Does your data have an expiration date? If not, it’s important to be aware that your backup software does. Backup Exec version 15.x, Backup Exec Appliance version 3600 R4, and all associated agents, components and other options, reach their end of support life date on November 7, 2019.
That means Veritas will no longer provide any support of any kind for this product version. If you had purchased Extended Technical Support, that ends on this date.
Of course, Backup Exec isn’t the only software that has an end of life date; all software does. Part of your IT management process has to include tracking product lifecycles so you can apply patches and perform upgrades when necessary. Because upgrading to a new major version can be a major change, you should allocate time to test the upgrade process and verify the new version behaves as expected before you deploy to production.
In most cases, if you’ve reached the end of support date for your product, the best solution is to update to the current version. For Backup Exec, that version is 20.1. Some businesses prefer to be on the “N-1” version, thinking there will be fewer unknown bugs; as long as the end of support date for that release is sufficiently far in the future, that’s a reasonable approach. If you don’t want to go even that far up the release sequence, perhaps due to compatibility issues, you can consider upgrading to simply the “next” version. In the case of Backup Exec, the next version would be 16, and it’s important to note that that version is no longer receiving security and quality updates automatically via LiveUpdate. It’s also already past the end of standard support date, though you can purchase extended technical support.
With some vendors, such as Microsoft, there’s a defined software lifecycle that lets you know how long their products will be supported in advance. Veritas, the Backup Exec vendor, doesn’t have a fixed lifecycle, so you need to pay attention to their announcements to make plans once an end of support date is determined.
If you use other Veritas products, now is a good time to check their end of support dates, too. Enterprise Vault version 11.x stopped being supported back in February and Resiliency Platform 2.x isn’t supported as of August. If you haven’t upgraded to a later version, make plans to take care of that now, too. A number of other products and versions will reach end of support in 2020, so you should include those in your next-year planning.
Because your team doesn’t deploy new versions every day, it’s helpful to get support from a team such as VAST IT Services that does. Our partnership with Veritas makes us expert in the full suite of Veritas products. We can help you smoothly deploy new releases and make sure you aren’t using software that’s past its expiration date. Contact us to get support deploying, configuring, monitoring, and managing Backup Exec and other critical data center software.