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Catalogs: Compression? Best location?

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I'd like to get people's opinions/experiences on an issue. I'm experiencing extremely slow Matching stages in my backups and I wonder whether my catalog handling is to blame.


Two issues:


(1) I keep all my catalogs (12 of them) on my startup drive. This means that, while performing several concurrent backups (say, 6), my single drive needs to access multiple catalog files at once, as well as 'run' the operating system (to the extent that it requires disk access). Would it be better to distribute the catalogs among the 4 drives available? (Two of these are the backup destination drives).


(2) I keep my catalogs uncompressed, in the hope that total speed will be faster since I'm eliminating the compress/uncompress steps. Am I right about that? Or is it faster to keep them compressed because (maybe) that reduces the number of disk reads that need to be done to access the data?

My catalogs are about 1GB in size on average.


My config:

Retrospect 8.1 build 150 on a mac pro with 8 cores, 9GB of ram, running OSX 10.5.8. Both the Engine and Console are running on the same machine, and both are running at nice level -15. I have 12 disk media sets, 1 tape media set, 45 sources, 11 tags, 11 immediate backup scripts, 11 proactive backup scripts, 11 Copy Backup scripts. Hardware: Two Lacie external RAID arrays, both on firewire. One Quantum LTO3 tape drive on an ATTO SAS PCI card.


Thanks for your help.

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