Backup Exec Performance Series – Part 4

Hello and welcome back. This is part four of my short series of posts about tuning backups.
I want to show you the performance, Backup Exec can reach.

Of course, this is neither an agreement that these performance values can be reached in every environment on the globe, nor that faster environments are not possible. It’s just a glimpse into what we do in our day-to-day business.

In the first part of this series we did some backups of test data to get a baseline of the performance Backup Exec can reach, if the environment is configured appropriately.
During the second part of the series we backed up a virtual machine hosted in a VMware environment via network.
The third part shows, how to change the transport mode from LAN to SAN.

In this post I’ll explain, how to improve the backup performance even more by tweaking the sizes of the buffers Backup Exec uses to back up VMware virtual machines.

The Setup

Our “test candidate” is again the virtual machine running Windows 7 including Office 2013 and is doing some background tasks that produce load and files on the machine.
It is virtualized on a VMware vSphere 6 ESXi cluster (2 nodes) that uses a HPE MSA 2040 SAS as its shared storage. It’s the same storage, we also used in part one of this series. Regarding part two and three of this series, nothing of this setup has changed.

Using the PingUs Performance Tool

Backup Exec uses logical buffers in memory to transport data during a VMware backup. The number and the size of these buffers are quite conservative to assure compatibility with as many backup servers, as possible.

Since we implement new hardware servers and storages in our projects, we started playing around with the number of these buffers, as well, as with their size. Doing so, we discovered that we could get at least 10% more performance during VMware backups and, depending of the hardware and the infrastructure, even more.

We know that editing registry keys on servers is not everyone’s cup of tea. So we decided to write a little tool that provides a GUI to set the values on the backup server. This tool is freeware and can be downloaded on the PingUs Solutions Website.

There’s also a post in this blog with more details about the tool: PingUs Performance Tuner

The Movie

You can watch the video recorded for this post on YouTube:

Backup Exec Performance Series – Part 4

Please continue reading about this performance tests in part five of this series.

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