Symantec Overhauls System Backup Suite

In a major upgrade of its system backup suite, Symantec today announced the release of Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 7.0. The new version is designed to speed the recovery process, add integration with virtualization technology and expand Microsoft Exchange and data recovery capabilities. The new release also adds support for Microsoft Vista, AMD and Intel x64-bit platforms.

According to Symantec, there’s plenty of reason to make system backup a broader and easier to use to process. Michael Parker, global product marketing manager for Backup Exec, said that 85 percent of systems are not backed up. And even companies that do attempt to back up their systems can be in for a rude awakening as 17 percent to 40 percent of tape restores fail, he said.

The goal of the new Backup Exec System Recovery 7.0, he said, is to allow both small businesses and larger enterprises to recover complete Windows systems in minutes on a variety of dissimilar hardware systems and devices. The upgrade is also designed to enhance Microsoft Exchange backup and add backup capabilities for virtual servers.

Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery works by copying your entire system (i.e, operating system, applications, system settings, user settings and data). It then creates a single recovery point. Should your system fail, you select the recovery point to restore from and Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery restores the complete system in minutes, according to Parker.

That recovery point can be created on a variety of media and formats — CD/DVD, flash memory, USB and Firewire devices, iSCSI/Serial ATA drives or SAN/NAS devices.

In addition to protecting entire servers, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 7.0 is designed to speed the recovery of individual e-mails, files and folders. For example, a new Exchange Retrieve option is built to let you recover not only the entire Exchange server but also individual messages, attachments, folders and mailboxes.

You can, according to Symantec, schedule full or incremental recovery points to be created every 15 minutes, recover critical Exchange data in seconds and forward recovered e-mail or .pst file to individual users.

Designed to provide a self-service component to Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 7.0, Symantec has added what it calls a “Google-like” search feature called Backup Exec Retrieve. The goal is to make it easy for users to recover their own files and folders without IT intervention.

In keeping with the Google theme, a search and retrieve capability is now integrated with Google Desktop. Users can also protect select files and folders in addition to implementing a volume-based recovery point process.

What would a new release be these days if it didn’t factor in the emergence of virtualization technologies? Version 7.0 lets you convert physical recovery points to virtual formats (known as P2V) as well as convert virtual systems back to physical environments (known as V2P) for VMware ESX Server, VMware Server, VMware Workstation and Microsoft Virtual Server.

In Backup Exec System Recovery 7.0, Symantec takes a single-pane-of-glass approach to management, Parker said. That is, the new version is designed to offer a centralized view of system backup and recovery activity across multiple systems.

This at-a-glance approach is designed to let administrators create backups, view real-time status, run reports, resolve identified problems and add new systems quickly.

Pricing for products in the new line is as follows, according to Symantec:

  • Backup Exec System Recovery Server Edition — $1,095 (per server)
  • Backup Exec System Recovery Small Business Server Edition (includes Exchange Retrieve Option) — $695 (per Server
  • Backup Exec System Recovery Desktop Edition — $69 (per workstation)
  • Backup Exec System Recovery Manager — $1,495
  • Backup Exec System Recovery Starter Kit — $5,995 (includes five Server Edition licenses, one Manager and one Exchange Retrieve Option)
  • Backup Exec for Windows Servers System Recovery Option — $695 (per server. This new option offers just the core business-critical system recovery capabilities offered in the stand-alone editions of Backup Exec System Recovery, including dissimilar hardware recovery and P2V conversion, among other features, where data protection is already ensured with Backup Exec.)

Dan Muse is executive editor of’s Small Business Channel, EarthWeb’s Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

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