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Upgrade CPU or build a new Box. BU times ballpark?
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Author:  Steve_S [ Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Upgrade CPU or build a new Box. BU times ballpark?

I would be gratefull if someone would ball park my BU times as I'm woundering if a faster Box would help me or a swap of the CPU.

1.1 TB of data from a single win7/64 client takes about 4 hours to complete a WHS (v1) BU. This client is idle when the BU starts

My current DIY WHS (v1) Box:

Intel Celeron Dual Core E3200 2.4GHz 1M Processor
4GB Ram
WD Black 7200 RPM System drive
Storage Pool: NO Advanced format drives. Only about 50% used. 3 @ 2TB drives
My Network is Cat 6 wired with 1000 Mbps Gigabit speed. All Win7/64 clients NIC cards support this.
Performance: Rock solid. CPU usage during a backup ranges from 20% to 40%. Streams SD vids and Music like a hot knife through butter. File copys from clients and back seem fine and are between 40-70 MB per second.
When the WHS Back Ups run their is no other network activity and the client boxes are idle.

Questions:

I can swap the CPU to a quad core but how much faster will my WHS back ups run?

Maybe I should just build a new i7 Box to feed my adicition :) but how much faster will my WHS back ups run?

Interesting observation: I've been watching my WHS logs like a hawk the last few days. BU Set to start at 6:00 AM but on one day didn't start untill 7:15 AM. WHS paused about 45 minutes and did nothing else after it completed one client BU. 45 minutes later it started the second client BU. :)

Thanks in advance for any help.

Author:  msawyer91 [ Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Upgrade CPU or build a new Box. BU times ballpark?

I have 9 computers configured in my WHS (an HP EX490). Actually it's only 8, because one of them is a dual-boot Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 box, and both OSes are configured in WHS.

My EX490 (upgraded to E5300 processor) is able to back up all of the machines every night without missing any. My backup window starts at 11:00pm and goes until 9:00am. So 10 hours allotted to back up 8 machines is pretty good. Of course I don't have 1.1 TB of data to move over the network every night. Overall there might be 4 or 5TB across all the machines, but being mostly Windows 7 x64 or Server 2008 R2, there's a lot of duplication of data that gets left out. And since several machiens have identical copies of data, like my huge iTunes collection (music, movies, TV shows and apps), that too is backed up only once because WHS does such a nice job of weeding out duplicates.

I have three gigabit switches--1 x 8-port D-Link, 1 x 5-port D-Link and 1 x 5-port Netgear. I get blazing performance out of the gigabit. Three machines (all laptops) only go up to 100 Mbps, but even they back up pretty fast over a gigabit network.

I sometimes move a 75 GB virtual hard disk from one Hyper-V machine to another, and it takes about 20 minutes to copy that at gigabit speed. You're moving about 5.3 times that, so 4 hours does seem a rather high (20 * 5.3 = 106 = 1.8 hours). ALTHOUGH, I will admit, sometimes I get anomalous drops in speed that I cannot explain. I can be copying a monstrous file from one machine to another, and I'm getting 65 MB/sec, and it'll inexplicably drop to 11 MB/sec and run that way for awhile, and then creep back up, and back down, etc. Sometimes this happens when copying data to/from the WHS and other times the WHS isn't involved.

Most of the time I get rock solid performance, but every now and then I get some weird drops in the speed and I haven't quite figured out why.

I do have a secondary network that some machines use, which is only 100 Mbps...the Hyper-V virtual machines and Virtual Box virtual machines use this. Sometimes I wonder if the traffic that is flowing over the gigabit suddenly switches to the slower network and back again, but I don't think it should do that. On each of the machines that utilize both networks, I have the NIC binding order set so the gigabit is first.

Matt

Author:  JohnM [ Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Upgrade CPU or build a new Box. BU times ballpark?

That does not sound right at all.

I am backing up several PCs each night. The biggest single client back-up is about a terabyte also. However, that is spread across 3 drives on the client PC. My backup times vary from 15-40 min. Usually under 30 min.

My backup WHS server is a DIY Atom D510 (1.33Ghz dualcore) 4 gigs of ram, gigabit network, 1.5tb samsung green drive for system drive built in an MSI wind nettop. I only use this WHS as a dedicated WHS for backups and sharing install files/apps for PC rebuilds.

It my backups seems to run at about 6%-13% of network card utilization. This could be due to the crappy realtek network card I have in it or that is the peak performance WHS can do in my case.

I have never researched it, I would think the backup client is the one that is doing the CPU cycles for the backup.

Also, if you're backing up a million 1 megabyte files versus 4 bluray rips. your time would go up substantially.

Author:  Steve_S [ Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Upgrade CPU or build a new Box. BU times ballpark?

Thanks to all. The client in question is a fast Win 7/64/i7 box with nominal CPU load during the WHS BU accross 3 fast SATA drives.

I have started to narrow down the issue with a reboot of: WHS, modem, router, and three switches. Lets see what that does. The NIC card in my WHS is an el cheapo Atheros AR8121/AR8113/AR8114 PCI-E Ethernet Controller so I may swap that out.

Author:  msawyer91 [ Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Upgrade CPU or build a new Box. BU times ballpark?

Steve_S wrote:
Thanks to all. The client in question is a fast Win 7/64/i7 box with nominal CPU load during the WHS BU accross 3 fast SATA drives.

I have started to narrow down the issue with a reboot of: WHS, modem, router, and three switches. Lets see what that does. The NIC card in my WHS is an el cheapo Atheros AR8121/AR8113/AR8114 PCI-E Ethernet Controller so I may swap that out.

You've probably already thought of this, but I'll mention it anyway. It sounds like you've got quite a bit of gear there; I do too so it's easy to possibly "cross wires" somewhere and introduce a slow spot.

In my case, the AT&T U-verse "residential gateway" which includes a 4-port Ehternet router is a 100 Mbps device. It would be very easy to mistakenly connect two of my Gigabit switches to that, as well as to each other, giving data two potential paths, with the former being far slower than the latter. I've checked for that condition on my own network to be sure. :)

One issue I've run into is with auto-negotiate. This came up at work in our server room where I was encountering some downright dreadful performance...by dreadful I mean on par with 10 (yes, ten) Mbps, HALF duplex, even though the network there was 100 full. Windows was reporting 100/full, and after much testing the lab admin said that the switch (I forget who the manufacturer was; the switch is long gone) had a compatibility issue with auto-negotiate and that I should manually set the adapters to 100/full. Once I did that I had flawless operation.

Some NIC drivers, though, don't seem to have a "forced" 1000/full. They have 10/half, 10/full, 100/half, 100/full and auto, even though they're Gigabit cards. It's as if auto is the only option for Gigabit. Nevertheless I think it's always worth investigating just to be sure. And if a NIC can be manually set to Gigabit, give that a whirl. If it's hooked to a Gigabit switch, it should run at that speed and auto-negotiate shouldn't be necessary.

I just double-checked my WHS, and the Realtek driver does allow it to be manually set to Gigabit, and it looks like I already had it set that way. :beerme:
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File comment: Realtek forced to run at Gigabit full duplex.
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Danke,
Matt

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