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VERY Slow Backup from disk to tape

Posted on 2009-07-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I have an HP AIO storage device that I backup my Exchange mailboxes to every night.  It backs up from a remote Exchange box to disk on that server.  Once that job has completed, I have a duplicate job that sends the Exchange backup to tape (local LTO3 HP AutoLoader).  When I first set it up I was getting speeds of around 2400-3000MB/min.  My backups would complete in a timely fashion & all was good.

Recently my backup to tape jobs have slowed down to a crawl at between 20-36MB/min (once it reaches 36MB/min it doesn't progress higher or lower.  I have talked to Symantec & they are convinced that everything is correct & nothing can be done (ie - Symantec drivers, Unknown media changer etc).  I have spent HOURS on the phone with HP & have been sent a new tape drive, new U320 SCSI controller card & a new SCSI cable all to no avail.

Does ANYONE have any clue as to what is going on?  I have run the HP Library & Tools application which shows that the speed of the backup is just as slow (although it is intermittent, one time it will be fast & then the next time it won't be).  Some weird things that happened are that I put in a new LSI U320 SCSI driver & the next job I ran went at full speed, the very next job was back down to the super slow speed.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to try next?  It is a Windows Storage Server 2003 device & I am running Backup Exec 12.5 SP2.

Thanks!
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Question by:rustyrpage
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by:renazonse
ID: 24797127
Have you updated the firmware for the loader, the drive and the SCSI card?

What version of Exchange? If Exchange 2007, try backing up the on-line copy instead of the replicated copy.

Believe it or not, I've seen a similar situation with a VXA-320 loader and it turned out to be the loader and not the drive. Doesn't make sense but it was the issue in that case.

Does it only run slowly from the scheduled job or does it run slow when you manually start the job as well? I've resolved this same problem by deleting and re-creating the scheduled job.

Is it possible there's another scheduled service of some type that runs while the backup runs? IE a virus scan or file copy of some sort that may bog down the server?
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24797167
Updated the firmware on everything - no fix =)

Exchange 2003 - that said, even doing a normal file backup or the test backup throught he HP tools is very slow

Interesting - I guess I could ask HP to replace the auto-loader, that is baffling though.

I can run it scheduled or manually & it doesn't work - I have actually resorted to putting the B2T job on hold because it causes my other jobs to hang the next day if I forget to go cancel it.

There is Symantec anti-virus running, but it is excluding all of the Symantec recommended folders, files & settings. (including ALL the data drives)
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by:mrjking2000
ID: 24797195
I have seen tape backup devices that were "on their way out" per say slow way down.  I had this happen twice to a customer of mine and the 1st time the backup drive was under warranty.  The 2nd time it was not, so I put them on a different hot-swap hard drive backup system.

So the likeliness of failing hardware is high.  It would be worth a shot to see if HP would replace the backup unit.  I'd bet your backup speeds get back up to where you want them.

Good luck!
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by:renazonse
ID: 24797208
What about shadow copies? Do you have snapshots that may be running?

"even doing a normal file backup or the test backup throught he HP tools is very slow" - not familiar with the HP Tools but I'm assuming you are using only the Symantec driver for the loader and tape drive? It's not going to work very well otherwise.

Revert to an older version of the SCSI card drivers

It'll most likely be a mighty big pain in the rear but have you tried it from another machine?

If you monitor the server's resources while backing up do they stay pretty level?
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by:renazonse
ID: 24797230
@mrjking2000

I'll second that....had a bad LTO-1 that was doing nearly the same thing but not exactly.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24798430
As mentioned, HP replaced the tape backup unit altogether & that didn't seem to fix the issue.  (not to mention that the backup drive is only 6 months old).  I am not doing any shadow copies & in order to run the HP tools I had to revert to the HP drivers & turn off all Symantec services - so that's how I am pretty sure it isn't JUST backup-exec that is the issue.

Honestly I dont' know if trying it on another server is a viable thing since I do not have any more external SCSI card servers.
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by:renazonse
ID: 24798552
Don't you have the old SCSI card? You can plop that in any machine...even Windows XP and use HP Tools or NTBACKUP to test it out. Or, download a trial of Backup Exec.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24798562
No, I had to hand the old card back to the delivery person
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by:vvlada
ID: 24798933
Hi,

Did you try to run a backup of some files from BE server - just to check if the problems you have are not network related - just run some simple backup job for 1GB of files from BE server itself to the tape - if you got the same speed, then you have the problems with SCSI/Tape, if you got normal speed/job rate, then you have a network problem.

