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Enterprise Software Thread, BackupExec 12.5 backup solution - SLOW! in Technical; Hello, I have inherited a backup solution which uses BackupExec 12.5 and I am having trouble with extremely slow backup ...
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    lafleur1977's Avatar
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    BackupExec 12.5 backup solution - SLOW!

    Hello,

    I have inherited a backup solution which uses BackupExec 12.5 and I am having trouble with extremely slow backup times. Generally they are almost 24 hours including verify which cannot be right and as the backup time has only increased despite decreasing the amount of data I could do with a little help to try and get the backup times down to a more realistic time.

    Firstly I shall explain the solution:

    Software: BackupExec 12.5 media server running on Windows Server 2008 64-bit. This server is also the main file server.
    Hardware: BackupExec 12.5 Media/File server -
    Spec: Intel Xeon E5310 1.60 GHz, 8GB RAM and 1 Gbps NIC.
    Storage: HP SAN configured by a hardware RAID and formatted as one 5 ish TB NTFS partition. This is used for the main data storage.
    HP Disk Array configured by a Windows software RAID (as it wouldn't work in a hardware RAID) and formatted as one 5 ish TB NTFS partition. This is used for backup storage.
    HP Tape LT03 drive.

    BackupExec 12.5 software configuration: Media server has been configured with one daily backup selection list. This currently includes the data files stored on the locally connected HP SAN (currently 1.52 TB), system states for two DC's, system state of an exchange server, exchange database, system state of print server, shadow copy components of print server (not sure what this does and if its needed?), and a few shared folders on a couple of other servers. All of these servers are of good specification. I did remove a very old server recently but this made no difference to the backup time.

    Two folders have been created on the HP disc array. One called Full and the other Differentials. Both of these have corresponding backup to disc folders under devices. Both were originally configured with over wright protection of 27 days but recently I have had to decrease these to 3 weeks and 1 week respectively due to low disc space. Because of this I believe our backup storage has basically reached capacity and should be increased if we continue to use this solution for the foreseeable future.

    Backup jobs have been created and use the selection list I described above:

    Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs Differential daily backups to the Differential folder.
    Fri 1 Full monthly backup to the Full folder. These is then duplicated to tape (currently 4 or 5 LT03 tapes).
    Fri 2, fri 3 and fri 4 Differential weekly backups to the Differential folder. These are then duplicated to tape (currently about 50% of one LT03 tape).

    Conclusion:

    So the server is configured to do daily differential backups and a monthly full backup. I believe this is suppose to be the fastest method as diffs only backup the changes made since the last full. Full backups are currently around 1.7 TB's and taking around 46 hours to complete, including verify. Diff backups are currently between 100 - 200 GB and are taking almost 24 hours to complete, including verify. Duplication to tape is around 4 hours which I consider reasonable. One thing that I am confused by is the job rate. This seems to increase as the job goes on and the more data there is to backup. For full backups its around 700MB/min and for diffs is between 70 - 150 MB/min. I have tried looking through the job logs to see if a particular part is transferring very slow but was unable to find any transfer speeds. Backups generally do complete successfully but the backup to disc completion time has done nothing but increase since I started here. BackupExec does seem to be pretty over complicated but I am not really an expert with it. The HP disc array is also a concern of mine with its software raid configuration and as to whether the unit is even up to the job. Perhaps this is the week link as it has also had many hard drive failures and hard drives have been replaced at different times so it does not have the exact same hard drives in each bay (however these are comparable).

    I think in the long run I would like to replace the backup solution with some sort of snapshot backup as the network is in use nearly 24/7. However, if anyone could offer any suggestions for troubleshooting this I would greatly appreciate it. Let me know if I have been unlcear above too.

    Thanks
    Last edited by lafleur1977; 4th January 2013 at 10:24 PM.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Make sure the backup to disk files aren't too big, it gets slower as the BKF file gets bigger.

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    lafleur1977 (4th January 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    Make sure the backup to disk files aren't too big, it gets slower as the BKF file gets bigger.
    Checked under Devices > backup to disc folders > Full and diff folders are both set to 1 GB. Is that too big?

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    I might actually set them a little higher than that, 10 or 20GB maybe, with 1GB it actually takes a few seconds to create and mount each disk file too!

    What are the job throughput rates like? MB/min

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    lafleur1977 (4th January 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    I might actually set them a little higher than that, 10 or 20GB maybe, with 1GB it actually takes a few seconds to create and mount each disk file too!

    What are the job throughput rates like? MB/min
    Thanks for your suggestion. I will try increasing and see if it helps. Job throughput rates are for full backups its around 700MB/min and for diffs is between 70 - 150 MB/min.

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    That's pretty slow, I'd expect 2000-3000MB/min during a full backup unless you have lots of very small files. Is everything Gb for the network?

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    lafleur1977 (7th January 2013)

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    I'd say so too but have not had a similar setup to compare with. About 1.5 TB of the current 1.7 TB full backup are data files (users home folders, shares, etc) so some of these could be tiny word documents aswell as larger video files, powerpoints and pdf's. We have tried reducing this data over the last year by implementing quotas but this has been a slow process (politics) and is still on going. The rest of the full backup is system states and an exchange database.

    What kind of data are you backing up to get 2000-3000 MB/min? Our network is a mix of 1 Gbps and 100 Mbps. Backbone is 1 Gbps (so all servers, core switch and switch uplinks) and end user devices run at 100 Mbps so I wouldn't think that could be affecting it.

    Thanks

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    1.jpg

    Also, regarding your suggestion to increase the BKF files. If I was to increase it to 10 GB for example, how many backup sets per file would you allow?

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    *Gently nudge* From what I have read, the 'maximum number of backup sets per backup-to-disk file' relates to each element in the backup jobs selection list. So if I have 15 elements should I set this to 15 or would you have each element in a separate file? There is also the option 'allocate the maximum size for backup-to-disk files' which I presume I would be best keeping un-selected so the full size isn't allocated even if there is only 30 MB of data.

    If you could possibly help clarify this part I would really appreciate it. I'm going to make your suggested change tomorrow for our next full backup.

    Thanks

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    I tend to leave one backup set per disk file, it just means it starts a new BKF for each item in the list, even if the last one is not yet full. You probably don't want allocate maximum either.

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    lafleur1977 (25th January 2013)

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    Thanks for clarifying that for me. I shall let you know how I get on

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