaur

    Backup Exec

    As a Backup Exec 11d user (actually happy with BE), What would be a good replacement to run on Windows Server 2008R2? I just need to backup Exchange 2010 and some file servers.

    1. Scarborough Dave

      Re: Backup Exec

      I use Acronis and EaseUS, both I have found very good for recovery.

      I find EaseUS much cheaper, but the secure zone on Acronis is very good with a dedicated drive.

      Both allow you to use a USB stick to boot recovery.

      Also windows backup is much better these days.

      Though I am sure others will also make suggestions.

      Got one server with BE and I really don't like it - very clunky and don't trust it in a disaster : stuck with it as the international software provider loves BE for the main software on it and insists on it as part of their support contract. BE scares the "pants" out of me as the menus are not very intuitive.

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