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Slow Backups

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I am experiencing very slow backup times in Retrospect 5.0 Server.


Retrospect Computer

Macintosh G3 tower

Mac OS 9.2.2

160 megs RAM

Retrospect 5.0.238

94 megs RAM allocated to Retrospect

Backing up to a Sony AIT DC tape drive using ultra-wide SCSI

Netrwork 10BaseT


Client Computers


Mac OS 9.x and 10.3.2

Retrospect Client 5.0.238 on Mac OS 9 computers, 5.0.540 on OS X


I have a mix of 60+ Macintosh computers, from the Rev A iMac to the 15" flat screen iMac, with a range of towers from G3 Blue & White to MDD thrown in.


Of the 60+ computers, a full third are backing up very slowly, causing backup times for the entire group to balloon from 9 hours for a recycle to 18+ hours, and 4 hours to 8+ hours for a normal backup.


A typical record in the log for one of the slow computers is:

5 files 2105 KB

8.5 MB/min (4.7 copy, 41.1 compare)

Duration: 00:33:36 (00:32:37 idle/loading/preparing)


I will see a copy speed anywhere from 0.2 up to 16.3 MB/min with the slowest on a 1gigahertz iMac with OS X 10.3.2, and the fastest on the same type computer.


All computers are set to never sleep.


This is a potential major problem, as of the 20 computers that are backing up slowly, 10 of them are OS X 10.3.2, which is the total number of OS X computers installed. If I go to an all OS X environment, I am potentially looking at backups that will run in the days, rather than hours.


Is there a solution for this?

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We are running a 10baseT network, so speeds should be slow. No ethernet adapters, beyond the normal built in Apple ones.


I did read in the Retrospect 6.0 documentation that if something in the network/backup server is slow, this can cause all sorts of problems, because the AIT drive has to constantly reposition itself in order to continue the backup.


Is this a possible cause for the long backup times for OS X?


Will migrating to Retrsopect 6.0 and OS X on the backup server cure this?

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