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Matthew Stephenson
Worked at Symantec Corporation
Attended Bradley University
Lives in Altamonte Springs, FL
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Struggling w/#BackupExec 2012? Join our G+ hangout w/Tech Support & SEs to get answers http://buex.ec/beISOse #SYMChangout
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Matthew Stephenson

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Validate existing environments before you install with the Backup Exec Partner Toolkit and discover more satisfying, more confidence-boosting deployments. Join Symantec Backup Exec Product Managers for a Google Hangout On Air—Pre-Deploy. Post–Delight. New Backup Exec Partner Toolkit—on June 14 at 10 a.m. ET. See how the generated reports in this free toolkit reduce the time to deployment and deliver post deployment delight. 
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Matthew Stephenson

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In today’s business environment your customers need to adapt to changes and opportunities faster than ever before. Increasingly so, they rely on their data to run their business functions, where the loss of access to that data would not only cripple, but could ruin a company. More customers are interested in virtualization as a way to improve business efficiency, but have legitimate hesitation due to concerns about its impact on the speed of access and recoverability they have to their data.

Today’s landscape is littered with niche products for protecting virtual machines and their data, but only the Symantec Virtualization Advantage gives you a unified solution for backup and recovery of your virtual environment while protecting your physical servers and data with industry leading granular recovery for immediate restores, global deduplication for space savings, and comprehensive disaster recovery that leverages the efficiency of moving to virtual. 

Come and join us.  Register at http://buex.ec/VrtAd
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Location:  Sign up at http://buex.ec/Spiceheads
Time:  Wed, 22 May, 2013 - 11:00 - 12:00 EDT
 

On Wednesday 22 May at 10.00 a.m. CDT, thanks to the fine folks at Spiceworks, Backup Exec is hosting a LiveStream Q&A:  Virtualization, Appliance or Software – Where do Backups Fit?.  Things are a little different this time around. This year we are happy to have have 2 power users of Backup Exec

Tim Gunsteens – Manager, Logistics and Technology at Citrus County Supervisor of Elections  Citrus County sits in a low-lying area on the Gulf Coast—prime hurricane country—so Tim must make sure that all systems, particularly the proprietary voter registration application, can recover quickly after a natural disaster.
Nathan Streb – Systems Administrator – NAC Solutions  The challenge for Nathan was to improve business continuity, so he began virtualizing NAC’s servers in late 2011. Within 18 months, five racks holding 30 physical servers shrank to 1.5 racks holding two VMware ESXi hosts, containing a total of 24 virtual servers running Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Linux. Nathan says that, eventually, NAC’s data center will be 100 percent virtual.
Charles Butler - Director of Product Management for Backup Exec.  Charles has been in this role since 2008.  A key component of his work is speaking with customers to understand their daily requirements for Backup Exec.  You can find Charles on Twitter at @butlercp.
Matt Stephenson – Your Humble Narrator  I live in the Spiceworks community doing everything I can to help Spiceheads.  I lead a team of 3 Technical Support Engineers who are an official extension of Symantec support.
But you are what we need to make this work.  Sign up to join us for the live webcast and join in the conversation.  We will be taking questions via

Spiceworks – use this thread to post questions for the event
LiveStream chat – there is a native chat client built into the LiveStream player
We want to hear your questions about virtualization, purpose built backup appliances, disaster recovery and even good recipes for jambalaya.

Find out what other IT Pros are doing with their backups.  Talk directly to Product Management about your expectations.  Help us understand more about the job backups occupy in your organization.

Take a minute to jump out to http://buex.ec/Spiceheads and sign up.  We’ll see you on Wednesday the 22nd.

PackMatt73
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Matthew Stephenson

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Join a panel of virtualization experts including Microsoft MVPs Mahmoud Magdy & Thomas Mauer and VMware vExpert Mikko Nykyri as they discuss the white paper they co-authored and offer their thoughts on the most important things to consider for a virtualized server environment. 
Virtual Machine Backup and Recovery: Five Critical Decisions
Fri, May 10, 2013, 1:00 PM
https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/109508720846013394238/+symantec/posts

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Will be there ISA
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Matthew Stephenson

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LIVE NetBackup Demo....pretty cool
 
NetBackup is hanging out with 2 people right now in a live Hangout On Air! #hangoutsonairAlex Sakaguchi and SYMC Hangouts
NetBackup 7.6 Virtualization Advancements | A Sneak Peak!
NetBackup and 2 others participated
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Matthew Stephenson

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Validate existing environments before you install with the Backup Exec Partner Toolkit and discover more satisfying, more confidence-boosting deployments. Join Symantec Backup Exec Product Managers for a Google Hangout On Air—Pre-Deploy. Post–Delight. New Backup Exec Partner Toolkit—on June 14 at 10 a.m. ET. See how the generated reports in this free toolkit reduce the time to deployment and deliver post deployment delight. 
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HANGOUT IS POSTPONED 
Greetings all...
We are postponing the Backup Exec Partner Toolkit hangout to next week.  I will have the new data and time posted ASAP
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 New Beta for Backup Exec 2012 SP2 & 2010 SP3 is almost here 

