Veritas Backup Exec going very slowly

Posted on 2008-10-23
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Hi Experts,

I've got a problem with Veritas Backup Exec (9.1) running every night. It runs on our main server (Windows Server 2003 SBS SP2) home to SQL and Exchange as well as file hosting. The backup is set to run at 4am and hopefully be completed by 5pm so a new tape can go into the drive.

The problem is the backup is taking far too long. The last one run has a byte count of 144,819,951,772 and took a total of 15 hours 24 minutes. So I examined the job history...

C Drive (Windows and software installs) - 203.00 MB/Min
E Drive (SQL) - 429.00 MB/Min
F Drive (Roaming Profiles & Home Folder) - 378.00 MB/Min
G Drive (Shared network drives) - 391.00 MB/Min
K Drive (Exchange database & files) - 402.00 MB/Min

Microsoft Exchange Mailboxes - 47.00 MB/Min
Microsoft Exchange Public Folders - 40.00 MB/Min
Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group - 707.00 MB/Min
Microsoft SQL Server - 439.00 MB/Min
Shadow?Copy?Components - 173.00 MB/Min

Job rate            : 148.00 MB/Min (Byte count divided by Elapsed time for job)

Is there any way I can get the mailboxes and public folders to go any quicker as it's quite apparent they they're slowing it down hugely?

Under the Exchange mailboxes & public folders it doesn't list any files or directories as being backed up, is this right?

Many thanks.
Question by:pjordanna
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Expert Comment

ID: 22787152
Can you get me some info on your tape drive, it seems like you could have something out of whack configuration wise.  Your mailboxes may being backed up slowly if  your doing a brick level backup (meaning you backup each mailbox individually with the exchange agent).  Snapshot backups are quicker and are sufficient for DR situtations but not where a user needs to recover a lost email.

Author Comment

ID: 22787359
the drive is a HP StorageWorks Ultrium 215 (Ultrium LTO1) and the tape was a HP Ultrium LTO 1 200GB.

The backup method for files: FULL - Back up Files - Reset Archive Bit

Expert Comment

ID: 22788388
Sounds like brick level. If the option in my attached screenshot is checked that would be the cause of the slowness.
Microsoft Exchange Mailboxes - 47.00 MB/Min
Microsoft Exchange Public Folders - 40.00 MB/Min
Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group - 707.00 MB/Min
You have these 3 things listed. If you wew not doing a brick level backup I think you would only see "Microsoft Information Store\First Storage Group - 707.00 MB/Min" in your job log.

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Expert Comment

ID: 22794299
BDoellefeld, the screenshot you attached only applies to version 11 and up. pjordanna won't have that option. But you are right. The Brick Level backup is the cause of the slowness.

The speed for Brick Level backups generally cannot be improved much over what you're seeing now.
You have to either put up with the slow speed, or stop doing Brick Level backups by unselecting the Microsoft Exchange Mailboxes and Microsoft Exchange Public Folders selection.
If you stop doing brick level backups, you will have other ways of restoring emails. First there is the Deleted Items Retention built-in to Exchange. And then there is a Recovery Storage Group recovery.

Author Comment

ID: 22794456
Thanks very much for the help BDoellefeld and honmapog.

The current settings for Exchange are...

Exchange server backup method: FULL - Database & Logs (flush committed logs)

Mailbox backup method: FULL - Back up messages - Reset archive bit

The Enable single instance backup for message attachments is uniticked.

What would you suggest changing the mailbox backup method to?

LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 22794652
I would suggest just dropping the mailbox backup.
Rely on the Exchange Server backup method only.
Then make sure Deleted Items retention is on in Exchange: see,289483,sid43_gci1243231,00.html 


Author Comment

ID: 22796325
Will I still be able to fully restore mailboxes (Inbox at the very least)?
LVL 28

Assisted Solution

honmapog earned 50 total points
ID: 22798171
You will not be able to go into Backup Exec and select an Inbox for a certain user and restore it.

Instead, users will be able to go into their Outlook and restore deleted items through Outlook for the amount of time specified in Exchange. Make sure to enable the DumpsterAlwaysOn registry key in the workstations.,289483,sid43_gci1243231,00.html
If the time you specify in Outlook has passed you can restore the Information Store to the recovery storage group and extract mail messages from that restored information store.

How long do you keep your oldest backup? If for example you overwrite backups every 2 weeks and you don't keep monthly backups, then a delete items retention period of 30 days will give you more recovery time for individual mails than you get through your current mailbox backups.

And of course, the alternative is to keep the mailbox backups in the selection list and just accept the corresponding slow backup.
You could check "Enable single instance backup for message attachments". It may improve speed a bit, but don't expect much. Also if you want to try & improve mailbox backup speeds, you could disable any Exchange-specific AntiVirus -- but that may be a security concern.

Accepted Solution

cgordon81 earned 75 total points
ID: 22805254
Brick level prior to Backup Exec 10 is very painfully slow, in newer versions such as 11 and 12 their GRT technology as they call it allows for very quick backup times although still using the MAPI protocol.    

Snapshot backups are tricky to restore from if you don't have a full backup as i'm discovering, as differential and incremental snapshot backups (meaning not brick level backups, or GRT) only back up log files.  

Even for LTO1 your speeds look low for other resources like your c drive.  I would suggest downloading HP Storageworks Library and Tape Tools, it will do some diagnostics as well as test your speeds, although you may need to install HP drivers which symantec won't officially support, however most likely they will work fine.  Try both symantec and hp drivers for your tape drive, see which one is faster in your envioronment.  Your server is doing alot!  You may want to to look at how much i/o is going on besides your backups and when they occur.  SQL, and exchange are very intense on I/O and memory.  Look at memory usage, hard disk i/o through the mmc, since all your backups are slow maybe the hard drives can't keep up, your drive should write much faster than even your highest speed, i know as i have a combination of lto1,2, and 4 drives in my enivornment.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31509234
Thanks for the ideas guys. I think we'll upgrade to a newer version of Veritas to allow quicker backup of mailboxes.

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