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Backups Slowing Down Entire Network

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello Experts,

I'm a developer that occasionally has to stick my head in the server room so forgive me if this is a simple question:

We have 4 servers One of which is a Microsoft Storage Server that  houses our backup drives(Shared ESata Drives)

We due nightly full backups (150gigs per machine) which take about 14 hours to complete (Long story but they have to be full backups)

Servers are all connected via gigabit Ethernet to a managed switch(SRW2008) that is also connected to 4 other managed switches (Linksys SRW2024) that support desktops and IP phones.  All servers are dual NIC'd (Currently using only 1) Our switches do support VLANS.  

When backups are running the network slows to about 50% normal speed. Servers are not under heavy CPU utilization during backup.

I'm looking for the best way to be able to perform the above backup procedure without affecting other traffic and ideally speeding up the process so that it came complete during off hours.



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Top Expert 2011

You already answered your question. I would put them on a separate vlan, or even a separate switch that is trunked to the other switches.
Top Expert 2011

As for speeding up the backup process. I don't see that being a network issue more so than the fact that you are performing nightly full backups.
Aaron TomoskyDirector, SD-WAN Solutions

Using the second nic to do backups is one option. Teaming the nics is another.
If the servers are on the same swith the traffic should never leave that switch, if traffic is slowing across that same switch then it may have a problem.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
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Disk to disk backups can eat up a lot of bandwidth.  On a 1 Gbps network, the transfers between several servers can easily bog down the network.  Since the servers are all in the same room, it should be easy to add a switch for a dedicated/isolated server/storage network.  If you use a switch and dual port NIC's that support the same fast-etherchannel protocols, then you can connect everything at 2Gbps.

Also, do you know what transfer speeds you're getting on the SATA drives?  The write speed may be as much of a bottleneck as the network connections.


I was able to relieve the pressure on the network by using the second nic's on a separate subnet using a dedicated switch.

 I think the major issue for the slowdown was that most of the data for the network was having to go though the same switch (The file server and router were on the same switch) so we may have very well been stretching  the limits of the linksys backplane.

Also noticed that Jumbo Frames was turned off on one of the endpoints which may have contributed to the long backup times as well.

Backups are now down to a very acceptable 4 hours with minimal load the the primary subnet although and IO of the Esata drive seems to be the new bottleneck.

Thanks for your help.
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