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Should i disable NDMP on an EMC NAS to speed up the backup of its shared folders?

Created: 07 Apr 2010 • Updated: 09 Oct 2010 | 2 comments

I've been advised to disable NDMP on our EMC NAS, which may or may not speed up our NAS backup, which is running too slowly, however i'm not sure if should do this. We're using Backup Exec 12.5.

We have two shares being backed up, one containing our users folders, the other contains project plans.

Users backs up at approx 370mb/min
Project Plans at approx 700mb/min

These figures are much slower than our windows and linux server backups. 

Could  someone please advise me if disabling NDMP would speed things up?


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teiva-boy's picture

NDMP is typically faster than backing up via CIFS.  For NFS, it's a little different as it depends.

What you really need to understand is how NDMP works.  As it doesnt matter what backup software you have, NDMP is what NDMP is, given the hardware used.

In an EMC NAS, the NDMP command is sent via Backup Exec (or insert backup product here), and the NAS and it's internal OS will then do a volume DUMP and stream that DUMP of the volume as a single file over the network to your media server or target.

This DUMP command and data transfer is dependent on many factors, but mainly size of volume, speed of disks, speed of CPU in NAS head, and above all number of files within the volume LUN.  

If you have 10000 say 100MB files, and do an NDMP backup, it'll be very fast in terms of MB/min, when compared to 10000 1KB files.  

I believe NetApp NAS's, do a TAR of the volume, and that TAR is streamed over the network or fabric to your target.  Again, the head processing power and file type/count/size will play a factor in how fast it can TAR those files.  

It's not hard to disable NDMP and try a share based backup, and see what happens.

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."

Colin Weaver's picture

I would expect a Share level backup over CIFS to be slower than an NDMP backup (using the NDMP Option.)

Also bear in mind that the share level backup will need at least one Remote Agent for Windows license on your media server  and the job logs will always have a warning about not being able to find the remote agent - and nothing must be found on the NDMP port (10,000) on the filer for it to work.

The other advantage of the NDMP Option that will gain you performance - is you can attach a library to the EMC itself