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Fiber Zoning for Best BE 2012 Performance

Created: 22 Jan 2013 | 9 comments

Good Morning and thank you in advance for any assistance provided.

Current setup is as follows:

  • VNX5300 SAN hosting VMWare environment. (4GB Fiber HBAs)
  • Physical Server hosting Backup Exec 2012 (2GB Fiber HBA)
  • ADIC Scalar i2k with 5 LTO3 drives (4GB Fiber HBAs for the drives, 1GB Fiber HBA for Management Port)

For Zoning, my setup is as follows:

I have the VNX5300 and the backup server in one zone. I have the ADIC drives, management port, and backup server in another zone. 

I thought that this setup would provide incredible performance benefits, however I'm seeing some pretty slow backup speeds (i.e. 60MB/min). Should the VNX5300 SAN, backup server, and ADIC (including drives) all be in the same zone?

Finally, I decided to take a stab and change some of the ADIC Scalar Drive settings (i.e. Block Size, Buffer Size, Buffer Count, etc) but if anything, performance suffered. Does anyone have any experience configuring these settings for optimal performance? 

Thank you!

Comments 9 CommentsJump to latest comment

ZeRoC00L's picture

Changing zones will not increase performance.

You should troubleshoot your environment to investigate why you get this performance. LTO3 is capable to write data at 80MB/sec.

What kind of backups are you creating? Is it traditional agent backup or are you using the BE Vmware Agent ?

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

sigmadnsadmin's picture

Hi and thank you for your response. I'm creating BE VMWare Agent Backups.

ZeRoC00L's picture

Do you use the SAN transport method or NBD ?

Why is your BE server equiped with 2 GB adapters, as the SAN and tape are 4 GB ?

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sigmadnsadmin's picture

I have all transport methods selected but the SAN transport method on top of the priority list. Is there a way to see which transport method is being used during a backup? The BE server only have 2GB adapters purely because of cost. If I can justify a performance improvement from 1GB to 2GB (which is what we recently changed to), we'll upgrade to 4GB HBAs.

ZeRoC00L's picture

Not sure if you can see in the logs if the SAN transport method is chosen, but if you only select that, and the BE server is not able to the VMFS LUNS directly the backup will fail.
Seems to be worth trying.

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sigmadnsadmin's picture

Great, thanks. Any input in the buffer, block, settings?

ZeRoC00L's picture

I wouldn't change them.

See warning here:


Use the preferred configuration settings for a device to tune the performance of backup and restore operations. Changing preferred configuration settings is not generally recommended and may have a negative effect on backup performance and system performance. Thoroughly test any changes before you put them into general use to ensure that system performance does not deteriorate.

If you make a change, be sure to doublecheck if a restore is still working !

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dotlike's picture

Are you using PowerPath Express (Multipathing Software from EMC) on the Backup Server.

The express edition of PowerPath is free. If you haven´t already installed it i would give it a try...


teiva-boy's picture

I've run into a few accounts with this same issue..  All this new gear, and the infrastructure was left untouched.  The FC switches were over subscribed, and a few had a slow backplane.  In 1 case, 4GB FC HBA's, connected to 1GB FC switches....LOL.

But at the end of the day, backups are only as fast as the slowest link.  slow disk, slow HBA's, improper negotiation, slow switches, etc...  It could be a myriad of things, which makes backcup so frustrating and fun at the same time.

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."