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Vol. 5 No. 7 September 2006

Backup-to-disk performance tuning

The key to achieving top backup-to-disk performance is to fine-tune the storage configuration and conduct benchmarking tests to determine the best combination of production and backup storage configurations. Not long ago, a company asked me to help redesign its backup system. What prompted the request was a corrupt file system that took more than 36 hours to restore from its four-year-old tape backup system. Data growth at the company had increased between 100% and 200% per year. The company wanted to look at new technology to protect its data. The usual questions were asked: How much will it cost to upgrade our current tape resources? How many more tape drives will we need to meet the growing backup window? We looked at all of the company's data protection requirements, including the length of the backup windows, restore speeds and internal service-level agreements. Several solutions were presented, ranging from entirely new backup technologies like Axion from Irvine, CA-based Avamar Technologies Inc., to upgrading or replacing...

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