Monday, December 20, 2010

Identifying and Eliminating Backup System Bottlenecks

I have recently had the opportunity to work with several companies with regards to their backup and recovery environment. Every company is unique - different hardware, different software, different policies, and different requirements. However, one thing remains constant across all of them -- Bottlenecks during backup.

I found a great article discussing bottlenecks, where they may be, and how to tailor your environment to support them. The article is at http://www.snia.org/education/tutorials/2008/spring/data-management/Farmer-J_Eliminating_%20Backup_System_Bottlenecks.pdf, the article abstract is included below.


Identifying and Eliminating Backup System Bottlenecks:  Taking Your Existing Backup System to the Next Level

Jacob Farmer Download
Identifying and Eliminating Backup System Bottlenecks: Taking Your Existing Tape Backup System to the Next Level -- This tutorial reveals the obvious and not-so-obvious bottlenecks found in enterprise backup systems and offers practical examples for applying the technologies described in the Data Protection tutorials to achieve one's performance objectives.  The goal of this session is to illustrate how one can take an existing backup system to the next level by integrating a combination of modern backup techniques and low-cost disk.  We start with the assumption that the end user has made a sizable investment in his/her enterprise backup system and is looking for a road map for affordable growth in both performance and capacity.  We also assume that tape is here to stay (at least for now) and that the ultimate goal is to get data on tape for off-site removal.  Topics include balancing the use of the LAN and SAN for backup traffic, ILM helping or hindering, achieving maximum performance from tape, disk staging with ordinary disk, de-duplication, block-level differencing, and virtual tape.  The take home message is that you cannot simply buy your way out of backup system headaches, you must design your way out.

Learning Objectives:
  1. To understand the underlying challenges to building a scalable backup system. Once you undersdtand the root causes of poor backup performance, you have the means to set realistic goals and achieve them.
  2. To understand the various ways in which disk can be integrated into an existing backup system to deliver superior performance and reliability.  A little disk can go a long way.
  3. To be able to compare and contrast the major architectural paradigms in enterprise backup and recovery.

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