Veritas Gets Its Back Up Over Requested Fix

Veritas Gets Its Back Up Over Requested Fix.

support reps will often try to put you off by claiming your problem
can't be real because no one else has reported it. But what if other
customers have been trying to complain and turned away with the same
response? That's the struggle one reader feels he had to overcome in a
situation with Veritas support.

“I have used Veritas 8.5, 9.1, and 10.0 successfully with no
problems for over four years … until now,” the reader wrote. “I
recently upgraded from Backup Exec 9.1 to 10.0 at two different sites.
I soon discovered that Backup Exec 10.0 won't show me the contents of
backups made of some of my larger drives under versions 8.5 or 9.1 at
either site — it instead shows me partial restore selections for
another drive, sometimes not even a drive on that server. The symptoms
are identical at each site, and occur on each of the archives I've made
for the past few years for those drives. The drives in question have
over 250 gigs of data and tens of millions of files. This is apparently
an overflow condition. I am also in a unique position because at one of
my sites I installed a new server right before upgrading to 10.0, and I
still have the old 9.1 server. The files that store the contents of the
backups are called catalog files. I can take working catalog files from
the old 9.1 server, copy them to the new 10.0 server, and watch them
fail. This is a smoking gun, and I was sure Veritas would quickly
address the problem since I could prove so easily that the problem was
with 10.0.”

The reader optimistically opened the support incident with Veritas
back in May. “At first Backup Exec tech support insisted that all of my
backups for the past four years were obviously bad since no one else
reported the problem,” the reader wrote. “This is not true, as I have
been able to restore at will for using Backup Exec 8.5 and 9.1 with
these drives. I tried to get them to look at my catalog files for days
before they finally agreed to. They also insisted that I attempt to
re-catalog (re-read) my old backup tapes with 10.0 software on my DLT
autoloader to be sure the tapes are ok. I attempted this a few times,
only to have it fail each time. The backups of these drives take 24
hours to complete, and the catalogs would apparently take even longer
as well if they would ever complete. While I'm doing all this debugging
for them, I can't take backups of my servers, which is what all this
hardware and software is supposed to be doing. It appears their new
10.0 software also won't catalog my old tapes, and it won't read the
stored catalog files that tell Backup Exec what's on the tapes, so
between these two failures I can't restore anything from my old
backups. Not a good position to be in.”

After many weeks and many calls, the reader finally got Backup exec
tech support to agree that not being able to catalog the tapes was a
separate issue. “After numerous gatekeepers within their support
organization stonewalled me for weeks, they finally looked at my data.
They agreed there was a problem with their 10.0 software — and not
with my data or backup tapes — and said engineering would look at it
to try to fix it. They also admitted that 10.0 changed how Backup Exec
works with 9.1 and older catalogs, so I am inferring that they broke

But if reader thought his problems were over once both issues were
referred to engineering, he was mistaken. “Today I got an e-mail from
support indicating that different engineering teams at Veritas work on
the two different problems I am having,” he wrote after he was a month
into the process. “They refuse to even try to find and fix the problem
until I do more troubleshooting so that they wouldn't have to waste
their time. I was frankly shocked at this level of arrogance — they
stated, in so many words, that their time was much more important than
mine and I would have to do their work for them. I have already spent
dozens of hours working these problems, explaining the problem over and
over to different people at Veritas. Meanwhile, who knows how many
people continue to upgrade to Backup Exec 10.0 not knowing that may not
be able to restore their old data. Perhaps they could use this in a new
marketing campaign: 'Backup Exec 10.0 – works fine on small drives'.”

The reader soon left on vacation without a resolution, having to
take up the fight again when he returned a month later. “After sending
them my tapes and dealing with even more gatekeepers within the Veritas
tech support organization, it looks like they are finally taking the
problem seriously,” the reader wrote recently. “There will hopefully be
a hotfix release within a few weeks that will solve this and related
issues. And they have acknowledged that at least one other party
reported the same trouble I was having. I can only imagine how many
others just weren't stubborn enough to the issue addressed and

Write Ed Foster with your comments about this story or your own girpes at  [Ed Foster's Radio Weblog]

Leave a comment