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Backing up small files with BE 2012

Created: 24 Jul 2013 • Updated: 24 Jul 2013 | 8 comments
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I have to backup a servers with a a lot of small files. As expected the backup speed is very slow when backing up such files. I would like some suggestion on how to improve the backup speed of these type of files. Right now the backup speed for that server is about 105 MB/min. So it takes more than 2 days to do a full backup of less than 1TB, and it is becoming an issue because by the time the backup is completed the data is already old.

I've thought about synthetic backups, but I will need to buy the Enterprise Server Option license for that, and I'm not sure if this is going to work well since I've never tried with any BE version. And symantec no longer lets you try it free.

I'll really appreciate any sugestions.


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Jaydeep S's picture

If you Full backup is taking about 2 days to finish, it would be really help if you can perform Full backups on Friday and then from Monday - Thursday perform Incremental / differential backup as they would take a lot lesser time to finish compared to Full.

Donald Eady's picture

You may want to consider opening a support ticket and allowing a technician to run an AppCritical test to verify that there are no network issues. Additionally you idea to running the synthetic backup might be a good option for you and you should be able to trial it without issue. you would just need to Trial the ADBO option 

I hope this posting was helpful


Guev007's picture

Thanks Jaydeep. That is actually my current setup...Full on Friday and diff M-Th. The differential jobs finish withing the backup window, but the full one is the problem. I thought about running the full backups less frequently, but as the differential backup grows we may run into the same issue.

Donald, with BE2012 I don't see ADBO as an option with BE2012. I believe they changed it to something called "Enterprise Server Option" and you can't longer install it as a trial....Thanks for the suggestion though.

Jaydeep S's picture

Here is a link to the Backup Exec 2012 Tuning and Performance Guide. See if any information out of this helps you.

Donald Eady's picture

I thought that you were able to trial the option, I will look into it. ADBO is the second box under the Enterprise Server Option "Advanced Disk-based Option"... 

I hope this posting was helpful


Guev007's picture

Yeah, I don't think you added as a trial anymore.

teiva-boy's picture

Frankly, BackupExec CANNOT do this.  I've done this, and failed miserably for years in 11d, 12, 12.5, and 2010.  4x2TB volumes (Using 5 drive RAID5 LUNS per volume) each with 3-7 million objects (jpegs)

In 2010 you still had the chance to use Storage Foundation FlashSnap for Windows.  This was removed in BE2012.  But this add-on will back up the entire filesystem (assuming NTFS) as a RAW volume, ignoring the filesystem and the millions of files you may have.  It's really a great product!  One of only 2 products on the market that can do this and do it well.  Your 2day backup would now be roughly 10-12 hours based on my experience.

As a cheap alternative you can use the SSR product from Symantec, Symantec System Recovery.  It's about $800-$1000 per server (varies on discounting levels) but this would solve your problem in just one backup.  You then pick up these large monolithic flat files created by SSR via BackupExec to tape.  I'm sure you can script this out to happen in one step.  (There is a trial edition of this to try out)

You can step up to NetBackup and do this with an Enterprise Server and Enterprise Client.  Flashsnap technology is baked into the Enterprise Client.  But the cost of Netbackup over BackupExec is about 10x.

So, assuming we're talking millions of files here.  Anyone that tells you BackupExec can do this in a reasonable timeframe just plain doesn't know.

There is an online portal, save yourself the long hold times. Create ticket online, then call in with ticket # in hand :-) "We backup data to restore, we don't backup data just to back it up."

Guev007's picture

Thanks Teiva-boyd. I will look int SSR.

We were looking into changing backup exec for another backup technology but went back to it because of budget reasons. I wish we can get rid of it altogether. We upgraded from 12.5 to 2012 and I truly hate it. The good thing is that with the new BE2012 Symantec made it easy to make the case that the product isn't worth keeping and finally move to another solution.