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The ins and outs of calculating backup performance

Is there anyway to calculate actual/realistic backup performance (e.g. throughput, backup window)? What would be the formula?

For example, in an environment with a backup server connected to a tape library with two DLT7000 drives to backup 1TB over the network from six Netware servers. What is the expected backup window and what would be the achievable throughput? Why is it that backing up a Windows server is always faster than backing up a Netware server? Is there any significant calculation to do for estimation?

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That's quite a few questions in one question!

Sure, you can calculate it. You have to figure out what all the bottlenecks are though. They include the disk, the OS, the computer it is running on, the I/O path, the SCSI/FC cards, the LAN and all of its pieces, etc. Each one of those can slow you down and each has a maximum throughput.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you what YOURS would be without a lot more information.

As to Windows vs. NetWare, I'd say the same thing. Perhaps your Windows OS is newer and faster. Perhaps your servers are newer and faster. The same goes for your Ethernet cards, SCSI cards, etc.

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This was first published in November 2003

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