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Lunch » Tags » Software » Reviews » Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition - Media » User review

Still Relevant in The Age of Virtualization

  • Sep 26, 2010
  • by
Pros: Robust, stable, flexible, great interface, great tech support.

Cons: N/a

The Bottom Line:

If you need brick-level back & recovery solution for you large, medium, or small business look no further than Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition.

As I wrote in my review of ARCserve 2000: The time tested axiom in the IT industry concerning hard drives is not if your hard drive will crash, but when your hard drive will crash, and how much of your precious data will it take with it.  As corporations come to rely more and more on information and hard drive grow ever larger, a whole subset of the Information Technology arena has grown up to protect that which is vital to life of companies large and small: data.  Engineering plans, contracts, legal documents, financial spreadsheet, inter-office memoranda, official correspondence, graphics, etc., all tend to reside on server platforms packed with gigabytes-and in some cases terabytes-of data. 

But often-times there is need to perform "brick-level" back-up and recovery.  By brick-level I mean the need to back-up the entire server OS as well as data in one set across hard drives and or SCSI containers, and the ability to recover that set to almost any server.  This is especially useful when you want to recover an entire OS/Application from a Data Center to a backup Data Center, or to recover a crashed server to another fresh server platform when time is of the essence.

That is where Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition comes into the picture.       

The Product

I have used some form of Symantec's Backup Exec System Recovery Server Edition since the Windows 2003 days, when the interface was clean, simple, and easy to use.  Since that time, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery which used to be marketed by Veritas (until Symantec bought out the company), has evolved along with Windows, and today it is a robust, flexible, somewhat complicated enterprise-class application that is almost indispensable to a shop still utilizing hardware or a Data Center operation in transition to a virtualized environment. 

But not every server/application lends itself to virtualization, so I predict there will be a need for the functionality Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery brings to the Data Center table for quite some time.    
Product Description (From Symantec): Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 is a simple, cost-effective backup and recovery solution for small businesses that helps minimize downtime and avoid disaster by easily recovering individual data files/folders or complete Windows systems in minutes - not hours or days - even to different hardware, virtual environments, or remote locations.
Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery's forte has always been in keeping the backup & recovery process simple (well relatively simple) and easy to use, but flexible enough to adapt to almost any enterprise environment.  Version 2010's release is no different.  Key Features include:

o   Backup systems automatically, while you work, through scheduled or event-driven backups;
o   Offsite Backup Copy to an FTP location or secondary disk drive;
o   Dissimilar Hardware Recovery with Restore Anywhere Technology;
o   Seamless physical to virtual (P2V) and virtual to physical (V2P) conversions for VMWare, Microsoft and Citrix virtual environments.


Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition can be installed one of two ways; either on the server you need to backed-up, or on a centralized server upon which the back-up agent can be pushed out to the servers needing to be backed-up.  A centralized installation will further allow an administrator to centrally manage the backup events and scheduling for each server. 

However, we choose the individual option (it was easier to administer) and installed Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition on each individual server (7 in all); thereafter I can log into each server and set the backup schedule for each.      

Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition is like most backup software these days, wizard driven, asking as series of questions to help simplify the backup and recovery process.   But, make no mistake Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition is a complicated software application with a lot of moving parts, so before using it for the first time one should read the owner's manual.

Brick-level back-up is pretty straight forward (depending on the amount of data being backed-up, it could take upwards to an hour to complete), but brick-level recovery can be time consuming and problematic especially if you are performing a Restore Anywhere procedure.   Partition table may need to be deleted and recreated, hard disk partitions deleted and recreated, and or FAT tables rearranged.  But if all goes well, I can perform a System Recovery in under an hour.

We use Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition to perform brick-level back-ups on (7) servers nightly to an off-site location connected by a generous data pipe so the process is seamless.  After I installed the software on each server I ran the backup wizard, specifying what I needed backed-up, to where, and how frequently. 

The Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition agent runs as a Windows service so an administrator does not have to be logged into the server in order for the process to run unattended.  You can set the application to append the current backup set, or overwrite it to save space.  Full or incremental back-ups can also be configured. 

For recovery we store our sets on a network drive.  No problem, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition has a utility that allows for logging into a network and mapping a drive as long as the right credentials are used.  But the application can also read back-up sets from locally attached (USB) hard drives and or DVD drives.               

I have no (real) complaints concerning either the functionality or usage of Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition; it is an easy to use, robust brick-level backup & recovery program that offers a ready solution for just about every enterprise environment.  There are of course other solutions on the market, but none that seems to offer the level of functionality and refinement our business is looking for. 

Symantec technical support has always been there when we needed them, including weekend and evening, and the support techs have always been knowledgeable and willing to stick with me until whatever issue I was having was resolved to my satisfaction.

If you need brick-level back & recovery solution for you large, medium, or small business look no further than Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 Server Edition.


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About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #188
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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