Backing up 700GB file server with BackupExec 12 takes 27 hours

Nothing else running on this Windows 2003 Server.  It is a file server for our company and has approximately 700GB of files on it.  NIC is at 1GB, as is the NIC on the dedicated BackupExec server, both plugged into the same switch.  Backups are going to SCSI disk.   The BackupExec server will backup other servers plugged into the same switch with the same NIC at 1800MB/min., however when it backs up the file server, it takes 27 hours at about 350MB/min. on average./  Why the difference in speed and what can I do to increase the backup speed of this server????  Thanks.
tenoverAsked:
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TripyreCommented:
make sure that any antivirus is not scanning every file that you are backing up.  Also, compression could be an issue.
Make sure your network connections are Full duplex.
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tenoverAuthor Commented:
Connections are full duplex on both machines.
Compression, just for testing purposes, should it be on or off, hardware or software (if On)?
I do run Symantec Anti-Virus on that machine, but am not comfortable turning it off because that server is heavily used.  How to disable or stop scanning when backing up?
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Thomas RushCommented:
How many files are on this system?   What is the distribution of file sizes?   How deep are the directories?

Small files will kill Windows backup performance -- I've seen fast servers with great drive arrays only be able to read at 10MB/sec because there were so many small files.  If that's your problem -- not uncommon with a file server -- your only option might be to create an image backup, which will read the disk as sequential blocks, not as a series of files.

Software compression will also put a significant load on your system and slow down backups, so it should be turned off.    Your target hard drive probably does not have native hardware compression, so that should also be set to 'off'.

Worst case, you're compressing in SW and encrypting in SW.   If you can, turn encryption off, or go to a target with native HW encryption (such as LTO-4 or DAT320 tape) and use that.

Take a look at PerfMon to see where your bottleneck is.   Are you RAM, Processor, or Disk constrained?
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tenoverAuthor Commented:
How many files?  I'd say in the hundreds of thousands.  File sizes are from about 2kb all the way up to .pst files that are upwards of 4GB in size.

RAM, processor and Disk all appear to be fine when checking Task Manager throughout the day.  
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Thomas RushCommented:
I'd at least temporarily reconfigure this backup job to perform an image backup, and compare that backup's performance against the file backup.  If the performance suddenly jumps up to 1800MB/sec or more, than you know it's a filesystem limitation.  Your 'fixes' then will be challenging; the easy fixes won't do much for performance; the more complex fixes won't be free.

1) Defrag!   Make sure you run the best possible defrag program and that you keep things clean.   I have used DiskKeeper; I don't know if it's the best, but it works well, with low system load, and I like it.

2) See if there's a way to eliminate directories from your directory structure.   That is, if the average file is seven levels deep in the directory tree, you'll see a big performance benefit if you can cut the average to five levels deep.

3) Change your backup methodology to make use of more differential backups and fewer full backups.  If you know it takes 20 hours to do a full backup, but only 2 hours to do a differential, then perform a full backup once a month, and a differential backup daily.  

NOTE!!!!!  Do NOT confuse incremental and differential.   I would never recommend you go for a month of incremental backups, because a restore will require going through a full backup and every incremental (up to 30) between the full and the restore target.   Using differential backups will only require loading the last full, and at most one differential backup.

4) Consider using a product like HP Data Protector or IBM TSM that can use an "incremental forever" scheme and generate "synthetic full backups".   Using this technology, we backup to disk once with a full backup, and after that every backup is an incremental backup.  Periodically, you go through and generate a "synthetic full" backup, which you copy to tape.   Running this synthetic full process on, say, May 10 uses the immediate previous synthetic full and the incrementals since then to generate what would have been generated had you run a full backup on May 10.   Because you're running incrementals only, your data transferred will typically be only 1-2% of a full backup, so will happen much faster.   You will probably find that Data Protector is less expensive than TSM.  http://www.hp.com/go/dataprotector or http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/storage-mgr/

5) Move to some sort of hierarchical storage management system (HSM), where files that have not been accessed in some time are moved to a second (or even third) tier of storage where they don't need to be backed up on a daily basis.   However, this will require changing your entire backup scheme and also means you've got to manage those new tiers of storage.
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