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Windows Backup

Posted on 2011-09-19
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
SBS2011, 24GB RAM, Intel Xeon 2.4Ghz, 70GB Exchange Mail Store
The issue is when doing a full Windows image backup of the SBS2011 Server, the server is very sluggish & unresponsive until the backup completes. All Outlook clients cannot send or receive mail during this time until the backup completes. This doesn't sound normal or is it? Any ideas?
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Question by:yohayon
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by:SuperTaco
ID: 36563985
Taking a backup stresses the machine resources.  have you been doing the backup at off hours?
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by:AJS2011NZ
ID: 36564550
VSS will take Exchange offline while it performs a snap. Run the System Performance data collector and see what is going on while the backup is running. What is the disk configuration? Are they SAS or SATA disks? What RAID, controller etc. The System Performance will give you an idea as to the disk queue, which I suspect is your bottleneck.
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by:yohayon
ID: 36564621
2 x 1TB SAS (6GB Interface) Disks in Raid1 using Perc 6/i (3GB Interface). If you can kindly provide details on how to run/configure Sys Perf to display the info looking for. I guess I would start it prior backup as during backup, the server is not accessible.
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by:AJS2011NZ
ID: 36564694
Open Server Manager -> Diagnostics -> Reliability and Performance -> Data Collector Sets -> System -> System Performance

This will run for 60 seconds, then the report will show under the reports section.
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by:yohayon
ID: 36564702
Here are pix of performance when windows image backup is running. Your thoughts?  bakup1 bakup2
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AJS2011NZ earned 500 total points
ID: 36564709
Your disk subsystem is not keeping up. Queue lengths of 5 and 18 are excessive. You need to have a look at your Disks, RAID configuration.
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by:AJS2011NZ
ID: 36565249
I've been digging around, are you sure they are SAS disks? I could only find 1TB SATA disks on the Dell site?
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Author Comment

by:yohayon
ID: 36567100
The Raid1 disks are SAS but the backup disk is Sata. See pic. I have also posted a pic of the disk activity duringh the windows image backup. Thank you for your continued assistance. pic1 pic2
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Author Comment

by:yohayon
ID: 36571292
AJS2011NZ, can you comment on my last post?
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Author Comment

by:yohayon
ID: 36577042
Do I need to ensure that my backup drive is also SAS to reduce bottleneck?
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by:AJS2011NZ
ID: 36585418
Hi, from what I can see, making the backup disk SAS won't help, as the issue appears to be writes to the disks. The backup is only going to make reads, so there is something else going on. With 24GB I would have expected there to be sufficient RAM, but is the server paging?

When you run the data collector, it will give you an idea as to the processes that are performing the most reads/writes to the disks.

How much Cache does the RAID controller have? Is the write back (if available) enabled?
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Author Comment

by:yohayon
ID: 36587735
Thank you. You may have solved it for me. For whatever reason Dell had the Perc 6/i card preconfigured with cache disabled. I have enabled it & will test. over weekend.
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