How to improve your backup performance

Need to improve backup performance? The following registry settings changes can drastically reduce the time it takes to perform a backup of your system.

reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\NTBackup\Backup Engine” /v “Logical Disk Buffer Size” /t REG_SZ /d 64 /f
reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\NTBackup\Backup Engine” /v “Max Buffer Size” /t REG_SZ /d 1024 /f
reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\NTBackup\Backup Engine” /v “Max Num Tape Buffers” /t REG_SZ /d 16 /f
Just put the above script in your scripting job settings to run before each backup. Once the job has been run one time, you may remove the script. You can also use regedit to make the required changes.

Below are the results of a series of Backup jobs to various destination devices and the improvement obtained. The test system was a Windows 2003 server (x32). Backup jobs size was 12.9 GB.

Rev Drive: 25.44%
External Hard drive: 26.36%
HP DAT 72 Tape: 0.53%
Local folder: 6.30%
QuikStor: 26.36%
Buffalo Link Station NAS: 20.74%
Other suggestions to reduce the total time to perform a backup:

1. Ensure all your source and destination drives are not fragmented. Heavily defragmented drives can greatly
increase the time it takes to perform a backup and can actually result in failed backups.

2. Skip the backup estimate. This can be found in your NTBackup options job setting under Advanced NTBackup options.

3. Disable the verify pass of the backup found in the NTBackup options job setting. The verify option was really designed initially for older legacy tape drives that had to write the data during one pass, rewind the tape, and read the data to verify the write. This was due to single head tape technology used in the first tape devices. All newer tape drives now use 2 head tape technology that verifies the write “on the fly” so a verify option is not required. Newer operating systems and TCP/IP protocols also verify the write in real time so the verify function can also be safely turned off when writing to other destination types, such as a NAS device.

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