During Exchange backup sending and receiving email slow down tremendously

I use the native Windows backup to backup Exchange databases, when the backup kicks in it does some database checking for about 30 minutes or so ( I use Paul Cunningham write up).  During that windows the sending and receiving emails comes to a crawl.  I backup the active database.

Is there a way to avoid this?

1- Can I backup the passive databases and have a good backups?
2- Can I use other third party software? If yes please recommend.

Thanks
FundFireAsked:
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TemodyPickalbatros, IT ManagerCommented:
Did you check storage performance during backup
FundFireAuthor Commented:
No.  I simply run the following commands:

wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:G: -include:E: -allCritical -vssfull -quiet
TemodyPickalbatros, IT ManagerCommented:
You need to monitor storage performance to define if this disk delay issue
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FundFireAuthor Commented:
The databases sitting on the iSCSI EMC SAS drive, they are very fast.  

So you are saying that the system should NOT slow down at all during consistency check of the databases and my situation is NOT normal?
TemodyPickalbatros, IT ManagerCommented:
Backup can cause slow down a little bit
But users could not feeling any thing
But during time storage performance slow down
So my suggestion
Check you storage health
Monitor performance during backup
Gerald ConnollyCommented:
What are you backing up from and to?

The system slowing down could be down to Capacity:
1) Horsepower - The Backup Program could be causing your CPU to saturate
2) Memory - the Backup Program could be pushing your memory utilisation too high causing the system to page excessively
3) Disk - Not enough MB/s extra capacity to accomodate the backup, Not enough Spindles (ie IOPS) to accomodate the backup

Of course you could try and run the backup in a time slot that doesnt affect the users  e.g after midnight

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