Don’t fix what ain’t broken! That was the message Symantec learned when it released Symantec Backup Exec 2012 back in February 2012. Complaints ranged from:
Bulbous: "Menus are now hidden behind other menus, and everything has a completely counter-intuitive feel."
Christopher Joles: "It really feels like I am clicking more times than I have ever clicked in my life. The transition from 2010 R3 to 2012 has been nothing short of nightmarish."
Guten: "The new BE 2012 totally destroyed my jobs and now I have been working four days to get everything back to normal but no luck installing BE 2010 again, now i have to clean the registry and see if it works. Advice to others who [are] thinking of an update to BE2012, DON'T do it it suckZZZ! Here is one lost customer!!"
James Avery: "I have entirely enough to do during my week's work without having to climb a nonsensical learning curve for a product that I've used for years, which the designers thereof have decided to 'improve'."
Josefino: "It's a complete nightmare at my company. I spent weekends and nights trying to make it all working again and i'm still unable to have all my backup working."
Mark McFarlane: [With Bckup Exe 2012] "I would go from 2-3 backup jobs currently to more than 30 backup jobs....no way Im upgrading...I mentioned this during beta testing and was politely told – it's much better in the new server-centric model...not in my environment it isn't!"
PCTEamAdmin: "Instead of having 3 jobs run, I now have 36 to seperately manage. The grouping of servers prior to creating new jobs really doesn't help much, as you cannot fine-tune the selection lists until you back out and edit each job separately! Job history is a nightmare!"
To see most of the 228 comments against BE 2012, you only need to http://www.symantec.com/connect/forums/impressions-backupexec-2012
Certainly Symantec learned its lesson. After all, it took the company no more than two years, the ouster of two CEOs Enrique Salem and Steve Bennett, and a 19 percent dip in the company’s stock price, to finally roll out Backup Exec 2014 – purportedly bringing back with it features that users lamented were unwittingly removed by the vendor with the 2012 version.
I usually have fun with these press releases when spin masters use every conceivable adjective to flower an announcement without backing up claims (most times). Just read this one below:
Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) today announced the availability of Backup Exec 2014 which delivers powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use backup and recovery to protect virtual, physical and hybrid infrastructures. Featuring improved performance, increased visibility, simplified management, and support for the latest operating systems and applications* Backup Exec 2014 is a faster, stronger** backup solution than previous versions.
“To ensure that Backup Exec 2014 would be a backup and recovery solution that would meet the increasingly demanding needs of Singapore enterprises, Symantec sourced the collective feedback of approximately 3,700 customers and partners worldwide who participated in a beta program,” said Tan Yuh Woei, Country Director, Singapore, Symantec. “With a set of new product features built from this feedback, Backup Exec 2014 will help our customers and partners overcome key backup and recovery challenges such as reducing costs, complexity, and improving the backup and recovery of virtual server environments.”
Of course by new set of features, Tan is probably referring to 2010 features that got stripped out of 2012. SearchDataBackup quoted Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) senior analyst Jason Buffington on how Symantec listened to customers:
"They took it on the chin a little with so much radical change [to BE 2012]," he said. "To their credit, there were a lot of executives on a lot of planes flying to meet and listen to critics. They put back the things that needed to be there for the faithful, and kept the innovation [from BE 2012]. This brings back the things that people have relied on Backup Exec to do for decades and adds manageability needed for the modern data center."
“Backup Exec 2014 flexibly protects mixed virtual and physical architectures in a single solution that backs up to virtually any storage device and achieves fast, efficient, and versatile recovery. Traditional, complex and point backup and recovery solutions can be inefficient, time consuming, and expensive to manage. Through intuitive wizards and insightful dashboards, Backup Exec 2014 is easy to implement, use and manage - whether organisations are upgrading from a previous version or switching from an alternative solution.”
In the press release, Symantec boasts of “intuitive wizards and insightful dashboards” that make 2014 easy to implement, use and manage. I’d be cautious after the 2012 mis-adventures before making these claims.
And in case you are wondering if BE customers are finally relaxing and sipping coolers, lionc74, posted a cry for help on the same Symantec Connect Forum after migrating to BE 2014. His cry for help reads…
“I have a strange problem, I have contacted Symantec support and they told me that there are known issues with the new version of Symantec Backup Exec 2014 and my best bet was to post it on the forums or keep an eye out for updates.. which I don’t understand… but anyway.. so im hoping someone can help me...”
Take note, he posted the query after speaking to Symantec support! Hpefully an update won’t take another two years. Way to go, Symantec!