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spad.exe process

Created: 12 Mar 2013 • Updated: 18 Mar 2013 | 7 comments
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I have a Dell R510 with one (Quad core E5506) proc, 24GB mem and 16TB usable space from a RAID 6 configuration. 

I have a Symantec Backup Exec 2012 install with dedup, library expansion, Hyper-V, file server and application options.  I have roughly 30 total jobs (I think this includes the verify jobs) that are executing using the client side dedup.  I had a recent case with Symantec tech support regarding the direct access for client side dedup which is working properly now.  Usually full backups of a server take about 15'ish minutes.  My two Hyper-V hosts take about an hour to 1 1/2 hours, respectively.  None of the jobs step on each other or vie for run-time. The dedup folder is sitting in an 8TB parition and reporting 6.04 TB free and allows 2 concurrent operations.

I am asking this question regarding the spad.exe process.  I know it is, but not necessarily what it does for dedup.  It is always at 25% proc utilization.  Is this normal or should it increase/decrease its utilization based on the backups or scavenging or something else being done?  It just seems odd that it always seems to be at 25%.  I am concerned that something is not configured correctly.

Operating Systems:

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CraigV's picture

...the TN below indicates a list of services installed with BE. You'll find it on this:


Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

LeeHerr's picture

Thank you for the comment Craig, but I already know that it belongs to the BExec Dedup process.  My question was about it being at 25% all the time; whether or not that is "normal".

Larry Fine's picture

Since you have 4 cores, I assume one of the cores is consumed 100% with spad.exe.  One core at full load = 25% of server load.

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teiva-boy's picture

Why just two concurrent operations, that seems like a huge performance limiter...

With raid 6, I'd start at minimum with a number that is -2 the number of spindles in the raid array.  7 drive RAID6, use 5 as a starting point, subtracting for the parity drives.  You can go higher or lower from there as you test out performance of your disk subsystem.

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."

LeeHerr's picture

Larry:  No, based on the task manager, see attached pic, its using an average of 25% for each.  But, I'm not sure what bearing that has on telling me if 25% proc usage ALL THE TIME is normal and should be expected.

teiva:  There is no bandwidth throttling in BE 2012. The two concurrent operations are set in Backup Exec to prevent more than two jobs to kick off at a time. I am performing full server backups in 10-15 minutes.  I can live with that.  The "2" was intended to limit the system's performance by not allowing backup/verify jobs to step on each other because this server performs other duties: File, SEPM, DFS, web/ftp (internal), and this 25% that seems to be dedicated to this SPAD.exe process that I am asking about.  I believe my previous issues stemmed from 802.3ad teaming dual Broadcom NICs and the SEP11/12 not performing well together. Overloading them previously generated random system issues so I have unteamed the NICs and am having no random things that don't work correctly...and a patch from Symantec that wasn't pushed out to everyone yet.  I went down that road with troubleshooting and I'd rather not relive it. I am being pragmatic before increasing it to something other than 2.  Do you mention this setting in the properties section of the Dedup folder's tab because it has anything to do with the SPAD.exe process doing what it does in the Dedup folder?

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Larry Fine's picture

Processes that are disk i/o intensive, such as spad.exe, can hope from core to core, so I think you still have the equivalent of one core running at full throttle.

Is spad.exe ALWAYS at 25%?  or just OFTEN at 25%?  spad.exe is obviously used when backup jobs are being run, but it also spins up to do housekeeping tasks in the background, so that may be what you are seeing.

If you find this is a solution for the thread, please mark it as such.

LeeHerr's picture


Yeah, the spad.exe process was at 25% for over a week.  It has now dropped back down to idling. I noticed it being at 25% almost two weeks ago, but I really only started checking it about a week before I posted.  

spad.exe is the dedup management. spoold.exe is the dedup engine, and PDVFSService.exe is the PureDisk service, but beyond that, I was unable to find any background on what spad.exe actually does.  I could see it reading/writing all of the files in the dedup folders and I know that BExec Dedup has a requirement for it to execute, which is fine.  I was attempting to find out what it was doing only for the purpose of determining if the 25% was normal.

By my question in this forum, I was expecting someone to reply with, "Yeah, mine stays at 25% all the time" or "No, I hardly ever see mine above 5%" or etc. 

No, my deduction is that it is actively being run on all the cpus.  Now at idle, the process has 109 threads and 1,100 handles. When you have as many files as you do in the dedup folder and command queueing availabile with SCSI, I'm not sure why Symantec would intentionally limit it to a single cpu.   After all, thats a pay feature in MS SQL, lol.  The CPU Usage history shows it running on all CPUs and I'm not running any utils to see if MS is lieing cause its really moot for me.