The beta for Backup Exec 2012 SP2 & 2010 SP3 is almost ready for release. You can follow this blog to its release: http://buex.ec/BEbetaBlog

There is still time to sign up as well: http://buex.ec/2012Beta

For all things Backup Exec tech support, we have established several Tech Support Engineers who work exclusively via social media like Twitter & reddit. On twitter, use #BESupport and they will come a-runnin
Symantec helps consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. The Symantec Connect community allows customers and users of Symantec to network and learn more about creative and innovative ways to use Symantec products and technologies.
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Location:  Sign up at http://buex.ec/Spiceheads
Time:  Wed, 22 May, 2013 - 11:00 - 12:00 EDT
 

On Wednesday 22 May at 10.00 a.m. CDT, thanks to the fine folks at Spiceworks, Backup Exec is hosting a LiveStream Q&A:  Virtualization, Appliance or Software – Where do Backups Fit?.  Things are a little different this time around. This year we are happy to have have 2 power users of Backup Exec

Tim Gunsteens – Manager, Logistics and Technology at Citrus County Supervisor of Elections  Citrus County sits in a low-lying area on the Gulf Coast—prime hurricane country—so Tim must make sure that all systems, particularly the proprietary voter registration application, can recover quickly after a natural disaster.
Nathan Streb – Systems Administrator – NAC Solutions  The challenge for Nathan was to improve business continuity, so he began virtualizing NAC’s servers in late 2011. Within 18 months, five racks holding 30 physical servers shrank to 1.5 racks holding two VMware ESXi hosts, containing a total of 24 virtual servers running Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Linux. Nathan says that, eventually, NAC’s data center will be 100 percent virtual.
Charles Butler - Director of Product Management for Backup Exec.  Charles has been in this role since 2008.  A key component of his work is speaking with customers to understand their daily requirements for Backup Exec.  You can find Charles on Twitter at @butlercp.
Matt Stephenson – Your Humble Narrator  I live in the Spiceworks community doing everything I can to help Spiceheads.  I lead a team of 3 Technical Support Engineers who are an official extension of Symantec support.
But you are what we need to make this work.  Sign up to join us for the live webcast and join in the conversation.  We will be taking questions via

Spiceworks – use this thread to post questions for the event
LiveStream chat – there is a native chat client built into the LiveStream player
We want to hear your questions about virtualization, purpose built backup appliances, disaster recovery and even good recipes for jambalaya.

Find out what other IT Pros are doing with their backups.  Talk directly to Product Management about your expectations.  Help us understand more about the job backups occupy in your organization.

Take a minute to jump out to http://buex.ec/Spiceheads and sign up.  We’ll see you on Wednesday the 22nd.

PackMatt73
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Matthew Stephenson

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Some good stuff from Backup Exec Product Mgr Scott Baker
 
Symantec recently commissioned ESG to publish a white paper on the topic of a single backup solution for physical and virtual environments as compared to using two solutions and since I spent the first two years of my tenure on the Backup Exec Product Management team working with the virtualization agents, the Agent for VMware and Agent for Hyper-V, this subject piqued my interest. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time myself considering the same question and I’ve encountered my share of  customers taking both approaches; it’s been my experience that the majority of the people I’ve spoken with wanted a single solution to protect both environments. So it’s with that kind of curiosity I started reading the white paper.

The Introduction opened with an ESG survey from last year that ranked top priorities of their respondents and as I would have expected ‘server virtualization’ and ‘backup and recovery improvements’ were tops on the list. Naturally when I speak with customers “backup and recovery” is the main topic so it’s good to know that my chosen field is high on the list. Something else in the Intro that typically makes it into conversations is the customer’s choice of virtualization platform. It’s interesting to see that 65% of respondents are using multiple hypervisors which implies that the industry is no longer virtualizing just for the sake of virtualizing. These multiple hyper-visor deployments demonstrate the industry is discovering the strengths and weaknesses of the available platforms and are responding to deploy solutions that meet their needs rather than thoughtlessly following industry trends like in the early days of virtualization.

ESG also notes that 69% of respondents would prefer a single backup solution for protecting their combined physical and virtual infrastructure but only 47% are actually doing so. These are the kinds of statistics that can help drive changes in products. That 22% delta represents opportunity.
For those customers that do use two solutions, one solution for physical assets and another for virtual assets, there are areas of inefficiencies that are easy to identify. The analysis by ESG reviews inefficiencies in deduplication and monitoring and management. The analysis is ‘spot on’ in calling out the potential for islands of deduplication (one for virtual and one for physical) when you mix multiple data protection solutions. The same can be said for the management and monitoring; multiple backup solutions will result in the doubling of configuration and monitoring efforts. In all of my conversations with customers I have never had any of them tell me they have so much free time that they want to configure two different backup solutions.

