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What would you recommend for Backup Exec and Quantum Superloader 3 Optimization?

Posted on 2009-04-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Im not an expert in an expert in Backup software, or running backups in general so Im looking for the best way to optimize our Backup to our Quantum Superloader 3 using Backup Exec.

Currently I'm running Backup Exec 12 to backup to our Quantum Superloader 3.  We have the LTO-2 drive in the Quantum Superloader 3, which according to the specs can transfer at a rate of 187.2 GB/hr of compressed data.  We are currently have a job that is timing out on us since it's taking over 20 hours to complete.  

We have the Quantum Backup Unit attached with a single SCSI cable straight to a backup server which is dedicated strictly for backup.  The server is a HP DL320 G5p, which has 4 GB of ram, and a Xeon X3210 2.13 GHz CPU.  Ive updated all firmware to the Quantum unit, as well as the HP server.

We are backing up from 5 separate servers which are all running Backup Exec Agents(2 DNS/ DHCP servers, 1 Exchange server, 1 Terminal Server, and File Server).  We are backing up the system states and Utility Partition of each of these servers, as well as the Microsoft Information Store off the Exchange server, also all relevant files from the hard drives from each server.  In total about 600 GB.  Its in a single job which has been scheduled to run nightly.

The problem seems to be in the file transfer to the tape, Im currently only be able to get a job rate of 500 MB/minute, which is 30 GB/hr.

So the question is what is the best way to optimize my current setup to maximize the transfer of data to the tape, as well is there another way to pull the data which would help speed this process up?
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Question by:TheRadDude
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honmapog earned 500 total points
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You could increase the block size of the tape drive from its properties in the Devices tab of Backup Exec. Set the block size to 256KB.
However, chances are this won't help much. With normal business data, 500MB/min is a value I typically see. The problem generally is with reading the data from the source directories. Also if you have a low files/directory ratio, the Microsoft tape format, used by Backup Exec uses is not optimal for speed.

You could break down the different sets from the job log and check if there is any server that has a clearly lower MB/min count than any of the other servers. If that's the case, check networking settings on that server.
How fast is the Exchange Information Store set? This should be the fastest set. Check if removing the GRT option from the Exchange settings in Backup Exec significantly speeds up the backup.

Ideally you should be able to read from multiple servers in parallel, but unfortunately Backup Exec does not allow you to do this.
If Backup to Disk is a possibilty I would create 5 jobs (one for each of the servers). Run 2 jobs to tape directly and run the other 3 jobs to disk first. Those 3 disk jobs can be run in parallel to disk. Once the disk job finishes you duplicate that disk job to tape. Those duplications will be backups from local disk to tape, so they should be faster than LAN backups to tape.
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by:TheRadDude
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Sage,
If I were to backup to tape the backups of the 3 jobs that were sent to disc, would it not just be backing up the backup files.  In order to a restore of a file would I not then have to complete restore of the backup files to the disc, before I could restore the single file.
Also Is there any way using Backup Exec, to start a backup only after the 3 jobs finished, or would this be more of a timing thing?
Also is Backup Exec, with Quantum Tape drive able to backup more than a single job at a time?  Or would the 2 jobs to tape have to run at 2 seperate times?
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by:honmapog
honmapog earned 500 total points
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No, you would not back up the bkf files. You would create a "Duplication Job".  You can either put both Backup job and Duplication job in a policy together, or create a "duplication job that follows a backup job". That will allow you to restore individual files to tape.

You can start jobs after another job finishes by putting them both into a template and applying template rules. But doing that with 3 jobs is probably not workable.
Probably you're better of timing it. Also if you have limited resources (e.g. only one tape drive), any job that starts and needs the resource will queue up anyway.

As suggested above no tape drive can write two backups at the same time. But you can start them at the same time or around the same time and whichever one doesn't get the drive will just wait in a Queued state.

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by:TheRadDude
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Thanks for the help, I've been able cut back the the backup time considerably.  Now I just need to find out how to get more out of the actual Quantum Unit, as it's now the bottleneck.
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