Sloooooooooooooow backups !

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Sloooooooooooooow backups !

Postby Taran » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:35 am

This is my last attempt to resolve this issue before I shelve the product and stop recommending it to clients.

Recent vintage HP Proliant ML350p Gen8 server, 8 GB RAM, running Windows Server 2008 as a domain member file server.

Two pairs of fast 15,000 RPM disks making up two RAID1 for file shares.

460 GB of shares on first RAID

400 GB of shares on second RAID

Backups are run to external USB 3 drives.

The built-in Windows Server Backup can do a complete backup of all shares including the C: drive in 7 - 8 hours.

Symantec Backup Exec does it in a shade less.

Acronis does it in just under 6 hours.

BackupAssist takes almost 16...

I sent an email to support, before someone asks. This is what I received:

I am sorry that you are having issues with our product, but I will be happy to work with you to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

The issue could be with the compression, can you try creating a job with the file protection backup instead of the archive backup method. This will allow the following backups to the media to run much faster once the initial backup is done to it. Also do not use %date% in the path like it is currently configured this creates a new path each day that is empty based on the date so we cannot see the previous backups to manage them properly.

Should you have additional questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me - I'd be glad to assist you.


I tried changing the backup type, not using encryption (seriously) and not using the %date% option.

I stopped the resulting backup 3 hours in, when it had managed to process around 86 GB of data. Forward projections based on that sort of speed puts a 30+ hour time to complete on the table, which is clearly not going to work.

So I replied to the support email to that effect. That was 9 days ago and, so far, there has been no further communication.

Given that Windows own server backup and two other competitor products can manage the backups with encryption and with a %date% variable from the same server to the same external USB drives I am confident in saying this is an issue specific to BackupAssist.

I understand that many factors can affect backup speed, however, when 3 out of 4 product can and one can't, it's hard not to point the finger.

Event logs and checking the VSS writers gives no clues.

Advice leading to resolution would be greatly appreciated or, as already stated, I will shelve it on my own servers and stop recommending it to clients.

Thanks for looking.
Taran
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Re: Sloooooooooooooow backups !

Postby Stuart » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:27 pm

Hi Taran,

It's Stuart here from the BackupAssist team and am a Senior Technician. Thanks for posting on the forum.

I've taken a look over the diagnostics you've submitted and also the information you've provided.

The diagnostics show that you're running the following all on the same machine at once:

- Windows Backup
- Backup Exec
- Acronis
- NTBackup (which isn't native with Server 2008)

Would this be a typical configuration you'd run on a production environment (running multiple solutions for the one task)? I ask this as it's well known that there are conflicts that can occur when running multiple solutions at the same time which we've written about on our blog previously: http://www.backupassist.com/blog/suppor ... kupassist/.

It may list only a couple of possible scenarios - however based on my experience speeds can also be impacted drastically in such situations as well.

I'd also like to know why you've selected the File Archiving engine to use in this configuration? I would suggest running a System Protection backup based on the configuration you're running in the diagnostics as well. This actually uses Windows Backup so you should also get comparable speeds as you've already indicated in your post. Configuration steps for this are found in the white paper located at http://www.backupassist.com/education/v ... paper.html.

I believe that with a little bit of a configuration change then you'll experience better results.

Hoepfully with this information, you're able to make an informed choice moving forward with your preferred solution. If you want further advice or have any ideas which you'd like an opinion on, then you're more than welcome to pass them by me.

Have a good weekend if I don't hear from you prior Taran.
Stuart Edwards
BackupAssist Support

*Have you tried restoring from your backups lately?*
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Re: Sloooooooooooooow backups !

Postby Taran » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:03 pm

Thanks for your reply Stuart.

Windows Server Backup was installed after problems with BackupAssist meant another solution was required.

BackupExec, Acronis ad the old NTBACKUP were also installed for testing purposes - this was to establish a benchmark for speed with and without compression, automated date naming and other options.

All processes and services for other backup solutions were stopped when testing a counterpart product.

So, no, this is very definitely not how I would routinely configure a production server, however, it is how I would test alternative options in the absence of a lab machine.

So to be absolutely clear, the other backup solutions were being tested AFTER problems manifested with BackupAssist.

Currently BackupAssist and BackupExec processes are stoopped, services disabled, and Acronis is roaring through backups.

Prior to that Acronis services and processes were stopped and services disabled and I watched BackupExec face through the backups.

I will run a System Protection backup this evening and re-test.
Taran
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Re: Sloooooooooooooow backups !

Postby Stuart » Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:44 am

Hi again,

Thanks for the update. I'll await the results of your testing.

If there is a further issue, then I'll need you to submit a fresh set of diagnostics so that I've got the most up to date information.
Stuart Edwards
BackupAssist Support

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Postby Taran » Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:29 pm

I ran a test using "System Protection" which trimmed the backup time from over 15 hours to a comparatively slim 11 hours.

I am away for the next week at least, at one of our European manufacturing facilities, so further tests will have to wait.