The analysis then turns to asking if there is a perfect answer by examining the use of API’s provided by VMware and Microsoft which are used by backup applications to protect the data and virtual machines and how quickly and efficiently data can be recovered. The use of API’s rarely gets much attention since customers really don’t care about the how as much as they care about the results. The results are measured in recovery and the ESG paper speaks of ‘agility to restore’. I think ESG could have constructed a survey and an entire white paper based just on how people want to recover data captured in a backup of their virtual environment. The recovery experience from application to application is as varied as one could imagine, however I do believe the leaders are all on track to converge on the same model as solutions mature.

In the wrap up of what ESG calls “The Bigger Truth” the white paper refers to “legacy backup solutions” and I take exception to that term when applied to Backup Exec. Yes, Backup Exec has been around for more than 20 years since its inception but Backup Exec is not a legacy backup product. Backup Exec has had a virtualization agent, the Agent for VMware (previously called the Agent for VMware Virtual Infrastructure) longer than some of the virtual-only backup solutions have been around. So I absolutely reject this label being applied to Backup Exec. The sad part is so many IT Admins and Virtualization Admins are unaware that Backup Exec even has an Agent for VMware and Hyper-V that they choose virtual-only solutions out of ignorance rather than necessity.

Lastly the white paper closes out with a couple of pages that demonstrates how to calculate the TCO of a single solution versus multiple solutions. I’m sure there are some CTO’s, CIO’s and IT managers that will find the information helpful and hopefully it can provide justification to implement a Backup Exec deployment to protect their virtual environment as well as their physical assets. All in all I would say "good job" on the White Paper and I’m happy to see that my observations on customer desires is on target with what ESG has delivered.
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In today's complex world of information technology and data protection, there are many challenges and considerations associated with building, implementing, and supporting any backup solution. These challenges often lead to delayed projects, overspent budgets and failure.  For these and many other factors, organizations are seeking a simple appliance based solution. This approach reduces complexity, cost and associated risks.

The Backup Exec 3600 Appliance mitigates the problems of complexity, cost, and risk associated with traditional backup solutions by delivering a combined hardware and software solution in a single package.

Join the Backup Exec 3660 Product Management team for a look into the appliance, how it can work for your business and, if you're really lucky a great recipe for guacamole.
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Good stuff from Backup Exec Product Mgr Scott Baker
 
I recently read an article, Symantec preps new release of Backup Exec as it aims to fend off VM-only backup vendors, by 451 Research outlining upcoming maintenance releases for Backup Exec 2010 R3 and Backup Exec 2012 and I was impressed with their conclusions about where Backup Exec stands in relation to the VM-only backup vendors.

There was a clear line drawn between Backup Exec, which supports both physical and virtualized environments, and the VM-only solutions. The obvious point being made is that businesses want a single solution to protect their environment…their entire environment and not just part of it. The obvious question is ‘why haven't the VM-only solutions expanded to the physical environments’. As was once immortalized in a Tootsie Pop commercial of my younger days ‘the world may never know’. The VM-only solutions appear to be content surviving on a single aspect of the data protection market. Of course that aspect, virtualization, does continue to expand into ever more corners of the IT world but it will always be that lack of support for physical assets that will result in exclusion for those customers requiring a complete solution.

I found their awareness of the depth and breadth of deployments of business applications in virtualized environments isn’t one that you frequently read about, perhaps that because it’s an expected evolution or perhaps it’s because there are more trendy things to mention. But in any case it’s an important distinction because it lends credence to the fact that a backup solution needs to provide data protection to not just the virtual platforms but to the applications they serve. Protecting the data and applications across physical servers as well as virtual machines running on VMware or Hyper-V is the most important function of a backup application. Having a single solution to provide this protection is the most efficient option an IT organization could employ. And having a solution that understands an application is running and is able to protect the application data while also providing an effective way to recover the application and its data directly to the target is paramount…after all that’s why you backup right? So that you can recover… Why would you want to use a solution that only comprehends part of your environment?

I was also heartened to see that they called out the fact that the bulk of the VM-only backup solutions support only disk-based backups. I noticed that 451 cited a recent study that found that 50% of “midsize to large enterprises” still base their backup strategy on tape. Some recent industry figures I have seen indicate that tape usage has recently regained market share over disk-based backups. After all tape storage is, believe it or not, more reliable than disk storage…look that one up if you don’t believe me. This article from eWeek has some interesting data points on the subject: Data Storage: Tape Data Storage Remains an Enterprise IT Workhorse After 60 Years http://bit.ly/KgV7ZO

A quick summary looks like this:
• Backup Exec supports physical and virtual environments.
• Backup Exec is application aware so you can recover your data back to production more efficiently.
• Backup Exec supports disk and tape storage solutions.

I think 451 Research has highlighted some important benefits of Backup Exec over the VM-Only solutions.
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