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Slow backup only from VM's using Windows Agent

Created: 24 Nov 2013 • Updated: 28 Jan 2014 | 5 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.
Hi Guys,
I have a job open with Symantec but don't really feel we are getting anywhere with them so I thought I'd post here.
We are running Backup Exec 2010 R3 SP3 on Windows 2008 Standard
Live Updates are all done
We backup from 7 servers using the Windows Agent (RAWS)
All the physical servers are fine and backup fast (1500mb/min)
2 of the 7 servers are VM's running on VMWare 5.1 and when using the Agent are running extremely slow (50-100mb/min). If I set the selections to use windows shares and disable the Agent it runs at 1500mb/min+.
I have reinstalled the agents, rebooted the servers (including the backup server).
We thought it started around the time we migrated one of the VM's to a different data store (running VMFS5) but the other one runs on VMFS3 so I dont think it's related.
I've setup a new D2D storage but same deal. Also this happens for both D2D and Disk to Tape.
Any good ideas?
Operating Systems:

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pkh's picture

I take it that you are backing up your VM's as if they are physical machine and you are not using the VMware agent to backup the VM's as VM.

In general, things running in a VM would be slower than when they are running on a physical server.  This is because the VM has to contend for resources on the host.  When you are backing up a share there are a lot less processing going on, it is almost like a file copy.

rs-it's picture

Yeah that is correct, we aren't licensed for the VMWare agent. The thing is this has been working for years. I realise that generally means something must have changed to cause it, but nothing really changed when this started happening.

I find it hard to believe that you would expect it to run at 1 tenth of the speed compared to a file copy.

pkh's picture

Did you check which resource/process is slowing things down?  For example, the backup of the system state.

rs-it's picture

I have setup test backup jobs etc simply selecting a group of files (even on different drives) and get the same result. I make sure the files are of reasonable size so it is not encountering hundreds of small files.

One thing I should have mentioned before, on one of the VM's I changed the NIC from an e1000 to a VMXNet3 and the speeds went from about 50mb/min to 120mb/min fairly consistently.

rs-it's picture

In case anyone comes across this, it ended up being that the jobs were set to "Use any available network interface" and it was using IPv6. Not sure why that would cause it to go slow but it did.