Slow data transfer to server

Posted on 2010-01-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Backup activity across the network involving the server appears VERY slow, or is it???

Server is:
HP DL380 G4 with 6xU320 300GB 10K drives, 6GB RAM Win Server 2008 STD, Gigabit LAN
The computer currently backing up is:
Pentium 3.4 Extreme, 9xU320 drives 148 to 300GB 10K & 15K, ASUS P4c800, 4GB RAM WinXPpro, Gigabit LAN
The Router is:
D-Link DIR 655 Extreme N Gigbit Router. It auto sets the LAN ports 10/100/1000 gbps
Both computers use Category 6 wired LAN connections to the router.

Backup generally seems very slow. The current backup is used for an example.

Currently Acronis True Image is making an image of the OS partition on the PC (the tower not the Server) This partition is about 140GB with  a bit over 80GB used. Normal compression is used in Acronis which is normally about 2:1. There should therefor not be much more than 40GB to compress and move.

The disk on the server to take the image is part of a RAID array. The file is sent to its own folder.

Local Area Network Status on each machine notes the 1GBPS connection. On the sending machine when timed that shows about 250MB per minute sending. The receiving Server shows a bit over 200MB per minute. Sounds very slow to me. There would be error checking I imagine but 200 x 5 moves 1GB in 5 minutes therefore 40 GB should move in about 3.3 hours. It is set to check the result, I am sure it does not but even if that doubled that time it is a lot worse than that.

Acronis says the process will take 12 hours.

It took nearly that time to resurrect one 300GB drive in RAID and it took probably half as long again to backup 200GB using Acronis.

Is there any thing I can do to speed this up? Is it possible that this is anything like normal?

Just now that I get to the end it slowly dawns on me that I have been talking GigaBIT speed and GigaBYTE data. That should make the task 8 times as large I suppose. If it can theoretically move 1Gbps shouldn't it be able to move nearly 125 MB/second not 250mb per minute?

Thank You.
Question by:JAID
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Expert Comment

ID: 26303495
You'll probably find this interesting:

If you can (and all the ethernet adaptors and switches on your network support it) you can look at enabling jumbo frames, which may improve your throughput.

Expert Comment

ID: 26303562

According to my personal experience with Acronis True Image, a disk to disk backup still takes just about as long. In my view, the bottleneck that's actually slowing you down is the source computer, not the network or the target server.


Expert Comment

ID: 26303578
I just tried it on mine (you'll need to run two instances on a single PC to do the loopback test, one in -r mode), and I get a maximum of 205.13 MB/s - that's purely in RAM.

Going through two cheap DLINK gigabit switches, I see a rate of 85.56 MB/s

It's worth testing your network to see what performance is like.
Simplifying Server Workload Migrations

This use case outlines the migration challenges that organizations face and how the Acronis AnyData Engine supports physical-to-physical (P2P), physical-to-virtual (P2V), virtual to physical (V2P), and cross-virtual (V2V) migration scenarios to address these challenges.

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 26303615
Yes, gigabit ethernet should manage about 125 Megabytes per second, peak. 200MB per minute is only about 3 Megabytes per second, which is even slower than disk access speeds.

You need to isolate the problem.  First, how long does it take to copy a 1Gigabyte file from one system to the other?  If that is fast then you may have a problem with Acronis itself.

Do you have more than one disk on the PC that you are trying to back up?  If so how long does it take to copy a big file from one disk to the other?  If that isn't fast then it isn't a network problem.

What happens if you don't compress?  I'm just wondering if the compression could be running slowly for some reason?

I assume that neither machine is short of RAM and paging to death?

Author Comment

ID: 26304113
Thank you DiscusFish. Sobering reading which I will read again but which shows my setup to be slow. Will look at Jumbo frames also.
Your test is also much faster than mine. I have never tested the network and am not sure how but will find out and will. I notice Network magic indicates web connection speed so it may do something like that I guess.

Thank you Martin. As this backup operation is in progress and it is 1:30 am here with just enough time for it to backup by morning I had better make the file test after it has finished. In the past I have not been unhappy with the time to move files between machines but have never measured it.

Just moved a .99 GB folder containing about 1200 files from this machine to the server WHILE Acronis was working away and it settled showing an expected duration of 33 minutes. That I think is only about half a meg a second. Doesnt sound good. I thought it wouldnt be a fair test and may stuff up the present operation so stopped it but those expected times often seem to change on the way through. Will do a proper test tommorrow.

Yes 9 U320 drives on this machine operating off an Adaptec 39320 AR adapter. My experience has been that moving data from one disk to another is very fast. Just tested it while Acronis is still sending the other. It took 54 seconds to move 0.99 GB (990+MB) (1 071 771 648 bytes) between 2 10K U320 300GB drives. The OS which Acronis is sending to the server is on one of the 15K drives so should be faster. Still, that is only a bit less than 17GB per second, not quite up to the U320 standard I think. Feels fast enough though.

