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File Level Backups running slow in VCB (VMware)

Posted on 2008-10-09
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So... I, like many others, am very unhappy with the backup speed of VCB on a file level backup -and I can't be giving my backup proxy the kind of disk space it needs to do an image level backup of my file server.

My environment:
-VMware 3.0.3 running on 2 hosts
- MSA1510i iSCSI SAN, storing everything for all VMs
-Separate Gig/E network for SAN traffic

I understand from "the google" that this is because it must still do a lot of seeking on the disk(s) for each little file that it downloads at the file level... where it would only have to seek once to the VMDK and start shipping over the file.

When backing up via file level, I see a backup rate of about 700MB / minute.  When backing up via image level, it must first of course copy the file over, but then it backs up at about 2900 MB / minute...

What I am instead wondering, is if anyone has any ideas on how I can tweak my I/O rates... I'm using Symantec BE 12, (currently downloading 12.5 trialware to see if that makes a difference).

Would an increased stripe size on the disks on the guests help, or would that be ineffective due to the fact that it'd still have to seek and do a sequential read?

Is there any way that I can compress the VMDK (other than removing the empty space) such that I don't need a 1 TB drive on my proxy just to back up my file server?

Any other ideas?
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Question by:lunanat
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by:DChaffey
ID: 22685746
I know you weren't specifically asking for a different solution but...
You could potentially look at vRanger, I believe it will do a full image backup, compress it on the fly as it writes to disk and then in future do differential backups to save space. They also have the option of a file-agent to pull individual files from the backup without restoring the whole thing.
I can't speak to it's data throughput rate other than when I've used it in the past I haven't been unhappy with the speed.
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lunanat earned 0 total points
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A different solution would be very preferable... however I still run into the problem with vRanger of not being able to give my proxy a 1TB drive to do its backups on.  Even if it only needs 1TB for one day of the week, and then only enough disk space for a differential backup the rest of the week.  That, and vRanger doesn't even have any way of writing to tape.

12.5 turned out to be a huge dissapointment, by the way (for anyone else reading this).  Can't uninstall the bloody software... Add/Remove fails (apparently it can't find a network path that never existed... go figure!), the built in uninstaller fails and rolls back (long story) and it won't let me install 12 over 12.5...

Anyways, back onto topic.
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