Daily Full backups takes longer


I have been doing daily full backups on the server with OS Server 2012 R2 Standard and recently it has started to take very long to complete the backups.
The backups are scheduled for every night at 2100hrs and usually it completes between 0500hrs to 0700hrs but the last few days it has exceeded to almost 1000hrs and the last backup took around 24hours 15 mins causing the next schedule to fail.

The backups take long but complete successfully, i need to check what is the issue that the backups have started to delay that much.

Thank you.
Sajjad LadhaIT TechnicianAsked:
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
One thing to investigate is whether there are log files growing excessively large.  It's common for lesser-known or unsuspected log files to become enormous before they finally take up so much space that they are noticed as a problem.

I use Overdisk for this, which is somewhat old now but I find the interface easy to use.  You point at a pie slice, and it tells you what directory and how much disk space.

Overdisk analysis of folder usage
A more modern tool is WinDirStat, which gives much more information.


Also check the CPU loading on the machine, if possible while the backup is running.  There may be another scheduled task running at that time, and if it were Disk Defragmenter that would shoot backup times right in the foot.

It's also possible that the system has been infected by something quiet like a cryptocurrency miner.  Do a full virus sweep at full sensitivity, then run Malwarebytes (if it's not already installed, install the free version; the full version is too intrusive) and also run Spybot - Search and Destroy.

Check the Event Viewer to see if anything's being logged in the error logs.

If you have a RAID set and one drive is going bad, disk access will slow way down as the RAID set does corrections - which may not be logged in the error logs.  Use the controller manufacturer's utility to check status of the set.

Ensure that there's nothing on the network babbling at the server during backups.  If it has to handle ongoing, profitless network interrupts that will cut speed way down.

Install a thermal monitoring program and look at the CPU temperatures during backup.  If the system is thermal throttling due to a loose heatsink that will slow a compressed backup way, way down.

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Marcos SantoCommented:
i would recommend using a GFS backup scheme. When your disks get full it will start to get slower.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Marcos indirectly raises another point.  Check the fragmentation of the disks involved, both source and target.  If automatic defragmentation is not doing the job, then the drives will spend the majority of their time seeking instead of transferring data.

And if you're backing up over a network, that raises a lot more possibilities for slowdown.
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Sajjad LadhaIT TechnicianAuthor Commented:
Thank You all for your feedback, as I am a newbie to all that was provided. Let me check what is going on. It seems it had improved for a few days after i restarted the server but today it seems it is still doing the backup.

Will revert as soon as I Can.
Sajjad LadhaIT TechnicianAuthor Commented:
Okay here goes.

@Dr. Klahn, appreciate your detailed process and below their updates.
I tried checking for windirstat but it seems it only supports Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 but my Operating system is Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard. Before I try installing, what are the issues that may arise due to incompatibility.

I have checked the CPU loading and there are no other processes running and the CPU load is at 4% when the backup is also running.

I have Kaspersky Endpoint that has scheduled scans and it has not detected any threats, also did a scan with Malwarebytes and also no threats detected but did not try to use spybot as I assume there should be no threats if both Kaspersky and Malwarebytes did not detect.

"If you have a RAID set and one drive is going bad, disk access will slow way down as the RAID set does corrections - which may not be logged in the error logs.  Use the controller manufacturer's utility to check status of the set." --> How do I check the controller manufacturers utility for this?

The backups are scheduled when no one is in the office therefore there should not be any activity on the network that may cause slowness.

The CPU temperature should not be an issue as the server is in an AC room that runs all the time and have not noticed any unusual sound from the server to identify temperature issues.

@Marcus Santos.
Can you explain more on the GFS backup scheme.

I also checked on the disk defragmentation on the server, it is set to automatically run on a weekly basis and the disk status shows OK. Will wait for the backup to complete and will run an analyse to check further.

Thank You and hope I made sense as per what was required to check.
Marcos SantoCommented:
Please refer to the following link; https://www.handybackup.net/backup_terms/grandfather_father_son.shtml
By using the GFS backup scheme you will not be making full back ups on a daily basis but once a week.
This will save you time and storage space. For more detailed explanation please refer to the link.
Sajjad LadhaIT TechnicianAuthor Commented:
Thank You all, will try and change the backup scheme if the issues continues as for now it is going on well.
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