How to calculate the required data transfer rate for your network(s)

Article:HOWTO56085  |  Created: 2011-07-25  |  Updated: 2012-01-24  |  Article URL
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How to calculate the required data transfer rate for your network(s)

For backups over a network, you must move data from your client(s) to your media server(s) fast enough to finish backups within your backup window. Table: Network data transfer rates shows the typical transfer rates of some common network technologies. To calculate the required data transfer rate, use this formula:

Required network data transfer rate = (amount of data to back up) / (backup window)

Table: Network data transfer rates

Network Technology

Theoretical gigabytes per hour

Typical gigabytes per hour

100BaseT (switched)



1000BaseT (switched)



10000BaseT (switched)



Additional information is available on the importance of matching network bandwidth to your tape drives.

See Network and SCSI/FC bus bandwidth

The following is an example of how to calculate the required data transfer rate for your network(s).

This example makes the following assumptions:

  • Amount of data to back up = 500 gigabytes

  • Backup window = 8 hours

  • Required network transfer rate = 500 gigabytes/8hr = 62.5 gigabytes per hour

Solution 1: Network Technology = 100BaseT (switched)

Typical transfer rate = 25 gigabytes per hour

A single 100BaseT network has a transfer rate of 25 gigabytes per hour. This network cannot handle your required data transfer rate of 62.5 gigabytes per hour.

In this case, you would have to explore other options, such as the following:

  • Backing up your data over a faster network (1000BaseT)

  • Backing up large servers to dedicated tape drives (SAN media servers)

  • Backing up over SAN connections by means of SAN Client

  • Performing off-host backups using Snapshot Client to present a snapshot directly to a media server

  • Performing your backups during a longer time window

  • Performing your backups over faster dedicated networks

Solution 2: Network Technology = 1000BaseT (switched)

Typical transfer rate = 250 gigabytes per hour

Based on Table: Network data transfer rates, a single 1000BaseT network has a transfer rate of 250 gigabytes per hour. This network technology can handle your backups with room to spare.

Calculate the data transfer rates for your networks to help you identify your potential bottlenecks. Several solutions for dealing with multiple networks and bottlenecks are available.

See Tuning suggestions for the NetBackup data transfer path

See Designing your backup system

See How to calculate the size of your NetBackup image database

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