Basically, at this stage, I will take sub 7 hours over 11 hours every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Although I realise more might be done to further trim down time to complete it will have to wait until I am back in the UK, and for another weekend where I have the time to get logged in with a long window of opportunity to test things.

So an improvement, but still nowhere near as fast as the built in Windows backup utility or other products.

To be continued.
Taran
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Re: Sloooooooooooooow backups !

Postby Stuart » Mon May 04, 2015 4:17 pm

Hi again Taran,

Just wondering if you have any further updates on this?

It could also be down to the selections that you're making within the software as indicated on the following thread has indicated:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6171&p=14288&hilit=slow#p14288.

If you're backing up files and not entire volumes, then you'll be missing out on a definite speed increase as outlined by stevewm.

If you do continue to have issues, then I will require fresh diagnostics from the system so I have the latest log files to see what's occurring.
Stuart Edwards
BackupAssist Support

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Re: Sloooooooooooooow backups !

Postby Taran » Wed May 20, 2015 1:34 am

OK, after much testing and messing around, here are some logs of our most recent backups:

Start Time Friday, May 08, 2015 7:00:11 PM
End Time Saturday, May 09, 2015 5:25:45 PM
Duration 22 hours, 25 minutes, 34 seconds

Start Time Monday, May 11, 2015 7:00:09 PM
End Time Tuesday, May 12, 2015 4:15:12 AM
Duration 9 hours, 15 minutes, 3 seconds

Start Time Tuesday, May 12, 2015 7:00:08 PM
End Time Wednesday, May 13, 2015 9:09:40 AM
Duration 14 hours, 9 minutes, 31 seconds

Start Time Wednesday, May 13, 2015 7:00:10 PM
End Time Thursday, May 14, 2015 1:45:56 PM
Duration 18 hours, 45 minutes, 45 seconds

Start Time Thursday, May 14, 2015 7:00:14 PM
End Time Friday, May 15, 2015 9:45:06 AM
Duration 14 hours, 44 minutes, 52 seconds

Start Time Saturday, May 16, 2015 10:40:56 AM
End Time Saturday, May 16, 2015 7:55:13 PM
Duration 9 hours, 14 minutes, 16 seconds

Start Time Monday, May 18, 2015 7:00:11 PM
End Time Tuesday, May 19, 2015 1:25:31 PM
Duration 18 hours, 25 minutes, 19 seconds

All destination drives are the same make and model (Samsung 2TB external USB3) and all are formatted prior to the backup running. If I use a drive that was slow one day and run a backup to it on another day, it will randomly run in a timely fashion, or not.

After backup, the same drive is moved onto another 64 bit HP server and 3 more backups are copied to it using FastCopy, which shows high sustained transfer speeds.

Some of the above backups were cancelled for obvious reasons. I can't have a backup starting at 7pm and still have it running into the following afternoon, so under those circumstances no backup is arguably better or, at least, no worse, than one where files could be updated on the day of the backup, and on the following day, while the backup is running.

In between the above I pulled out NTBACKUP, Acronis and Symantec Backup Exec, all of which were only added when BackupAssist started going haywire with randomly long backup times.

To be absolutely clear on that last point, BackupAssist backups went nuts BEFORE I installed other backup products, which was done in an effort to establish a comparative benchmark.

So, 9 hours (ish) on a good day, which I can happily live with.

22 and a half hours on a bad day, and 14 - 18 hours the rest of the time.

This is a single backup job scheduled to run daily at the same time.

Acronis and Backup Exec both ran the same backup jobs in well under 6 hours and around 8 hours respectively, using the same external USB drives connected to the same port on the same server. Crucially, neither of them varied day to day in the time they took to complete the job, and neither skipped a beat during testing when installed on the same server, using the same external drives connected to the same USB port.

I am happy to provide more logs for support purposes - thoughts very much appreciated.
Taran
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Re: Sloooooooooooooow backups !

Postby Stuart » Wed May 20, 2015 12:46 pm

Hi again Taran,

Thanks for the update. I believe we'll require new diagnostics to be submitted through the BackupAssist console.

However I must insist that you remove both Acronis and Backup Exec from the environment. I'm quite clear that you stated that this occurred prior to installing these solutions.l
The reason I say this is that we may make a change that does help resolve the issue, however due to the known conflicts with other solutions being present - they actually mask this and make it seem like nothing has changed.

This includes making sure that there isn't anything still within the registry as I have written this is still known to cause conflicts even without the package being installed on the system:
http://www.backupassist.com/blog/suppor ... x80004230/
Stuart Edwards
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Re: Sloooooooooooooow backups !

Postby Taran » Wed May 20, 2015 5:41 pm

Thanks for your reply Stuart.

Last night's backup was a sprightly and completely acceptable 9 hours 17 minutes, which I can happily live with.

I have submitted a new diagnostics file, as requested, and I can confirm that Acronis and Backup Exec have both been uninstalled (any possible remaining registry entries notwithstanding).
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