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Backup Exec slow on restore

Dear experts,

We are running an Exchange server 2003 ent edition. Recently we purchased Backup Exec 11d (with the Exchange agent) to backup our exchange mailboxes. The size of our info store is approx 12Gb (about 85 users). Backup takes about 2 hrs 20 mins (including verify at end).

Because it is a new setup I want to run some tests before replacing our current backup (using NTBackup). However when I tried to restore a single folder (which contains 5 emails) in my Inbox it has already taken 2 1/2 hours and is still running. I can see the "Bytes count" is increasing and the Current Operation states "Staging".

Although I haven't used Backup Exec before but I am pretty sure it isn't right taking that long to restore a single message. Has anyone experienced similar problem with Backup Exec? ALso anyone knows whats Staging means?

Thanks in advance for your help.
1 Solution
Iamthecreator OMCommented:
With the new GRT technology you can restore individual mail items from the IS backups which was not possible in earlier version.
When you run a restore from a GRT based backup from a tape it goes into a TEMPORARY STAGING state where it mounts your entire IS to extract the granular item you are trying to restore.The staging area should be on a locally attached NTFS volume and needs atleast 1.5 times the size of free space
The location can be found by going to TOOLS>OPTIONS>RESTORE and there you will find the box for the location of the staging area.
This process does not take place if you are restoring from disk based backups(backups that have been run to a backup to disk folder)
Iamthecreator OMCommented:
Backup Exec 11d for Windows Servers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are some of the requirements and considerations when using GRT?

7      Backups must be done to local B2D folder on the Media Server
7      B2D folder must be on a local NTFS volume because of the filter driver used
7      When creating a backup job, make sure a B2D folder is explicitly selected
7      Enabling BE Encryption is not recommended. If encryption is needed, OS encryption at the B2D folder level is a better option
7      Database files are backed up in native file format (*.EDB). Suggest customers put an ACL on the B2D folder to prevent unauthorized-authorized access
7      Must Use Policies for Incremental backups of Exchange
7      Only Exchange supports Incremental backups
7      Granular restore from tape, while supported, requires a two-stage restore
7      Not backwards compatible with previous versions of BE or CPS
7      Granular recovery of Active Directory items of a x64 bit Domain Controller from a 32bit Media Server is not supported
7      SharePoint 2003 installed on a Windows x64 server or using SQL 2005 x64-bit is not supported
Iamthecreator OMCommented:
The path on the media server for staging temporary restore data when restoring individual items from tape ran out of disk space. Either clear some disk space, or click Tools/Options/Restore and enter a path that has more disk space.

The restore option will be really slow when running from tape due to 2 reasons
1:Its a 2 stage process and has to stage the entire IS
2:Tapes are sequential access device and it takes a long time to access the information even if its a small file
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Iamthecreator OMCommented:
let me know if you need more information and I shall be glad to provide it
ormerodrutterAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all your replies Iamthecreator.
I am on holiday until Tuesday so will check the link you attached. But here are the updates -

1. Its a tape backup so I can accept it being slow
2. The restore did finish successfully after 5 1/2 hours. Yes it was 5 hours 30 minutes to restore a small folder and one piece of email to my inbox.
3. I did specifically use D:\ drive for the temp location (Staging area?). During the process I saw the d:\temp folder grew up to approx 25Gb  (with all the priv1 files). It was cleared/removed after the restore process.

I only backup our exchange store (only one) and nothing else, no files or any other thing just our exchange. At this point the size of our exchange backup is approx 12Gb.

I can accept it can be slow (tape, sequential etc), but we are talking about over 5 hours to restore a single message and I think thats NOT accepable. Is it possible to shorten the process by switching on/off some option? I mean, when creating a restore job using the wizard it went through with a lot of "questions" and I accepted all the defaults - is there an option that I can select/deselect so that the restoration process can be shorten by a considerable amount of time?

Iamthecreator OMCommented:
run the GRT based backups to a BACKUP TO DISK folder and it will not take that long as it will not go through the staging and will directly restore from the Persitent Disk Image that it creates.
Also the HDD are random access devices and faster than Tape drivers (especially when it comes to restore).
We assume that the DISK SPACE is not an issue when u r using GRT with Backups to Disk
It does require a lot of disk space and will create IMG Folders which will contavin the database files in the native format and will create a hard link to the .BKF files.
ormerodrutterAuthor Commented:
I now run another Restore (only ONE message from my Deleted Items folder). Changed the Staging directory to D;\ drive (which has over 60Gb of space) and select the option Restore over existing message & folders". However it still states "Staging" under Current Process.

How can I skip the Staging process and just restore items directly to the selected destination folder?
ormerodrutterAuthor Commented:
Before I go out and buy the Continuous Protection agent I am backing up the exchange onto local disk as well as tape, hope that restore will be faster from a backup stored on a local disk.

However the backup process is fairly slow only doing about 50Mb/min (it was almost 200Mb/min when back up on tape!!) and is still running. I shall update you and allocate the points when I tried a restore.
ormerodrutterAuthor Commented:

Done what you suggested as to backup to disk.

Well, it now takes only seconds to restore (great!!!) but the backup process takes over 6 hours :( I honestly don't understand why backing up onto disk would take that long (compare to 2 hours to tape) but anyway the restore works perfectly well so I guess I would do a backup to disk once a week (on a Sunday perhaps) and the daily backup to tape.

Thanks for your help. Will get you the points.

One further question - is it save to remove those IMG folders (created from backup-to-disk)? Although I mentioned space is not an issue, we have a 12Gb mailbox so it will eventually fill up the hard disk.

Iamthecreator OMCommented:
Granular Restore Technology (GRT) used with a Backup-to-Disk (B2D) device results in the disk or the reserved disk space being filled up with overwriteable image (IMG) folders before the oldest IMG media will be overwritten.
This explanation helped me figure out exactly what was going on, and why, with my own exchange restore of a single message. Thanks.
Thanks to IAMTHECREATER also. info was very useful. Thanks
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