Symantec Backup Exec 15 Small Business Edition includes virtualization for the first time since version 12. When you combine this with its Simplified Backup Recovery feature, comprehensive deduplication capabilities, expanded licensing and improved support options, it has the necessary tools to protect your server data. The scalability of the server backup software means that it will work effectively with your simple server setup, but it's better suited for larger networks with over 10,000 clients.
In our compression tests, Symantec Backup Exec was only capable of compressing our test data by 1 percent on the highest compression setting available. For comparison, the best compression rating in our review was 35 percent. With only 1 percent of the backed-up data compressed, you're not saving much storage space with your backups. On the positive side, the backup sets don't take as long as software with higher compression rates. It's important to note that compression rates can vary according to file type, so your experience may be different.
One of the major downsides to the Backup Exec is the lack of folder-level backup capabilities. It only backs up the entire system, which means you can't apply different backup strategies to different data on your server. This lack of granularity means that it's best used for backing up servers of the same data type and backup strategy. For example, if you have one server but you use part of the server storage for a private database and another part of the server storage to host a website, you can only apply the same backup strategy to both data types.
Another downside to Symantec Backup Exec is the overall ease of use. The installation received a C- because our tester had to consult the support staff multiple times before the software was installed correctly. The backup and restore features also received a C- because of the large number of failed attempts. A backup set would fail midway through without any explanation. It took our tester seven attempts before completing a successful backup. The same issue occurred when restoring the data. The interface received a C, much for the same reason. The interface setup is more complicated than most server backup software interfaces and took our tester a long time to navigate.
Symantec's support for Backup Exec 15 is a considerable improvement over Backup Exec 2014. The emergency response time is the fastest in the industry at 15 minutes. If you have an emergency and you're having issues with the software, you submit a help ticket and Symantec promises to have an IT expert contact you within 15 minutes. For comparison, most server backup software companies take nearly four hours on average.
While Symantec Backup Exec 15 can be deployed on one to three servers for a small business, it's really best designed for a large company with large server ecosystems. You need a considerable amount of aptitude with servers to effectively use this software. The installation, backup and restore features, and interface all received below-average scores for their ease of use. In addition, the software's highest compression rate was the lowest in our review at 1 percent, so it won't save you any storage space.
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