Will try sending uncompressed tommorrow.

This machine has 4GB RAM, 3.3 visible (XP) and a 4.8GB paging file.

The server has 6GB RAM (WinSrvr 2008) and a 6.4GB paging file.

Thank you both for your comments they will get me moving in ernest on this and will report back. Sorry that that will be tomorrow due to the current backup progress.

Author Comment

ID: 26304216
Thanks also Darkchild... above I noticed the D and took all three comments as belonging to DiscusFish. I hope you are right. :-) because I will be moving to another computer next week and somebody else will enjoy this one. (I have found it quite good to use but dont think I have ever moved data to the server well. Will check data moving times to various machines and report.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 26304235
Have you checked your error logs in Event Viewer at both ends to see if there are any network problems?
Also have you checked hardware manager to make sure that there aren't any Windows problems with the network cards?

Accepted Solution

Discusfish earned 750 total points
ID: 26304299
If you want to try the PCATTCP test, run the program from the command line on two machines (your machine and the server, for example).

On one, use

and the other use
PCATTCP -t -f M <ip address of the machine above>

To run this as a loopback test on a single machine (to see if one or the other machines is particularly slow) you can open two command prompts, one for each command, and replace the IP address of the remote machine either with its own local IP or with localhost.

There are several other network speed tests available too - a quick google will turn up several.

There are also lots of resources on TCP optimization/tuning which may (or may not) be helpful depending on your network circumstances.

Author Comment

ID: 26304491
Didn't think to do either Martin.

The Server is showing one device for which drivers are not installed. Onder Other Devices it calls it Base System Device on PCI Bus 1 Device 4 Function 1. There is no indication of what it is. Doesn't sound like it but may be an extra SCSI card I had in there to run a couple peripherals but pulled the other day when re-seating the riser.

Event viewer on the server has a couple warnings 4 to 5 hour ago. Probably not related it noted that the Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet #2 link was down but only #1 is used.

The PC I am on (the sending computer) shows only one problem device Bluetooth Personal Area Network for which Windows can't load the drivers. I am sure that it is not part of the MS optical desktop  for Bluetooth I use and I should just remove it but it would unlikley be the problem.

There are no yellow marked events for this machine for the last half day. (Bluetooth became unresponsive then for a moment)

Author Comment

ID: 26304645
Will try the PCATTCP test DiscusFish. Had better do it tommorrow when it is not 'under load' I suppose.

You fellas make this a fantastic resource. I am sorry not to be attacking the problem square on straight away so that we can all see immediate results but had better let this backup go through now that it has been working for a half dozen hours. Will try to follow your advice and report back tommorrow.  
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

Martin_J_Parker earned 750 total points
ID: 26304680
Have you checked on the HP site to see if there are any driver updates for the network card on your DL380?  Also for the client PC's network card?

For the System Device on PCI Bus 1 Device 4, have you actually still got anything plugged into that 4th slot? (Is it slot 4 or 5? I can't remember if it counts from 0 or 1!)  If not you could try just removing the device.  If Windows thinks there really is a device there it will "find" it again soon enough!

Can you turn bluetooth off in the BIOS on the client PC?  It probably isn't causing problems, but if Windows can't find the drivers it won't be working properly anyway, so you may as well get rid of it to make sure that it isn't affecting anything.

The Broadcom link #2 being down should not cause problems.  Just make sure that its IP address is not  on the same subnet as #1 as that would cause problems.

Author Comment

ID: 26304892
Will check the HP site. The machine was fully updated with drivers, flashed rom etc. mid last year.

My PC (the client) does need a refresh The Gigabit LAN is built into the ASUS board and I think it would be a good 3 years since it was updated.

There is nothing in PCI Bus 1 Dev4  but I think it was where I pulled the added SCSI card from will chase down what slot is what to be sure of that.

Will get to the bluetooth item and check the IP address. Earlier tonight I was looking in Network Magic and noticed too entries for the server. It is hard to understand how that would be as there has only ever been 1 connection. Maybe it takes its information from the server's system and that system still has some fond feelings for the unused port. It was greyed or wouldnt open up.

Local Area Connectoin has IPv4 assigned by DHCP and IPv6 enabled.
Servers says LA Connection 2 not connected but whether that means ....emmh I have not been able to find an IP address for either of them. Though the server's IP address and subnet is visible.  I am a bit lost with that one I think.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 26305177
If the second network card is configured but not connected it is possible that the address is being resolved wrong sometimes - and that could explain the 2 entries in network magic - you could get the address of the second card.  In theory that shouldn't happen but this is Windows...  :-) Try disabling the unused network card in device manager to see if that helps.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31676638
Thank you all. I have followed these suggestions through and see an improvement (maybe I am impatient but it would be nice to see transfer a good bit faster)

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