Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Do We Fly or Drive On Our Next Vacation?

So, in the last week or so we've heard:

"American Airlines Cancels More than 300,000 travelers were left stranded by American Airlines in one week..."

"ATA Airlines shut down operations and stranded thousands of travelers..."

When airlines go under, fliers find that they have few protections

And a personal story about a mistake in SouthWest's reservation system leading to a sneaky $66 charge for a flight change by The Strobist

Plus our own luggage being lost by American Airlines 6 months ago and the lack of effort as far as getting our luggage back to us in a timely manner so we could enjoy our vacation.

And the decision is easy -we're taking an extra few days off to drive to Canada this year instead of fly. With the fair increases, it should be no more $ than flying even including the gas, hotels, etc. Besides, this way we don't have to worry about lines, getting stuff packed so we can get through security with our various electronic devices and camera gear. Oh, and we know that the $1k plus that we'll pay for an airline ticket won't be simply lost if we're one of the growing number left stranded at the airport when these airlines go under while their already well-paid executives are reportedly doubling their salary. Ridiculous. We'll drive, thanks.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Backup Exec 12 - Inability to Overwrite Media

First thing you notice after installing Backup Exec 12 and setting up your first job, is that you can't select anything but "Keep Data Infinitely - Do Not Allow Overwrite". Great :-\

"Help" and Google tells you to manually erase the media, relabel it (which effectively erases it), or move the media to scratch. But if you're looking to continuously overwrite your media, this is a big pain. I think I have it figured out, though:

I went to Tools > Options > Media Management and set the Media overwrite protection level to "None" and no Prompting.

Then I went to "Media" and right-clicked on "Keep Data Infinitely - Do Not Allow Overwrite", went to "Properties" and set the overwrite protection to 3 days.

Neither of the above immediately gave me the ability to choose "Overwrite" on the backup job, but after the job ran for the first time it now gives me the "Overwrite" option. -I guess I'll have to wait and see if it actually works next week. What an odd piece of software...

Backup Exec 12 install

I've just finished upgrading our backup software from Backup Exec 9 to Backup Exec 12 and I must say that the documentation, for all it's length (over 1600 pages in the pdf!), it wasn't much help. If this gets any google juice, maybe it'll let someone else avoid reading and re-reading the docs over again because Symantec decided to leave out some key information:

1. Grab the CD (or download folder) and run the Browser
2. Run the Environment Check or Start the Install (the install runs the Environment Check, so if you're ready to install, just run the install).
3. Fix any issues the Environment Check finds -mine warned me about using Terminal Services for the install, but I had no issues with it. As long as you are not using a mapped drive you should be good. Also, it'll warn you about Symantec Endpoint Protection & Endpoint Protection Manager -we ignored those as well as we didn't need whatever functionality they provide. YMMV.
4. Enter all your license numbers -all of them. Including any agents you've purchased such as SQL or Exchange.
5. Complete the install. In the process you'll have to decide on an existing or new account for Backup Exec to use that has privileges to all the resources you're planning to backup.
6. If necessary, UNinstall any old Remote Agents on the machines you'll be backing up.
7. Install the Remote Agent on the machines you plan to back up. You can either push it out from within Backup Exec (in the "Tools" menu) or run the install from each server from the CD or download folder by clicking on "Browser", then selecting "Start the Backup Exec Remote Agent Installation".

Now here's the issue I have with the doc's. They don't tell you that there's no separate agent needed for Exchange or SQL. By installing the Remote Agent, you'll have access to all the functionality of the Exchange and SQL agents (and whatever other ones there are) as long as the licenses for them are installed on the backup server.

So, once that generic "Remote Agent" is installed on all the machines you plan to back up, you're pretty much done.

The remote agent install does not require a reboot, but one of my servers prompted for a reboot after UNinstalling the old Backup Exec 9 Remote Agent.

We moved from one backup server to another, so we didn't actually upgrade -it was more like a new install, so I'm not sure if you were to install 12 on the same server as you had previously had 9 on, if you'd still have access to your old jobs, etc.