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network backup seems slow (maybe)


minidomo

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I have about a dozen network clients that get backed up to a single machine dedicated to nothing else but running Retrospect. This system is running 32-bit Windows 7 Pro (Service Pack 1), 4G RAM, all latest Windows updates. All the machines on my network get a nightly backup into their own individual .RBF backup file, and then once those are all completed Retrospect copies those onto one of three external drives that I rotate from week to week. The clients on my network are all Windows 7 Pro (some 32-bit, some 64-bit), running the latest 8.5 client.

 

One station in particular seems to backup very slowly, although I think I might know why. Let's compare that system to another one on the network that has lower specs but yet backs up quicker. FYI -- both systems are connected to our network via gigabit Ethernet, so that factor is equalized.

 

THE "GOOD" SYSTEM (should outperform the other system)

Intel Quad-Core Xeon 2.26 GHz

6G RAM

64-bit operating system

3-years old

 

THE "BAD" SYSTEM (should underperform in comparison to the "good" system)

Intel Dual-Core 2.70 GHz

4G RAM

32-bit operating system

4-years old

 

These systems are used by different people, so the collection of files on them is different. But my premise is that if, for example, both computers had exactly 1,000 files on them totaling 10G of data and they were backed up across the network to our Retrospect server, the "good" system should backup as fast or faster than the "bad" system, since the "good" system has superior specs.

 

That said, here's last night's specs.

 

"GOOD" SYSTEM

180,496 files totaling 23.5G

86.3 minutes to backup

 

"BAD" SYSTEM

1,637 files totaling 20.2G

22.5 minutes to backup

 

So the "good" system is taking like 3.8 times as long to backup, even though it has only about 16% more data (measured in gigabytes). It does have 110 times as many files though -- this station is used by a web developer, and he's got scads of really, really tiny code files.

 

So my question is whether anything is wrong here or not. Even though they have similar amounts of data in gigabytes, the file count is very different. Does that explain why it takes so much longer to backup? Short of eliminating files, are there any settings I can tweak to improve performance?

 

Thanks for your time.

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So the "good" system is taking like 3.8 times as long to backup, even though it has only about 16% more data (measured in gigabytes). It does have 110 times as many files though -- this station is used by a web developer, and he's got scads of really, really tiny code files.

So my question is whether anything is wrong here or not. Even though they have similar amounts of data in gigabytes, the file count is very different. Does that explain why it takes so much longer to backup? Short of eliminating files, are there any settings I can tweak to improve performance?

Thanks for your time.

Small files take longer to backup than large files. If you watch the progress of the backup in real time you will see that the throughput will drop dramatically when it reaches the developers code files. I don't think there is anything that can be changed in Retrospect as most of the overhead is with the network connection and to a certain extent disk performance.

 

Trying different drivers (newer or older version) for the NIC may help. Also the NIC chipset can have an effect on performance with small files — Intel reportedly being the best followed by Broadcom with Realtek being hit and miss.

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