Vladimir
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24798946
Weird - I just tried to kill some services that weren't necessary & all of a sudden it start going up 1MB/min every 5 seconds or so - it went up to about 110MB/min now, so I killed the job & restarted it - now I am at 1600MB/min & rising - not too bad.  We'll see if it stays running.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24799145
It's holding at 1800MB/min right now, so that's not too shabby.  I have seen this happen before after upgrading the SCSI driver, but then the next job went back to being slow....I'll give it a week to see what happens.
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by:TapeDude
ID: 24799534
A couple of things in addition...

Ensure BE software compression is switched off

Have you tried the NT backup Applet to see what kind of speeds you can get?

This probably isn't related, as your issue is intermittent, but is the source hard drive(s) regularly defragged?

I know you say it's not set to access any of the data files, but try switching off the virus checker when backing up - does this make a difference?
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24804325
BE software compression has been switched on & off to ensure that wasn't the culprit

NT Backup & the HP test tools natively write directly to the tape drive at similar inconsistent speeds (granted, the inconsistency is either 1400MB/Min plus or EXACTLY 36MB/min.

I have DiskKeeper run every weekend after the backup jobs to ensure that the drives aren't that fragged - but the problem is that the drive I am backing up from contains all of my IMG files from the Exchange backup & those are always going to be fragmented because of the size etc - but I have eliminated that as the issue I think.

I have tried to uninstall SAV altogether with the same results =)

That said, my nightly backup is running right now at an insane speed of 3300MB/min (that includes hardware encryption!) - this is two jobs in a row that have run at the 1400MB+ speed.  I think that it must have just been some random services - unfortunately I couldn't pinpoint which one fixed the problem, but anything that I stopped I set to disabled, so that ought to solve the issue....however, once I get a full week of backups, I will reboot the server & cross my fingers.




Now, since this is a Symantec forum, I am hoping someone call help me with a residual problem - on a week of my tapes (last week) that I used to test out the NT Backup & HP Tools, although they are named correctly (as they are barcoded), they are all marked as "UnRecognized Media" so Backup Exec will load them into the tape drive & then immediately reject them.  Does anyone know how to fix this issue?  I would hate to buy a bunch more tapes for nothing!
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by:renazonse
ID: 24804425
I assume you've tried to erase the media? If not, most times if you put it in scratch media and run a job that overwrites the tape it will just run.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24804461
Yeah, putting it in Scratch media doesn't work (I thought it would too)

I'm going to sound like an idiot, but I have been using ArcServe backup for 8 years & just started using Backup Exec, so how do I delete in Backup Exec?  And will it lose the barcode label?
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by:TapeDude
ID: 24804526
You could try erasing them within NT Backup.

Just as an aside - none of the Arcserve services are still running, are they? Because that would affect your BE backups BIG TIME.
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by:renazonse
ID: 24804534
Move it to retired media then delete it....should just be able to rescan the drive after that and run "label media"
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24804536
No, ArcServe is on a different server doing different backups.

The problem is that in order to get NTBackup to even recognize the drive I have to do a few reboots, change the drivers etc.  Does Backup Exec really have no way to erase tapes?
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by:TapeDude
ID: 24804562
Whenever I've used BE with tapes it doesn't recognise, it just says the tapes are unrecognised.

I seem to recall there's a setting somewhere that gives the option of immediately ejecting unrecgonised tapes.
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by:TapeDude
ID: 24804580
... can't remember exactly where in BE it is, though...
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24804590
But how do I make them recognized again?
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by:TapeDude
ID: 24804677
I'm not sure I understand the question.

If they've been overwritten by another package, then they will be unrecognised by BE, and need to be re-initialised in BE before they can be used again.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24804685
So how do I re-initialize them in Backup Exec?
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24804697
I just found the erase option - would I just do a quick erase & that would reset it??
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TapeDude earned 500 total points
ID: 24804795
Yes.
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24804797
Okay - I'll give it a shot next week!
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by:renazonse
ID: 24804983
wow, all that and you accept an answer on how to erase the tape? Didn't you disable some processes to resolve the actual problem?

@renazonse : "If you monitor the server's resources while backing up do they stay pretty level?"
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by:rustyrpage
ID: 24805008
I solved the main problem myself - therefore I awarded the points to someone that provided an answer to another question pertaining to the troubleshooting.

I had monitored the servers resources & there was nothing that was running abnormally at all.
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