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BE 12.5 Backups are slow upon new SAN implementation

Posted on 2010-08-29
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I need some advice about BE12.5 and slow data transfer and LTO4 drives going offline

We had backups running on two tape drives (one HP Storageworks 960 LTO3 via SCSI Cable) and one Storageworks 1840 LTO4 drive (SAS connection) Both Storageworks drives are directly connected to a DL380 G4 server running Windows 2008 server.

Data - We have an Iomega® StorCenter™ ix12-300r which is connected by ISCSI to our FP server. Currently, we have only one ethernet connection (cat6) to SAN, which in turn is connected to the SAS vis ISCSI.

The LTO3 SCSI - drive is backing up our Exchange server (ok and is working, but is slow 250-350 Mbs)
The LTO4 SAS drive - is backing up from our FP server /The FP Data is located in the SAN

Problem 1-
the LTO 4 (SAS)  drive drop connection intermittently in BE12.5 (12.5 Rev 2213), which cases us to restart services, if the drive spans, we loose the second tape data because the drive goes offline.


Problem2 - We are seeing speeds between 250-250MBS which cause our backups to run near 24 hours.

How can we speed up the process and address the drive offiine problem?




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Question by:Catalyst72
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SelfGovern earned 300 total points
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I''m confused when you are going from Ethernet to SAS to iSCSI -- do you have some sort of bridge?
A drawing of the topology with the connections at each end (when data enters or leaves a server, and enters a tape drive) including any adapters would be helpful.

250Mb/second is about 30MB/second, which may well be all that the server being backed up can provide.  The Windows file system is often slow; I've had clients with fast servers that couldn't read more than 10MB/sec because of small files, deeply nested directories, fragmentation, contention, etc.    You can download Library and Tape Tools from HP.Com/go/tape (free) and run performance tests to see how fast you can get data from the servers in question.

Network backups can also be a problem.   The total data you can get through a GbE pipe is probably going to be less than 100MB/sec -- although I've gotten over 110 in the lab.... that's not real world.  Making sure you have a TCP/IP Offload Engine NIC (TOE NIC) might help.

Are you performing encryption or compression in any of the steps before the data hits the tape drive?   These functions can each slow a backup by up to 50% (depending on speed of your processor, but note that they are single-threaded... so you can have 10 cores and it won't help).

For your device going offline problems, I'd make sure you're using the latest supported drivers and firmware for tape drive, library (if you're using one), HBA, etc.   You can find out supported configs at http://www.hp.com/go/ebs .    Make sure everything is exactly as specified in the EBS Compatibility Matrix, and see if things get better.   If not, consider swapping out HP tape drivers for Symantec drivers (or vice versa).
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by:paulsolov
paulsolov earned 200 total points
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check the disk latency on the IX12, if you can't check it from there check in on the Exchange Server.  You may be able to improve the backup by connecting the media server read only to the ISCSI LUN on the NAS, just make sure you configure it not to resignature.
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by:Catalyst72
ID: 33814202
I am sorry for the late comments....I did not have time to respond.
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by:Catalyst72
ID: 33814213
Symantec ended up telling me that the my array controller (that is running every other instance if BE12.5 in our environment )is not compatible. We are successfully running backups now.

Problem one: You MUST deploy the remote BE agent through the media server if the server is alrady patched. Patches will be compbined with the agent install and will be installed with the agent. There is no seperate live update for the agent. 1 problem

Problem 2: Make sure your array controller is on the HCL before deploying BE12.5

Symantec get's a boooo from me. I'm sure alot of people are using the DL380G4's out there still. I can't see why the SCSI array controller 6i is not a supported hardware compenent on the BE12.5
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by:paulsolov
ID: 33814352
that is sad. I've setup plenty of media servers on the 600 series controllers. Can you upgrade to Backup Exec 2010 to see if there is some improvements?
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